The word “wizard” denotes magic and mystery, whether it’s because of Merlin the Enchanter, Harry Potter and his world, or other figures, and most children would agree that you can never have too many of them. This year the 20th annual Kamloops Children’s Arts Festival (Sept. 13–14) has a theme of “Wizards and Wonder!”, and promises to be a magical event for children aged two and up, who will get to try out, for free, a variety of art forms.
Participants are encouraged to wear their favourite wizarding outfit or accessories; if they don’t have one, there will be workshop booths where children can create their own wizardry gear. Led by local artists and organizations, these include activities such as making wizard hats, wands, fairy wings, or their own “magic” bag from recycled materials.
The event kicks off on Friday, Sept. 13 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. with a “Kids FunShop After School Party”, which is geared toward slightly older children (ages six through 12). There will be workshops such as “Make Your Own Sock Puppet” with ventriloquist Kellie Haines; “Magic” with Clinton W. Gray; “Beginning Cartooning” with Cache Creek artist JudyLynn Davison; “Stop Motion Animation” with Jackie Chomyc; “Improv” with Shannon Cooper, and more. All FunShops will be free, but some activities will require registration through www.eventbrite.ca.
On Saturday, Sept. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., families can enjoy a full day of free arts activities and performances at Riverside Park. This year brings back a larger-than-life character from the Green Man Project for a return engagement.
“I first saw the Green Man on Dragon’s Den,” says organizer Lorel Sternig, “where this green guy on stilts charmed everyone with his magical presence and quirky brogue. To my amazement, he even had Arlene skipping along behind him in her high heels. He didn’t make it on the Dragon’s Den, but I invited him to the Children’s Festival that year and he wowed everyone.”
Accompanying the Green Man this year is Celtic fiddler Serena Edes. Best known as a member of Delhi 2 Dublin, she is also active as a session musician, performer, composer, and educator. Also back is ventriloquist and performer Kellie Haines, plus a full stage line-up with talented local performers. Kenthen Thomas will hold the crowd in rapt attention with his immersive storytelling.
There will be facepainting, henna, dance, and more, and Western Canada Theatre’s VW Turtle River Race will be taking place concurrently at the park. There will also be food trucks on-site, ensuring that families can spend the entire day at Riverside Park with plenty of entertainment, activities, and tasty treats. With support from the City of Kamloops, public transit to Saturday’s activities at Riverside Park is also free; stop by the KAC office at 7 Seymour Street West for a free bus pass, or call (250) 372-7323.
More information about the Kamloops Children’s Arts Festival can be found at www.kamloopsarts.ca. You can also visit the Facebook page at Kamloops Children’s Arts Festival 2019: Wizards & Wonders.