I eavesdrop on the program planning between Christy Morin, artistic director of Kaleido Family Arts Festival, and Allie Morin, the festival’s contract coordinator and assistant programmer, hard at work in The Carrot Coffeehouse.
Still soaked from the Folk Fest, I voice my hope for good weather during the festival from Sept. 14-16.
“No guarantees, unfortunately. However, what we can guarantee is another year of amazing entertainment and fun,” said Christy, launching into a lineup overview.
“Headliners include Circus Kalabanté Productions, gymnastic performers, regular favourites from Guinea, Africa but stationed in Montreal; The Long War from Vancouver, a folk urban blend; the ETown Vocal Music Society, a 25 member acapella group; and Busty and the Bass from Montreal, an R&B jazz fusion band,” Christy said.
“Definitely a band to see before you die,” Allie added.
Festivalgoers will have variety of musical genres to explore, ranging from folk and roots to jazz.
“Jazz Alley has Jeremiah McDade and Mallory Chipman as featured performers,” said Christy.
Then there is Angelou Cornel, an 11-year-old opera singer who will be performing from the Paraiso Tropical balcony. Thrilling!
Something very special this year is the premiere of Champions of Alberta Ave, a video production of 11 immigrant business owners, some of whom escaped terror in their homeland. Totally heartwarming and inspiring.
Culture is always part of the festival, like this year’s Takwakin (Cree for “autumn”) Village, sponsored by Bent Arrow and Enoch Cree Nation and featuring Celeigh Cardinal. Or, listen to world music at the Mongolian yurt, which will also feature Edmonton Public Library storytimes for children.
Family-friendly events include the Aurora Lantern Parade and the children’s stage in the Family Fun Zone. One featured performance is a five-piece classical arrangement of Peter and the Wolf. Or, check out Duffy’s Puppets presenting “The Durflings and the Book of Poops.”
Adults can enjoy child-free events, like the Saturday night burlesque show in Hodson Hall, following the musical comedy improv from 11 pm to 12:30 am on Friday and Saturday.
Those who enjoy dancing will have plenty to see.
“Bedouin Beats’ stage is up again with belly dancing. The main stage will host national dance troupes including Celtic dancing, Hungarian, Filipino, and also the Marena Colombian Dance Group,” said Christy.
Christy has her favourite festival events, too.
“I love the audience interaction projects, like the 32 Post-it notes around the Nina where people share something about themselves, or the crowd interactive events, like the Friday night lantern parade or the Friday night street party. Anything that gets the crowd involved and blurs the distinction between audience, artists, and performers. I really believe that art has the ability to heal and beautify a community.”
Admission is pay-what-you-can, with public donation important to keep the festival going.
Visit kaleidofest.ca for all festival events and to volunteer.
KALEIDO FAMILY ARTS FESTIVAL
Sept. 14-16, 118 Ave between 90-95 St.
Friday: 5 pm to midnight
Saturday: noon to 1:30 am
Sunday: noon to 6 pm
Featured Image: Festivalgoers can enjoy a variety of musical genres, like jazz. | Aydan Dunnigan-Vickruck