It's true - it has been 25 years since a small group of community volunteers started the Fat Cat Children's Festival to celebrate kids and offer unique, fantastic cultural experiences for them to enjoy with their families. Rooted in the community, the Festival keeps growing, offering new and interactive learning opportunities for our region's families. This year we will celebrating our many successes and also reaching into the future with our 25th Silver Anniversary edition of the Festival. Join us at Waterfront Park for fantastic family fun. June 12 & 13, 2015 at Waterfront Park.
Interior Savings Fat Cat Children's Festival a Resounding Success
For Immediate Release (Kelowna, BC): The 23rd edition of the Interior Savings Fat Cat Children`s Festival was a resounding success with thousands of happy families taking part in the activities on both Friday and Saturday.
"We are thrilled with the turn-out overall. Friday was a slower than in previous years certainly but the quality of the experience for families was top-notch," says Dorothee Birker, artistic director for the Festival. "We still had some schools be able to come for a half day and we thank the teachers and schools for making that happen. We also had families come and take part on their own and their feedback phenomenal. Lots of comments that they such a great day for them to explore and enjoy all the activities and entertainment."
In addition to over fifty interactive activity stations, stage and roaming performances, the Festival also featured a Parade and a Grand Marshall that was all of two years old. Young Ellie Eburne was randomly chosen from all of the Kiddie Brigade participants to officially lead the way and proudly did so with her brother Jack and father Brad. Other parade participants included the Arran Campbell Memorial Pipe Band from Vernon, large colourful floats, martial arts performers, young dancers, mascots, fancy cars and even the Jolly Green Giant. One of the highlights of the parade was the five community floats participating that added lots of sparkle, music and of course royalty to the festivities. Chewelah Washington's float took top honors for the Community category, Croc Talk's alligators took a bite out of the competition by winning a plague as well and the Marionette and Puppet-master duo and glass ball juggler from performance troupe Kinshira received an award also.
"We would like to thank all of the sponsors, community participants, performers and facilitators and especially the volunteers and families that came, to make this such a vibrant and successful festival," says Marlene Fenton, Chair of the volunteer board of directors that spearheads the planning and implementation of the annual festival. "We do it for the kids but also for building a better, stronger community and we know we have achieved our goals when we see the happiness and excitement the festival generates. It is now time for us to do a de-brief and then to start focusing on developing the 24th edition of the Festival. We invite other community-minded people to step forward and start planning with us as the Festival keeps growing and we need more people on our organizing committee to be a part of the fun."
For more information on the Festival and how to get involved, check out www.fatcatfestival.ca. We have also posted photos on the site and invite you to add your photos of the event to our Facebook page.
- 30 -
What an A-MA-ZING day we had - thank you to the schools and families that came out. We saw tons of smiling, happy kids experiencing a great day of creative learning. Gearing up for Day 2 - and this one includes a big parade to boot. Thanks to YVR Vancouver International Airport for being the presenting sponsor of the parade. Look for them in the YVR cruiser and then meet them at the Festival and spin the Fly Wheel for great prizes. The parade starts at 10 am at Richter and Cawston, winding down the Cawston Corridor before heading up Water Street to Waterfront Park, Come join in the fun -either as a spectator or a participant.
For Immediate Release (June 5, 2014 Kelowna, BC): The Interior Savings Fat Cat Children's Festival, a festival that is not only for the kids to come and play at, but also for them to come and play for, is ready to roll out its 23rd edition this Friday June 6th and Saturday June 7th at Waterfront Park and will feature a myriad of youthful talents on the stages, in the parade and on the festival grounds.
Like other children's festivals across the country, the Interior Savings Fat Cat Children's Festival presents professional performers that offer unique perspectives and learning opportunities for kids while they entertain them. From Bobby Bovenzi and Nankama presenting West African Dance and Drumming to the Trollsons sharing the ancient Japanese art of Kamishibai (literally paper theatre), a show that combines the best of oral storytelling and narrative painting, kids have the opportunity to see, hear and do from some of the best children's performers in the business.
"Our Festival is a bit different from this model though, in that we also feature youth performers from the Okanagan who may one day very well be professional performers themselves," says artistic director Dorothee Birker. "For us it is important that we provide a professional stage to showcase talented youth in the community and provide them with a developmental opportunity to hone their craft."
Youth featured at the Festival include the Arran Campbell Memorial Pipe Band from Vernon that has pipers ranging in age from 8 to 17; young dancers from Penticton and Kelowna who will grace the stages with ballet, modern, hip hop and bollywood moves; singers and musicians from the Talented Kids Showcase and Kelowna School of Rock, as well almost 100 voices raised in song from the Casorso Elementary School Choir; and even roaming street performers that will provide juggling entertainment and comic relief for families throughout the Festival grounds.
"One of the perks of my job is to find the talent to showcase. I was beyond thrilled earlier this year when I happened to be at the Rotary Centre for the Arts and heard a young trumpeter, accompanied by his dad on the piano, in the Atrium," says Birker. "I was simply amazed and after they finished the song, invited him to perform at the Festival. It was so great to see his reaction and hear him say 'Yes, yes, I love the Fat Cat Festival and want to perform there.' So now Ben Ryder, along with dad Dan Ryder, will herald the opening of the Festival performances on both Friday and Saturday."
The focus on Okanagan kids actively creating their own festival has been a key component of seeing the Festival's growth over the past 23 years. Active participation is also required for the Festival as interactive workshops and activity stations abound throughout the site, inviting kids to get engaged in learning and creating. This active participation also includes the Fat Cat Parade presented by YVR International Airport which features a Kiddie Brigade with kids riding their decorated bikes and scooters at the front of the parade. One participant in the Kiddie Brigade will be crowned Grand Marshall and will lead everyone else down the parade route along Cawston Avenue and Water Street to the Festival site at Waterfront Park. The kids will also be joined by local businesses and organizations, plus five community floats, including three from the Okanagan (Penticton, Vernon and Kelowna) and two from Washington (Marysville and Chewelah).
“Kids are the future of our community and our Credit Union,” exclaims Kathy Conway, CEO of Interior Savings. “The Interior Savings Fat Cat Children’s Festival creates an imaginative environment for kids to experience new things, challenge themselves and build confidence.”
A full schedule of events is available online at www.fatcatfestival.ca. Admission is $5 per person or $15 for 4. Early Bird Passes are available at all Interior Savings branches from Lake Country to West Kelowna for only $10 for 4 people.
- 30 -
Dorothee Birker, Artistic Director