The International Children’s Festival of the Arts is thrilled to be back for 2023! One of the largest and longest-running festivals of its kind in North America, it has entertained, educated, enthralled, and enamored children of Alberta’s Capital Region for decades. Mark your calendar for June 1-4 to enjoy this unique blend of inspiring feature performances, paid activities, interactive exhibits, free family-friendly fun and open-air stages. This year brings endless excitement both inside and out!
Feature Performances | $16/ticket
This year’s festival will host 6 exciting feature performances from jaw-dropping, critically-acclaimed artists. All shows are available at multiple times throughout the festival, making it easy to accommodate into your schedule and experience multiple performances.
- Brave Space This unique performance by Aloft Circus starts as puddle of fabric on the floor and grows into a world of wonders with juggling, cyr wheel, duo trapeze, rope acts, and more. Find beauty and comfort up with these awe-inspiring feats of balance and strength being performed up close and personal by an amazing group of aerialists and acrobats.
- Doodle Pop Join mischievous duo Woogie and Boogie in an imaginative world of their own creation! Through live music, sound effects, interactive screen projections and live whiteboard drawings you will be taken along on their adventures to return a tiny sea turtle safely to sea.
- Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About A Terrible Monster Mo Willems fans are in for a treat with this colourful and playful retelling of Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Manuel Cinema. Enjoy the tale of an unlikely and heartwarming friendship between Leonardo and scaredy-cat kid Sam as it magically unfolds through hundreds of illustrated paper puppets, book pages, 2-D props, furry monster puppets and songs.
- OTÂCIMOW ᐅᑖᒋᒧᐤ: Storyteller Prepare to be mesmerized by the colourful regalia, dramatic dancing and powerful music of Otâcimow (Oh-tea-see-maw). The name aptly translates to “storyteller” in the Plains Cree language, and is demonstrated through this beautiful sharing of indigenous stories about the land and animals that connect the natural cycles of Life.
- No Excuses, No Limits This group of differently-abled dancers will inspire with their own unique style of hip-hop. Come experience how their “ILL-abilities” set them apart and marvel at the physical feats and skills that most able-bodies dancers have never even thought possible!
- Seussical JR. St. Albert Children’s Theatre is bringing all your favourite Dr. Seuss characters to life on stage with this fantastical musical extravaganza! See Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude, and the Whos work together in this inspiring tale of friendship, loyalty, and love.
Paid Activities | $7/workshop
Another great aspect of the festival is the wide variety of creative workshops and activities for children and families to enjoy. This year’s festival has scheduled workshops focused on learning about butterflies, bees & other pollinators, drumming, printmaking, Indigenous Ribbon Skirt crafting , found object sculpture creation, fairy finding, a sensory exploration walk, knitting circle dances, and Syrian storytelling through a magical wonder box. It’s the perfect way to get creative and try something new. See the full selection and schedule here.
Daedalum Luminarium | $10 Admission
The 2023 International Children’s Festival of the Arts is excited to welcome Daedalum Luminarium, a can’t miss experience by the Architects of Air. Visitors of all ages and abilities can enter a world of wonder in this immersive walk-in inflatable structure. Make your way through this labyrinth of tunnels and cavernous domes and and find sensory bliss through specially considered lighting, colour, and sound. This awe-inspiring artistic creation is monumental in both size and experience!
Daedalum Luminarium will be set-up in St. Albert’s Lions Park. Please note that the admission hours will be slightly different from the regular Festival hours.
Toddler Town | $10/all day admission
For the wee ones, the playful and interactive Toddler Town will allow them to join the hands-on fun. Drop-in admission is just $10 for the day and will allow children 12 months to 5 years move at their own pace through storytelling activities, musical performances, crafts, sensory bin play, and an active fun zone presented by Visionary Centre for the Performing Arts. Admission for parents and babies under 12 months is free.
Free Things to Do at the International Children’s Festival of the Arts
There is fun around every corner! As you make your way between performances and paid activities, don’t forget to check out the selection of free family fun including the Open Art Studio, Maze Craze, or non-stop entertainment on the Outdoor Stage. Find fun roving artists, get an airbrush tattoo, brighten the sidewalks with your own chalk art, or write down your dreams to add to hundreds of others in a giant paper chrysalis at the Art Gallery. There is no admission fee to enter the festival site and explore all the wonderful things it has to offer!
Make the most of it with a Butterfly Pass | $30 each (Kids & Adults)
The best way to experience all the fun at the International Children’s Festival of the Arts is with a Butterfly Pass. For just $30 per wristband, you will get access to ONE Feature Performance of your choice, single entry to Daedalum Luminarium, and UNLIMITED access to all paid activities all weekend.
School and Group tickets are on sale now, and general public tickets will be available beginning Monday, April 3 at 10:00 am, on a first come, first-served basis. Tickets can be purchased online at tickets.stalbert.ca or in person through the Arden Theatre Box Office, Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
2023 International Children’s Festival of the Arts:
When: June 1-4, 2023
Time: Thursday & Friday: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm | Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm | Sunday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Where: Downtown St. Albert, various sites & Online