Kaleido Festival gears up for another year of art and fun

This September, Kaleido Family Arts Festival will be featuring a mix of favourite events and offering some great new ones.

Christy Morin, artistic director of Kaleido Festival, explains people can enjoy a wide variety of entertainment this year.

Something fun and new is an obstacle course created by Fitset Ninja, an Edmonton gym that creates family-friendly obstacle courses reminiscent of the TV series American Ninja Warrior.

The idea to include it in Kaleido was sparked during a conversation between Morin and Wayne Thomas, a local pastor and the outreach coordinator at Crystal Kids. Thomas’ two teenage sons are competing in the UNAA [Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association] World Series Championship Finals. 

Finger paint on Plexiglas this Kaleido Festival. | Epic Photography

“[Wayne’s sons] are going to be there at Kaleido and are excited about it,” says Morin.

The obstacle course will either be in front of the Avenue Theatre or in the back field of Alberta Avenue Community League.“There may be art somehow in the obstacle course,” says Morin.

A printmaker who works at The Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts will also be at the festival.

“She will be doing [her art] with found objects and you can print with her,” says Morin, who adds that the artist has been working with Eastwood Community League during their Won’t You Be My Eastwood Neighbour? community-building events.

Festival favourite Circus Kalabanté Productions will be returning to the festival. The founder and artistic director, Yamoussa Bangoura, will be focusing on drums. | Epic Photography

While at the festival, be sure to look down the side streets for a blast from the past.

“We want to do the 1950s-60s look of hanging white garments, bloomers down side streets,” says Morin, who adds that they need donations of clothing for this exhibit. “Drop off used white and bleached clothing at The Carrot between now and the festival.” Label the bags so volunteers and staff know what it is. All clothing will be donated to the Bissell Thrift Shop afterwards.

Organizers are also looking for donations of yarn for the unity project, which is the big fibre arts community project that has been on Kaleido grounds for the past few years. 

And for kids and the young at heart, a new organization featuring fairytale princesses will be roaming the festival grounds and connecting with families.

Festival organizers are bringing back Soul Doodle, which is finger painting on Plexiglas, which Morin says is great for everyone, “whether you’re 60 or seven.” 

Be prepared for some acrobatics with Circus Kalabanté Productions. | Epic Photography

Trace a Face is new and is “tracing someone’s face [on Plexiglas], doing a quick gesture sketch of someone who means something to you.”

“It just warms your heart,” says Morin. “I think that’s the difference of Kaleido: that human touch.”

Last year, a giant papier mâché duck was a blank canvas for people to colour. This year, another papier mâché creation will be at the festival, but organizers would like ideas. Submit your idea to installation@kaleidofest.ca, and also indicate if you want to help build it.

During the festival, don’t forget to look at the sidewalks for some chalk art. “It’s inspiration from when we did Chalk It Up,” says Morin, referring to the July event where chalk artists create some sidewalk art and offer some tips to participants.

Circus Kalabanté Productions, a Montreal circus school and company specializing in African arts, will also be returning to Kaleido Festival. The founder and artistic director, Yamoussa Bangoura, will be focusing on drums.

Visit kaleidofest.ca for more information and an upcoming schedule.


Sept 13-15

118 Ave, between 90-95 St

Featured Image: Once again, festival goers can paint or even help make a giant papier mâché creation, like this duck last year. | Epic Photography