Alberta Culture Days is my favourite time of year. Screw you, Valentine’s Day. My birthday… please! Do I really want to celebrate getting older? No, what I want to celebrate is the talent of artists in Alberta, especially Edmonton, and lucky for me, I get to do that in a big way on September 27 – 29!
Give me a moment to gush about why I love Alberta Culture Days.
One of my approaches to theatre – and art in general – is that, in order for the art to have accomplished its goal, it needs to be accessible. People need to be able to engage with it. If you write a fantastic play, but the audience needs a dictionary to understand it, did you really put on a performance, or was it more of a one-sided lecture?
Alberta Culture Days invites cultural institutions to throw their doors open, bring in as many people as possible with discounted or free admission, children’s activities, or – hey! – even free food. Once organizations have brought people through their doors, their mission is to ensure they give people a taste of what they actually offer and show that, 9 times out of 10, it’s not the self-absorbed, highbrow schtick that people usually associate with “THE ARTS”. Audience development is a huge challenge, at least in the theatre community, and Alberta Culture Days is a fantastic opportunity to remedy that issue for cultural organizations across the province. So, thank you, Alberta Culture for organizing this yearly celebration that allows Albertans to experience art, and Albertan artists, first hand.
Wondering where the action is at? Check out Alberta Culture’s website at culture.alberta.ca/culturedays to find an event near you. Alberta Culture also has a wicked app for all you iPhone users, which can be downloaded from the app store.