SaskCulture creates an opportunity for “continued success”
Assessing and addressing cultural change matters outside of organizations.
© Austin M. Davis
Kevin Doherty, Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport, spoke at the 2013 SaskCulture gathering's president's luncheon at Temple Garden Mineral Spa on Saturday.
“I believe that we need to include all cultures, not just a certain few,” said Saskatoon-based Gwen Bear with the Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan.
“And as First Nations, Métis and Inuit people that I work for, in all the 11 centres, sometimes we’re not included,” Bear said. “We just want to be included in sharing our culture.”
On Saturday afternoon, she was most excited for a workshop about inclusion, diversity and engagement. She believes in actively sharing knowledge. Before she spoke to the Times-Herald at the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, she was telling a woman in the lunch buffet line about the significance of round dances.
“I feel proud, very proud,” Bear said. “Because we have a very rich history and a very rich culture and it’s important for us to share it to the general public so the stereotypes can be broken.”
The 2013 SaskCulture Gathering was held on Friday and Saturday. It was promoted as an opportunity to “assess and address for continued success.” Cultural organizations through the province were present to learn from workshops and speeches.
“It’s very informative,” said Bruno Kossmann, president of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan. “You do a lot of networking, you have an opportunity to meet other representatives, board members, presidents, executive directors of provincial cultural organizations.”
Kossmann said there were eight different sessions that ran concurrently for gathering participants to choose from.
“Coming to Moose Jaw, at the spa, that’s an added bonus,” Kossmann said.
On Saturday at the president’s luncheon, Robert Sirman, director of the Canada Council for the Arts, spoke for an hour about the necessity of art in communicating culture.
At one point during his speech, he focused on the ineffectiveness of arts being portrayed a special interest.
“We support farmers because Canadians want a secure food source. So, think that through,” Sirman told the crowd, “if farmers present themselves only as a special interest, they have a very, very limited potential for success over time.”
But, Sirman said, when farmers present themselves as being critical to providing a secure food source and other contributions to the economy and communities across the country, the public realizes that farmers are essential to our society.
“We believe that the same holds true for artists,” Sirman said.
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theAustinX