Although the possibility of a live, fully-fledged and in-person Children’s Art Festival is still up in the air, the Kamloops Art Council is confident in the return of the festival this fall. Whether it be online, at half capacity or full-on, the free, annual festival will return in September.
Brie Fernando, Program Coordinator at the KAC, said that the best-case scenario is a normal festival with as many activities as possible. The KAC is prepared to adjust depending on comfort levels and public health orders in September.
“Right now, we’re still waiting for the green light to go ahead and then we can jump in and start [planning],” Fernando said. “It is a little bit of a shorter time span to organize than we would usually have but … I think we’ll pull it off and have a lot of fun. It’s something I really hope we get to see this year, especially with entering phase three and the easing of restrictions. I’d love to have that for the kids after these wild couple years they’ve had and give them that sense of fun and normalcy.”
Although the KAC is hopeful to have an in-person Children’s Art Festival this year, they recognize that there will be adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fernando said: “I know we may not be able to go completely back to normal at this point, but I still want to do as many engaging and interactive activities as we can for [the children]. I don’t know how many hands-on art booths we’d have, but that’s something we need to work on with the [City of Kamloops] as well.”
Fernando added that “some people might not be okay with going completely back to normal in a big crowd setting, so it’s definitely something to be mindful about when we’re planning.”
In a regular year, the Children’s Art Festival would take place at Riverside Park in the second or third week of September. The festival would normally include activities and performances for children and their families, and that is the hope for 2021.
“Normally it takes place during one of the earlier weekends in September and it’s a couple days of activities with some hands-on art projects to get the kids really involved and engaged,” Fernando said. “There are performers and interactive activities and it’s just a lot of fun for that time of year before they get back into school.”
Fernando also talked about the importance of the Children’s Art Festival, especially in a year such as this.
“I think especially after people have felt so isolated over the last couple of years,” Fernando said, “having this festival and bringing the community together is going to have that community engagement we’ve been missing out on.”
Luckily for the KAC, this event is always supported by funders and the City of Kamloops to make it a success each year.
“We have a lot of cooperation from the [City of Kamloops] and they support us,” Fernando said. “I know without the city and without our funders, it would be a lot more difficult.”
Regardless of what September holds, you can expect to see the Children’s Art Festival happening either on your screen or in the park with your family. The Kamloops Arts Council is excited to be bringing this event back, and as usual, offer it for free to the public!
“Even if it can’t be the full-blown Children’s Art Festival that we know and love, I’d still like to have something going on for [the children],” Fernando said.