Culture Day, held at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga last Saturday, was an event of immense interest. The family-friendly event offered a selection of free performances and activities that demonstrated cultural diversity in the arts. Culture Day provided something for everyone; guests of all ages watched performances, while children jumped in the bouncy castle and played with clowns.
Culture Day took place primarily in the Smart Centres Atrium. The spacious area was filled with a small stage and a cluster of tables filled with arts and crafts for guests to enjoy. The first performance I viewed was the Mississauga Pops Concert Band. Playing beautiful pieces from several modern artists, the band captured the crowd.
Following them was a series of acts by the Mississauga Chinese Arts Organization, a non-profit organization that performs at different events in Mississauga to spread awareness of Chinese culture. The group’s first performance was the Xihu Lake dance. Prior to this performance, the audience was told to imagine a beautiful woman walking with an umbrella through the rain towards the Living Arts Centre. Ladies wearing bright pink and white dresses and holding delicate umbrellas ventured onto the stage to entertain the crowd.
Following this performance, the MCAO presented several more acts, including dances to “Drumming Dance of the Homeland” and “Snow Jasmine Flower.” Also, a song called “Salim Salim” was sung by a group of men belonging to the organization. Of all the performers that participated in Culture Day, the MCAO was definitely the most popular among viewers.
Sagelee and the Robins, a group of student guitarists and vocalists from Metalworks Studios in Mississauga, were next. Their act was impressive; they covered well-known songs such as “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake, and “This Love” by Maroon 5. Although the act started slightly late due to sound checks, it was well worth the wait.
After the intermission, the audience was introduced to Indian culture with the Sampradaya Dance Academy. Following the introductory dance, the team performed a dance that incorporated the use of Ghungroos, ankle bracelets comprised of multiple bells. The academy danced to modern Western songs as well, such as Adele’s “Hello.”
The final act was given by Frog in Hand, a multidisciplinary group of artists founded by Noelle Hamlyn and Colleen Snell. The group performed a brief dance routine from their upcoming show, Creature. The dancers acted as workers in a gun factory. They danced to “Rocky Road to Dublin” by The Dubliners, an Irish song about a man’s travels from his home in Tuam, Ireland to Liverpool, England.
Most of the dances for Culture Day were interactive, occurring off the stage and in the crowd. This year’s Culture Day was definitely a worthwhile event, as it allowed guests to experience different cultures through a variety of artistic mediums.