Be a part of culture creation this weekend with Culture Days, Sept. 28 to Sept. 30. Since 2010, this nation-wide event has arts organizations from coast to coast producing free events to encourage public participation in cultural activities. 

Hamilton too will take part in fostering and encouraging a stronger connection to culture. Local arts organizations in downtown Hamilton and Dundas are opening their doors to all, offering free behind-the-scenes tours and interactive activities — all to promote public participation and engagement in arts and culture.

"Rather than asking people buy tickets, we're asking them to go out and encounter culture in a common everyday way," said Stephanie Vegh, executive director of the Hamilton Arts Council.

The open and participatory nature of Culture Days fits in with the vision of the council, as an advocate for arts in Hamilton.

But there is no reason to stop experiencing culture after this weekend.

"Culture is open and accessible all year round," Vegh emphasized.

Joining this nation-wide celebration of culture, we have selected five public activities to look forward to in spirit of creativity and innovation in the arts.

Explore Canadian food history (7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sept. 28)

Learn the back-story of food served on your table Friday at the Dundas Museum and Archives, 129 Park Street West.

Award-winning author and Canadian food historian, Dorothy Duncan will shed light to evolution of food in Canada, beginning with the First Nations and early settlers to the modern convenience of food as it is today.

After the tour, continue to explore food heritage in the museum's exhibit "Come and Get It! Two Hundred Years of Eating in the Valley." Trace back to 1812 to catch a glimpse of eating habits, food preparation and storage in the Dundas valley.

Bench launch and art installations on King William Street (1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sept. 29)

Your may notice something different as you stroll along King William Street Saturday afternoon.

For instance, you should look harder and decide if you want to discard or preserve that used coffee cup lying on the street. This is Robert Anthony's Engage, Discard, Repeat (Multiply), playing mind tricks on you. His piece is one of the seven public art installations on the street.

He took pieces of litter from the street and substituted them with plaster-cast replicas. Makes you want to think twice before mindlessly tossing a smoked cigarette butt on the street.

Have a secret you want to share anonymously?

Elizabeth Gosse is inviting you to share your secret in confidence in a public space through The Secret Tree art project.

Write it down and have it suspended on a tree next to Theatre Aquarius. Nobody would know.

Tired of walking?

Take a seat in one of the three new artist-designed public benches. Choose between one that sprouts tentacles, another taking the shape of a leaf or a two-seat feet-shaped bench. These three benches will be launched at 1 p.m.

A public tour of these installations runs from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. These installations will remain on the streets till Oct. 12.

Find out more about the artists presenting their work at Art Walk Exposed on King William Artwalk's Facebook page.

For details and descriptions of these artist benches, visit the City of Hamilton's website.

Ongoing Still Life Drawing Workshop (11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sept. 30)

Always wanted to draw but could never find the time?

Dundas Valley School of Art invites you to explore your artistic side in this continuous drawing activity.

Sit and draw as long as you want. You can move on to another still life, another position or leave it as it is for the next person to continue your masterpiece.

Public reading and book launch at Bryan Prince Bookseller (2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 30)

Kids, you don't need to wait till bedtime for storytelling.

Hamilton author Gillian Chan will be reading from her new children's book, I am Canada: A Call to Battle.

Hear the adventures of Canadian boy, Sandy, come to live as he sneaks off to join the local militia during the war of 1812.

Following from this vivid depiction of the war, have questions ready and copies of the book in hand for Chan to sign.

Chamber music opening concert (3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sept. 30)

Your experience of culture won't be complete without music to your ears. 5 at the First  will play to all at the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton, 170 Dundurn Street North.

Hamilton-based flutist, Sara Traficante and pianist, Shoshana Telner will play Water Journeys, a chamber music piece inspired by water and mythology.

Don't leave immediately after the performance though. Take this chance to meet and speak with the artists to discuss their work and music in general. Can't get enough of culture? Visit the Culture Days website for more activities promoting cultural vibrancy in Hamilton.