Vernon recognized as one of Top 5 Participating Communities across Canada for 2023 Culture Days events. Plans are in place for even more events in 2024.

Known for its pristine lakes, trails and orchards, Vernon is being recognized for another important attraction – arts and culture.

The North Okanagan community recently placed fourth across Canada in the Top Participating Community List for hosting the most Culture Days events in 2023.

“We were the only BC location in the Towns and Rural Areas category to be recognized as top participants, with an impressive 39 free events. We are thankful to all our sponsors, host organizations, participants and attendees for making Culture Days 2023 such a success in Greater Vernon,” said Shawna Patenaude, Executive Director of the Arts Council of the North Okanagan (ACNO), host of Vernon Culture Days.

Held over three weeks in the fall, Culture Days encourages people across Canada to enrich their lives through creativity and expression and instill in themselves a greater appreciation for the ways that artists, creatives, and the cultural sector enhance and contribute to Canadian communities.

In Vernon, Culture Days saw the introduction of a brand-new community-driven festival as part of the festivities.

The Sundog Festival of Arts and Culture kicked off Culture Days with two days of events in Polson Park that included 15 musical acts, several local community organizations, food trucks, and more than 50 artisans as part of the Polson Artisan Market.

Supported by Tourism Vernon, the Regional District of the North Okanagan, and Fortis BC, the festival also welcomed numerous dignitaries as part of the opening ceremonies, including local Syilx elders and performers, BC Premier David Eby, Sen. Margo Greenwood, MLA Harwinder Sandhu, MP Mel Arnold, Mayor Victor Cumming, and others.

The ACNO and Sundog Festival committee is currently putting out a call for cultural performers and volunteers to participate in this year’s 15th annual Culture Days and second annual Sundog Festival, scheduled for Sept. 20 to Oct. 13.

“We welcome creators, musicians, performing artists and all arts and cultural organizations to join us in presenting free opportunities for the public to participate in Culture Days and/or to be part of our second annual Sundog Festival. These events are impossible to hold without volunteers and we have several roles to be filled,” said Patenaude.

The ACNO is also calling out to artists to participate in its annual Rail Trail Plein Art event to take place along the Okanagan Rail Trail on June 9.

“This is a great precursor to Culture Days and is another way that the Arts Council of the North Okanagan supports artists in endeavours that enrich the community overall,” added Patenaude.

For more information on all events or to contact the ACNO, please visit