The 19th Annual Fête de la Famille in Laval will take place on September 2nd, 2018, bringing together a rich and diversified program of activities for the whole family. “The programming will be divided into zones, each with their own identity,” says Anik Thibault, Program Coordinator for the City of Laval.

The zones are as follows: Turbulence, Petits Génies, Lac des Pirates et Plaine de jeux. “They are all high quality cultural, outdoor and sports activities, but there is also an overall mission to promote healthy lifestyle habits,” says Thibault. “More than ever these days, playing outside is fundamental.”

The municipal event, organized by the City of Laval, has become one of great interest for visitors and participants, year after year. As in the past, it takes place at Centre de la nature, the largest park in Laval. “It’s an exceptional venue with the buildings, the gardens, the wildlife…We set up the event’s different sections over an amazing two or three kilometers of the park,” says Thibault.

“We are really at an professional level here when it comes to the animation, and at the budgetary level, there is a huge difference,” explains Dominic Contant, Coordinator of the Fête de la Famille. “When you compare it to other events in Quebec, and look at the variety of free activities offered, this is really a unique event.”

Teen Zones
One of the zones was created specifically for teens: Zone Turbulence. “It’s focused on sport and big impact, because we know teens need that,” explains Thibault. This zone includes an introduction to snowboarding on a unique synthetic material, and a zip line activity, which is a classic favourite at this event. “The ambiance, the animation, the partners…all of it takes place with teen spirit,” says Thibault.

Zones for Kids
Other zones on site are designed specifically for younger children aged six to 12 years old. The Petits Génies zone came together as a collaboration of four educational and cultural institutions: Le Centre d'interprétation de l'eau de Laval (C.I.EAU), the Cosmodôme, the Musée Armand-Frappier and Parc de la Rivière-des-Milles-Îles. “We’re really fortunate to have museums of such high quality in Laval,” says Thibault.

The scientific workshops will be presented in a fun-filled and affordable way. The Bibliomobile will also be on hand offering various reading activities as well as loaning out books. For pirates-in-training, the Lac des pirates zone will offer a 30-minute discovery activity. A dozen actors in costumes will animate the activity and help the participants become honorary pirates. According to Thibault, it’s one of the most popular zones at the event.

Live Shows, Music and Quality Animation
Besides workshops and activities, four shows will be presented in the Plaine de Jeux zone. The organizers have yet to confirm what surprises are in store for this area of the event, but Thibault explains that its intimate setting makes for an interesting visit.

About 20 inflatable games will be on site along with exciting animation and face-painting. All animators are professionals in their field. Even the face-painting pros will be on site with their trailers. Children will enter and exit, completely transformed! “It’s a very popular activity because it’s almost a totally immersive experience,” says Thibault.

An Event for Everyone
Though entrance to the event is free, visitors can purchase food and beverages from the kiosks on site. Due to the likelihood of the weather still being warm in September, the site will have shaded areas and refreshment zones as well. At press time, the Fête de la famille team is working hard to develop a shuttle agreement with the Société de transport de Laval. “We want to improve the experience and accessibility of the event as much as possible,” explains Contant.

The Fête de la famille event is one of the last big ones before school starts again. The organizers expect between 35 000 and 45 000 people. “To be able to put together an event as professional and spectacular as this while being free to the public is a huge source of pride for our city,” says Thibault. “It’s an event not to miss.”

The 2018 Fête de la famille takes place on Sunday, September 2nd, 2018 at Centre de la nature from 10 am to 6 pm. To find out more, visit the event’s website at fetedelafamille.laval.ca.

Translation by Lisa Cipriani