CBC kicks off Culture Days

The public broadcaster hosted an all-day, all-CBC festival in Yonge-Dundas Square on Thursday to kick off its sponsorship of Culture Days - and its fall TV premieres.

Over 600 people stepped out into the sunshine on their lunch-hour yesterday to catch a live broadcast of CBC’s Steven and Chris at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square.

The live broadcast was part of the broadcaster’s Culture Days event at the Toronto live-event hub, an all-day festival of all things CBC in the heart of the city. The Square was decked in red-and-white CBC garb, including an upfronts-esque tent promoting CBC stars and programming. CBC T-wearing teams mingled with the crowd, urging people to visit CBC.ca’s Your Voice website, a public forum for commentary and video.

Culture Days are a three-day nationwide event in which arts and cultural institutions are encouraged to throw open their (figurative) doors and invite the public to experience what they offer. The CBC is the official broadcast media sponsor of the event, which has also attracted sponsorship dollars from Sun Life Financial, the Power Corporation of Canada, the Stratford Festival and various regional governments.

Live broadcasts of various CBC Radio 1 shows took place on a stage during the day, but the marquee events involving network celebrities also doubled as a kickoff for CBC’s fall programming premieres, which include a new Debbie Travis show called All for One (Sept 26 at 9 p.m.), and new half-hour comedy Men with Brooms (Oct. 4 at 8:30 p.m.), as well as returning seasons of Being Erica, Battle of the Blades and the aforementioned daytime lifestyle show Steven and Chris.

Kirstine Stewart, interim EVP, English services and GM of CBC Television, told MiC that the broadcaster hopes Culture Days will become as integral to the CBC – and as popular – as Hockey Day in Canada, an annual event that sees NHL teams playing in small communities across Canada, as well as a nationwide slate of broadcast programming.

‘This is a grassroots opportunity to talk to people,’ she said of the broadcaster’s involvement in the event. ‘It’s been a very good start to the first Culture Days.’