A festival encouraging kids to get involved in the arts is coming to the West Shore for the first time this month.
Kaleidoscope Theatre’s annual Family Theatre Festival kicks off at the Belfry Theatre on June 9 and 10, followed by performances at the Belmont Secondary school theatre on Saturday, June 16.
“It’s mostly focused for younger audiences. Our core target is the five to 12 demographic,” said Misha Handman, director of marketing and development with Kaleidoscope Theatre.
During its inaugural expansion to the West Shore, Kaleidoscope and its partners will be putting on several productions. When the Sun Crosses the Line is a story about a young girl working on a project about First Nations people in Newfoundland, as she delves deeper, she learns what it means to live on land that was taken and what it means to have a responsibility for something you didn’t do.
Kaleidoscope’s partner Story Theatre will be putting on its production Off the Shelf, a collection of favourite stories that’s costume-based, including a troll guarding a bridge, a circus coming to town and people stealing food from lion cubs.
Popular magician Paul Kilshaw will also be performing a mixture of card tricks and traditional magic with lots of public participation.
“What I hope they take away is just the love of theatre that we have. We hope we can spread that out to them, and a desire for more,” Handman said.
“We think that it is a very valuable thing for young audience to have. Theatre is a wonderful part of people’s lives and we want to make sure everyone has access to it.”
Audience can get a sneak peek of what’s to come in the West Shore when the sixth annual festival kicks off at the Belfry Theatre the weekend before. Kaleidoscope will be joined by Story Theatre, who will be performing their production of Off the Shelf, Star Star Theatre, who will be performing Raccoonaissance, and Bonnie Duncan with her work Squirrel Stole My Underpants!
There will be activities in Fernwood Square, food trucks, and free performances by Cam & Daisy.
Last year’s festival drew roughly 500 people. Handman hopes to see roughly 500 to 600 people at the inaugural festival in the West Shore.
Tickets for each show at the Family Theatre Festival are $15 for adults and $10 for children and can be purchased at the door or online.
Kaleidoscope Theatre is a professional theatre company established more than 40 years ago for young people and their families. For more information visit kaleidoscope.bc.ca.