Children and their families escaped the chilly and got silly on Saturday at the Children’s Festival of Silliness held in the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (NACC).

Entertainer Isabelle la Wonderful makes a balloon animal in the lobby, at the Children’s Festival of Silliness. Blair McBride/NNSL photo

The first main event was the play Th’owxiya: The Hungry Feast Dish based on a story written by Joseph A. Dandurand, a writer and member of the Kwantlen First Nation near Langley, B.C.

The play is about the spirit Th’owxiya that inhabits a feast dish containing delicious foods from around the world but the spirit has a taste for eating children. When she catches a mouse (kw’at’el in the Halkomem language) stealing cheese she orders two child spirits be brought for her to eat or else she will dine on the mouse’ entire family.

The mouse (played by Lindsay Warnock), left, and a drummer (played by Raes Calvert) listen as the sasquatch (played by Chelsea Rose) speaks.
Bears played by Merewyn Comeau, left, and Raes Calvert posture to the right of Th’owxiya spirit feast dish.
The raven (played by Taran Kootenhayoo), left, speaks with the mouse.

The mouse teams up with a raven (sqeweqs), a sasquatch (sasq’ets) and two bears (spa:th) to find alternate items to please Th’owxiya and the effort serves as lessons in knowledge and forgiveness.

The play and its five-member cast, from the Vancouver-based Axis Theatre are currently touring Canada.

Between main events, children enjoyed face-painting, bouncing and sliding in a bouncy castle, popcorn and other activities in the NACC lobby.

Santana Bagnall has her face painted in the lobby.
Kids enjoy the King of the Kastle bouncy castle.

The second main event was a show in French and English by Isabelle la Wonderful, an entertainer based in Cochrane, Alberta. She wowed the crowd with balloon animals, jokes, magic tricks and number games. A few children joined her on stage to be her assistant.

Isabelle la Wonderful, left, performs a trick with a cloth bag along with her assistant Navalie Nadeau.
Isabelle, left, holds shut a magic suitcase as her assistant Evelyn Denley prepares to hit it with a giant foam baton.
Isabelle, left, invites her assistant Wyatt Round to choose a card from a deck.

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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