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This article was published 26/9/2019 (569 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Celebrating the rich mosaic that creates the beautiful town of Virden, guests will be able to partake in the annual Culture Days activities this Saturday, Sept. 28.
The day serves as a way to celebrate the different cultural groups in the Virden area, Arts Mosaic administrator Christa Milne said, adding that the community expo features a richly diverse selection of cultural events.
This year is special because Arts Mosaic has partnered with the Town of Virden and the Virden booth committee and their Community Expo, which features several booths for volunteers and groups.
"They’re kind of a culture in their own right," Milne said. "It’s a way for us to have more people in one space to celebrate all that’s available in Virden — it just seemed to be a natural fit."
Virden economic development manager Liza Park echoed Milne’s excitement on the dynamic partnership.
Organizations can now come set up a booth and raise awareness on different ways to volunteer in the community during the expo.
It has proven to be the perfect partnership, Park said, because Culture Days draws the community together while showcasing Virden’s culture, artisans, dancers, organizations and history all in one day.
"The non-profits and the organizations in the community is your community’s culture," Park said. "Not just the different ethnic groups you have living your community."
For many, the best part of the day is the dance demonstrations help by local groups and a fashion show hosted by the Costume Closet, Milne said.
The dances are a beautiful celebration of cultures, and it is amazing to see the vast span of ages that participate in the event, she said. The dance demonstrations offer a chance to learn more about cultures, and celebrate a part of the community, Milne said. Dances featured at Culture Days include Rockabilly, fancy dance, highland dance and Ukrainian.
A fashion show is one of Milne’s favourite parts of the day, she said. The Costume Closet hosts the show and has more than 30,000 items in their inventory, including costumes used in the movie "A Dog’s Purpose," which was filmed in the area, Milne said. There is wide array of costumes to suit any palette will be on display during the show.
There will also be a chance to get a taste of the history of the town with a historic walking tour hosted by Kel Smith.
"It is fantastic. I don’t know a better ambassador for tourism in southwestern Manitoba," Milne said.
The 90-minute walk spans the town. During the tour, Smith shares his deep knowledge of the history of Virden, introducing guests to important historical and geographical locations paired with significant figures that helped shape the town into what is seen today.
"It’s a fantastic tour," Milne said. "You would learn more about Virden with him than you would in 10 years of living in this community."
It is a jam-packed Saturday, and Milne said she recommends coming around to spend the day if one can spare the time, she said, adding guests should set time aside for the artisans’ flea market as well.
"It’s a great day to come and support local art in the area," Milne said.
The event came to Virden after Milne was contacted by Culture Days Manitoba.
It has been a passion project ever since and an important way to celebrate the community.
"Virden is a small community, but it’s so rich with culture and art, and hardworking volunteers that are trying to make this community a great place to live," Milne said. "People need an opportunity to learn more about what is available in their own backyard."
They have a strong literary scene in the area, and local authors will be on hand for the Border Regional Library Book Fair during Culture Day as well, selling books and ready to give out autographs.
It is important to highlight authors because many may be unaware of the artists in the area, Park said.
Other Culture Day events in Westman this weekend include Dauphin’s Yardfringe, Culture Days Art Saturdays at the Gallery in Brandon and the Wheat City Nuit Blanche: Daytime Edition!
Virden Culture Days takes place at the Sunrise Credit Union Banquet Hall at Tundra Oil and Gas Place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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VIRDEN CULTURE DAYS SCHEDULE
• 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Virden Boost Committee Community Expo
• 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Artisans flea market with special guests Lavender & Blue Henna and Virden Skate Park Bake Sale
• 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Cultural Dance Demonstrations
• 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Barbecue Lunch hosted by the Virden Lions Club
• 11:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.: Kel Smith hosts Virden historic walking tours
• 2:30 p.m.: Costume Closet fashion show
• Noon to 3 p.m.: Border Region Library book fair