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Edmonton’s Kaleido festival transforms into mobile performances

Kaleido on Tour 2020 .
Kaleido on Tour 2020 . Morgan Black/Global News

A popular Edmonton festival is bringing its shows to you.

Organizers had to re-imagine the Kaleido Family Arts Festival, typically held each fall on Alberta Avenue, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Artistic Director Christy Morin said the team has been working on plans for a new spin on the festival since April.

WATCH: The 2019 edition of the Kaleido Family Arts Festival got underway in Edmonton on Friday and our Phil Darlington was there.

Click to play video '2019 Kaleido Family Arts Festival gets underway' 2019 Kaleido Family Arts Festival gets underway
2019 Kaleido Family Arts Festival gets underway

The finished result is Kaleido on Tour 2020, where Edmontonians can find spontaneous art around Alberta Avenue. The new event features a “showcase weekend” which will include music, dance and acrobatics shows on the move.

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“We’re getting into the community. From NAIT to Northlands, the Yellowhead Trail to 111 Avenue,” Morin said.

“We’re not going to be on 118 Avenue for this portion. We are all about sharing the arts on the streets.”

In order to keep shows at a distance, performers will be travelling on flatbed trucks around the Alberta Avenue district.

“There will be an eight-minute stop where they jump on the flatbed trucks — which is basically their stage — play a song or perform their show and jump back into their vehicles and carry on down the street to the next stop.”

Two-hundred-seven Edmonton-based performers will be part of the tour.

Reckie LLoyd is part of dance group Sangea Academy.

“We’ve been performing at Kaleido for a few years now. This year we thought it wasn’t going to happen,” Lloyd said.

“We were so excited to hear it was going to work out for the festival.”

Kaleido on Tour 2020 performers on September 9, 2020
Kaleido on Tour 2020 performers on September 9, 2020. Morgan Black/Global News

Lloyd said the group loves meeting people in the community.

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“Art is a way of healing and a way of expressing yourself. When we aren’t doing this, it’s just not as fun.

“We are so happy to bring our music and art to help heal people and ourselves.”

Morin said it was important for Kaleido to continue to bring arts to the community.

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“It’s getting artists work. Arts on the Ave’s mandate is making sure art is for everyone. We get to do what we love, it’s so exciting,” she said.

“I think it will bring hope and joy to the neighbourhood. It’s a radical reinvention. Our community has so much love here.

You can follow Kaleido’s social media channels for more information on where a show might be happening.

“The shows are surprises. We do have a festival guide but we aren’t saying times, locations or artists. It’s spontaneous, it’s about waiting to see what comes to you.”

The “Showcase Weekend” runs Sept. 11 to 13.