Inspired by a five-year-old’s question of “who looks after the animals?” after a trip to the Calgary Zoo, Airdrie Children’s Festival Society (ACFS) founder Pete Lewis felt compelled to create a community-wide event to answer this and other great questions. With the help of the inaugural board and a vision “to enrich the lives of children and celebrate our cultural diversity,” the annual Airdrie Children’s Festival was born.
After a COVID break, the festival is back this year. Designed to create curiosity, inspire creativity and remove fear, the event and activities will be held again at Nose Creek Park on May 28 and 29. Just as in previous years, to remove barriers to participation, the Festival will be free for all to attend. “Let kids just be kids,” says Lewis. “Kids and families are constantly bombarded with ‘buy this or that’ so this is the one time that they can come out, have fun and be free from that.”
The last time the festival ran (2019) there were more than 6,000 visitors and the 2022 return will be even better. The Inspiration Stations continue to be the base for the festival. These hands-on, accelerated learning centres are hosted by businesses and organizations in the Calgary region, allowing kids the chance to see, feel and learn about stuff they might not otherwise. Things like, who looks after the animals at the Calgary Zoo? Citywide workshops create windows into what could be possible, where kids can do things like work on cars with mechanics, write short stories with published authors, or go on-air with a local radio station.
Even the Cam Clark Ford and Martin’s Pest Control Entertainment Stage is packed with performers who believe it is important to teach kids to be confident, to respect themselves and others, to love the environment around them and to dream BIG. Expect big fun and big laughs from returnee Smilin’ Rylan and other engaging performers in 2022.
More details will come for the event, so make sure to like and follow Airdrie Children’s Festival on Facebook for updates and safety protocols.