New Multi-Disciplinary Arts Celebration Comes to Manitoba

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In a year brimming with cultural events, from the Cultural Capital of Canada campaign to The Big Show, Manitoba is welcoming another exciting celebration of the arts this month. Boasting over 150 free arts and culture activities in 53 venues across the province, Culture Days promises an action-packed weekend of music, dance, visual arts, and more from September 24 to 26.

Culture Days is a collaborative pan-Canadian volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation, and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. A national Steering Committee, together with provincial committees, are self-mobilizing at the grassroots level to implement concurrent annual province-wide public participation events each September beginning in 2010.  Across the country, there are over 1630 activities submitted by 841 organizers in over 330 cities and towns.

Winnipeg was chosen to host the national Culture Days launch on September 24 at The Forks. Along with screenings and more, the event will include the Manitoba Covers Project concert, presented by CBC Radio and Manitoba Music.

"The original idea was to ask Manitoba singer/songwriters and groups if they could cover another Manitoba singer/songwriter or group to do at least two songs in their own inimitable style," explains CBC producer Kinsey Posen, who helms the project.

Posen had no trouble finding interested locals to participate, and the diversity covers each artist chose might surprise a few. Among others, Nathan's Keri Latimer will play a tune by Greg MacPherson, Alana Levandoski will cover The Weakerthans, Marco Castillo offers up a bossa nova version of the Guess Who's "These Eyes," and the Minister of Cool takes on Chic Gamine's "I Don't Lie."

CBC will release the first seven songs on its website starting September 21 and seven more the following week. Audiences can also hear some of the music on The (204) on September 18. Latimer, Levandoski, and Castillo will be on hand for the Culture Days concert on September 24 Under the Canopy at The Forks, joining host Jian Ghomeshi, and performers Justin Lacroix, Cara Luft, and Les Surveillantes.

Culture Days also features the first ever Nuit Blanche Winnipeg on September 25. Running 6pm to 6am, the night long multi-disciplinary arts celebration will include artist talks, performances, film screenings, and more at various locations in downtown Winnipeg. The City of Winnipeg has offered up free shuttle bus service throughout Nuit Blanche to get audiences from venue to venue.

Pick up a program guide in Saturday's Winnipeg Free Press or at participating venues, or check out for schedules and info.

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