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Celebrating The Pas’ culture through Culture Days


This weekend The Pas’ annual Culture Days took place as it kicked off on Thursday night with a concert at the Aseneskak Casino, then over the course of the following three days there were a number of other different events.
Culture Days was founded in 2009 in an effort to build cultural connections with regular Canadians. In the years following its founding The Pas soon joined in on Culture Days, with The Pas Arts Council spearheading it.
Those different events included the aforementioned concert at the casino in which a number of First Nations artists performed, including OCN’s Rhonda Head, Yaqui artist from southern Arizona Gabriel Ayala, Metis artist Wayne Lavallee, hip hop artist from Samon Cree Nation Hellnback, and Cross Lake Cree Nation drummer/traditional storyteller Lisa Muswagon.
“The concert was moving, having the amazing talent in our community and to experience their music was incredible,” said Rhonda Head on the concert.
Initially the concert was supposed to take place at 8:00 p.m., however due to some delays it ended up starting at 9:00 p.m. As a kick off for this year’s Culture Days she thought it was a great way to start off the weekend.
“All the musicians were in their element when they performed. They all moved and captivated the crowd,” Head added.
The other events for Culture Days continued the following morning as there was an open house at Christ Church showcasing the history of the Devon Mission, a free exhibit of local art at Framed Expressions, another local art exhibit at the Sam Waller Museum, and a Creative Book Cover Display at The Pas Regional Library in which younger people drew up a new cover for their favorite book.
“We decided that we wanted to do something new for Culture Days and we thought that this would bring together literature and art. We were really pleased to see the response, a lot of creative covers. Some done with crayon, some done with computers, it’s pretty neat to see some of the interpretations,” said Lauren Wadelius, the Library Administrator for The Pas Regional Library who participated in Culture Days.
That night there was also a Celebrate Canada 150 Concert at Christ Church which was very well attended according to a few people who attended it. The following day there were a number of events that repeated from the previous day.
There were also a number of other events that kicked off that day as well, like a chalk paint demonstration and workshop by Anne Sloan at The Pas Regional Library Annex. One event, the tour of the Charlebois Chapel, was cancelled prior to Saturday. The Pas 4-H Helping Hands Club also hosted Celebrate Culture with Food on Saturday as well.
The Get Your Quilt On Show took place Saturday afternoon featuring a large number of quilts as one organizer explained.
“The show was very well attended. We had 21 exhibitors which is definitely up from previous years. The Black and White with a Splash of Colour quilt challenge sure was fun, there were 14 quilts in the challenge,” said Shirley Barbeau, one of the organizers for the Culture Days Get Your Quilt On Show. She also wanted to credit others who helped out.
“Deborah Howell organized this year’s show, it certainly was a huge success,” Barbeau added.
For the Black and White with a Splash of Colour quilt challenge it was Geraldine Biakoski who won. As for next year Barbeau says that the next challenge will be a Log Cabin quilt with a mystery accent colour, and will cost $25 next year.
Sunday was the final day for the 2017 Culture Days and it was time for family fun at the Sam Waller Museum.
“We’re having crafts in the Discovery Room; face painting in the hallway and a fun room with a bouncy house, it seems like that’s a hit. Then we have Darla (O’Rourke, children’s book author) she’s going to do a reading from her book and Derek Dick is coming to do some jigging and square dancing,” said Jan McDonald, one of the organizers with The Pas Arts Council on Family Fun Day at the Sam Waller Museum.
Overall looking back at the 2017 Culture Days, McDonald is happy on how everything turned out in hindsight.
“We’ve had some awesome events, the concert at the church was very well attended, Cheryl (Antonio) and the 4-H group had their celebration for Culture Days, that was very well attended. The Quilt Show was amazing; we had some amazing events and today seems to be a success too.”
McDonald also added that she would like to see more organizations participating in Culture Days and to help host some events of their own to add to Culture Days.
Overall there was much fun, excitement and good times to be had during this past weekend as the 2017 Culture Days wrapped up once again for another year.

Trevor Wright