The Ottawa International Children’s Festival 2012

Written by guest blogger Denise Deby, who writes on local and global social and environmental issues and enjoys being a kid again sometimes.

The Ottawa International Children’s Festival is always fun, but every year the organizers include more environment-themed activities. In this, the Festival’s 27th season, you’ll find plays, puppet shows, music and storytelling with performers from around the world, as well as tons of free activities. Everything happens at LeBreton Flats Park and the Canadian War Museum, this year from May 30 to June 3, 2012.

One of the shows this year is The Man Who Planted Trees, by Scotland’s Puppet State Theatre Company. It promises a mix of comedy, puppetry and storytelling about the adventures of a man who sets out with his dog to transform a wasteland, one tree at a time. Check the website for show times and prices; it’s best to buy tickets in advance as most Festival performances sell out quickly.

The Children’s Climate Change Project is an exhibit of drama, music and media projects done by students in collaboration with artists and scientists, expressing their ideas about climate change and how to address it.

In The Banana Workshop, presented in collaboration with the Otesha Project, kids get to explore where food comes from and how our shopping choices affect the planet. Otesha is also holding Bike Love, in which festival-goers can hang inspiring messages made of recycled materials on bicycles they come across.

At Cycling Safely In the City, Capital Vélo Fest will offer kids and adults a chance to learn about safe bike riding and bike maintenance. (You don’t need your bike with you to participate.)

The Children’s Garden is hosting The Secret Life of Seeds, where kids can choose and plant seeds to take home.

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the Ottawa International Children’s Festival, so check it out at


GreenLivingOttawa’s founder, Alette J Willis, will also be participating in a children’s event this weekend.  She  will be reading from her award-winning children’s novel “How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People)” at Collected Works Bookstore on Sunday, June 3rd, from 3pm-5pm.  Her book, which is aimed at children 8 to 12 years of age, deals with the bad decisions people make when they act out of fear and features a wind-powered mud-monster.  The event is free.  Collected Works is at 1242 Wellington Street West.

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