ontario culture days
Courtesy of Toronto History Museums for Ontario Culture Days 2019


The 10th anniversary of Ontario Culture Days (OCD) features an eclectic roster of free activities and events taking place across all of Ontario from September 27–29, 2019. This vibrant weekend of activities marks the official end of the summer and the kick off fall with family activities in various intersections of visual art, theatre, cinema, dance, and much more—plus there’s no cover charge. 

One of the many interactive cultural experiences include the BIG Draw Festival, which brings together fourteen museums in Toronto to partake in the celebration of drawing and creative expression; a story-telling series hosted by the Toronto Public Library; a learning series by Myseum’s Wigwam Chi-Chemung; and special province-wide programming, DO BLUE BUTTERFLIES EAT PARTS OF THE SKY?, offering an imaginative array of pop-up experiences for participants to engage in creative play.

Editor’s Picks – Top 10 Ontario Culture Days Events in Toronto

1) Shakespeare Hip Hop

This theatre and hip-hop fusion project presents creative-writing and performance training program for youth ages 13-17, in partnership with the Toronto Public Library. 

2) Open Orchestra

Open to all skill levels and orchestral music lovers, this interactive rehearsal is hosted by conductor Michael Newnham and members of Orchestra Toronto. 

3) The Big Draw Festival

Toronto History Museums presents the world’s largest drawing festival, with free drawing activities for all ages and ability. 

4) Art & Wellness: An Indigenous Perspective 

Workshops and talks exploring “creativity, the arts, and well-being” through an Indigenous lens as part of Myseum’s Wigwam Chi-Chemung Indigenous learning series, hosted by Elder Duke Redbird.

5) Make Well Drop-In at TIFF Film Reference Library

De-stress with short films and experience a series of interactive activities co-curated by TIFF’s Mental Health Outreach programme.

6)  Culture Days at Canada’s National Ballet School 

Take advantage of a great opportunity to enrol in free dance classes with the prestigious National Ballet School, with classes open to all ages, dance styles and expertise. 

7)  Culture Days at the Gardiner Museum 

Explore the Gardiner’s world-renowned collection of ceramics from the Ancient Americas, Europe, China, Japan, with a mix of programming that includes guided tours and ceramic workshops.

8) Collaborative Dreamcatcher 

Participants will be invited to weave their own goals and positive thoughts into a large dreamcatcher, while learning how to create their own personal dreamcatchers.

9) The Stories of Us 

A workshop for newcomers to share their stories in a format that can help them learn English as well as help others.

10) Downtown Ghost Tour 

This app-based walking tour guides participants through the city with a combination of interactive media, virtual reality and audio-visual effects. 

Wigwam Chi Chemung. Myseum Toronto for Ontario Culture Days 2019

Editor’s Picks – Top 10 Ontario Culture Days Events in Ottawa


A province-wide exhibition of playful and accessible artworks which include an apple orchard and fair, a film screened without its picture, a bus that takes passengers wherever they wish to go (provided everyone on board agrees) and the opportunity to have one’s hair cut for free, by children (!).

2) The Art of Camping

A great wrap-up of summer, participants are encouraged to join activities like campfire singalongs and art-themed-hikes, in partnership with the National Gallery of Canada. 

3) InGenius Jr Day 

This event encourages young people to channel their inner animator with workshops and screenings presented at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. 

4) Mòshkamo Family Day 

Explore the beauty of the diversity of Indigenous art with hands-on activities, dance, music, theatre and craft workshops presented by the National Arts Centre.

5) Caribbean Culture Day 

Celebrating the Carribean community’s vibrant culture and history with food, entertainment, workshops and more. 

6) Open Studios 

A mix of established and emerging artists unite to present studio-based activities including painting, drawing and digital art at Nepean Creative Arts Centre

7) Upcycled Jewelry Pop-up Workshop 

An upcycled jewelry workshop where people walking by can stop, make a quick craft in a guided, drop-in basis workshop, and walk away with a one-of-a-kind creation for free. Hosted by Otherwise Studio, in Guelph’s Market Square. 

8) Mike Macdonald: Planting One Another 

Planting one Another features a twin re-planting of a Medicine and Butterfly garden by the late Mi’kmaq artist Mike MacDonald (1941-2006). Comprised primarily of plants that are indigenous to the Americas, the two gardens will be cared for by two organizations situated within the Haldimand Tract.

9) Belly Dance with Zahra 

Learn the techniques and moves of belly dancing with Zahra Hariri, from Zahra’s School of Belly Dance, from 2-3 pm at the Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex.

10)  The Art of Camping

Missing summer camp already?! The National Gallery of Canada has you covered: join-in on a campfire sing along, create your own forest creature, help owls find their way home, and take an art hike.

For a detailed overview of Ontario Culture Days and this year’s expansive 10th anniversary events in your community, visit culturedays.ca/on