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"There are many more artists in the area, its just a challenge in finding out whos new and hoping they might read an ad or article in the paper and call us up," says Richoz. "Its a great opportunity for the artists as well. Most of them absolutely love doing it because a lot of them dont usually work with kids. Its a great way to share their talents."
This years lineup of workshops includes Frame Up with Bev Newell, Paper Making with Mark Droset, Fun Fur Purses with Carmen Traub and Glass Blasting with Duane Perrett. Glass blasting was new to the festival last year and is back by popular demand.
"We bring an air compressor in with a small sand blasting booth and the kids put their own design on glassware," says festival co-ordinator Aileen Durie. "We go through about 90 pieces of glassware and the Re-use-it Centre has donated almost all of that amount."
This years entertainment headliner is Rick Scott and Making Faces. Scott was actually part of the entertainment 19 years ago as a member of Pied Pear. This year hes joined by Shari Ulrich and Allan Rodger. Scotts interactive show combines humour and music to encourage everyone to discover their own musical potential.
The performance will have some extra local flair, as Whistlers own Moving Chords Showchoir is preparing several pieces to be sung with the trio.
"Were his backup for a large part of the program," says Moving Chords Director Sadie Culliford. "Its a huge opportunity for the kids to see how a show is put together. They dont just show up and sing. They get the chance to meet (Scott, Ulrich and Rodger) and rehearse with them for an hour and a half. They learn how to be flexible. For example, we may have rehearsed one way, and then they may say Well, wed like you to sing here instead of there, or how about putting this movement to it.
"The music is funky and some of it is even a little political. You can really learn a lot from his music. My all time favourite is Yo Mo Concerto. Its all about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but he puts rap in it," says Culliford.
There is, however, one area of the festival that is lacking in local participation: volunteers. The number of parents eager to help in preparation and execution of the event has dropped by almost half.
"Id like to thank all the people on the committee this year," adds Durie. "I had a lot of new people working with me and they really pulled together. I ended up doing a lot of the work myself and had to restructure the way a lot of things were organized. Usually we have about seven people just working on workshops. This year its just been two plus me. Sometimes small is good, but it has been difficult. One thing that we do have to stress is that if we dont get the adults volunteering, there may not be a 20 th annual festival."