It's going to be a full weekend of lapping up the sunshine while enjoying music and cultural activities at several locations in Cochrane.

Once again, the Cochrane Integrated Arts Society (CIAS) has put together a wide selection of music genres and cultural activities for Cochrane Culture Days, Sept. 9 and 10. As in the past, they have been coordinated to complement other activities in town, including the Cochrane Farmers' Market, Culture Fest, and the Fall Colours Show & Shine.

"The best part of this is collaborating with other groups to help make all the events going on much more fun for everybody and you're not competing. Instead, you're going out and enjoying things together," says CIAS president Jane Kaczmer. "The thing that Cochrane Integrated Art Society loves to do is to bring people together and to help promote ongoing activities."

The main stage will be located at the Cochrane Farmers' Market on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"We're going to be right within the market this year, so it's going to be great exposure for all of the performers. Balloons and Butterflies will be there with their balloons and our face-painting group will be there as well, so it's gonna be a lot of fun for everyone."

Performing will be the Drowsy Maggies (Celtic band), the Stoney Mînî Thnî Dancers with Kyle Snow drumming and singing, Riverside Jazz, and the Calgary Wind Symphony.

It will be the first appearance by the Calgary Wind Symphony, which for 22 years has been led by acclaimed artistic director and conductor Dr. Jeremy Brown.

"They have been playing concerts all summer long at Riley Park, and so I asked if they would add us to their list as well," says Kaczmer. "They said they would love to do that, and they're very excited about coming."

On Sunday, Sept. 10, the performances move to the Centennial Plaza from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the heart of the Historic downtown during the annual Fall Colour Show & Shine of the Cochrane Classic Car Club. First St. W. (main street) will be closed from 1st Ave. to 5th Ave. from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the car show.

Performing will be Six By Six, the Cochrane Pipe Band, Fig Fusion, Riverside Jazz Band, Hippocratic Oath Big Band, and the Canmore Dixieland Band.

"They bring the cars, which brings the audience, and we bring the entertainment," she says. "They'll be bagpipes, jazz bands, folk bands, and a Dixieland band, so there's a big variety again."

Balloons and face painting will also be available at Centennial Plaza.

tipi raisingA tipi-raising on 2nd Ave. W across from Cochrane Coffee Traders begins Sunday at 10 a.m. (Photo/Melissa Engdahl)

There'll be a tipi raising at the empty lot across the street from Cochrane Coffee Traders on 2nd Ave. starting at 10 a.m. During the afternoon, Mînî Thnî Dancers will perform in front of the tipi.

An artisan market is being held at Wazin Îchinabi Ti (House of Oneness) located at 521 1st St. W. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Kaczmer says it's the Indigenous centre's first major public event, and some special art will be available for purchase.

"Everything is coming together. People are excited about performing, and the forecast is perfect."

You can gain insight on the weekend and the many other initiatives of the Cochrane Integrated Arts Society here.

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