Skip to content ›
City of St.Albert
Festival Sensory Inclusion Program Header Image

Festival Sensory Inclusion Program

FESTIVAL Sensory Inclusion Program

This program is designed to support children and other visitors with sensory processing disorders. The sights, sounds, smells and large numbers of people on the grounds can be overwhelming for anyone, especially those with sensory concerns. With this new program we hope to create a welcoming and inclusive Festival, allowing all children to experience the arts. The program is broken out into multiple components which are listed below.

Educational Opportunities

Autism and Arts Integration workshop with Kevin Spencer

About Kevin 

Kevin Spencer is a teaching artist, researcher, consultant, and award-winning film producer as well as faculty in the Special Education Program at Carlow University (PA) where he teachers a course on arts integration in the classroom for special populations. He is also a world-renowned illusionist with dozens of accolades to his credit including 2009 International Magician of the Year and six-time recipient of Performing Arts Entertainer of the Year. In 2015, he was the recipient of the Milbourne Christopher Award for Magician of the Year for his unique contributions to the art of magic. For his humanitarian endeavors, he was given the Harry Chapin Award for Contributions to Humanity. 

Autism & Arts Integration Workshops: THE HEALING OF MAGIC

Learning outcomes are evidenced through large and small group discussions and the ability to demonstrate and evaluate the activities that are taught during the workshop. The course objective is to provide participants with an understanding and working knowledge of the benefits of magic tricks in treatment.

The Healing of Magic workshop empowers the individuals with a valuable new tool to motivate their client, student or loved one to become more involved in their treatment. The workshop is a “hands-on, interactive learning experience.”

The applications of Healing of Magic address the entire spectrum to include developmental disabilities, mental health, physical disabilities, gerontology, and specific disease-related deficits. The movements required to learn simple magic tricks help clients regain lost physical skills while increasing motivational levels and self-esteem. In this form of therapy, a magic trick can be what leads an individual back to a functional life.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 6 PM
Westbury Theatre

Located in the ATB Financial Arts Barns (Westbury Theatre)
10330 84 Ave. NW   Edmonton, AB  T6E 2G9  [directions]

$80  Adult
$30  Student

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 6 PM
Lois E. Hole Schoo
120 Everitt Drive North   St. Albert, AB  [directions]
$80  Adult
$30  Student


An Evening of Magic & Illusion with Kevin Spencer: a Sensory-Friendly, Family Performance

Thursday, May 17, 2018 at 6 PM
Westbury Theatre
Located in the ATB Financial Arts Barns (Westbury Theatre)
10330 84 Ave. NW   Edmonton, AB  T6E 2G9  [directions]

An Evening of Magic & Illusion features Kevin Spencer, an extraordinary magician, in a fun-filled show that combines storytelling, stage magic and audience participation.The sensory-friendly performance of An Evening of Magic & Illusion is designed to create an experience that is welcoming to all families with children with autism or with other developmental or intellectual disabilities that create sensory sensitivities. The performance was specifically designed to be baffling and entertaining for all members of the audience!
$15  Adult
$13  Child


Rainbow Fish: A Sensory-Friendly, Family Performance

Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 11:30 AM
@ International Children’s Festival of the Arts

We are pleased to announce that Rainbow Fish will be offering one sensory-friendly, family performance of their show on Sunday, June 3rd at 11:30 AM.

Marcus Pfister's award-winning picture book, The Rainbow Fish, pops off the page and onto the stage in this beautiful black light production that simply shimmers. Featuring innovative puppetry in a luminous seascape, we join Rainbow Fish as he struggles with the idea of bestowing one of his glittering scales upon a fishy friend who dreams of owning one. Teaching children about the power of giving, Rainbow Fish soon realizes that the more he shares, the happier he becomes.

Learn more at ›

Tickets on sale Thursday, April 5, 2018. Buy online →

Sensory Supports

Festival Social Stories

Social Stories will be available for use prior to the Festival. Social Stories were devised as a tool to help individuals on the autism spectrum better understand the nuances of interpersonal communication so that they could interact in an effective and appropriate manner.

Inclusion Kits

Inclusion kits will be available on loan during the Festival. Kits include 1 pair of noise-dampening headphones and 1 pair of sunglasses. A driver’s license will be required to receive a loaned kit.
*Limited quantities are available*

Calming Zones

The Festival is full of sensory stimulation from large crowds, surprises and sounds that may cause a child to feel uncomfortable. We will have 3 Calming Spaces available onsite to assist in these situations. These spaces are available should a child require a place to sit and regroup after being overstimulated. They will have low lighting, less noise and sensory supports inside. Ask any staff member or volunteer if you need to access one of these spaces.

Enhanced Way-Finding: Download FEstival Map

We are so excited to share our newly designed Festival map meant to assist patrons with site navigation. This map was created with Festival attendance preparation in mind. Each zone is colour-coded with each activity listed alphabetically in that zone. We have also added colour-coded flags on lamp posts in each zone for easy identification when on site. When preparing to attend the Festival you can easily identify your shows/activities and what zone they are in on the map. This should help prepare the child you’re attending with for their visit and allow them to identify where they are should you become separated.

Staff Training

A very important component of our Festival Sensory Inclusion Program is staff training. Festival staff and key volunteers are participating in training sessions to raise their awareness of Sensory Processing Disorders, and to inform them about the services being provided in the Festival Sensory Inclusion Program. We will also be incorporating a program overview in all our volunteer training sessions to ensure all staff and volunteers are able to support our patrons during their Festival experience.

Thank you to our Funders, In-kind Sponsors and Community Partners:


Community partners:

Centre for Autism Services Alberta
Autism Edmonton
Dogs with Wings

In-Kind Sponsors:

Fringe Theatre Adventures
Lois E. Hole School

For more information, contact the Festival Community Facilitator, Lesley: 780-459-1771 or

Last edited: April 11, 2018

Return to the top ↑