Kidsfest turns 34 with music and fun for all ages at The Forks
Annual event at The Forks 'now kind of just a very well-functioning 30-year-old,' says director
The Winnipeg International Children's Festival is kicking off its 34th annual Kidsfest today with a schedule packed with music, circus acrobatics, art and fun for kids of all ages.
This year's lineup features well-known Manitoba entertainers Fred Penner, Jake Chenier and Al Simmons, as well as Canadian and international acts like American contortionist Jonathan Burns and H'Sao, an African vocal group based in Montreal.
The annual event has come a long way since the first festival was held in 1983 at Assiniboine Park, says executive director Neal Rempel.
"It's changed in so many ways. It's been pretty much like a child that has grown into a petulant teenager and is now kind of just a very well-functioning 30-year-old," he said in an interview.
But even as Kidsfest has evolved, Rempel said he always enjoys seeing children enjoy the performances every year.
"There's just no filter of their joy when they're enjoying themselves and laughing," he said.
"I've seen Fred Penner, for instance, get kids up on stage and they're just rocking out."
Rempel said while Kidsfest generally appeals most to children between the ages of four and 10, the variety of acts means there's something for everyone.