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Children's Festival: Big Heart Journey for children needing extra love, support

Taes Leavitt, of Splash 'N Boots fame, is back.
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Taes Leavitt from Splash 'N Boots hosts the Big Heart Journey during the International Children's Festival of the Arts on June 5 and 6.

Life delivers a few hard knocks to everyone. But rebounding can be more difficult for vulnerable children who lack the coping skills to express themselves. 

Enter Taes Leavitt, better known from the award-winning Splash ‘N Boots, created Big Heart Journey, a series of made-for-children meditations that involve dance, movement, relaxation exercises, and plenty of enthusiasm. 

“When we did Splash ‘N Boots I would get emails from parents whose children were having a tough time with their feelings. Some were feeling bullied. Others felt anxious and couldn’t sleep. My job was to teach them coping tools that would make an impact in their lives. I created audio tracks and I kept receiving more and more requests for them,” said Leavitt. 

Big Heart Journey is an umbrella term for three Zoom shows the International Children’s Festival of the Arts will host on June 5 and 6. The 45-minute shows are Big Heart Dance Party, Big Heart Bedtime, and Big Heart, Big Feelings. 

“I like to make sure it’s an intimate show and I make sure the children get a chance to express themselves. It’s important to me that it’s interactive, that it’s a real experience for them,” she said. 

Big Heart Dance Party is an improvised, upbeat event full of movement and laughter. Big Heart Bedtime, instead, delivers a soothing vibe through meditation. Big Heart, Big Feelings is an exploration into children’s emotions and fears. 

“One of children's fears is going to the doctor. Lately, they’ve been afraid of COVID. I had one child the other day who was afraid of bugs. Some kids are afraid of tests they have at school.” 

Suitable for ages three to 10 years. Big Heart Dance Party is on June 5 at 1 p.m., Big Heart Bedtime runs June 5 at 7 p.m. and Big Heart, Big Feelings is on June 6 at 10 a.m. The performances will be available for viewing 72 hours after the original live-stream. 

Shows are $18 per household. Visit https://stalbert.ca/exp/childfest/


Anna Borowiecki

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