People’s Choice: Voting
People’s Choice is an open-category accolade that allows the general public to recognize any program and its overall contribution to the Ontario Culture Days festival. Nominated programs are shared on the Ontario Culture Days site, and anyone can vote on their favourite program. The program that receives the greatest number of votes will be awarded the Spotlight.
Voting is now closed. See the list of winners here. See the full list of nominated programs below.
City of Vaughan:
Vaughan International Music Festival
Vaughan’s International Music Festival was a representation of inclusivity and togetherness by showcasing local talents of different background through the diverse range and genre of music. The program used music as the mode to bring people together and to learn and understand the many cultures that represent the City of Vaughan.
Madeline Fiore: My Pocketbook of I Love You’s
This short film is part one of a four-part series that explores the ebb-and-flow of a LGBTQ+ relationship. This passion project was based on the book‚ My Pocketbook of I Love You’s by Madeline Rose Fiore. Madeline decided to wrap up this project by bringing it to life and making this short film series. Audience members reflected that they were touched by the beautiful words and images expressed throughout the film, exploring themes of vulnerability.
Dance Together Festival:
Dance Together Festival transformed Mimico Square in Amos Waites Park into a vibrant open-air dance space with free workshops and an interactive dance floor mural, designed with physical distancing in mind. The space is open for everyone to explore through October 2021. This outdoor, in-person activity offered both the option to interact in a self-guided fashion, and also through the above-mentioned free workshops. The element of surprise surely added excitement to the days of passers-by and participants alike. The aesthetically pleasing nature of the work and the activity is not to be overlooked!
Old Post Office Light Show
The Old Post Office features an impressive display of lights, illuminating the building on select evenings. The contrast of modern art, technology and historical architecture come together perfectly in this show by the Idea Exchange in Cambridge, ON. The experience of adding music to the light show added an extra level of engagement that is fun and exciting for all ages.
Cambridge Art Galleries:
Fine Zines: A Queer Zine Workshop
Founded by Alyssa Pisciotto, Fine Zines: A Queer Zine Archive is a zine archive that focuses on queer experiences and voices. The workshop went over the how-tos of zine-making, including basic binding techniques, followed by guided time for participants to create a tangible zine that explores lived experiences, truths, and stories of being queer. It was thoughtful, evocative, and very accessible to youth, and an opportunity to raise up queer narratives.
Arts Milton used the opportunity (during COVID-19) to expand its Culture Days programming from beyond the local arts centre to an outdoor, accessible venue in 2021. Their “Saturday Stage” events offered a live platform to local performing artists of all types including visual artists, dancers, musicians, theatre players, magicians and more. This provided the opportunity to perform in a public setting during a time in which this has become difficult. The events, held at Milton Community Sports Park, were a highlight for both performers and audiences alike after so long without arts and culture events! The pinnacle of Milton Culture Days 2021.
Header – Meaghan Froh Metcalf