SPOTLIGHT: PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS NOMINEES

People’s Choice is an open-category accolade that allows the public to recognize any program and its overall contribution to the Culture Days festival. Spotlight jurors will choose their top organizer submissions from the People’s Choice category and post descriptions of each on ONCD platforms. The program that receives the greatest number of votes will be awarded the Spotlight.

the vaudevillian – RICK IMUS MUSIC STUDIO + ARTS MILTON

These curbside concerts were Arts Milton’s take on unexpected intersections. Working with the Rick Imus Music Studio and the Town of Milton, the Vaudevillian staged a series of pop-up, street-side concerts across Milton. It wasn’t just foot stomping music – they put on a proper 1930s style show in three locations, sometimes at the literal intersections of streets in Milton. One older curbside concert audience member compared the feeling of the concerts to the way people danced in the streets after WWII ended.

JR MARR MURAL PROJECT – PFLAG HALTON + ARTS MILTON

The Arts Milton + PFLAG Halton Mural Project was an entirely new venture for Milton Culture Days. The scale and scope of this project was beyond what they have attempted or accomplished in past years. The mural, painted by artist JR Marr, will also have more of an affect on the community as it contributes to the beautification of Downtown Milton, and offers a message of pride, inclusivity and diversity – values central to PFLAG and the work they do as an LGBTQ2S support organization. It was exciting to watch community members share images of the artwork in progress! The mural painting was also photographed by local media. 

THE MOCCASIN IDENTIFIER PROJECT – CAROLYN KING + MISSISSAUGAS OF THE CREDIT FIRST NATION + GREENBELT FOUNDATION + Halton Hills Public Library – georgetown

Every Saturday morning throughout Culture Days, the public learned more about the different peoples who inhabited this land prior to settlement, through The Moccasin Identifier Project. This program was developed by Carolyn King in partnership with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and The Greenbelt Foundation. Run in accordance with health and safety guidelines, this activity occurred outside, and all art supplies were provided by the Halton Hills Public Library. This colourful activity proved to be very popular with all ages and received enthusiastic feedback in person and on social media. Participants could use four Moccasin stencils from the Project’s Education Kit – each representing one of Ontario’s linguistic families: Huron-Wendat, Seneca, Anishinaabe, and Cree.

EVERY CHILD MATTERS – CITY OF THUNDER BAY INDIGENOUS LIAiSON TEAM + THUNDER BAY LIBRARY

The City of Thunder Bay’s Indigenous Liaison team, the Thunder Bay Library and Boomer’s drive-in theatre hosted a series of programs as part of Orange Shirt Day. Participants were invited to the drive-in to watch a screening of the 2018 Audience Award film ‘Indian Horse’, following the survival of a young boy through the Residential School system. Those that attended were encouraged to wear orange shirts, decorate their cars with signs declaring ‘Every Child Matters’ and share photos of themselves on social media. The next day, the City of Thunder Bay’s Anishinaabe Elders Council led a virtual discussion about the film. The program had multiple different platforms – from social media, to an in-person film screening, to a virtual talk – creating the opportunity for learning, audience participation, and sharing of ideas, all while being safe and mindful of pandemic restrictions.

MUSIC MONDAY (REDUX) – CENTRE OF ONTARIO HUB – HORNEPAYNE

Last spring, Hornepayne Elementary and Secondary students, visiting musicians The Worst Pop Band Ever and the artists from Hornepayne Community Arts were planning a bunch of music making to celebrate MusicCounts MUSIC MONDAY. Obviously, that didn’t happen. And putting on a concert didn’t seem like an easy thing. But they wanted to try. The arts community in Hamilton/Toronto and beyond pulled together enough fundraising for 100 ukuleles. Enough so that nobody had to share. And over the 4 weeks of Ontario Culture days, music mentors beamed in from the YOUThink Project to help students and community participants safely create recordings for a digital concert at the end of October.

LUMEN AT HOME – CITY OF WATERLOO

Lumen is an annual, free, all-ages festival that is open to the public and run by the City of Waterloo’s Arts and Culture team, Create Waterloo. The event featured the work of artists as they explored the interplay of light, art, and technology in installations located throughout uptown Waterloo. Traditionally hosting 30+ visual, interactive, new media, and performance-based installations, the event adapted in 2020 to a virtual format in order to accommodate for the safety of the community.