Sault Ste. Marie has been chosen as one of five communities to be showcased as a featured site to celebrate Ontario Culture Days 10th anniversary provincially.
Opening ceremonies on Friday, Sept. 27, at the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site will begin at 9:30 a.m., says a media release from Sault Ste. Marie Public Library, which has organized this year’s 10th anniversary Culture Days – Walk the Arts and Wellness Trail.
Free activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. are planned at James L. McIntyre Centennial Library, the Ermatinger property, Clergue Park and the Art Gallery of Algoma. Each place will have a full schedule of activities on Friday.
The day will include cultural presentations, a downtown mural walk, family yoga, an indigenous Ribbon Skirt presentation, DrumFit drumming, karaoke, giant building blocks, craft tables, face painting and more.
Some costs will apply for food purchases.
The library’s feature highlight for the day is local artist Max Warren, who will engage the community with a performance and workshop on “Flow Art” at Clergue Park from 1 to 2 p.m. Flow Art is a mix of fire spinning and light shows, a combination of juggling, dancing and prop manipulation. The performance suits all ages.
Songs of the Departed: Food. Music. Film., led by George Al-Khoury. It is a “deeply-moving and life-affirming journey into the heart of a homeless nation” to hear stories of musicians and singers, says promotional material from Culture Days.
Samples of Syrian and Middle Eastern cuisine will be provided by Georgie’s Shawarma following the presentation from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Ermatinger site. The event is free but organizers will accept a pay-what-you-may donation. Seating is limited; registration is a must: register .
Instant Places a Sound Bending and Shaping Workshop will be limited to 10 persons per session in two sessions on Friday, from 1 to 2 p.m. and from 2 to 3 p.m. Laura Kavanaugh and Ian Birse will lead in this exploration of sound transformation. Participants will work with classic tools for sound transformation: filtering sounds, reversing sounds, pitch changes, looping sounds and more.
Divers-City Workshops take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Ermatinger centre. Join in on the Local Immigration Partnership’s workshops to explore the role of arts, cuisine, urban design, music and culture in creating a welcoming and inclusive community where everyone feels a sense of belonging and purpose.
Also on Saturday, between 1 and 3 p.m. at Clergue Park or at the Ermatinger site in the event of rain, is a Blanket Exercise. Take an interactive journey through 400 years of Indigenous experience in Canada. Narrators using only a few quilts will guide participants through a metaphoric reenactment of the First Nations experience.
These events are free.
Meanwhile, Ontario Culture Days has commissioned a province-wide exhibition Do Blue Butterflies Eat Parts of the Sky?, and has chosen Sault Ste. Marie for the presentation of How Does Life Live?, by Toronto-based filmmaker Kelly O’Brien.
The film is shot on an old 16 mm Bolex camera and features O’Brien’s two daughters at play, with a voice-over by the youngest who re-asks a child’s out-of-the-blue questions.
O’Brien had been keeping a list her daughters’ questions as they grew, things such as “Why are there so many people who don’t know me?” or “Why do trees just stand there?”, along with the regular questions of children such as “When will it be my birthday?”.
The film runs at the Art Gallery of Algoma from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27 and 28, and on Sunday, Sept. 29, from noon to 5 p.m.
The event is free.
For more information contact Helena Huopalainen, Manager of Community Engagement, Sault Ste. Marie Public Library.