STORY BY JANE DEACON
Since the nation-wide festival of the arts launched in 2010, High River has been a hive of activity every September during Culture Days — and this year promises to be no exception.
From Sept. 26-28, High River’s galleries, artist studios, businesses, restaurants and community venues will open their doors for a town-wide celebration of the arts.
Typically close to 25 venues participate to feature upwards of 50 local artists spanning every genre, from painters to weavers to musicians to craftspeople.
With a uniquely high proportion of artists who call the community home, High River’s Culture Days celebrations have been a hit since they began and have only grown in size since. The event has always been a draw for both residents and visitors from the surrounding area alike, explained Joyce Brown, program director with the High River Library and a member of the local organizing committee.
“We traditionally get people travelling down from Calgary and surrounding areas because it’s the only place you can park your car and walk and see 25 different venues and 50 different artists within the span of a few hours,” said Brown.
From artists opening up the spaces where they work for tours to musicians popping up to perform in local businesses, the three days are a lively showcase of homegrown talent.
With education an integral element of the event, many venues will host special activities for children and adults alike to give them a chance to try their hand at the arts.
Organized by the library, the Town of High River and the High River Art Society, this celebration is part of the Culture Days network of activities that takes place in communities across Canada on the last weekend of September.
High River has been hosting Culture Days activities since the event began in 2010, receiving the 2010 CBC Cultureville award and was selected as one of five Feature Celebration sites across the province in 2012.
Even in the fall of 2013 when High River was in the midst of recovering from the devastating 2013 floods, the community never considered cancelling their celebrations.
“It’s a fun weekend, because you’re just showcasing people doing what they love to do,” said Brown
With Culture Days held the same weekend as the River City Classics Show and Shine and High River’s hot air balloon festival, there will be plenty to keep visitors busy and entertained during the weekend of Sept. 26-28.
For more information and to search the listing of activities happening in High River, visit www.culturedays.ca.