James Lipinski (4), sister Paige (6) and mom Dawn join in playing in the drum circle much like the drum circles that will be held each Tuesday leading to Fat Cat.

Drum your way to Fat Cat

A series of drum workshops every Tuesday will culminate in a giant drum circle at Fat Cat

The Interior Savings Fat Cat Children’s Festival is launching a special Bang Your Drum project that includes a series of drum workshops every Tuesday evening at the Rotary Centre for the Arts and will culminate in a giant drum circle that will have the community join in a common beat at the annual festival taking place at Waterfront Park June 9 and 10

“This has been a long-term vision, to have giant community drum circle at the Festival,” said artistic director Dorothee Birker.

“The beat of drums is so elemental and we as humans all respond to them at our very core. It is quite magical to be an integral part of something that is yet so much bigger than us. With one giant circle we are all connected, and yet we are and open and welcoming to each other’s differences. Within the circle, you quickly realize you need drums of all types, shapes and sizes to create a full, rich sound and you appreciate the tenor and quality of those sounds co-mingling.”

The Drum Circle will feature over 200 drums and percussion instruments, with facilitators from a variety of cultural backgrounds, including First Nations, Djembe, Middle Eastern, African, Brazillian and Japanese, sharing their rhythms.

In preparation for the Drum Circles at the Festival, the Festival is hosting a series of drum workshops at the Rotary Centre for the Arts each Tuesday in May from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. where everyone, young and old, are invited to come and learn about different drumming styles, and how to drum for free. Participants will also have the opportunity to help build instruments for the sound sculpture that will be featured at the Festival as part of the Bang Your Drum project.

“Please come and join us and Bang Your Drum with Fat Cat,” said Birker.

“This project is a great way to have the community come together to celebrate the creativity, diversity and richness of our valley by joining drums and people of all cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds into a common beat.”

The festival this year celebrates the people and events of the region with its theme ‘Okanagan Stories” and features two full days of entertainment, learning and creativity, plus a fabulous parade. To find out more about the Festival, or to get involved as a volunteer or to be part of an activity station or the parade, check out fatcatfestival.ca.

The Interior Savings Fat Cat Children’s Festival is an interactive Festival that celebrates children, creativity and community. The Festival is produced by the Children’s Festival Society of Kelowna and takes place June 9 & 10 at Waterfront Park.