After a few years of a modified Kaleido Family Arts Festival, it’s back on 118 Avenue from Sept. 16-18.
The theme, “hearts in living colour”, complements the festival returning home to 118 Avenue.
“We’ve had lots of talks with lots of sponsors,” says Sauvé MacBean, festival manager of Kaleido Family Arts Festival. “The tour was the answer to the COVID question. COVID-19 is at the point where we’re able to follow guidelines and restrictions and still hold the festival.”
Christy Morin, the artistic director, says, “We’re almost calling it a reboot or rebuild of Kaleido.” She explains this year embraces bringing back festival favourites that people were missing.
The Front Porch performances, where musicians perform from local residents’ front porches, will continue. “We’re asking people to sit down and attend them.” Locations will be advertised online at kaleidofest.ca.
Then there’s the return of the Aboriginal Takwakin Village. Activities include a sash-weaving demonstration and the opportunity to sample bannock cooked on a fire.
“The main stage will be in full swing with diverse cultural community groups in dance, music, and other performances,” says MacBean.
This year, the parking lot on 118 Avenue and 93 Street will focus on Ukraine and its culture. Says Morin, “Fundraising will go towards new Ukrainians in Edmonton making their home here and in our region. Our community back in the ‘50s was built by Ukrainians.”
Friday launches the weekend with the lantern parade. Morin describes Saturday as “always our strong component of art, community, and ritual.”
“Everything focuses on the main stage on Saturday in the evening. Bring lawnchairs and a blanket,” Morin suggests.
The main stage will be north of the Alberta Avenue playground. “We’re trying it as a pilot. We’ve talked about it for about 10 years. It might work better for spreading out the crowd,” says Morin.
Sunday focuses on community, and organizers are re-introducing the antique car show and the Junk in Your Trunk garage sale.
Edmontonians can also look forward to a return of street performers, art, and art installations.
A new feature is a community art gallery spread throughout the area. “Take a piece of art, put in a piece of art,” Morin explains.
Danielle Duguay, an Elmwood Park community member, will launch craft kits at the festival. “The idea was birthed by watching the Kaleido menagerie in her community last year,” says Morin.
And Kaleido has partnered with MacEwan University to host musician Jacques Schwarz-Bart.
“He has graciously decided to collaborate with Kaleido performers,” explains MacBean. “He plays jazz and African music that is fun to dance and groove to.”
Morin adds, “Arts on the Ave is built on partnerships.” And while festivalgoers will enjoy Schwarz-Bart’s music, MacEwan students will also benefit at the university. “There’s so much to learn and share.”
While attending the festival is free, donations are appreciated. Festivalgoers can also purchase tickets for a 50/50 draw.
“Every toonie or $5 bill makes a difference. The festival costs a lot of money to put on,” says Morin.
And because the pandemic is ongoing, Morin advises that some festivalgoers may choose to wear masks.
Look at the schedule on kaleidofest.ca, or stop at The Carrot Coffeehouse to pick up a program.
Locations throughout 118 Avenue