Kaleidoscope will feature the first appearance in Kimberley of Gemini award-winning comedian, voice actor and puppeteer, Der Ric Starlight, together with his company of indigenous puppet characters. Submitted file

From Indigenous puppets to African storytelling, from Jazz to Drag, Kimberley Kaleidoscope has something for everyone

MIKE REDFERN

After the pandemic hiatus caused the cancellation of the last two Kimberley Kaleidoscope arts festivals, the event is roaring back to life this August 20 to 27 with ten events in eight days featuring the return of several popular acts from previous festivals and the introduction of some exciting performers new to the Kimberley stage.

Due to the work being conducted on the Centre 64 roof, some outdoor events have been moved from the Centre 64 outdoor stage to Cominco Gardens, including the festival’s opening outdoor concert and dance on August 20 featuring the Hillties, a 6-piece funk reggae band from Nelson with a hot reputation for keeping the party swinging. Cominco Gardens will also be the site for Tuesday night’s Date Night under the Stars, featuring the smooth sounds of Kimberley‘s Take Four jazz band.

Not all outdoor events will take place at Cominco Gardens. The festival swings into action on Sunday, August 21, with a Kaleidoscope Kids’ festival in the Platzl. This event for the younger set features two outstanding performers who will appeal to children of all ages and to those who are still young at heart. Returning for her third appearance at Kaleidoscope will be the ever popular Kiki the Eco Elf, playing songs and interactive games with the audience. Following Kiki will be the first appearance in Kimberley of Gemini award-winning comedian, voice actor and puppeteer, Der Ric Starlight, together with his company of indigenous puppet characters, putting on a puppet show for kids of all ages.

Two more award-winning professional performers will make their first appearance in Kimberley on Thursday evening at the spoken word event in Studio 64. In a show titled Grandmama Speaks, Canadian black story-teller Shayna Jones will perform traditional story-telling from Africa and Afro-diasporic folklore accompanied by Canadian-American cellist, Rufus Cappadocia. This exceptional, one-of-a-kind entertainment will be preceded by an opening set of readings by Kimberley area writers Nowell Berg, Ruth Ramdin, Heather Wattie, Sheila Milloy, and Mike Redfern reading from their own works.

Returning to the Centre 64 stage following their sensational debut performance there at the last Kaleidoscope festival will be the outrageous, risqué, drag show troupe from Calgary, Carly’s Angels. Due to the work on the theatre roof, this highly entertaining festival-closing performance will take place in Studio 64 so tickets will be limited and early purchase is recommended.

In between all this entertainment will be a couple of learning opportunities. Kimberley ceramicist Helen Robertson will lead a pot and sip ceramic workshop on Sunday August 21 and Thursday, August 25, and a Paint and Sip painting night will take place on Wednesday, August 24.

The traditional kaleidoscope gala will take place as usual on Friday evening when the winning artists in the Kaleidoscope adjudicated fine art exhibition, which runs throughout August in the gallery at Centre 64, will be awarded their prizes and sponsors and other guests will enjoy what has always been a special celebration of the arts with gourmet snacks and bar service.

Tickets for events may be obtained at Centre 64 or online at the arts council website where a detailed program guide is also available. This promises to be a memorable arts festival with something for everyone.