It may be called the Ottawa International Children’s Festival, but kids of all ages will find something to entertain and challenge them.
“It’s not just for children,” said Ashley Judd, community outreach for the festival, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. “This is something you will want to share with your children and grandchildren, or nieces and nephews.”
The festival drew about 20,000 people last year, said Judd. “And this year, we’re expecting just as many to come.”
The festival, she said, is not typical children’s entertainment.
“We’re trying to do something a little bit different,” she said, “which is bring international, award-winning art to Ottawa from across Canada.”
The festival, which runs Wednesday through Sunday at LeBreton Flats Park with events at Library and Archives Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization, is the only performing arts festival dedicated to young people in central and eastern Ontario. In the past, the festival hosted performers from Brazil, Kenya, Peru, Holland, France, England, Germany, Denmark and China, as well as artists from around Canada.
This year’s programming includes OKidOK from Belgium doing “old-school clowning at its best and most brilliant,” Hansel and Gretel by Gruppe 38 from Denmark, the Architects of Air Luminarium, and Toronto group Nagata Shachu, which features performances on the Japanese taiko drum.
The festival also features an imagination station, where children can create their own art, and a games pavilion.