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Jun092016

Interior Savings Fat Cat Children’s Festival Offers Community Growth 

For Immediate Release (Kelowna, BC): When the Interior Savings Fat Cat Children’s Festival opens on Friday morning, it will be celebrating 26 years of offering family fun for the Okanagan’s children.  Excitement and entertainment are synonymous with the long running festival. But beyond the obvious bouncy castles and play, the Festival prides itself on giving festival-goers fantastic opportunities to learn, grow and develop, enriching the community the Festival itself grew up in.

“When the Festival first started in 1990, it had a goal of offering high-calibre children’s entertainment to the region,” explains artistic director Dorothee Birker. “We have done that in spades, and as the Festival has evolved, it has come to offer so much more. From enriching learning opportunities at the Festival itself to innovative partnerships with schools and community organizations outside of the Festival dates, we have been able to generate a creative spark in kids and connect families with the community around them 

Some of the unique projects the Festival has undertaken include the Community Rhythm project where Grade 6 students at Springvalley Elementary first physically made 30 drums as a legacy for the school and then learned to play these same drums for a performance at the Festival.  Other projects include banners created by AS Matheson students that still decorate the site.  Now teenagers, the kids that created the murals still take pride in the community development they had a hand in creating.

The Festival also partners with community organizations and businesses that focus on families to offer hands-on activities as an outreach effort that allows parents to connect with them and increase their own awareness of supports and opportunities available to them and their kids.  It helps them to discover new ways to engage with their children and support their child’s development.

As the Festival’s title sponsor Interior Savings sees the impact the Festival makes.   According to Kathy Conway, Interior Savings’ CEO, “If given the right tools, parents can make a remarkable difference in setting their children up for success in life. The Festival, while lots of fun, is also a rich learning environment for families.”

“The best kind of learning is when you don’t even know you are doing it,” adds Conway.  “This Friday and Saturday we invite all families to come, learn and play to their heart’s content along with Fat Cat.”

The Festival starts Friday at 8:30 – 2:00 and welcomes both the community and over 1500 students and their teachers to the festival grounds at Waterfront Park.  Saturday the Parade starts things off at 10 am, making its way from the corner of Richter and Cawston to Water Street to Waterfront Park. The Festival will go until 4 pm. 

Headline performers include Will Stroet of CBC Kids’ Will’s Jams and Ventriloquist Kellie Haines. Roaming performers and as well as talented children and community performers round out the entertainment. Over 50 Activity Stations will offer a myriad of hands-on activities for kids to explore.  A full schedule of events is online at www.fatcatfestival.ca.

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Contact:  Dorothee Birker, Artistic Director, Interior Savings Fat Cat Children’s Festival   P: 250-860-4911

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