Kids of all ages were entertained and amazed by the 30th Ottawa International Children’s Festival (OICF)! Each year this festival puts together a list of performers that make all who attended their shows wonder and delight in the spectacle they had just witnessed. The performances and attractions my daughter and I saw during this year’s visit lived up to our expectations of this festival. The OICF was held at LeBreton Flats and the Canadian War Museum.
When we arrived for our evening of amusement, we journeyed inside of Pentalum Luminarium. It is a structure created by Architects of Air (UK) for visitors to explore and marvel at as they make their way through the winding tunnels and domes.
Once my eldest and I ventured inside, we were instantly amazed by the different coloured areas of this inflatable structure. I was instantly in a state of wonder and relaxation as we traveled through each chamber. I loved that we had to leave our shoes outside of the exhibition. It added to the serene atmosphere around you. There were many dark alcoves where you could just sit back and relax for a bit. Other areas were bright and beautiful to behold. We really enjoyed our time inside the Pentalum Luminarium.
We then ventured into the Canadian War Museum to get transported into the dark side of fairytales as we attended a performance of Hansel and Gretel by Gruppe 38, (DEN) in the Barney Danson Theatre. It was a fascination rendition of this classic tale from The Brothers Grimm of two children becoming abandoned by their parents the captured by an evil witch. With the assistance of an amusing onstage musician, a narrator brings magic, suspense and laughter to this tale with the use of light and projection. We really enjoyed how this group used the intimate space very well to convey this story to the audience. The narrator did an excellent job at putting us in the world of Hansel and Gretel to allow us to get a sense of what they were feeling and what was happening as the tale unfolded around us.
The final performance we saw was Les Parfaits Inconnus (QC, CAN) in the Circus Tent. Before the performance, Katherine Dines opened the show by presenting Mayor Jim Watson, and the key members of the OICF who make each year’s festival a reality. Mayor Watson then presented Catherine O’Grady with an award for the 30th anniversary of the OICF, thanking her and her team for their hard work in putting this amazing festival year after year.
It was a performance filled with laughter and amusement as Les Parfaits Inconnus took to the stage. They wowed audiences as they juggled, balanced, flipped through the air and conjured illusions before our eyes. They also played music while performing some of these feats, showcasing their talents and comedic abilities even more. My eldest and I kept looking at each other, wondering how they were able to do all of the feats they did during their performance. It truly was a great show to attend!
The audience was then invited to attend a celebration for the OICF’s 30th anniversary. There were wonderful plates of food for guests to enjoy! There was something for everyone to sample and enjoy. There were also beautifully arranged snack cups for nibble on. These were fantastic! Water, various drinks, and alcoholic beverages for adults to drink were served as well. Catherine O’Grady then cut the OICF cakes so guests could share in the celebration.
This was another thrilling visit to the Ottawa International Children’s Festival! The performances were spectacular, Pentalum Luminarium a new experience which added to the fun of the day, and we were thankful to be a part of the celebration for the anniversary of this unique festival. It was sad to leave, as we wanted to chat with other guests and see more of the performances we viewed. I am extremely curious as to how the OICF will top this year’s list of performances next year!