Culture Days a sneak peek at car-free Dundas Street

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London’s 2017 Culture Days will give residents a taste of what a pedestrian-only Dundas Street may offer.

The celebration of arts and culture, this year with a focus on interaction — turning observers into creators of music and dance and paintings — will take over Dundas Street on Sept. 29 and 30.

“Everything this year is designed to be ‘come and do it,’ ” Andrea Halwa, executive director of the London Arts Council, said.

From a 90-foot graffiti mural to multimedia poetry performances, Londoners will become the artists, she said. And what could be more fun than dancing in the street?

“We want to see you move, London,” she said with a smile.

Other highlights include a Bohemian Lounge and more than a dozen downtown storefronts transformed into pop-up galleries.

Mayor Matt Brown said this year’s event will offer a preview of the Dundas Place flex street, an $18 million project billed as a downtown destination and gathering place. Initial construction is expected to start next year.

“We’re going to see culture just spill out onto Dundas in a way we haven’t seen before,” Brown said.

Dundas Street will be closed to traffic and filled with artists between Clarence and Ridout streets for Culture Days.

MP Peter Fragiskatos praised the arts council for its work, noting that London punches above its weight on the arts scene. The city’s Culture Days is the third largest in Canada, he said. And the impact goes beyond fun and merriment.

“The arts and culture sector provides so many jobs,” Fragiskatos said, adding that arts organizations make the city more vibrant and appealing to everyone.

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