Hands-on activities and interactive, behind-the-scenes presentations were the name of the game at Milton Culture Days 2018 on September 28-30. Culture Days is a three day, nation-wide event in which cities and towns all across Canada come together to experience arts and culture together. On the weekend in question, the FirstOntario Arts Centre Milton was full of local families enjoying free activities for all ages including art, craft, dance, music, theatre, technology and more.

In the Bateman Studio, children worked with Hasmig Royan of Green Garden Succulents to paint a terracotta pot, and then plant their very own baby succulent. In the Delridge Room, attendees positioned themselves in front of handmade drums for a follow along African drum circle with Jean Assamoa of Akwaba Cultural Exchange. In the Tim Horton’s Studio, kids halved, diced and chopped in a cooking class with PC Cooking School from Real Canadian Superstore. The event also offered a number of adult oriented workshops such as paper cutting with Yun’s Art Studio and qigong with Shaolin Temple Quanfa Institute. A class participant describes: “The teacher of the qigong class was amazing. The class was meditative, non competitive, and taught us how to breathe while doing the movements. Please bring him back next year! It was a very enjoyable activity for adults.”

Downstairs in the MinMaxx Hall visitors of all ages watched The Dance Class practice in a real time rehearsal of “The Nutcracker” – set to open in late November 2018. In the Fieldgate Atrium a representative from Crawford Lake handed out syrup samples of varying intensity and thickness. In the Escarpment Hall, dancers from the Milton Chinese Art Society and Stagecoach Theatre Arts performed intermittently as children created various crafts outside the Holcim Gallery. The Dusk Till Dawn Cosplay Masquerade wowed again in its second year, featuring over 20 participants who walked the runway with elaborate handmade costumes.

These activities are just some of 70+ programs that were enjoyed throughout the Milton Culture Days weekend at the end of September this year. Arts Milton, whose mission is to facilitate creative expression and cultural enrichment, hosts the event annually.

The weekend kicked off with a Friday night party at the Arts Centre, with eats from Paramount, Superstore and La Rose Bakery. Program highlights included a performance and group dance instruction by Bollywood West Dance Studio and interactive African drumming by Akwaba Cultural Exchange.

The weekend’s show stopping art piece was by local artist Omar “Oms” Hopkinson, who spun and painted over 150 vintage vinyl albums on a record player to create a massive 8 x 8 vibrant purple stage backdrop – sponsored by Milton Home Hardware and Arts Milton.
Photos by: Sarah Arfan and Ryan Tonegawa

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