Alberta Culture Days (Formerly Alberta Arts Days) is a three-day, province wide celebration of the arts and culture. The first three years of Alberta Arts Days occurred during the third Friday, Saturday and Sunday of September. More recently, the event has moved to the last weekend of September, aligning the festival with the pan-Canadian Culture Days. The purpose of Alberta Culture Days is to showcase the province’s artists, art organizations and cultural industries, encourage Albertans and its visitors to engage in the arts, and promote the importance of arts and culture as part of a prosperous and vibrant province.
The first Alberta Arts Days occurred in 1974 during a three-day arts celebration in Red Deer, Alberta and coincided with the creation of Alberta’s first Ministry of Culture, but was not implemented into an annual event. In 2008, Alberta Arts Days was reinitiated by the province’s Ministry of Culture and Community Spirit. Governed by The Spirit of Alberta, Alberta’s cultural policy, Alberta Arts Days helps the Ministry achieve one of its stated goals to “Ensure Albertans, throughout the province, have access to a wide range of cultural experiences and opportunities.
Albertans are encouraged to plan arts related events during the weekend, while others incorporate an artistic element to a project or event that is already planned.
Each year, the Government of Alberta forms a partnership with 2–5 facilities or organizations (in 2008, only one facility was selected).
The Arts Branch provides guidance and support to all Feature Celebration Sites during the planning and delivery stages.
These facilities are deemed Feature Celebration Sites and partner with local community organizations to present events, workshops and performances throughout the weekend.