Published on May 10, 2022

The International Children’s Festival of the Arts returns June 2-5!

This year’s International Children’s Festival of the Arts is back live and in-person!

From June 2 to 5 downtown St. Albert will be transformed into a place where children can explore the arts in an entertaining and educational way. 

The International Children’s Festival began 41 years ago with a mission to bring the best in children’s arts and cultural experiences to the region in a way that removes barriers, fosters joy, creativity and inspires the next generation of artists and patrons.

The Return to In-Person 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Children’s Festival was reimagined into 40 Days of Play with virtual activities and entertainment to align with provincial public health restrictions. While the virtual format reached participants from Vancouver, British Columbia to Lawrenceville, New Jersey organizers are eagerly awaiting the return to an in-person event.

When asked what Cultural Programming Manager, Andrea Gammon, is anticipating the most this year she remarked, “I’m most excited that we’re back live and in-person! I’m excited to see the young and young at heart filling our vibrant river site with laughter and enjoying shared experiences together and building inter-generational memories.” 

The Festival attracts people of all ages from the Greater Edmonton Area and highlights our botanical city and rich cultural heritage. 

“The Children’s Festival strives to create safe, inclusive and creative spaces where children can explore and deepen their understanding of themselves, the perspectives of others and the world around them. I think that is particularly important coming out of the past couple of years, where isolation has really reduced this ability to be part of and aware of a larger social world. For our community, it is also a huge tourism event and aids the local economy,” says Gammon.

Programming for 2022

This year’s programming includes a wide variety of performances, workshops, virtual options and free drop-in activities to keep the whole family entertained. Andrea Martinuk, Professional Programming Presenter shared a few things to keep in mind when selecting performances and activities to attend.

“We receive a lot of questions like ‘Is my kid old enough? Do they have to be quiet?’ In general, if you find your child has a hard time sitting still, lean towards more interactive shows like Koo Koo Kanga Roo or The Kif-Kif Sisters that are energetic and encourage children to clap and move along. Pre-school and toddler programming has seating on the floor where crawling, squiggling and giggling is expected. Even with a more focused show, like Blizzard, it’s okay to move around, watch from a parent’s lap or use the booster seats available for shows in The Arden Theatre," says Martinuk. 

While the feature performances are great for all ages, workshops include recommendations for ages and grades connected to curriculum outcomes. “Grades studying Ukraine, especially with its prevalence in the news, may benefit from the Whirlwind Moves – Ukrainian Dance with Shumka workshop. We also have the Fire. Stones. Stories. workshop with performances in French so Francophone families can seek those out. Additional free Indigenous programming will be released in the next few weeks,” adds Martinuk.

Be sure to follow International Children’s Festival of the Arts on Facebook and Instagram and visit childfest.com to stay updated.
 

child being chased by rainbow

group of children cheering in circle

Don’t miss this year’s Feature Performances: 

Blizzard
Québec circus troupe, FLIP Fabrique, takes you on a crazy, poetic and gentle journey in the dead of winter, and invites you to lose yourself in a moment of complete wonder. With performers at the peak of their art and outstanding visual poetry, Blizzard promises to blow away everything in its path.
View Showtimes & Tickets

Koo Koo Kanga Roo 
Armed with nothing more than an iPod, two mics, one giant rainbow and gold sneakers, best friends Bryan and Neil will inspire kids of all ages to move and groove to infectious beats and catchy pop tunes.
View Showtimes & Tickets

Koo Koo After Hours
After you put the kids to bed, catch them at the Koo Koo After Hours grown-ups only show at the Thirsty Rooster Trail Eatery and Bar.
Purchase your Tickets

Mikey Harris & the Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers
Join TikTok sensation Mikey “DizzyFeet” Harris and his siblings Jacob and Cieanna, together the Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers, for a dazzling dance extravaganza of traditional Métis Red River jigging infused with modern Hip Hop. They’re also competing in this season of Canada’s Got Talent!
View Showtimes & Tickets

Jam Side Up by The Kif-Kif Sisters
A charming cocktail of funny theatre, circus, magic, puppetry and typically French craziness. With their freakish acrobatics, twin sisters Françoise and Josette twist and intermingle themselves until the audience is completely confused.
View Showtimes & Tickets

June B.’s Essential Survival Guide
Based on the bestselling books, the saga of the wisecracking first-grader continues in Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to School, a goofy and heartwarming follow-up to Junie B. Jones, The Musical that the St. Albert Children’s Theatre produced for the 2018 International Children’s Festival.
Tickets are almost sold out! View Showtimes & Tickets

The Festival’s full schedule is available at childfest.com

people flipping

koo koo kangaroo artists

Did you know?

The Kids Butterfly Pass is the best value to experience the Festival! Valid on Saturday and Sunday, it includes one feature performance ticket and unlimited workshops for just $25. 

41 Years of History

The Children’s Festival has been a cornerstone event in St. Albert for 41 years. It is important to festival organizers to honour that history and continue to adapt and improve.

“The Children’s Festival has evolved a great deal over the past 40 plus years. What was primarily an indoor, performing arts festival in the early years, has evolved into a largely outdoor festival which celebrates all the arts (performing, visual, literary, etc.) as well as heritage and multi-cultural experiences. We hope to continually evolve and be responsive to the children in our community and their changing demographics, understanding, needs, interests, and experiences,” says Gammon.

Tickets are on sale now at childfest.com 
 


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Last edited: May 11, 2022