Culture is everyday good living, a way of life, shared histories, values, beliefs, vitality, beauty, pride, play, sport, recreation, leisure, fashion, cultural industries, entertainment, live music, photography, publishing, architecture, civic spaces, art, design, interactive digital media, watching television, movies, learning, trying new things, language, books and magazines, crafts, humour, amateur and professional theatre, dance, opera, pow wows, maple syrup festivals, agricultural festivals, farmers’ markets, cultural institutions, museums, archives, historical societies, built heritage and cultural heritage landscapes, fishing, hunting and trapping, social interaction, social cohesion, citizen engagement, sustainability, the products of artists and entrepreneurs. Culture is tangible and intangible.
Culture means good mental health, good relationships and enlarged spirits. Culture provides joy. Libraries are sanctuaries for many people. Food defines who we are and where we are from. Music is an essential part of human experience. Archaeology is very important to complement or fill gaps in the written record. Culture is the sharing of creative knowledge, skills and talents. It is volunteering, donating and working selflessly to build strong communities. Culture is bold. It is creativity and imagination. It is reflection and creative thinking. It is knowledge and understanding. It is innovation and technology. It is provocation and exploration of new ideas. Art must be democratic but must also go beyond consensus to be edgy and challenge us. Culture is an expression of our identity and history. It is an explanation and exploration of who we are. It is how we enjoy ourselves. It helps us understand where we live and presents Ontario to the rest of the world. It fosters awareness. It is our wilderness and our friendliness. Culture starts with gaining an accurate understanding of the historical accomplishments of African/Black people. It is a community’s past, present and future. Culture is what unites Franco-Ontarians and reflects them back to themselves. It is a means of intergenerational transmission.