YORKTON - If there is one thing about Canada, it’s that our culture is not easily defined.
Yes, there are those who might suggest it centres on the holy trinity of sport – hockey, lacrosse and curling – but culture is a bit more complex than the sports we love.
Of course in Canada we have developed a very diverse background starting with the struggle between French and English forces to eventually control the territory, with huge aspect of First Nations people contributing to who we would become as a country – lacrosse being part of that influence.
And after the three key cultures of the early days as this land moved toward becoming the Canada it is today people arrived from all around the world, becoming Canadian but often maintaining aspects of the countries they emigrated from.
So we have a hugely diverse history, as was noted Monday by Yorkton Tribal Chief Isabel O’Soup.
“History’s important . . .You don’t really understand that until you’re older,” she said at a press conference announcing the YTC sponsorship of the old brick mill fundraising dinner.
Of course history and culture are very closely related.
O’Soup said helping sponsor the dinner is one way of preserving history for all cultures.
“We can all work together to bring that history back … It’s part of our history too.”
It’s also about connecting with the community, said O’Soup, by bringing “the community together with our Indigenous peoples.”
Yorkton Mayor Mitch Hippsley called the dinner “a wonderful event” organized by an important group in the city focused on building something that is important locally.
It’s important “to recognize the importance of this project,” he said.
It’s interesting how history does connect with the cultures which have contributed to this country.
That’s why marking Culture Days, which will take place in the city from Sept. 23, through to Oct. 16 in the city, is important.
"In that time period we have 26 separate events running," Angelina Kardynal, Coordinator of Yorkton Culture Days told Yorkton This Week.
The three-week period will see paint nights, self-guided tours, a 'Woodlands Wonder Walk' at the Yorkton Ravine Ecological Preserve, wheat straw weaving, dance, music, theatre and much more.
That is the essence of culture. It permeates so much of what we do.
It might be watching highland dancing one day, marveling at the athleticism of the jumps of Ukrainian dancers another night, and then ‘feel’ the drumbeat of powwow dancing on a third evening.
It might be poutine, or Nanaimo bars, or a cup of masala chai tea, or a fish taco, which have all become a rather common part of Canadian cuisine.
It can be art, or books, a board game like crokinole, and yes most certainly our culture includes hockey, lacrosse, curling and in Saskatchewan the Roughriders too.
The great thing about our diversity is that there is something for everybody, and all of the activities and events are free of charge to the public—some of them you have to register in advance and some you are just able to come out and attend, said Kardynal.
So become involved. Celebrate our culture, and ‘Immerse yourself in the art culture of the community.’