Culture Days Q & A with the Rivers West District

By: Shaunna Grandish June, 2014

Sport, Culture and Recreation Districts focuses on fostering community development, and coordinating networks within their district, with the aim of enhancing access of sport, culture and recreation programs and services in Saskatchewan.

Shaunna Grandish had the opportunity to interview Bonnie Mills Midgley, community development coordinator, Rivers West District for Sport, Culture and Recreation, about Culture Days and its impact to her community.

How did your District connect with Culture Days last year?

For the past two years, SaskCulture held meetings in several different communities in the District and introduced the idea of Culture Days, what can be done, and that there is funding available. Last year, Culture Days Animateur Carol Daniels came to Turtleford School and was very well received. I think the Animateurs are a great idea. SaskCulture providing them to the province is such an enormous opportunity. It’s great that these talented people come to the communities.

What are the benefits to organizations that host Culture Days in your District?

Culture Days definitely helps to promote culture around the District because it showcases what we have. When I first heard of Culture Days, I thought it had to be a big event. However, some small events – such as a scrapbooking event at the senior’s centre – turned out to be awesome activities because they appeal to a wide demographic of people: young, old and individuals of all abilities. A Culture Days event doesn’t have to be enormous to be successful. Culture Days has grown over the past two years in the District. The District hopes to continue promoting Culture Days in the coming years. Last year, the turnout was fantastic for an event that took place in my community of St. Walburg. We have a lot of history and traditions in our communities that we can build on.”

What are the benefits of culture in your community?

Culture helps tie people together in a community. Working together and showcasing what we have and what we can create. It also help bridge different communities throughout the District. Culture hasn’t been as much in the limelight as recreation and sport, but it’s becoming more so, and as we work with it, we begin to see the value. Events around Culture Days help people see the value in culture, and it brings people together who normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to interact with one another.

Besides Culture Days, what other initiatives is the District promoting to help culture around the area?

We’ve had the Museums Association of Saskatchewan and Paul Gingras from SaskCulture presenting a workshop in North Battleford that had more than 20 people from the area museums who came to learn about the programs. The participants also had the chance to showcase their museums as it was a great networking event for people to exchange ideas and experiences.