Kids In Vancouver: 5 Reasons To Check Out The Vancouver International Children’s Festival

Vancouver International Children's Festival | Photo: VICF

Vancouver International Children’s Festival | Photo: VICF

Since 1978, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival (VICF) has been a staple event in Vancouver, leaving a lasting impression on the kids who attend the annual outdoor affair.

For me, 1986 was the most memorable year. While it was also the year of Expo ’86, my fondest memories are of the VICF – having my face painted, dancing along to the musical performances of my childhood idols (Raffi, Sharon, Lois & Bram, and Charlotte Diamond), and laughing at my favourite clown, Gumboot Lollipop, as she toddled and twirled on stage.

While the artists and venues may have changed over the years, the magic that surrounds the festival continues to shine year after year. Here are just 5 of the reasons why you should check out the Vancouver International Children’s Festival with your kids this month.

Bianca Bujan & Gumboot Lollipop at VICF in 1986 | Photo: Bianca Bujan

Bianca Bujan & Gumboot Lollipop at VICF in the early 80s | Photo: Bianca Bujan

1) Be ‘Creatively Playful’ With Your Kids

Stroll through the Activity Village and enjoy a wide range of interactive arts & crafts for kids of all ages. Children can create a colourful one-of-a-kind splatter painting while riding a bike, learn the intricate art of Japanese origami paper folding, or create a whimsical hat inspired by places from around the world! VICF’s mission is to “motivate and inspire young minds with professional artistic experiences that transform a child’s understanding of the world around them and what is creatively possible”. Through offering various forms of creative play, the world-renowned festival for kids does just that.

Arts & Crafts at VICF | Photo: VICF

Arts & crafts at the VICF | Photo: VICF

2) Expose Your Children To The Performing Arts

The festival features a wide range of live theatrical shows, allowing children to experience and enjoy song, dance and the art of storytelling through watching plays and musical performances unfold on stage before their eyes. Watch on as they laugh, shout and wiggle in their seats while discovering the world of performing arts.

Live performance | Photo: VICF

Live Play at the VICF | Photo: VICF

3) Enjoy Theatre Shows Designed For Toddlers

The festival also offers fun and creative theatrical performances specifically geared towards younger audiences, including Asoma, an interactive theatrical performance designed for toddlers, and Pekka, a delightful puppetry show suitable for audiences as young as two years old.

Toddlers at VICF | Photo: VICF

Interactive activities for toddlers | Photo: VICF

4) Go To A Pyjama Party Performance Before Bedtime

Suit up in your favourite pjs and head down to Granville Island for a bedtime story brought to life on stage. Families can enjoy snacks while watching live evening performances – a great way for little ones to wind down before bed.

Outdoor entertainment | Photo: VICF

Outdoor entertainment | Photo: VICF

5) Support Local And Global Artists

This year’s festival artists come from around the world, hailing from the Netherlands, the USA, Mexico and Canada. The fun and creative international performance offerings are a great way for children to experience other cultures in an educational and engaging way – and by attending the festival, you are supporting the local and global arts community who need your support to share the work that they do with the world.

Festival Details:

Vancouver International Children’s Festival
Granville Island, Vancouver BC
May 30 – June 5, 2016
Open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm
Phone: (604) 708-5655

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