Shiny Kids A Complete Success

Save The Sea

First off, I would like to personally thank every single person who came out to the Shiny Kids Family Festival this year.  Whether you were a performer, a volunteer, a parent, or a child, we appreciate your contribution to our festival.

Shiny Kids is proof that ideas can be turned into reality.  All that is required is the simple decision to take action.  I’ve had the idea for Shiny Kids rolling around in my head for about a year now and all it took was for me to make a couple of calls to get the ball rolling.

Gogo Bonkers with the Arts Umbrella Clowns

Over 200 people showed up to participate in the festivities this year as well as around 30 volunteers.  Community Arts Programmer for Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre, Cyndy Chwelos, informed us that Shiny Kids was one of the best turn outs they’ve ever had, which means that we will most assuredly begin organizing Shiny Kids 2013 soon.

Once again, the original intent behind Shiny Kids was to create a touring family festival that could fulfill all of the children’s and family zone needs at pre-existing festivals and events.

Shiny Kids Costume Parade

What I love about Shiny Kids is that there was never a dull moment throughout day.  With all of the great performances in the theatre and inflatable domes, the arts and crafts, costume parades, hula hooping, roving entertainers, and face painting, children and parents alike enjoyed a fun filled day full of entertainment and activities.


We had an amazing group of performance volunteers this year including many gifted storytellers, clowns and roving performers that kept the energy high and the fun consistent throughout the day.

Granny & Stumpy help Save The Sea

Save The Sea, our big theatre production, which was a collaboration between Gogo Bonkers, The Lost & Found Puppet Company and The Ta Daa Lady, was a complete success.  Both shows proved to be a packed house and we were super stoked to have Patrick, our sound and lighting tech, along for the ride.  I’d also like to mention Tom and Ryan who proved to be great backstage hands, running props on and off stage for us throughout the show.

A few more honourable mentions include Abacus Audio Visual, who sponsored the event with some good quality video equipment so that we could capture the entire event on video.  (Those videos are coming soon).  Also, our good friends Kimberly Skopnick and June Lam spent much of their time at the festival capturing magical moments on camera.  Many of those pictures will be uploaded to the site soon.

So, once again, thank you to everyone who contributed, big or small, to Shiny Kids this year.  We look forward to many future years as well as a cross Canada tour which we will begin planning soon.  Also, keep in mind that Shiny Kids is a growing collective of children’s and family entertainers.  We are always looking to expand our collective and tackle new and interesting projects.  One of the projects we’ve been discussing for a while is a TV Show pilot, so if you have skills in this area or know someone who does, let us know.  Take care, and if you would like to book Shiny Kids for your family event, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Posted in Shiny Collective, Shiny Kids Family Festival, Vancouver Children's Entertainers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abacus Audio Visual Sponsors Shiny Kids Family Festival

We are super stoked to announce one of our newest Shiny Kids official sponsors, Abacus Audio Visual Solutions!

The operations manager of Abacus Audio Visual is Chris Ray, a Vancouver Film School alumni.  I first met Chris while taking the Sound Design for Visual Media program at VFS.  I was a student at the time and Chris was a teacher aid, but I remember his super chill yet knowledgeable attitude.

As it turns out, not only does Chris provide post production audio services, but he provides video production services as well and will be lending these skills to our first annual Shiny Kids Family Festival.

So here’s a big shout out to Abacus Audio Visual Solutions!  Thanks, Chris.

Oh, and a big thank you to my good friend Craig Carpenter (another VFS Sound Design Alumni) of SW Audio Visual  for hooking us up with Chris Ray of Abacus.

You can check out their website here:

‘Our goal at Abacus Studios is to provide a comprehensive solution for the production needs of our clients. Our expertise in modern workflows allows us to accommodate a wide variety of projects in an ever changing industry. At the heart of our organization is an exceptional team of talented artists and technicians. Their skills and innovation place them among the most respected and sought after in the industry. This combination of talent, technology and attention to detail gives Abacus Studios an award-winning edge amongst competitors.’
Posted in SPONSORS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Naomi Steinberg Performs at Shiny Kids Family Festival

Storyteller Naomi Steinberg

The best part about organizing your own festival is meeting all of the amazing people that agree to lend their skills and talents to the mix.  We are going to have so many gifted storytellers at Shiny Kids this year.

For Naomi Steinberg, connecting with four year olds is as marvelous and unique an experience as connecting with 84 year olds – both are possible through storytelling. The past 13 years of her life have been closely focused on community engagement and performance and in her own words “to be a storyteller, first you have to be a story-listener”.

In her current role as Executive Director of the Vancouver Society of Storytelling (VSOS), Naomi intends to foster an appreciation of the art in all of its aspects and applications for audiences of all sorts!

Check out this great video of Naomi taking her stories around the globe.

Posted in Shiny Kids Family Festival, Storytelling, Vancouver Children's Entertainers, VIDEOS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lisa Sars of Dixie Star Storytelling

Lisa Sars with Dixie Stars Storytelling

In addition to our core group of children’s entertainers (Gogo Bonkers, Lost & Found Puppet Company, The Ta Daa Lady) Shiny Kids will be featuring many talented and gifted local performers.  One of those performers is local Vancouver storyteller, Lisa Sars of Dixie Star Storytelling.

I first met Dixie Star when Gogo Bonkers performed with them at Metro Square in Burnaby last summer.  Not only were they a high energy group of storytellers but their stories were accompanied by some groovy bass and sax, reminding me of the early days of animated storytelling when instruments were used to produce many of the sound effects.  Iain and I had a grand old time participating and dancing around to their interactive performance.

Innovative and inspiring, Dixie Star Storytelling fires the imagination of children and grown-ups alike with its innovative and interactive shows.  The young company evokes a fantastical world through words, music, movement, and playful props, and knows how to get the audience involved in creating the magic. Based in Vancouver, Dixie Star Storytelling animates family-friendly events – parties, gatherings, and festivals great and small – throughout the year.

We are happy to have Lisa Sars as a participating storyteller inside the Eco Maze at Shiny Kids Family Festival this year on May 5.

Check out their website by clicking on the link below for more information, videos and music.

Dixie Star Storytelling

And don’t forget to come to the first annual Shiny Kids Family festival on May 5, 2012.  We hope to make this annual Vancouver children’s festival for families and kids of all shapes and sizes.  Please click on the contact link to book Shiny Kids for your event.


Posted in Shiny Kids Family Festival, Storytelling, Vancouver Children's Entertainers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ta Daa Lady

Iain and I first met Angela Brown up at The Robson Valley Music Festival in 2010.  We had both been booked to perform in the children’s zone and wound up camping right next to each other.  After sitting down and chatting with Angela, it became clear that we shared many of the same passions and ideas about children’s entertainment.

The Ta Daa Lady

While putting together our new live show, ‘Save The Sea’, I’ve come to appreciate Angela’s talents.  Her directing talents and skills as a choreographer are adding so much to our show and I feel as if I am learning and improving as a performer.

Angela has an incredible amount of experience performing for children and her Ta Daa Lady Show  is an interactive, musical performance for family audiences.

Ta Daa!!

The show includes original songs, tap dancing, mime & puppets and can be combined with storytelling and/or face painting.  The Ta Daa Lady performs in theatres, festivals, schools, special events and private parties.

Not only is Angela Brown a great and talented performer, but she also joins our Shiny Collective with her amazing series of Evelyn Roth inflatable storytelling tents and giant Eco-Maze, which will be appearing at The Shiny Kids Family Festival.

The Giant Inflatable Eco Maze!!

Angela will also be bringing her amazing collection of costumes to The Shiny Kids Family Festival here in Vancouver.  One of the first times I saw her show she had a large group of children all dressed up and ready to participate in her amazing costume parade which we will also be featuring at the festival.

Ta Daa Costumes

So, as you can see, we are very excited to be collaborating with Angela as she brings years of experience and talent to our Shiny Collective table.  Her ever popular puppet named, Stumpy, makes an extremely important appearance as one of the lead characters in our new show, ‘Save The Sea’.  I first met Stumpy at The Robson Valley Music Festival and it has been a lot of fun rehearsing with him twice a week.

Stumpy with The Ta Daa Lady

And last but not least, one of my favourite aspects of The Ta Daa Lady Show is that Angela, like Iain and I, is a real goof ball, which makes her all the more fun to work with.  Check out this video from her performance at Earth Day 2011 in Surrey, BC.

Posted in The Ta-Daa Lady, VIDEOS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lost And Found Puppet Company

I first met Maggie as a result of a mutual decision to collaborate with each other.  It was June 2011 and I had received an email from The North Country Fair inviting Gogo Bonkers to perform at their annual festival in Northern Alberta.  It’s always exciting news when an offer comes in to perform at a festival and I immediately informed Iain about it.  Unfortunately, it was bad timing for Iain and he was unable to attend.

Maggie Winston of The Lost And Found Puppet Company

Of course I was disappointed, but I was also determined to not turn down the opportunity.  I had already been introduced to Maggie and she and I had had some correspondence on Facebook, so I decided to call her and see if she was interested in going to The North Country Fair with me.  I was delighted to find out that her answer was ‘yes’ and we immediately set to work on putting a show together.  We had two weeks to pull it off.  I whipped up a script, Maggie whipped up some puppets and props, we rehearsed the show four or five times and off we went to the North Country Fair.

The show, which we called ‘The Angry Arnold Show’,

The Angry Arnold Show featuring Granny, Maggie, Angry Arnold & Trev.

was a success and my new relationship and friendship with Maggie had begun.  Not only did we collaborate on a live show but we also filmed this short little documentary while we were there with the help of Granny and Angry Arnold.

Maggie had the pleasure of winning the Mayor’s Award last year which helped out with her tour of various festivals in BC last summer.  She continues to perform in and around the Greater Vancouver area and offers many classes at various community centres.

One of Maggie's workshops

If you or your children are looking for some amazing local entertainment or would like to enroll in any of her super creative and interactive classes, visit her website and keep your eyes on what she is up to to.

I’m super excited to be working with Maggie on a new show called ‘Save The Sea’ which we will be premiering at The Shiny Kids Family Festival, so I look forward to seeing many shiny faces at this magical event that is not to be missed.

Posted in The Lost & Found Puppet Company, VIDEOS | Leave a comment

Gogo Bonkers for Shiny Kids

With less than a month to go, I hope many of you are excited about the upcoming Shiny Kids Family Festival that is happening at Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre here in Vancouver, BC.

Many of you will be happy to know that we are producing an entirely new live musical theatre production called ‘Save The Sea’ specifically for this event.  Iain and I have been working on a collection of ocean themed songs and are in the process of recording these songs in the form of a new album, so we figured we’d stick with that theme and feature two of our characters who are passionate about the ocean: Mudlee & Seafree.

Seafree of Gogo Bonkers leaps across the rocks at Blackie Spit Park on World Ocean Day!

Mudlee of Gogo Bonkers chats with David Suzuki on his Styrophone on World Ocean Day at Blackie Spit Park

Save the Sea is a true collaboration of spirit.  Though the show began as an idea within the creative minds of Iain and Trev of Gogo Bonkers, it has really come to life through the successful collaboration of Gogo Bonkers, Maggie Winston of The Lost & Found Puppet Company and Angela Brown, also known as The Ta Daa Lady.  I must say that I am very happy to be working with such an amazingly creative group of children’s entertainers.

Iain and I started Gogo Bonkers back in 2005 and have been writing and recording songs for kids ever since.  We released our first album, ‘Bonkers’ back in 2006.  We actually recorded it in Iain’s living room and, though the production quality is moderate, it definitely represented where we were headed with our musical career.  We were actually called, ‘Bonkers’ back then for those of you who don’t remember.  We changed the name to Gogo Bonkers because of our website.  We were not able to acquire nor we we able to acquire so we decided to go with  Promoters kept getting confused and referred to us as Gogo Bonkers when introducing us at children’s festivals and community events so we decided to change our name.

After performing live musical shows of our interactive songs we decided to expand on our offerings in 2009 and wrote and produced our first live show that combined both music and theatre.  It was around this time that many of the characters from the Gogo Bonkers Universe came to life, like Mudlee, The Canadian Potato, Molly Mushroom, Olagg the Ogre, TreeVor of the Trees, Heavy Bear and Raven.  All of these characters are featured in The Gogo Bonkers Show which we continue to perform at children’s festivals, folk festivals, community events and elementary schools.

2010 proved to be a successful year for us as our album full of eco-friendly songs, ‘Love The Land’ was nominated for Best Children’s Album of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards.  2010 was also the year when Iain and I really started getting into filming videos that featured the characters from our live show.  Our original short films were anywhere from 4 minutes to 8 minutes in length and each one centralized on an environmental theme.  But, after realizing that most people will not sit through an 8 minute long YouTube video, we decided to shoot a continuing series called ‘Pomme de Terrible’s Potato Planet’ and have uploaded 9 episodes so far.

While touring around BC to various festivals we’ve had the pleasure of meeting many great children’s entertainers (The Lost & Found Puppet Company, The Ta-Daa Lady, Peter Puffin) and, due to the fact that many of us live in Vancouver, decided to form the Shiny Collective.  It has always been my dream to organize a magical, traveling, family and children’s festival that would focus on inspiring children and families to love and care for the environment.

The Shiny Kids Family Festival, which takes place on May 5, 2012 at Moberly Arts & Cultural Centre, is meant to be the first of many as we plan on taking the show on the road this summer to a few different festivals here in BC.  Our ultimate goal is to tour the festival across the country.

So please spread the word.  Share our links and videos with everyone you know who has kids and would enjoy a fun filled day of the magic and wonder of the Shiny Kids Family Festival.  We hope to see many of you there.


Trev of Gogo Bonkers

Trev working on Shiny Kids

Posted in Gogo Bonkers, Save The Sea | Leave a comment