Coquitlam reimagines popular arts festival to deal with COVID-19

Kaleidoscope Arts Festival offers small group programs in local neighbourhoods, an LED Cirque performance and more but you have to pre-register

Coquitlam’s long-awaited arts and culture festival is finally here.

But you’ll have to register for yourself and everyone in your family to take part in the Kaleidoscope Arts Festival because of COVID-19 requirements and physical distancing rules.

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Still, that won’t take the fun out of what should be a unique opportunity to participate in arts and cultural events — much of it taking place in your own Coquitlam neighbourhood.

“In the past we’ve held a large event at Town Centre Park but because of changing circumstances we had to ask. ‘How can we continue to offer something but in a different way and bring it out into the community,’” said Karen Basi, cultural services manager for the city.

So instead of a large event — previous festivals have included concerts by well-known B.C. artists such as Bif Naked — smaller programs are being held, with registration required to participate.

As well, the annual Kaleidoscope Arts Festival was pushed to the coming week from August when it is usually held.

Registration is underway for the live arts and culture experiences taking place throughout Coquitlam from Sept. 25 to Oct. 5.

This year’s event, themed Community Intersections for 2020, will include a public art scavenger hunt, an LED cirque show, an outdoor community spirit-themed multimedia video projection, music and puppetry performances and art-making experiences. For those who can’t attend in person, the multimedia art projection will also be streamed online.

Kicking off the festival this Friday, Sept. 25 is the Spot the Salmon Scavenger Hunt, which invites participants to visit and answer questions about 10 salmon sculptures in Coquitlam by Monday, Oct. 5 for a chance to win a $100 Coquitlam Centre gift card and $100 art pack from Opus Art Supplies (or $50 each for those who answer questions about six sculptures). More information and free registration are available at www.coquitlam.ca/scavengerhuntRSVP to the scavenger hunt Facebook event page to receive reminders. 

Pre-registration is required at www.coquitlam.ca/kaleidoscope for the in-person activities on Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, at a cost of $2 per person. All programs will adhere to public health protocols including attendance limits, physical distancing and hand sanitization. 

Programs will include:

• Illuminate the Night, Saturday, Sept. 26 at Pinetree Community Centre (19 yrs+; showtimes at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.) — Adults can experience a live LED cirque performance Lumadrome, and an outdoor multimedia video projection by artist Candelario Andrade, who has documented in music and images Coquitlam’s pandemic experience. People can also watch it at home at 7 p.m. on Coquitlam’s Youtube and Facebook channels and on the Kaleidoscope webpage.

• Stories by the Stream, Oct. 3 outdoors at Hoy Creek Hatchery (Family-oriented; timeslots between 1 and 3 p.m.) — Join local contemporary artist J Peachy for storytelling, music and puppetry outdoors at the salmon rearing pond.

• Neurographic Art, Oct. 3 inside Victoria Community Hall (Youth and adults; timeslots between 12 and 4 p.m.) — Create neurographic art by combining shapes and embracing imperfection in a guided session while enjoying live harp music.

• The Artful Ordinary & Stories on Wheels, Oct. 3 outdoors at Mundy Park/Fieldhouse (Family-oriented; timeslots between 12 and 4 p.m.) — Under Mundy Park’s trees, explore how household objects evolved over time and create art masterpieces with deconstructed objects. Experience how a wooden bicycle sets the stage for a cultural performance.

• Drawing with Ozobots, Oct. 3 on the Innovation Centre patio (Family-oriented; timeslots between 12 and 4 p.m.) — Get an introduction to beginner coding and learn how to program a small Ozobot robot to follow the lines of your artwork while enjoying scenic views of Lafarge Lake. Participants will receive a bird house painting kit to take home at the end of the session. 

All outdoor events will take place rain or shine; participants are advised to dress accordingly. Additional event information and registration is available through www.coquitlam.ca/kaleidoscope.

The festival is part of Culture Days, a Culture Days is a Canada-wide celebration of arts, culture and creativity. For more, visit www.culturedays.ca.

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