“Festival brings fun and challenges kids to ask big questions about important issues.”
We are delighted to hear that Toronto’s wildly popular international children’s festival JUNIOR returns to the Harborfront Centre for a second year from May 18th to the 24th. This event is targeted to children and youth ages four to 14 and their families, and challenges young people to explore new perspectives and ask enlightening questions in a weekend filled with fun and adventure. Featuring world, North American and Canadian premieres, the festival includes an extensive lineup of free and ticketed programing encompassing theatre, live concerts, dance, puppetry, circus, storytelling, arts and crafts and more, from leading family entertainers and artists from across Canada and around the world.
What Can Be Expected From JUNIOR?
There are many programming options available and we have the breakdown.
Woogie Boogie BRUSH Theatre (South Korea) – Saturday May 18 to Monday, May 20, 11am daily ($11.25+)
North American Premiere: This theatrical foray into the delightful world of doodling follows a lonely boy, Woogie, and his friend Boogie, as they experience their first sea adventure when their troublemaking pet turtle drifts into the open water. Using a big white board and black ink markers, the duo takes audiences on a journey, creating the mysterious creatures and places the friends encounter. As they draw and erase, the adventure takes shape. Live sound effects, stunning animation and artistry, along with an abundance of imagination brings this story to life. *Relaxed performance on May 20
Two-Part Inventions (Les Inventions à deux voix), Les Deux Mondes (Montreal) – Saturday May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:30pm daily ($11.25+)
World Premiere: Performed in both English and French, Two-Part Inventions (Les Inventions à deux voix) is a play that chronicles an encounter between a girl and a boy in their apartment building that leads to a journey of personal discovery. Alone in an imaginary world far away from adults, they play-act their way through the range of emotions affecting their lives – from passion to boredom to their fear of the unknown. What if “elsewhere” was just behind the door? *Relaxed performance on May 20
A Billion Nights on Earth, Thaddeus Phillips (USA) – Saturday May 18 to Monday, May 20, 3pm daily + Saturday, May 18, 7pm (followed by Opening Night reception) ($11.25+)
Canadian Premiere: A late-night trip to the refrigerator for a glass of milk opens a door to another dimension in this theatrical epic inspired by pop-up books, Kabuki stagecraft and parent-child relationships. From visionary director Thaddeus Phillips and installation artist Steven Dufala, A Billion Nights on Earth conjures a spectacular quest through space and time, guided by sleight-of-hand, a cinematic score and the limitless possibilities of the imagination.
Potato Soup, Laika Theatre (Belgium) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 2pm daily (FREE)
Potato Soup is a contemporary show about war and loss, hunger, the virtues of delicious soup and a lesson in healthy eating. The pleasure of narration and the enjoyment of eating together are central to the show.
The Jerry Cans (Iqaluit) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 3:30pm daily (FREE)
The Jerry Cans create music inspired by their hometown of Iqaluit, Nunavut. With their unique mix of Inuktitut alt-country, throat signing and reggae, the Jerry Cans are a distinctly northern, one-of-a-kind group. The band perform many of their songs in Inuktitut and are committed to challenging common misperceptions they have encountered, taking audiences on a stroll through the streets of Iqaluit to share a glimpse of life in Arctic.
Lemon Bucket Orkestra (Toronto) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:45pm daily (FREE)
Lemon Bucket Orkestra is Toronto’s original guerrilla-folk party-punk ensemble. The multi-award-winning ensemble’s genre-bending live shows are a truly immersive experience.
Ants, Polygot Theatre (Australia) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, various times (FREE)
Ants is an interactive and participatory roving performance which has giant Ants bringing children together in an intriguing landscaping project. Faced with hundreds of giant bread crumbs and three big insects, children are irresistibly drawn in to discover what the Ants want them to do. Gradually a world of meaning unfolds, transforming public space with wavering lines and patterns. Ants is an enchanting investigation into children’s relationship with their environment.
Fashion Machine, Theatre SKAM (Victoria) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:30pm daily (FREE)
Five professionals from the fields of theatre, photography and textiles train local children for a public performance where they totally remake select audience members’ outfits in less than one hour. This show concludes with the new outfits displayed in a fabulous fashion show.
Les moutons, BoucharDanse (Toronto) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 3pm and 5:30pm daily (FREE)
Reality meets fantasy in this live performance-installation by BoucharDanse. Les moutons recreates a bucolic country scene in an urban setting. Travel to a strange, poetic and baffling universe through a carefully studied overview of sheep behaviour.
Diorama, Ingri Fiksdal (Norway) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:15pm daily (FREE)
This installation-performance is a meditation in movement, reflecting on the passing of time. Open yourself up to this beautiful and mesmerizing experience set against Lake Ontario.
In addition to select ticketed performances, the majority of JUNIOR programming is free, including demonstration, circus, Anishinaabemowin bingo, art installation, films, writing workshops and so much more.
For more information about JUNIOR and a full schedule of programming, click here.
To purchase tickets to the theatre performances, click here.
Sounds like a promising long weekend of family fun with a lot of learning along the way and those are the best types of events.
We will be checking it out and hope to see you all there! Make sure to follow the Harbourfront Centre on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. If you need directions on how to get there, click here.
Until next time…Happy Parenting!