Our children are the future. Future consumers that’s for sure. The Ottawa Children’s Festival is yet another example of pay to play in this city.
Raising children is expensive especially in Ottawa. So you would think the Children’s Festival would be totally free in an attempt to give families a great day out without the stress of paying a small fortune for the opportunity. Even with corporate sponsors you had to pay for most things. Face painting, playing in the one tent that was geared to moving around or seeing performers cost money. Why bother having sponsors if you have to pay for it.
I think in this consumer driven culture we need to teach our children that fun does not come with a price tag and that fun is free not at a cost. Unfortunately our local children’s festival does not promote those values.
We won’t attend another children’s festival if it remains the same and won’t suggest or promote it to people. I feel this is a missed opportunity to teach and bring families together.
I believe we have to make things happen, don’t just think it do it so below is the letter I sent to the Children’s Festival. I’d love to help make this something great and I bet a lot of people would. Lets help our children learn and grow in safe fun environments. Lets teach them the value of play and have fun with them without going bankrupt.
Dear Ottawa Children’s Festival,
I recently took my family to the Ottawa Children’s Festival and was disappointed at how it was more pay to play than family fun.
There were so many missed opportunities. High School students need to complete volunteer hours, they could have been used to do face painting and do activities with the kids.
Instead of printing 4 colour posters you could have printed 1 colour posters on bright coloured stock and saved a considerable amount. Then you could have taken that money and spent it on bubbles, created a make your own bubble wand station with that money. Or taken that huge cement area near the flag poles and turned it into a giant hopscotch with sidewalk chalk.
There were corporate sponsors but where were the local groups? There are local business that are geared toward children where was Cosmic Adventures & Funhaven? What about local acts that are children’s performers who would love to play for free to promote themselves. Or even contacting local paper companies to donate giant roles of paper to let kids draw a mural.
Missed opportunities. I would love to help to make this festival great and accessible for families who can’t afford to spend $5 on each kid to enter a tent.
Contact me Meg Gilmour Makeitmom.ca let’s make something great for our kids.