Create a cosmic pumpkin at Pumpkinotron 440. (Special to The News)

Create a cosmic pumpkin at Pumpkinotron 440. (Special to The News)

Plenty to do for Culture Days in Maple Ridge

Pumpkin carving, book making, community mapping

From a 1920s fashion exhibit to creating a one-of-a-kind cosmic pumpkin, the 12th annual B.C. Culture Days will have something for everyone to enjoy.

There will be eight events happening in Maple Ridge as part of the month long celebration during which participants are being asked to ‘RE:IMAGINE’ a brighter post-pandemic future through creative connection.

The goal of B.C. Culture Days is to make cultural exploration and artistic expression accessible to all who seek it, explained B.C. Culture Days director Nazanin Shoja.

“There is incredible strength that comes from the collective pursuit of creativity, beauty, and wonder. It forges friendships, unites minds, and supports communities,” said Shoja, adding that participants can learn new skills and discover creative talents.

Starting Friday, Sept. 24, and running throughout Culture Days until Sunday, Oct. 24, The Bee’s Knees: a 1920s fashion exhibit will taking place at The ACT Arts Centre. This will be the first off site exhibit for the Maple Ridge Museum and will explore the changing social landscape of the 1920s through the lens of fashion.

The 1920s typically brings to mind beaded dresses, glamorous parties, and life in the big city, however, this exhibition will showcase what life was like in Maple Ridge at that time – the social movements and scandalous trends – through clothing, textiles, accessories and photographs. Museum curator Melissa Rollit will be sharing behind-the-scene details and historical fun facts about the exhibit from 2-4 p.m. on Sept. 25. The ACT Art Gallery is located at 11944 Haney Place.

The Maple Ridge Museum is also encouraging the public to explore their 110 year old heritage home and the historical community artifacts it houses. People can learn about the diverse multiculturalism of the city, the original founding communities, and the extensive industry that helped build the city. There is also a model train diorama of the community of Port Haney in 1920 that was recreated from old photographs. Admission is free. The museum is located 22520 116 Avenue.

A digital project called The Little Library of What? is being held by Fern Crescent Artist in Residence Natali Leduc.

Connect with Leduc to create an original hand-bound book that will be included in a little and a mobile library. Share stories, recipes, thoughts, poems, graphs, photos, math equations, and more, with the rest of the community. There is also plenty of flexibility with style, format, content, language and pace. Four copies of each book will be printed : one for the writer, one for the illustrator, and two for The Little Library of What? – one at the Fern Crescent artist residence and the other in a mobile library that will travel to schools, retirement homes, community events and the Maple Ridge Library.

Participation is free. Anyone interested can contact Leduc at natalile@telus.net to register.

READ MORE: Culture Days free family activities

On Sept. 25 and 26, the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Art Studio Tour will be holding a ‘mini’ art tour with a select group of artists. The tour will run 10-4 p.m. each day and will be self-guided and in-person. For information about participating artists and studio locations go to artstudiotour.ca.

There will be an outdoor temporary sculpture building at Brickwood Park, 11579 225 St., from 10-11 a.m. on Oct. 2 and 9, where participants will be invited to be creative with sticks, flowers, and other natural materials in the park. People will be able to create tree ladders, weave chain-link fences, and make arrangements of gathered objects like rocks, flowers, and leaves.

ALSO: Culture Days celebration

From 10-11 a.m. on Oct. 16, the ACT Arts Centre will be hosting a community mapping session called Mapping Home. Here participants will be able to share their local knowledge, experiences, and stories about Maple Ridge in a collaborative workshop that will see participants re-imagining the features of Maple Ridge through the creation of written stories, collage, and illustration.

Once complete, the map will reflect the values and aspirations of the group and will portray a unique and personal map of the community.

Create a cosmic pumpkin at Pumpkinotron 440. People are welcome to join artist in residence Natali Leduc to carve a pumpkin that will be illuminated to celebrate this years Celebrate the Night hosted by the City of Maple Ridge. People can carve the locally grown pumpkins using power tools or traditional implements.

The project is free and will be done remotely with instructions given by video. But those interested will have to register by emailing natalile@telus.net before Oct. 9 as space is limited. Pumpkins will have to be brought on site at the Fern Crescent artist residence, 23740 Fern Cres. on Oct. 22.

For a video on how to carve a pumpkin for this project go to: youtube.com/watch?v=GloJnZNRBJE.

Finally on Oct. 22 from 6-8 p.m. Celebrate the Night will be taking place at Memorial Peace Park, downtown Maple Ridge. The park will be filled with activities for the whole family marking the fall season and highlighting cultural traditions including the festival of lights and Halloween. This year will also include the return of the annual fireworks display.


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