Are you keen on learning about drama, circus, dance or crafting? The Augusto Children’s Festival features a diverse group of workshops, with a roster that includes local artists and teachers as well as groups from across North America.

This is the third year for Augusto, which begins in Haines Junction on Aug. 9. Festival organizer Darlene Sillery expects it to be as successful as last year. She thinks the festival does well because it takes place over three days and it is the only dedicated weekend art and music festival for children in the Yukon.
“Children naturally love art and music, to paint, draw, create. We have a lot of young families in Haines Junction and Whitehorse families love to come out for the festival weekend. We also attract attendees from Haines and other Yukon communities.”

The festival is, in part, a legacy of the Alsek Music Festival which ran for 17 years in Haines Junction. That festival was a big part of every summer, with many local people participating in it. Augusto is similar, with community members participating as audience members (both kids and parents), presenters, volunteers or service providers. Three of the festival’s current board members worked with the Alsek Music Festival. “We believe festivals are good for communities and our current demographics in Haines Junction, of young families and active grandparents, seemed the perfect fit for a children’s festival,” said Sillery.

Festival-organizers work year-round to plan and fundraise for the event. During the festival, another 50 volunteers help out. Sillery said these volunteers are never hard to come by (“we do have a lot of community support,” she said) and they make the festival happen. Some of the programming for this year’s festival includes workshops where kids can work with paper, feathers, fur, felt, clay, wire, paint and recycled materials on take-home projects. There will also be workshops offered by a number of the performing artists, including Southern Tutchone Dance and Song, West African Dance, Stage Presence, Physical Activity and Music, Squeakers & Kazoos, and Music Exploration. For kids who are less artistically inclined, there will be electronics workshops and storytelling workshops. A big part of the festival will be Toodler Town.

“Toddler Town will be especially busy this year with six mini concerts, seven craft activities, storybook corners and play breaks. Kids will also have the opportunity to silkscreen their own cloth bag this year, for use at this festival and at future festivals,” said Sillery.

Another highlight will be the Kamikaze Fireflies. The L.A.-based duo of Rob Williams and Casey Marti will perform a mix of comedy and circus entertainment on Saturday. The pair has performed for audiences all over the world and attended America´s Got Talent. In addition to performing, they will lead a workshop aimed at teaching drama skills. Tickets for the festival are on sale at AugustoKids.ca.


Christmas bird counts are fun for kids too