A month-long celebration of arts and culture kicks off this Friday, September 25, with the return of BC Culture Days, which is part of the national Culture Days celebrations. This year’s expanded event will include a diverse mix of programming in and around Kelowna, with events taking place in person and online throughout the month, exploring the ‘unexpected intersections’ theme, focused on creative connection and artistic discovery.
“Artistic expression and creative curiosity are fundamental components of the health and vitality of our communities, especially as we continue to navigate the uncertainty of a global pandemic,” says BC Culture Days Manager, Nazanin Shoja. “I am incredibly proud of the dedicated, grassroots efforts of our many participating artists and community culture leaders who, like us, believe in the transformative power of the arts. We hope that by expanding this year’s celebration to a full month and opening access to events taking place locally, provincially, and nationally, BC Culture Days can foster connection, understanding, and healing for an even greater number of British Columbians this fall.”
BC Culture Days will kick off with a virtual event on Thursday, September 24, at 4 p.m. PDT. On Friday night, Kelowna Culture Days kicks off at the Rotary Centre for the Arts (RCA)—which is a Culture Days event hub—with 'The Bird Who Forgot How to Sing.' The Kelowna event takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. PDT and will include a Territorial Welcome by Wilfred Barnes, a message from Mayor Basran, spoken word poetry by MC, Rawle Iam James, and an interdisciplinary performance by local BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) artists.
The Bird Who Forgot to Sing Promo Image
Spearheaded by the RCA, numerous local organizations including the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan, Downtown Kelowna Association, Kelowna Museums Society, Kelowna Pride, Okanagan Regional Library (ORL), as well as the City of Kelowna and Tourism Kelowna, have been meeting over the past number of months to discuss the coordination of Culture Days amidst COVID-19. A listing of the events taking place in and around Kelowna throughout the month can be found online.
As the first weekend of Culture Days intersects with the final days of Kelowna Pride, there is some LGBT2Q+ programming that is taking place during both events:
- An exhibition at the RCA featuring queer artist, Moozhan Ahmadzadegan, runs until the end of September.
- The Kelowna Out & Proud Film Festival, presented by the RCA, takes place from September 22 to September 27, culminating with a screening of New Vintage Theatre's The Pink Unicorn, followed by an artist talk.
- The Kelowna Pride Festival takes place Saturday, September 26, with in-person events at two secret locations (with capacity restrictions) and free live streaming.
- The semi-finals and finale of Kelowna's Next Drag Superstar will be hosted at Friends of Dorothy Lounge, with a corresponding live stream, on Friday and Saturday evening.
- Part two of QueeReads on Sunday, September 27.
Artist Moozhan Ahmadzadegan
Kelowna Culture Days is one of the many ways arts and culture is celebrated in our community. At last year’s event, the City of Kelowna launched its 2020-2025 Cultural Plan, which includes Kelowna being recognized as a four-season destination with a rich variety of high-quality arts, culture, and heritage experiences as part of its vision. The updated Cultural Plan, which builds on the original 2012-2017 Cultural Plan and aligns with the Imagine Kelowna goal of an engaging arts and culture scene, presents a series of strategies that residents and local organizations can use to support and further all 10 parts of its vision.
About BC Culture Days
BC Culture Days is administered through the Society to Bridge Arts and Community (Bridge Society), a registered charitable organization that has a mandate to promote awareness of arts and culture by establishing bridges between the general public, the private sector, arts organizations, and individual artists. Bridge Society staff work together with a volunteer provincial task force and steering committee, municipalities, and numerous community arts and cultural organizations to coordinate plans for the Culture Days weekend. For 2020, a revised registration system now supports in-person events, livestreamed events, digital recorded experiences, and self-guided activities. The Culture Days website will act as a promotional platform for creators to showcase thousands of virtual and in-person activities.