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Culture Days returns face-to-face with new activities

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Culture Day in Brockville is scheduled for Saturday this year with a new reading event and many other activities.

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The latest event to resurface as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, Culture Days takes place on King Street West between Buell and Perth Streets from 9am-4pm. A literary event will follow from 7pm.

Brockville Culture Days, part of a national celebration of culture and arts in the community, returns to in-person format for the first time in two years.

The event reappears in a year declared by the City Council to be the “Year of Culture and Arts in Brockville”.

Dubbed “Four Blocks of Block Building Culture,” Saturday’s event will feature spinning demonstrations, one or two handlooms, analog game demonstrations (of the Dungeons and Dragons genre), an interactive potter’s wheel demo, Shout Sister Choir, Bollywood and Bangla dances, community painting projects, chalking activities, zombies from the Tunnel of Terror group.

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In all, organizers have committed over 40 groups and individuals to their respective objectives.

“My motto this year is Bring Your Curiosity,” said organizer Russ Disotell.

“If you walk those four blocks and your heart doesn’t beat faster, I’m pretty sure you’re dead.”

The local Culture Days event went digital in 2020 due to the pandemic, but didn’t last year, Disotell added, so people are eager to meet in person.

“By definition, we like to meet in person,” he said. “Everything we do is centered around people grouping together in public.”

This year will showcase some of the artistic richness of the new cultural communities that have taken root in Brockville as a result of immigration.

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Later Saturday, the River City Reading Series will be held at Medium Effort Art Supplies at 162 King Street West in downtown Brockville as part of the wider Culture Day activities.

First Nations writer Rick Rebel is one of five authors reading at the literary event starting at 7pm.

The River City Reading Series is intended to introduce readers to authors from eastern Ontario and beyond, with a mix of new and established poetry, spoken word and fiction authors, according to organizers.

Hosted and produced by writer, comedian, and newly transplanted Torontonian Carolyn Bennett, the literary series trialed at the From Here to Infinity Gallery on King Street in April. One of our goals is to energize local businesses.

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“Brockville has a beautiful historic downtown,” Bennett said in a statement. “Having Literary His Nights in a variety of spaces gives audiences the opportunity to engage with Canadian writers while also exploring unique local businesses.”

Algonquin author Rick Rebel recites his new novel, The Elk Whistle Warrior Society. The evening included readings by poet, actor and educator Lois Lorimer, speculative his fiction writer Sandra J. Jackson, essayist and poet Christopher A. Taylor, and writer/comic and presenter Bennett. will be A question and answer session follows.

“Arts and culture will continue to grow as more people move from urban areas to Brockville and the Greater Ottawa Area (GOA). ,” added Bennett.

COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to and mask wearing recommended.

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