If you’ve ever wondered who the namesake of Ruth Hooker School is, the answer to that and so much more will be revealed at Selkirk’s first ever Culture Days, taking place Sept. 24-26.
Ellie Longbottom, Culture Coordinator for the City of Selkirk, says the three-day event will be fun for the whole family and will educate attendees on all things Selkirk.
“We’ve planned all kinds of events that shine a light of Selkirk’s glorious past and will allow people to not only bear witness to history, but to interact in some cases and really have some fun,” Longbottom said.
The city received funding for Culture Days through Manitoba 150 and Celebrate 150. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person events were not able to take place last year, during the province’s 150th anniversary.
Culture Days aligns with the city’s Strategic Plan that calls for making Selkirk a vibrant community and enhancing the qualities that make the city a warm and special place.
Culture Days kicks off on Sept. 24 from 6-9pm with a Friday Evening Stroll, including a craft market on Manitoba Avenue East featuring food vendors, buskers, art installations and historical walking tours every hour on the hour.
The street will be closed to vehicle traffic and businesses will be encouraged to stay open later that night.
The market is in partnership with Bud and Bloom.
On Saturday, it’s Selkirk Comes Alive with live actors portraying important historical figures.
“We have really interesting characters from the city’s past, and their stories are unique, informative and in some cases, quite entertaining,” Longbottom said.
“Everyone knows we have Ruth Hooker School, but not everyone knows her story. A teaser is that she was extremely devoted to her community and children, and after the Second World War she fostered an incredible number of kids who’d been impacted by loss due to the war. Her story is impressive.”
Some of the actors playing members of the Dufferin Gang are actual relatives of the famous gang, presumed to be the largest number of people to enlist in the Second World War from the same street.
Each actor will be situated at a location in the city and attendees will be given a passport serves as a ticket and will give you a starting point for your historical journey, directions and brief descriptions of each historical figure.
Culture Days closes out on Sunday with a variety of workshops throughout the city.
Theatre Projects Manitoba will be on hand screening some short films, including
Chautauqua: The Interlake Trail and offering other fun activities.
“Our team of interdisciplinary creatives will be popping up around the city with programming for all ages: from screening and premiers of short films in our Chautauqua Film Fest, live listen parties of a radio play series highlighting Interlake-inspired stories, installation art pieces and more,” said Tanner Manson of Theatre Projects Manitoba.
“All this work has been made in collaboration with Interlake residents. We have crafted beautiful relationships and beautiful art that has unfolded in the digital space, on the land and in the water!”
Due to health regulations, patrons will need to stay in their own cohorts while they tour from one destination to the next during Saturday’s and Sunday’s events. Anyone attending indoor events must provide proof of vaccination.
There is no charge to attend Culture Days, but you must register prior to Selkirk Comes Alive and Sunday’s cultural workshops. You can do so at MySelkirk.ca/culturedays beginning Sept. 9.