Arts and Culture for Early Years       May 11 – 20, 2019        

WeeFestival 2019

WeeFest is back in 2019!

May 11 – 20, 2019.

We are pleased to announce that the WeeFestival will be back – one year earlier than you may have expected. We have listened to you carefully, dearest audience, and know that you want more quality live performance for the curious kids and babies in your family. More stories, more perspectives, more opportunities to connect and create community.

In fact, starting in 2019, the WeeFestival will be entering a new and exciting era as an annual festival. This previously biennial festival will continue to showcase the very best theatre for the very young, and this year our focus turns close to home and will feature Indigenous, Francophone and Anglo-Canadian voices from across Canada.

Our programming team, led by Festival Artistic Director Lynda Hill, has been hard at work putting together a lineup to inspire and entertain your families. For this exciting fourth edition of the WeeFestival, Hill says:

“The vibrant lineup of our National edition reflects an exciting growth in Canadian theatre for the very young. For us, this is deeply satisfying and truly affirming for WeeFestival as a pioneering force in this field.”

We have shows to enchant the very smallest of babies, shows for intrepid toddlers who need to touch and explore, shows for curious preschoolers who want to learn about the world around them and shows for thoughtful kindergartners who are starting to understand larger concepts.

The WeeFestival is fueled by a dedicated community of donors, sponsors and community partners. Want to get involved? Check out our donor menu here.

Bringing theatre to new neighbourhoods.

We are also excited to be bringing the programming closer to families in neighbourhoods just out of the downtown core, through special partnerships with venues in Little India, Etobicoke, the Junction, and Thorncliffe Park. The WeeFestival also launches its touring initiative with performances in Hamilton, Aurora, St. Catharines, and towns in Ontario’s Northwest region.

Details and venue information will be released shortly.

The 2019 WeeFestival Shows:

Mokatek and the Missing Star

Ondinnok Theatre (Montreal) and Vox Theatre (Ottawa)
Genre: Theatre/Puppetry
Performances in French and English

Ages 2.5-5

One thing Mokatek loves to do before sleep every night is to count the stars. Ever since his mother disappeared beneath the river waters, he likes to recount his day to the brightest star in the sky, his compass that protects him from above: the North Star. One night, during a full moon, the North Star disappears. It is the beginning of an initiation journey to find the bright star and realize his inner strength and courage.

TWEET TWEET!

Femmes de Feu (Toronto)
Genre: Aerial Arts/Circus

Ages 0-6

Returning to WeeFestival after a sold-out run in 2018 and recent performances at Soulpepper’s Family Festival, TWEET TWEET! is a feast for the eyes and ears. Two little birds asleep in their nests high in a magical tree awake and discover each other and a wondrous world around them. An aerial arts and circus creation for young children performed in an intimate forest-like setting.

Tricoter

Foolish Operations (Vancouver)
Genre: Dance

All ages

Come weave a yarn with us! Tricoter is an interactive dance show for all ages that re-creates the spirit of a knitting circle. The central dancer weaves the yarn around the circle, until one and all are tangled in a large knot of bright colours. Through play and dance, our own family histories emerge.

Mwana and the Turtle’s Secret

Theatre L’Envers (Montreal)
Genre: Theatre/Puppetry
Performances in French and English

Ages 3+

A beautiful story, spun from an African tale, of a courageous young girl named Mwana who lives in a village deep in a forest. This story takes the audience on a theatrical journey about courage, love and friendship as it re-explores a French proverb: “we often need someone smaller than ourselves.”

The Sandbox

Tenon Mortaise (Quebec)
Genre: Puppetry/Shadow/Physical Theatre
Performances in French and English
Ages 2-6

Come play in our sandbox! The Sandbox is an interdisciplinary piece from Quebec that introduces children to puppetry, clown and shadowplay. It is a playful and poetic journey through the five senses, staged around a sandbox that is full of surprises.

Tylee Jones, Jessica Runge. Photo by Dahlia Katz.

Flying Hearts

Theatre Direct and WeeFestival (Toronto)
Genre: Dance/Theatre

Ages 2+ and all children of All Abilities

Join four friends as they set off on an imagination adventure through the sights, sounds, and textures of earth, water, air, and light! Flying Hearts is an Inclusive and Relaxed Performance creation that combines dance, theatre and music in a multi-sensory and interactive dance/theatre creation that promises a rich and stimulating arts experience for young audiences of All Abilities.

Hare & Tortoise

Carousel Players (St. Catharines)
Genre: Theatre
Ages 3-7

Hare & Tortoise is a whimsical retelling of Aesop’s fable about two friends who have opposite approaches to absolutely everything. As the seasons change from winter to spring, Hare impatiently waits for Tortoise to wake up so they can hurry up and have their race. But Tortoise has other things to do first: a little spring cleaning, taking care of the garden, and enjoying a holiday. Finally the race day arrives – but things don’t turn out the way Hare expected at all!

Stay tuned for more programming announcements and details about when, where and how to get tickets.

How can theatre and the arts encourage our kids not just to have fun and enjoy live art, but to participate as co-creators in the moment?

We are offering a range of artful, hands-on, full sensory experiences through performances and events that engage young children in unique ways.

Whether it is joining in the call and response songs of an African tale, swaying in the nests of magical birds, becoming the elements and animals of the Four Directions, popping bubbles and counting stars, or dancing and tangling with a massive ball of yarn, the shows of the WeeFestival will deliver lasting memories for very young children and their grownups.

We can’t wait to introduce you to these shows!

See you in May,
The WeeFestival Team

Support Arts From the Start by making a donation to the WeeFestival!

Click here to donate.

And a special thank you to our fabulous supporters and partners:

Canada Council for the Arts
Ontario Arts Council
Toronto Arts Council
CUPE 4400
The Little Paper
Toronto French Theatre
The Assembly Hall
The Redwood Theatre