Calgary Journal Write-up

Carnivals for kids at heart� stays true to name
Written by Derek Neumeier   
Friday, 27 November 2009 23:34
You don�t have to be a kid to be a kid at heart.

At least that�s what a local entertainment planning and organizing company, Carnivals For Kids At Heart believes. The organization offers a wide variety of games and equipment that kindle the child within.

Although the services that the company provides � inflatable bouncing devices (even ones for adults), dunk tanks, obstacle courses, sumo suits and much more � may seem silly and catered to younger audiences, Kelly Wamsley, creator and owner of Carnivals For Kids At Heart, insists that people of all ages take part in the services that her company provides. �Those (customers) aren�t necessarily kids anymore and they have a blast,� she said. �The biggest thing is that people need time to just release stress, and there�s no better stress relief than jumping up and down like a kid or going on a bungee run.�

While Carnivals has a wide range of clientele, from backyard birthday parties to community events and corporate parties, Wamsley says that some of the best events come from the most unassuming customers.

�We had a corporation rent Pony Hops. Can you imagine a bunch of guys in suits and women in high heels hopping up and down on big, inflatable horses in an office tower? It�s pretty darn funny.�

Wamsley says that she never really planned to get into the event planning business, but rather fell into it through circumstance.

�When my son was in kindergarten, the school that he was in needed a carnival organizer and I volunteered to do that,� she recalled. �After the second year it was very successful and someone said to me �Hey, you should do this for a living, there�s not really anybody who plans school carnivals.� Back then I had a hard time sleeping and I spent a lot of time thinking about it, and I just did it. I always wanted to own my own business.�

The company has been growing ever since and is now at the point where they�ve not only purchased their own equipment, but they also take care of its storage, delivery and set-up. Despite the success and growth of the business, Carnivals has retained its humble origins as the staff consists of mostly family and family friends.

Wamsley�s 17-year-old son, Brandon, plays a large role in the company even though he�s still in high school. He lists freedom and customer satisfaction as the best parts of his job.

�I like working with different clients all the time, I like the freedom of it,� he said. �It�s always a good feeling when you set up a big inflatable, for example, and you see how excited the little kids get and when you do a good job how happy your clients are.�

Elizabeth Mack is chair of the Residence Activity Council at Mount Royal University. She had a hand with hiring Carnivals back in September, where they set up a bouncy castle on campus as an event to welcome students back to classes. She said that the unorthodox piece of equipment helped students remember the importance of having fun.

�Being in university, we have this prestigious title and we are taken very seriously, but we have to remember to sit back and enjoy ourselves as well because that makes the whole experience,� she said. �You have to be able to relax to succeed. You can�t just nail out assignments all the time, you have to take that time for yourself and to have fun. I think the fun and the hard work go hand in hand.�

Wamsley agrees. She believes that, even if you�re no longer a kid, there�s nothing wrong with having fun like one.

�If people actually did take the time (to play) I think they would be so much happier in the long run. I think they would be so much more productive.�