Culture Days is a celebration of over 7,000 events/activities in over 800 cities and towns across Canada September 28-30. In anticipation of the festival, organizers asked prominent Canadians to talk about culture and its meaning. Entrepreneur Arlene Dickinson of Dragons Den fame and CEO of Venture Communications had the following to say:
WHAT DOES THE TERM "CULTURE" MEAN TO YOU PERSONALLY, HOW DO YOU DEFINE IT?
AD: I simply can't imagine a world without artists, dancers, musicians, authors and all forms of people expressing their views and passions. Culture is the sum total of the values, environment and perspectives of the people who share the same space -- whether it's the workspace or the country we reside in. Without the Arts how could we possibly reflect what matters to all of us in an expressive and meaningful way? Creative expression makes us think differently, view with a greater depth and see with a broader vision.
HOW HAS YOUR DEFINITION OF CULTURE SHAPED, INFLUENCED AND/OR ENHANCED YOUR CAREER/LIFE?
AD: A culture that encourages individual contribution in the frame of an organizations' values, is the one that wins. The ability in Canada to express myself from a business perspective in a safe and free nation has allowed my career to excel. In life the Canadian culture has enriched me personally and made me view, understand and empathize with many perspectives. My mind has expanded because of how I have allowed other peoples' creative and artistic interpretation to help inform me.
HOW WOULD YOU SAY CULTURE HELPS TO SHAPE AND/OR ENHANCE THE LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES?
AD: Culture is merely a reflection of the individuals in a community expressing themselves in groups formed because of creative passion. Without passion and culture, we are simply just passing through. And who wants to live a life that dull and grey? We are shaped by our own choices and made better when our culture allows us to make them freely and with artistic expression and be better as a result.