Story by Sarah Deveau
CALGARY, ALBERTA — If you’re looking to plan a family-friendly trip guaranteed to delight your kids, the Calgary International Children’s Festival deserves to be on your list. It is a world-class theatre, music, dance, and puppetry extravaganza held at the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts and Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary, the festival is a fun all-day or multi-day destination. It runs from May 22-25. Here are some must-sees for 2013:
A new styling of the classic tale, live performers playing Pinocchio and Gepetto interact with oversized animated screen characters. You’ll be taken through the familiar story in this fascinating multi-media production, experiencing Pinocchio’s journey from a puppet to a real boy like you’ve never seen it before. Presented by the Roseland Musical & Urano Dance Troupe from Spain, Pinocchio can be seen in either English or Spanish with subtitles.
Tap Kids takes this dance art form to new heights in an electrifying performance that is hip, contemporary, and uplifting. Featuring some of the United States’ best young rhythm tap dancers ages 16-21, Tap Kids tells a high school story in a dynamic way. Complete with dancing on lunch trays in the cafeteria, forging friendship over a game of basketball, drama at the school dance, mischief in detention, and finally graduation, this all ages performance is energetic and exciting.
A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar
Parents will wax nostalgic over A Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar as the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia brings to life a whimsical menagerie drawn from the pages of Eric Carle. Geared toward younger children, this show is sure to please.
Also called paper theatre, toy theatre was a popular activity for Victorian families in the 19th century. Theatre-goers could purchase replicas of their favourite stages, shows and paper actors, along with simple scripts to assemble and re-enact classic plays at home for family and friends. This year, the toy theatre professionals will teach educators, kids and families about this fascinating art.
Whether you buy tickets to one show or 10, be sure to save plenty of time to check out the free open-air activities. Featuring traditional activities such as face painting, roving performers and crafts, a number of unique treats are planned, including karaoke, a story wall and a 25-foot high mountain where a caller announces 10-word phrases children send up the tower.
More About The Calgary International Children’s Festival
Dates: May 22 to 25, 2013
Festival website: http://www.calgarykidsfest.ca/
Where to stay: The Sheraton Cavalier is a short drive from downtown and an incredible water park kids will love. Downtown, the Fairmont and the Hyatt have family zoo packages for those hoping to see more of Calgary’s attractions beyond the festival.
Cost: Tickets for each seat are only $14.29, babes in arms free.
Note: Photos courtesy of the Calgary Children’s Festival.