Culture Days, a popular Canada-wide initiative, returns on September 25, 2020 for an entire month! Join in on the celebration of culture and arts featuring Richmond-based artists, groups, and organizations. In light of COVID-19, artists and groups have found a variety of unique and safe ways to come together during these difficult times. We’ve rounded up the details on some of Richmond’s can’t-miss Culture Days events—read on for details.

Culture Days
Culture Days has moved to a month-long format for 2020. | Photo: ​City of Richmond

When Is It?

This year, Culture Days runs from Friday, September 25 to Sunday, October 25, and activities are happening indoors, outdoors, and online. Many of the events are free, or “pay what you may” to help support the artists and groups participating in Culture Days. All the activities, locations, and scheduled times for Richmond-specific events are listed here, or you can visit culturedays.ca for a full list of the events happening across Canada.

What are some of the highlights of this year’s culture days?

It totally depends on what you’re interested in! Since some of the events take place online this year, and the event has been extended (usually it takes places over 3 days), you can take part in something new every day. There are artist demonstrations, live and pre-recorded workshops, self-guided art tours, panel discussions, live-streamed musical performances, and more to participate in.

I’m a history buff: What should I check out?

There’s a mix of digital recordings and self-guided tours at Richmond’s historic sites. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site brings back the popular Pull of the Net: A Virtual Multicultural Event for Culture Days from September 21 - 27, 2020. This virtual event explores the diversity within the fishing and canning industry and the importance of people that worked within it.

You can also check out a digital recording from Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, which will explore the theme of unexpected intersections by using the work of two artists as a window to exploring the history of this outdoor industrial site.

Looking for something self-guided? Check out the Dreams of the Dead – the Memory Project, where participants are encouraged to share photos of home that connect them to memories of their Richmond past.

Pull of the Net
Don't miss the Pull of the Net event. | Photo: ​Gulf of Georgia Cannery

What about live music? Will there be any performances?

There are several performances scheduled throughout the month, with artists offering multiple time slots and pre-recorded sessions so you can even catch a repeat performance, if you’d like! And, with physical distancing measures in place, artists have created their own unique and innovative takes on a musical performance. The Isolation Sessions digital recording showcases a project created by local performing artist Jill Raymond, as a way to create music and art together during quarantine. These duets cover a range of styles and feature artists from all over the world.

And be sure to check out some livestreamed musical acts by MAD Jazz LIVE @The Loft on one of 5 separate dates, and A Covid Cabaret on October 24 (warning: this is not suitable for children).

Are there any interactive activities?

There are plenty of interactive sessions and activities you can take part in. Check out the Uzume Taiko Interactive Virtual Taiko Drum Workshop, where participants can participate in a live Zoom Taiko basic drills drum lesson using a DIY drum and drumsticks. Or, you can learn the basics of wood carving from the Richmond Wood Carvers Society in their introductory video.

For those who want to take part in an in person event, check out the Belly Fusion workshop on September 26 at the Richmond Cultural Centre, where you’ll learn contemporary dance moves performed to upbeat songs for a fitness-like dance program. Note that participant must register in advance.

What about ART?

We’re glad you asked! The City of Richmond will be showcasing their Cycling Art Tour, a self-guided tour of a dozen different public art pieces throughout the city. The art you’ll see on the tour underscore the power and resilience of community, connection, togetherness, home, and place.

You can also check out the Emerging Artists Online Free Style Chinese Painting Exhibition digital recording, where emerging artists showcase their understanding of Chinese culture through their displayed works. And on September 26 & 27, graphic novel author Laura Rivera will do live demonstrations online about the process of Creating Comic Books.

This is also an opportune time to check out the new exhibition at the Richmond Art Gallery (note that you must pre-book your visit). Emily Neufeld’s Prairie Invasions: A Lullaby takes over the Richmond Art Gallery space with a collection of photographs and sculptures of artist Emily Neufeld’s exploration of abandoned farmhouses dotting the Canadian prairies. You can also join the livestreamed panel discussion on October 3 to hear panelists discuss ideas from the exhibition—it’s a great opportunity to hear directly from the artist, as well as ethnobotanist T'uy't'tanat-Cease Wyss, and KPU Farm School Soil Science Instructor Amy Norgaard.

Culture Days
​Art is showcased in a variety of ways throughout Culture Days. | Photo: ​City of Richmond

If You Go:

Culture Days is a Canada-wide event that takes place from September 25 to October 25, 2020. Details on Richmond activities can be found here. Most events are free or have a “pay what you can” model. With the wide array of events and activities available, there’s something for people of all ages.

Organizers are observing all COVID-19 guidelines and procedures, to ensure all participants and audience members are kept safe. When it comes to in-person events, be sure to register in advance to reserve a spot.

Enjoy your Culture Days adventures and be sure to share your experiences on Instagram with the hashtags #RichmondMoments, #RichmondCultureDays and #BCCultureDays!

Culture Days