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Weyburn Culture Days a major part of CU Spark Centre opening

There will be interactive activities, including the community mural project, culture post-it notes, and quilt-making

WEYBURN - There will be a full day of activities and events for Weyburn’s Culture Days on Saturday, Oct. 16, as it will be an integral part of the grand opening day for the Credit Union Spark Centre.

The Culture Days set of events will run from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and will be located throughout the Spark Centre facility and in the commons area and gymnasium of Legacy Park Elementary School.

There will also be some events after Saturday, with additional Culture Days events on Sunday, Oct. 17, and Thursday, Oct. 21, both at the Weyburn Public Library.

One of the feature events is an interactive community mural painting project, said arts coordinator Regan Lanning, as the prize-winning mural design by artist Jonnae Haupstein will be the basis for the big picture.

“It’s a giant paint-by-number mural, and it’s going on six eight-foot-by-four-foot boards,” Lanning explained. “It will be socially distant, and all the boards will be on tables set out around the art gallery. An Arts Council member will give you a premixed paint can and number, and you get to go fill in all the parts of the mural with that number. This way, everyone can be involved in it.”

The Arts Council had awarded the prize to Haupstein for the design quite some time ago with the intent of installing it downtown on the side of a building on Second Street, but COVID intervened and it hasn’t been possible until now. Once it’s completed at Culture Days, it will then be installed on the building, said Lanning.

Outside of the gallery in the Spark Centre, there will be an interactive post-it note wall, where members of the public will be asked to write down what cultural activities they enjoy or have taken part in.

“We’re challenging the stereotypical notion of what culture is. Canadian culture isn’t just about hockey and maple syrup. One of the things I struggle with is my family came four generations ago from Scotland, but I have no connection with the Scottish culture. We’re challenging Canadians to share with us activities that have been passed down or are a part of your family today,” said Lanning.

The Culture Days event will also include groups in the multi-purpose rooms, commons area and gym, such as the Weyburn wood carvers group, who will put on a demo and show how they do wood carving.

The Metis Saskatchewan Local 87 group will have a cultural display about their culture, and will have beading packs available with someone on hand to demonstrate how beading is done.

An artist will also demonstrate Ukrainian egg painting, and members of the Weyburn Pottery Club will be in the new pottery studio, showing how the new wheels work and how the new space has been set up.

There will be a Ukrainian dancing group performing between noon and 1:30 p.m.

In the kitchen commons area, which is a shared space between the Spark Centre and Legacy Park, there will be ethnic food samples available, including Metis bannock and fried bread, and Filipino and German dishes.

The Crocus Quilters will have a display in the Legacy Park gym, and will have an interactive aspect where people can put pieces together for a quilt design and quilters will then put those pieces together.

The Weyburn Rotary Club will also be set up in the gym, where they will have their fundraising jewelry, handbag and scarves sale with around 2,100 items available, along with art pieces by Rotary members which will be sold online. The club members will also have the “Staycation” raffle tickets available for sale.

To wrap up the day, singer Karissa Hoffart will perform at 6:30 p.m. on Mainil Field, and residents are invited to bring their blankets and sit on the artificial turf to take in the live performance.

The day following, on Sunday, Oct. 17th from 2-4 p.m., head to the Library for a discussion on Canadian origin stories centered around the exhibit, "A Rightful Place".

The exhibit examines how you came to live in Canada. "A Rightful Place" was created by the Common Weal arts organization as an effort to stimulate connection with and acceptance of newcomers amongst local communities.

While tensions between locals and immigrants may arise for a variety of reasons, too often it is simply a lack of understanding and familiarity which gives rise to problematic stereotypes and misunderstanding between groups.

At the reception for this exhibit, viewers will be invited to share their Canadian origin story. Stories can be shared in person or submitted in advance, and can be anonymous.

“Most of us have a story, and many did not come here affluent,” said Lanning, noting she could trace her origin to family who emigrated here four generations ago from Scotland.

This event will be livestreamed on the Weyburn Arts Council's Facebook page.

The final event for Culture Days will be a book launch on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Weyburn Public Library, with an author reading by Carol Rose GoldenEagle, with guest Bernadette Wagner in support of her new release "eSSENTIAL INGREDIENTs".

GoldenEagle is currently Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate and a visual artist, and Wagner is a writer and poet.