International Children's Festival

*****COVID-19 UPDATE – this event will not be held in 2020*****

It is, hands down, the BEST week to be a kid! No, it’s not Christmas or even the first week of Summer vacation – it’s the last week of May when St. Albert hosts the International Children’s Festival of the Arts!

International Children's Festival

For nearly 40 years, the International Children’s Festival of the Arts has been offering unique, exciting and interactive experiences to children in the Alberta Capital Region. It’s the largest event of its kind in North America, and features internationally-acclaimed performers, top-notch cultural experiences and one-of-a-kind entertainers. Children will stretch the boundaries of their imaginations as they interact with artists, create their own masterpieces, and so much more!  With an abundance of excitement packed into six days, it’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed! To help, we’ve compiled a list of our Top 5 Tips to help you make the most of the 2019 International Children’s Festival of the Arts!

International Children's Festival

Tip 1: Make it a weekend!  

Start the weekend off on the right foot Saturday morning with the Optimist Toonie Pancake Breakfast, and stay through to the evening to catch the Festival’s newest event – the Pajama Party Variety Show! Armed with zany sing-alongs, high-energy dance jams, daring acrobatics, astounding feats of hand balancing and gravity-defying wonders, this ‘pay what you can’ event features a taste of the Festival’s top talent!

International Children's Festival

Tip 2: Buy a pass

The Weekend Butterfly Pass for kids ages 2 and up is the best deal the Festival has to offer! Choose from two options – The $20 pass includes unlimited weekend access to workshops. For just $5 more, you can add an admission ticket to one feature performance! (Feature performance must be selected at time of purchase. Parents, don’t forget to buy your ticket to the feature performance too!) The pass includes admission to Albert Blue Cross Toddler Town, and is offered for the weekend only. To buy, call the Arden Theatre Box Office at 780-459-1542.

International Children's Festival

Paper Planet

Tip 3: Create a plan

While the Festival offers a rainbow of enriching experiences, one of the biggest draws year after year are the ‘headliner’ acts. This year’s weekend Feature Performances include:

  • Paper Planet: Canadian Premiere! An incredible mix of visual art, imagination and interactive theatre, Paper Planet relies on the audience to help create a magical world using repurposed materials! 
  • Nimihitowin!: A stunning mix of Powwow dance, hoop dance and Métis jigging featuring Cree, Blackfoot and Métis dancers.
International Children's Festival


  • Koo Koo Kanga Roo: Jump, jive, dance and sing about dinosaurs, ninjas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and much more with zany best friends Bryan and Neil.
  • Won’Ma Africa: Musicians, dancers and daring acrobats come together in this unique performance that combines traditional African music and dance with North American circus skills!
International Children's Festival

Won’Ma Africa

  • Li Liu: Li, who grew up in a circus family in Beijing, China, showcases her incredible talents such as plate spinning, hand balancing and foot juggling – she also teaches the audience some of the tricks of her trade!
  • Honk! Jr.: The St. Albert Children’s Theatre shares this adorable adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story The Ugly Duckling.
International Children's Festival


Tip 4: Don’t waste a moment!

In addition to the amazing lineup of Feature Performers, there are plenty of other things for kids and families to do! My children absolutely adore Alberta Blue Cross Toddler Town with its mix of music, stories and sensory experiences for tiny festival-goers under the age of four. Festival Workshops include singers, storytellers, musicians, dancers, cultural performers, and interactive art activities! But that’s not all! Capture memories at the ENMAX Photo Booth, get crafty at the Timbits Open Art Studio, enjoy interactive roving artists and gather around the TD Outdoor Stage for a break – the list of Festival Extras goes on and on!

International Children's Festival

Alberta Blue Cross Toddler Town

Tip 5: Free Park & Ride

Avoid the headache of searching for on-site parking. The Festival offers a free Park & Ride shuttle that departs every 15 minutes from the St. Albert Centre Bus Exchange to and from the Festival site!

International Children's Festival

International Children’s Festival of the Arts:

When: May 28 to June 2, 2019
Time: Tuesday to Friday 9:30 am – 3 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am – 5 pm
Where: St. Albert Place, 5 St. Anne Street, St. Albert
Phone: The Arden Theatre Box Office 780-459-1542 (Tickets go on sale April 1, 2019!)