Culture Days LogoCulture Days is a national celebration that has become one of the Country's largest participatory cultural events annually. Each year, millions of people participate in arts and cultural events across the Country. The eleventh annual Ontario initiative will run for a full month from September 25 to October 25, 2020.

Participants join in free activities and performances hosted by artists, cultural organizations and the City. This event gives behind-the-scenes access to local arts, culture and heritage over a month of incredible free activities.

The City participates each year as a local organizer of Culture Days events. There's something for everyone!

 To find out what is going on across Thunder Bay this Culture Days, visit the Culture Days website.

 Culture Days 2020

Thank you for participating in Culture Days online, September 25 to October 25, 2020!

Below are a few highlights of different things that happened in the community during Culture Days in 2020.

Culture Days is a national celebration where arts, culture, and creativity intersect. Indoors, outdoors, and online — discover the world of arts and culture! Reimagined to engage and delight despite the times, Culture Days extended beyond the traditional weekend to a 4-week interactive, immersive arts and culture experience happening in-person where possible, and online.

Art Projects with the Community Arts & Heritage Education Project

Participate in the following art projects led by artists of the Community Arts & Heritage Education Project (CAHEP)!

Lakeshore at Night

You will be guided through chalk pastel tips and techniques to create a piece of art capturing the beauty of the lakeshore at night! View the materials you will need to follow along to this art project.

Nature Stamping

Take a trip outdoors and learn how to stamp using natural objects. View the materials you will need to follow along to this art project.

Comic Book Art

Work on a 3-panel comic! Get tips and pointers to send you on your path to make your own comic! View the materials you will need to follow along to this art project. Download the 3-panel monkey comic. Download the 3-panel unicorn comic

Friendship Bracelets

Create your own bracelet to share with a friend! View the materials you will need to follow along to this art project.

The Beauty of Nature in Paper

Create your own beautiful collage using modge podge and colourful scrap paper! View the materials you will need to follow along to this art project.


Sculpt your very own colourful fish using FIMO clay! View the materials you will need to follow along to this art project.

A Tale of Two Cities

Paint an abstract “Tale of Two Cities” using acrylics to create a multi-panel work of art! View the materials you will need to follow along to this art project.

Thunder Bay Trees

Using acrylics, create a painting of Thunder Bay trees! View the materials you will need to follow along to this art project.

Porch Dances - Neighbours and friends dancing together, from afar!

Dance in your own space!  Be creative, and modify the dance moves to suit your space.

Get dancing with friends and neighbours with Community Arts & Heritage Education Project (CAHEP) and the City of Thunder Bay!
Do you live in the Woodcrest, Parkdale or River Terrace neighbourhoods? Then join us for this fun and creative dance project! This is for EVERYONE - whether or not you've danced before! You do not need any special training, just a love of dance and willingness to perform!  
Small groups living in the same households, families and individuals will sign-up to gain access to an original piece of music and instructional dance video provided by local artists. Participants will have time to independently learn the short dance piece, and then modify the moves to be suitable in their own spaces. Finally, participants will perform on October 12th in their yards, balconies etc. while wearing masks and submit video footage to become part of a Porch Dance final performance video, to be released during the final week of Culture Days!

Please note: if you live in another neighbourhood in Thunder bay not listed above, but still would like to participate, please contact us directly!
ALL physical distance protocols must be followed and participants are asked to wear masks while dancing/filming their final performances and anytime they are practicing with those outside of their social bubble.

Workshops with Willow Springs Creative Centre

Weaving Nature and Words

Participants will string a simple loom and then using natural elements and their own words they will weave a story of how they feel about these past few months and what the believe the future holds for themselves and others. Suitable for people 10 to 90+ years of age. Hand dexterity an asset. View the materials you will need to follow along with this activity.

Inspirational Willow Word Sign

Participants will be led through creating a simple willow and cedar sign featuring an inspirational word for these strange times we are living through. The signs can be hung in their home or outside in their yard. Makes a great gift as well. Suitable for people 6 to 90+ years of age. Ability to grip a hammer and pruning shear an asset. Best to come with a partner to work with on the project (mother and child, grandpa and grandchild, best friends, etc. someone in your bubble). View the materials you will need to follow along with this activity. 

Blind Contour Portrait Drawing

Artist Julia Tribe will lead participants through creating a self portrait using marker and water-colour paints. So much fun, so interesting and freeing! This session will give you an opportunity to see yourself in this moment of changing times.

Virtual participants will need: A clear table to work on with good light, masking tape, a container of water, and a piece of cardboard or wood in which they can tape their piece of paper.

Etched Metal Stars

Using aluminium sheets, participants will create etched, three dimensional stars with intricate designs. We will make a wish upon each star made for the coming months. Suitable for people 8 to 90+ years of age. Ability to grip a pen and to exert pressure with it necessary. View the materials you will need to follow along with this activity. 

Digital Doors Open Thunder Bay

One city. Fifty years. Explore some of our city’s most unique structures and heritage sites as we celebrate the amalgamation of Fort William and Port Arthur 50 years ago, which resulted in the formation of the City of Thunder Bay. Learn about our history, culture and community initiatives through images and videos that will engage people of all ages.

Culture Days 2019

Thank you for participating in Culture Days weekend, September 27, 28, and 29, 2019!

Below are a few highlights of different things that happened in the community during Culture Days in 2019.

Print your Culture Days 2019 Schedule and Passport

Are you ready for Culture Days 2019? To find out what is going on across Thunder Bay this Culture Days download the Culture Days 2019 Schedule and Passport or visit the Culture Days website.

Passport Program

The Culture Days passport is designed to help you navigate your way to different activities being hosted for Culture Days around Thunder Bay. All activities are free or Pay-What-You May. The passport contains a list of events being offered. The passport can also be used as a transit pass for the duration of the Culture Days weekend. This transit pass is:

  • Valid for unlimited travel on thunder bay transit September 27 - 29, 2019
  • Non-TRANSFERABLE (It's Just for you!)
  • Subject to transit's fare fraud policy.
  • more INFORMATION can be found at
  • Plan your trip by calling 684-3744 or going online to or or use the trip planner feature on google maps.

Enter to win

You could win a Culture Days passport prize package valued at $100! The passport is also designed so that you can take part in our Culture Days passport prize draw. To be entered to win:

Take a selfie at two Culture Days events listed on this passport, then share and tag either:

  • @tbayculture on Instagram or,
  • @ThunderBayCultureandEvents on Facebook 

OR Collect two signatures on this passport from activity providers. Then, drop your passport off at either:

Contest closes Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 6pm.


Culture Days 2019 Highlights

Photo of hand against a tree with title of walk overlayedRe-Wilding for Wellness Walk **sold out**

Join the City of Thunder Bay this Culture Days | Fête de la culture for a FREE Re-Wilding for Wellness Forest Therapy Walk in Centennial Park, presented by Seek Adventure and Tours!

Your guide will take you on a meditative walk through one of the City's many beautiful parks and you will immerse yourself in the living forest through a series of sensory-based invitations designed to help you re-connect.

Location & Time: Sunday September 29, 9am - 12pm; Centennial Park, meet by the bridge off the main parking lot, accessed from Arundel Street. Age: 12+ years Distance: less than 2km, however may include steep/uneven terrain at times.

Tour Guide: Seek Adventure and Tours


Picture of hands sharing food with title of tour overlayedWaterfront District Walking Food Tour **sold out**

Join the City of Thunder Bay this Culture Days | Fête de la culture for a FREE Walking Food Tour in the Waterfront District presented in partnership with Seek Adventure and Tours!

Experience local stories, art and small tastings of local food, highlighting Thunder Bay's vibrant food scene.

Location & Time: Saturday September 28, 11am - 1pm. Water Garden Pavilion, meet by the doors on the Lakeside near Bight restaurant. 2201 Sleeping Giant Parkway Age: 9+ years Tour Guide: Seek Adventure and Tours. 


Picture of people on stage performing Shout! the mod musicalShout! The Mod Musical - Magnus Theatre Pay-What-You-May Performance

Celebrate the music, fashion, and freedom of the 1960s at Magnus Theatre's season opener, Shout! The Mod Musical. Guests are invited to a special Pay What You Can performance of this smash hit that has delighted audiences all over the world. Admission is by donation and there is no advance ticketing. The Box Office opens at 11:30am and auditorium doors open at 1:30pm for a 2:00 pm performance start. Join Magnus on Sunday, September 29 and experience world-class live theatre right in your own backyard.


Photograph of the baggage building arts centre buildingWaterfront Arts Fair

The Waterfront Arts Fair is a collaborative effort of individual artists, arts groups, organizations and guilds who will be coming together to perform, demonstrate, promote, share and sell their creations. The Fair will be showcasing and celebrating the vibrant Arts and Culture within our community and providing a rare view of the hard work, dedication, skill development, imagination, and self-expression involved in the creation process. Attendees will be dazzled by live performances throughout the day, the opportunity to meet local artists and watch them demonstrate their processes at the vendors market area and also participate in a variety of hands on family friendly activities. Presented by the Creative Arts Northern Network and the Baggage Building Art Centre.

Saturday September 28, 10am - 4pm.


Culture Days with St. Joseph's Care Group

Check out these three offerings from St. Joseph's Care Group:


Culture Days 2018


Download the 2018 Culture Days Activity Guide for Thunder Bay.

Here are some highlights from Culture Days 2018!

Indian Horse - Free Screening w/ Edna Manitowabi

Still from the Film Indian Horse - Naomi crouches in bushes with grandsons

Saturday September 29th | 3pm - 5:30pm at Magnus Theatre

Join the City this Culture Days | Fête de la culture for a free screening of the film 'Indian Horse' and discussion with actor Edna Manitowabi.

An adaptation of Richard Wagamese’s award winning novel, this moving and important drama sheds light on the dark history of Canada’s Residential Schools and the indomitable spirit of Indigenous people. Check out the film trailer.

Edna Manitowabi (Naomi) is a knowledge keeper and wonderful speaker. She will join us after the screening for a talk, discussion & Q&A. Manitowabi, Anishnaabekwe, is Bear Clan, a Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother, of Ojibway/Odawa ancestry originally from Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island. A fifth degree Midewewin teacher and seeker of Indigenous knowledge, Edna is one of the founders and teachers of Minwaywaygaan Midewewiwin Lodge, Rosseau River, Manitoba.
Though recently retired, as Professor Emeritus, Edna Manitowabi, maintains her connections to the Indigenous Studies Department at Trent University. Here over the years, she has developed and taught courses in Tradition and Culture, Aboriginal Knowledge, Indigenous Theatre, Aboriginal Women, and has been instrumental in the development of, as well as teaching, components of this university’s PhD program in Indigenous Knowledge.

Northern Lights (a UFO Documentary) - Premiere w/ Dee McCullay

 Film poster from Northern Lights a UFO Documentary

Saturday September 29th | 10:30am at Magnus Theatre

Join the City this Culture Days | Fête de la culture for the premiere of Northern Lights (A UFO Documentary). This will be followed by an artist talk and Q&A session with Director Dee McCullay - Dark History of Thunderstryker Films. Get 'behind-the-scenes' insight into the film-making process.

Dee McCullay is a Producer/ Director from the Thunder Bay area creating Horror and paranormal documentaries since 2012 including Thunder Bay Paranormal Society, Dark History, Sasquatch on Lake Superior I & II and has been seen on Destination America, T+E & TruTV. 

Dee McCullay's Northern Lights (A UFO Documentary) - An exploration into Northern Ontario's UFO and Unexplained Aerial Phenomenon as told through historic case files, witness statements, interviews and Native beliefs. This will be it's premiere!

Check out the trailer.

YAAP Artist Talk and Film Screening w/ Benjamin Murray

Photograph of Ben Murray with youth participating in his Youth Arts Ambassador project for Culture Days 2018

Saturday September 29th | 1:30pm - 2:30pm @ Magnus Theatre

Musician, artist and producer Benjamin Murray has been selected as one of the 2018 participants in the Ontario Culture Days Youth Artist Ambassador Program (YAAP).

As part of YAAP, Murray organized a youth hip hop music project. Murray will be provided an opportunity for Thunder Bay youth to develop their own music through collaborative song writing and music video production workshops. 

The resulting songs and videos will be premiered at the Magnus Theatre during the Culture Days weekend alongside an artist talk with Murray and participating youth. 

Waterfront Public Art & Cultural Heritage Walk

Photograph of Gathering Circle panels at the Spirit Garden in Marina Park

Saturday September 29th | 10:30am - 12:30pm

Join the City this Culture Days | Fête de la culture for a guided walk through history and contemporary art. The walk will highlight key public art installations and heritage structures in Marina Park, the harbour and parts of the Waterfront District. 

Meet at the boat launch near the Spirit Garden. Ends near at St. Paul and Cooke Streets.

Mini field note-books will be provided, and participants will be invited to creatively engage with their surroundings, by taking notes, quick observational sketches, rubbings, etc.

Your guides will be Heritage Researcher, Lauria Abthorpe of the City Archives, and Julie Cosgrove of Thunder Bay's Public Art Committee and Lakehead University.

#OnBeat themed Events

Franco-Festival | September 27, 28, 29th

Open Rehearsals and Interactive Workshops at Morgan's School | September 30th, 1pm - 3pm

Boogie Down with Dream Dance | September 28th, 2:30pm - 3:30pm & 3:45pm - 4:45pm

Adult Creative Movement and Dance & Family Move and Groove with Image Studio | September 29th

The Gryphon Trio: Up Close and Personal! | September 29th, 2pm - 3:30pm

Soundwalk - Ways of Listening (led by Artist: Zoe Gordon) | September 30th, 1pm - 2pm

Chinese Erhu Music | September 30th, 2pm - 4pm

Argentine Tango with Tango North | September 30th, 7pm - 9pm


Plus many more activities from local organizers!

Culture Days 2017

Highlights from last year's event:

The tale of a town - multi-media performance

Tale of a Town completed their three-week residency culminated in the presentation of a multimedia performance of stories from the community's colourful history, incorporating audio, archives, music and soundscape!

Open Streets

From noon to 3pm on Sunday, October 1, EcoSuperior opened up Court Street from John all the way to Boulevard Lake for pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers, skateboarders and dog walkers. There were special Culture Days activities all along the route!

Fall Pow Wow - Bringing Community Together

From noon to 10pm on Saturday, September 30th, Fort William First Nation hosted their Fall Pow Wow at the Pow Wow Grounds on Anemki Wajiw-Mount McKay. Grand Entry was at noon. The theme was Bringing Community Together.

Movie Night Screening of Sleeping Giant

The City presented a special screening of locally-made feature film Sleeping Giant. To open, there was a screening of the short film The Giant Awakens made this summer by the Thunder Bay Art Gallery's Youth Art Group!


Many thanks to our 2017 Sponsor:

Red CBC Thunder Bay logo

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