Story Theatre, with artistic director David MacPherson as the ringmaster, is one of the offerings in this weekend’s Family Theatre Festival, staged free by Kaleidoscope Theatre as a thank you to the community. Photo courtesy Kaleidoscope Theatre

Kaleidoscope Theatre says ‘thanks’ with free performance in Victoria

Fun for the whole family Saturday at Centennial Square

Tim Collins/Victoria News

Kaleidoscope Theatre is offering the children (and adults) of Victoria a special token of appreciation to the community after another successful season of professional children’s theatre.

It takes the form of a free Family Theatre Festival, taking place at Centennial Square on Saturday (June 10) between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and features a special roster of professional performers and artists.

“This is our fifth year for the festival, and we wanted to show our gratitude to Victoria for the remarkable support they’ve shown throughout the years,” said Misha Handman, Kaleidoscope’s director of marketing. “How better to say thanks than to put on a free show?”

The show kicks off with Cam and Daisy, featuring a loveable, quiet clown and her musical pal, Cam. Together, they lead a fun-filled hour of song, play and fun.

Next up, Paul Kilshaw will perform a unique combination of magic and balloon art that he’s been honing for more than 40 years of performances on Vancouver Island and beyond.

“Paul has so much experience at making children laugh and amazing them with his craft,” said Handman.

The next act, the Purple Pirate, features an award-winning children’s performer who has played to audiences across Canada and around the world. His magic pirate ship integrates music, magic, dance and comedy and transforms the stage to a magically unforgettable adventure.

Finally, Story Theatre will allow the audience to experience the wonder of words come to life as they delight the audience with their unique story-telling style.

Handman said Kaleidoscope Theatre is totally committed to exposing children to the arts. “Our theatre group is a way for us to show children what theatre is all about,” he said. “People don’t just decide on day they want to be involved with the arts. If you don’t connect with them when they’re young, you’ve missed your chance.”

Kaleidoscope Theatre is Vancouver Island’s only professional theatre for young people that provides the full theatre experience to audiences. They combine two annual main-stage productions with a family theatre festival, a theatre school and camps and workshops for aspiring young artists.

Since their start in 1974, the theatre group has performed more than 14,600 days of theatre to more than three million audience members.

“We are so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish here in Victoria and on Vancouver Island in general. It’s a great legacy and we just keep getting better,” Handman said.

Seating for the June 10 performances is limited but Handman observed that audience members, particularly the youngest of the crowd, are unlikely to stay for all five hours of performances, so space will become available throughout the day.

Food trucks and ice cream vendors will be on site and Kaleidoscope will host face painting and craft tables as well.

Visit kaleidoscope.bc.ca for more information on the company.

editor@vicnews.com

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