The Central Alberta Children’s Festival has received a boost in funding, with a $22,000 grant from the federal government.
The funding was announced Wednesday and comes from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage’s Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program.
“It certainly takes a lot of pressure off of us,” said Judy Scott, co-ordinator of the Central Alberta Children’s Festival.
The festival costs $160,000. It runs through the donation of time by volunteers, as well as funding from grants, community organizations and sponsorships from local businesses.
Scott said this year sponsorships were harder to find and so the grant is even more important.
In its third year, the festival offers activities for the young and the young-at-heart.
“Zero to 99 is our target, and beyond, if there is anyone beyond who wants to join us,” Scott said. “Our tag line is: You never grow up. And we believe that.”
This year the Central Alberta Children’s Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on June 5, with a barbecue and dance from 5 to 7 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 6. The festival takes place near the outdoor pool, near the Recreation Centre.
This year’s event will have arts and crafts, storytelling and a bubble jump where children can jump into bubble wrap. There will be an eight-foot beach ball, golf and a chance to shoot some hoops. Kids can build a community by painting and organizing boxes or take a trip to science world.
Headliners at the event will include Canadian singer-songwriter Jack Grunsky. The three-time Juno award winner often uses global musical instruments and sounds and rhythms to capture children’s attention.
Major Conrad Flapps — known as the world’s only “human airplane” — will take audience volunteers as his flight crew. His routine is a blend of physical comedy, dancing and music.
Scott said it’s important for families to be together, interact, play and connect, without having to spend a lot of money.
Tickets are $5 or $15 for a family of four.
Once people purchase a ticket they can take part in the activities for as long as they want.
“This year that is really important,” Scott said. “Now with the downturn in the economy for $5 you can come to the park and you don’t open your wallet. You can have a snack, bring a picnic lunch and play for the day or the two days.”
Representatives from Family Services of Central Alberta, which is the lead agency and organizer of the event, are still looking for people to volunteer. In particular they would like an adult sports team able to help with security. For more information phone Judy Scott at 403-309-8222 or go to www.centralalbertachildrensfestival.ca.