Early Registration Contest Winners

Congratulations to the Early Registration Contest Winners!

Thank you to all the Saskatchewan communities and activity organizers who entered their Culture Days events on the Culture Days website – there was a terrific response!

Congratulations to our winners, who were randomly drawn from early registrants, to receive a tailor-made video to help promote their Culture Days activities online and through social media. Click on the community names to watch their videos!

The winners, by community, are:

Allan, SK – the community is boasting a myriad of heritage-themed Culture Days activities which include blacksmithing, pine cone bird feeders, quilting and cross-stitching, carpentry, button sewing, hanky dolls and gift bags, butter churning, and bannock-making.

Lloydminster, SK – Lloydminster’s Culture Days weekend includes learning greetings in different languages, science experiments, henna tattoos, Hijab dressing and information sharing, fence weaving and Métis dancing.

Nipawin, SK – Nipawin Oasis Community Centre is offering a variety of interactive, educational and fun events that revolve around the celebration and sharing of Cree culture and language such as Elders’ teachings, teepee teachings and raising, Cree bingo, beadwork and children’s activities, to name just a few.

Prince Albert, SK – Culture Days in Prince Albert this year centres around storytelling through activities like dancing, writing, painting and a Cultural Cafe.

Regina, SK – The Dunlop Art Gallery’s Culture Days focus is Native Kids Ride Bikes: Panel Presentation and Bike Riding featuring four community artists who worked with youth from four community groups to build and decorate low-rider bikes in the spirit of the teachings shared by Métis artist Dylan Miner. Participants will hear about cultural learnings, and be able to view and ride the bikes on display.

Culture Days 2016 – Early Registration Contest


Register and publish your 2016 Culture Days in Saskatchewan event by July 17, 2016* and you could win a tailor-made video like the one below to promote your Culture Day activity.



It’s easy to enter! Just visit the Culture Days registration site to register and publish your Culture Days in Saskatchewan event bymidnight on July 17, 2016 and you’ll be automatically entered to win!

Up to four registered and published Saskatchewan Culture Days activities will be randomly drawn. Winners will contacted within three business days of the draw to make arrangements for interviews and videoing. Videos will be delivered to event organizers for Culture Days activity promotion by September 1, 2016.

* Events registered and published prior to the contest launch date are automatically entered to win.

Telling Stories

It’s been a whirlwind of a spring, summer and fall. My fellow Community Engagement Animateurs and I began our journey last April, and now, more than six months later, we’ve covered tens of thousands kilometres and engaged in more than 75 communities across the province. Each of us had our own unique way of engaging with those communities, but I think we can all agree that one thing we shared in common was stories.

Whether telling stories, hearing stories, or capturing stories, Carol, Kevin and I were champions of storytelling. Storytelling is one of the most profound ways that people connect with each other. One of my goals in my position as a Community Engagement Animateur was to empower people to tell their own stories, as individuals and as communities.

I am a storyteller myself and as a folklorist, I study and try to interpret other people’s stories as well. My work with Intangible Cultural Heritage is essentially about safeguarding stories, whether they’re tall tales or the knowledge passed from one person to the next. In my workshops, I used storytelling as a tool to connect people to place, to each other, and to their own selves. I asked each participant to tell me about their home place and the story of that place in relation to their own identity. I showed communities how story can be used in powerful ways to connect community members with each other, and to connect community with the wider world.

In the later stages of my time as an animateur, I had the unique opportunity to partner with the National Film Board of Canada’s Grasslands Project. The Grasslands Project is a series of short films documenting life in the southern prairies of Saskatchewan and Alberta which has been shooting over the past six months. I teamed up with the project’s director to offer media clinics in communities across southern Saskatchewan, in Gravelbourg, Mankota, Ponteix and Radville.  In addition to communities, we had a couple of workshops which resulted from outreach to people who may not typically access opportunities like this: one was with the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge and one with the Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre.

It was an intensive day which began with my presentation on story, what it means, how we can learn to tell our own stories, and exercises which demonstrate how storytelling brings us together. From this exploration of story and place, participants had a good foundation to begin learning about the craft of film-making from the Grasslands Project director Scott Parker.

Video is one of the most powerful media available for storytelling, for it combines the visual with speech, and it allows us to share our stories with a global audience. But the media clinic participants were not concerned with the global during the making of their short films – each and every one was grounded in local place. The films speak for themselves, and all of them can be viewed on the Grasslands Project Media Clinics Youtube Channel here.

At the end of this particular journey, I have heard many more stories than I told, which is how it should be. I have seen, and heard, firsthand the incredible diversity of this province. And I have learned that despite the diversity of people, landscape and story across this province of ours, we all share one thing in common: we all belong somewhere and we all have a story to tell.

Here is the film we made in Mankota. For the rest of the Grasslands Project media workshop films, visit its Youtube Channel. For more information, see the Grassland Project’s blog and like it on Facebook.

Capturing Our Stories by Evie

I had an incredible time traveling the province these past several months, meeting and working with people who created powerful personal digital stories. To give you a glimpse of what I experienced as a Culture Days Animateur, I’ve put together this digital story. Thank you, Saskatchewan, for the wonderful adventure.

Materials used to make this story:

Camera: iPhone 4S & 5

Recorder: Zoom H4n

Computer: MacBook Pro

Audio Editing Software: Audacity

Video Editing Software: iMovie

Copyright-Free Music: Jamendo


Youth Mural Project in Shaunavon

On a warm, sunny morning in July, about a dozen youth gathered in front of the Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre to paint a mural. Over the next several weeks, youth from a variety of cultural backgrounds came together to transform a blank sheet of plywood on the side of a local building into a vibrant painting. While I was in Shaunavon this summer, I met up with some of the youth and organizers of this project, and produced this digital story.


Love and Apple Pie by Janice

Janice took my digital storytelling workshop in Weyburn. She came to the workshop with several old photographs of her parents and ended up writing a beautiful story. Married in 1934, Janice’s parents were together for 62 years. They lived through the dirty thirties and the loss of a child, but despite this, the couple experienced many wonderful years together. Janice shares her parents’ love story.

My Heritage by Jay

Last week, I worked with 14 grade 5 and 6 students in Fillmore, SK. Jay’s story is about his Chinese Heritage. Do you know your Chinese Zodiac sign? I am a Monkey. Jay is a Ram. In this story, Jay shares some of his favourite Chinese traditions.

A Hidden Hero by Christine

In this digital story, Christine, of Weyburn, pays tribute to her late uncle, a war veteran who didn’t speak much about his time in military service. Despite this, Christine managed to piece together tidbits of information, photographs and family memories in order to write and produce this lovely story about her uncle, Sgt. Hugh A. MacDougall, a “hidden hero.”

A Different Balance by Megan

After Megan’s grandfather passed away, she found a scrapbook documenting his life as a young man. Before opening it, Megan thought her grandpa was “just a plumber, running a successful business in town,” but she learned that he was much more than that. Here’s the digital story that Megan wrote, voiced, and produced at a workshop in Melfort after flipping through the pages of her grandfather’s scrapbook.

Moving to Melfort by Liezel

Liezel moved to Melfort from the Philippines in 2002. In this digital story, she shares her adventure of integrating into Canadian culture as well as the challenges she faced as a newcomer to Saskatchewan. Today, she is happy to call Melfort home.