It’s time to register your 2018 Culture Days events!

on beat

The 9th annual Culture Days weekend will take place September 28, 29, 30, 2018.

Event registration is now open. Read on to find out more about the Culture Days initiative, this year’s theme, local opportunities, 6 reasons to register, and FAQs for those thinking about registering an event.

What is Culture Days?

Culture Days is an annual three-day celebration that aims to raise awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.

Each year, in every province, individual artists, cultural groups, organizations, municipalities and festivals offer free participatory and interactive arts and cultural activities during the Culture Days weekend. 

Any arts or cultural activity – professional, community, amateur, educational, etc., can be listed as part of Culture Days as long as it meets the basic criteria: an event happening on the Culture Days weekend, that is free to the public and involves audience participation or reveals a behind-the-scenes aspect to give the public a better understanding of the inner world of arts and culture. Events must be registered on to be considered a part of Culture Days. Registration is free.

The National 2018 Programming Theme is OnBeat!

Across the country, communities, organizations, and individuals are invited to participate in OnBeat by organizing drumming and/or rhythm-inspired events during Culture Days.

OnBeat programming does not have to be limited to drumming. Rhythm can make its way into many different art forms and cultural practices including dance, visual arts, theatre, digital arts, and storytelling.

Local Opportunities

The City of Guelph’s Culture Hub & Makers Market is back for another year in Market Square, occurring Saturday, September 29 from 9 a.m. until noon. If you’d like to host an activity or be a vendor at the event, please contact [email protected].

The City of Guelph will produce a pamphlet guide to Culture Days in Guelph, by taking all local events published on as they appear on the website on September 13, 2018. Be sure to have registered your event and published the final details by that date to be included in this local publication.

Guelph Arts Council will also share the lineup with our 1600 enews and social media followers.

GAC will also assist individuals and organizations looking for collaboration opportunities. To indicate your interest in finding local collaborators, contact [email protected] or submit a call for collaborators to our enews/website through this form

6 reasons to register your event as an official Culture Days event:


Be discovered by new audiences! Have your activity appear when the public uses the activity or geo-locator search functions to find activities and plan their weekends.

Alert other Culture Days activity organizers that you are participating too – this will increase opportunities for collaboration and cross-promotion.

Help your community be eligible for FREE Culture Days SWAG. SWAG, which may include a variety of marketing materials such as stickers, balloons, bookmarks, Bright Spots venue identifiers, posters, buttons, and/or temporary tattoos is only delivered to communities where multiple activities are registered.

Take advantage of the social and electronic media promotional features built into each activity page. These features allow you to share your activity on Facebook, Twitter or email it to individuals.

Bring your activity to the attention of national and provincial/territorial organizing committees! Your activity could be chosen as a featured activity on the website, be included in lists of highlight activities sent to local, regional and national press, be pitched to local media as an activity to cover, or be included in a wide range of marketing and PR efforts that take place at each level of the Culture Days campaign.

Share your story with the media! Media outlets search to find events to cover that are of interest to their audiences.

By registering your activity you leverage the combined marketing and PR campaign valued at over $6 million that directs the public to Once you’ve registered your activity on the webpage, take advantage of the many resources available to help you plan and promote your activity and be sure to sign up to receive regular e-newsletters  with valuable advice and news about Culture Days.


We’re already busy, what if we don’t have the capacity to add another major event to our planning?
Guelph has a lot of amazing events already going on. Culture Days is a chance to showcase them on a wider scale.

 If it’s possible and makes sense for you, why not take something you wanted to do anyway, and schedule it for the Culture Days weekend? Think about Culture Days as part of your yearly planning. The timing might turn out to be perfect, and you have the opportunity to leverage wider exposure for free. Plus, the earlier you register, the greater the chance Culture Days has to promote your event in extra ways.

If you know of another organization, artist, or community partner who wants to put something on, you might be able to collaborate on their event rather than creating one of your own.

I don’t know about organizing something on my own. Is there a hub I can join?
Yes! The City of Guelph’s Culture Hub & Makers Market is back for another year in Market Square, occurring Saturday, September 29 from 9 a.m. until noon. If you’d like to host an activity or be a vendor at the event, please contact [email protected].

What if we can’t afford not to charge admission to our workshop/event/performance?
In most cases, it costs at least some money to put on an event. It might work for you to tack on a free component to your paid-entry event using resources already budgeted for – a Q&A with performers, a behind-the-scenes tour of the venue, an interactive activity using donated or recycled materials (or just the audience’s imagination!)

Consider partnering with a business – for example companies hoping to sell their art-world wares are often happy to host a free demo. A business looking to reach new audiences might be willing to contribute space or other resources if it means bringing new people through their doors. Others may be seeking community sponsorship opportunities, which could mean contributing money to cover artist fees, for example, in return for recognition.

Do you have an oddball experiment you’ve wanted to try? Something you’re not ready to charge for, or that’s different from what you normally do? This is a great opportunity to get free help rustling up an audience for a brand new experience to test on a curious public.

Consider joining he City of Guelph’s Culture Hub & Makers Market in Market Square, happening Saturday, September 29 from 9 a.m. until noon. If you’d like to host an activity or be a vendor at the event, please contact [email protected].

What if we already have something planned for that weekend?
If you are thinking of hosting an eligible cultural event or event component on the last weekend in September – a dance performance, a food tasting, a behind the scenes architecture or theatre tour, an art workshop – why not register it as a Culture Days event? It doesn’t cost a cent, and isn’t any more complicated than uploading your event to an online community calendar. 

What if we want to participate but aren’t ready to register yet?
It’s not too late to get planning! The earlier you register, the better. However, you can work on the big details now – date and time, title, location, partners, and register on Then, as the details are worked out, those can be uploaded later. On September 13, 2018 the City of Guelph will produce a pamphlet guide to Culture Days in Guelph, by taking all local events as they appear published on on that date.

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