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family entertainment

Discover GIRAF: A World of Independent Animation

Don't miss The Congress on Sat, Nov 9. Photo: Courtesy GIRAF

Don’t miss The Congress on Sat, Nov 9. Photo: Courtesy GIRAF

With a moniker as long as a certain spotted African animal’s neck, Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival, Calgary’s very cool animation event goes by GIRAF for short. Quickdraw Animation Society presents dozens of new films by the world’s top animators, November 6 – 10. The festival includes six short film packages, four feature-length movies, two visiting artists and several workshops for burgeoning animators of any skill level.

The fest’s engrossing gala screening features Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ari Folman’s live-action-meets-cartoon mashup The Congress. In his follow-up to Waltz with Bashir, Folman delivers a scathing critique of Hollywood via innovative animation. Actress Robin Wright (playing herself) agrees to have her body and voice scanned to be reanimated time and time again in future Hollywood productions, including commercial projects she had previously turned down. The film also stars Harvey Keitel, John Hamm and Paul Giamatti. The Congress screens at The Globe Cinema on Wednesday, November 6 at 7 pm.

For children of all ages, don’t miss the charming Ernest et Celestine. Based on the children’s book series by Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent, the film follows the unlikely friendship between a bear living on the fringes of bear society and an orphaned mouse he welcomes into his home. Presented in French with English subtitles, the film delighted audiences at Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival. Ernest et Celestine screens at The Globe Cinema on Saturday, November 9 at 3 pm.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.giraffest.ca

Family Fun: Teddy Bear Picnic at the Calgary Zoo

Prepare for fun at the Teddy Bear Picnic! Photo: The Calgary Zoo.

Aug 11 and 12, the Calgary Zoo invites kids to attend its annual Teddy Bear Picnic, 10 am until 3pm. With furry friends in tow, guests can participate in a numerous teddy bear festivities including carnival games, arts and crafts and interactive learning stations about bears in the wild.

Calgary EMS and volunteer nurses will be on hand for teddy bear emergencies and checkups, as well as to educate children about donating blood. The event is free with regular zoo admission. Visit the Calgary Zoo website for more information.

Hot Date: Kensington’s Sun and Salsa Festival

Kensington Road during the festival. Photo: Kensington BRZ.

This Sunday, Kensington brings heat to the street for its fun outdoor Sun and Salsa Festival. Attendees are invited to wander the neighbourhood’s many shops and boutiques while sampling over 25 salsas lovingly prepared by a variety of the area’s businesses. (more…)