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Fest has music, magic, merriment

If, as parents, you think it is getting harder to find good clean fun for your kids, consider this weekend’s WOW!, presented by the Canmore Children’s Festival Society, which, as part of its one-day programming, will feature the inventive musical com

If, as parents, you think it is getting harder to find good clean fun for your kids, consider this weekend’s WOW!, presented by the Canmore Children’s Festival Society, which, as part of its one-day programming, will feature the inventive musical comedy of Canadian entertainer Al Simmons.

WOW! features three programs at Canmore Collegiate High School Theatre on Saturday, May 21.

The morning program runs from 9-11:45 a.m. and features Arthur l’aventurier and his La Grande Aventure; Mr. Mark and his musical monstrosity the Sing-a-ma-jig and Makosso Village, which features drumming, dancing and singing.

The afternoon program, 1:30-4:15 p.m., features magician Sheldon Casavant, Mr. Mark and Makosso Village. Finally, the evening program, which begins at 7 p.m., presents magician Sheldon Casavant and Al Simmons.

Doors open a half hour before each program.

WOW! is also offering roving performers, face painters, crafts and activities – all indoors – during each program.

Simmons is a one-man, multi-prop Vaudeville-inspired entertainer who began performing in 1970, inspired in part by his father, a magazine salesman who re-enacted Vaudeville routines in the living room, his mother, who taught him magic tricks and how to create puns and his uncle, who toured eastern Canada as Steamboat Harris, playing a ukulele made from a toilet seat.

Simmons’ debut album, Something’s Fishy at Camp Wiganishie, earned him a Juno nomination for best Children’s Album.

His next album, Celery Stalks at Midnight, earned him a Juno and a U.S. Parents’ Choice Award.

Simmons’ third album garnered a Juno nomination and a Parents’ Choice Award.

But Simmons is more than just a wacky voice.

With his long legs, rubber face and large feet, Simmons is also an inspired performer, who is sure to draw a giggle and a guffaw from any age.

Casavant honed his skills at the McBride Magic and Mystery School in Las Vegas and later graduated from the prestigious Chavez Studio of Magic in La Verne, California.

Now in his mid 20s, Casavant is one of Canada’s most highly sought after performers, with a repertoire of magic that is contemporary, fun and highly interactive.

He has toured internationally in Mexico, Panama, China, and Japan. In 2005, Casavant performed 630 shows over nine months, at the New Akao Hotel in Atami, Japan.

Casavant was nominated in 2009 and 2010 as Entertainer of the Year by the Canadian Events Industry and was selected to perform at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

For more information, go to www.canmorechildrensfestival.com

Tickets for each program (morning, afternoon and evening) are $10 for both adults and children and are available at Café Books on Main Street.


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