The Urban Council's Culture Select Committee is promising to fill the end of summer with an eclectic, entertaining mix of art forms for the 15th International Arts Carnival. The carnival will run from July 19 to August 4. Ten local and overseas companies will present a wide range of entertaining, cultural, and educational performances for parents and children that include mime, puppetry, comedy, magic, music and circus acts. Companies that comprise the international aspect include the Moscow Puppet Theatre, Australia's Circus Oz and, from the United States, Fred Garbo's Inflatable Theatre Company and The Invisible People Mime Theatre. Locally, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra will present 'Chinese Music Fantasia II', while Hong Kong's Bauhinia Dance Association will journey through regions of China in their show 'Entering the Dragon'. James Mark will be directing High Noon Production's Cantonese version of The Sound of Music . Mark says the various themes of the classic broadway musical are timely and appropriate for the people of Hong Kong. 'The show focuses on all the different aspects of love: between teachers and children; parents and children; lovers; friends; religious people and their love of God; and nationalistic love,' says Mark. 'And for Hong Kong people, in light of 1997, the love to our country. 'I would like to stress that commitment on how to love, and how to love with commitment. 'I think the situation with Austria and Germany is like Hong Kong now. Captain Von Trapp had to accept the reality of an imminent takeover. 'So ultimately, Von Trapp is the symbol of many Hong Kong people.' During the festival, parents and children can play more than the role of observers; they can be participants too. A series of mime, dance, drama and cartoon-drawing workshops will give them first-hand experience of the creative and cultural world. Free events in the carnival include a Children's Fun Week starting July 29 and an Outdoor Fun Fair on July 21 where children will see and experience pipe organ demonstrations, story-telling, painting and handicraft-making. Winning entries from a poster design contest held for primary and secondary school students will be featured in the Hong Kong Cultural Centre foyer during the festival. Of the 28,000 tickets to go on sale for the shows, the Urban Council has reserved 1,000 to be distributed through the Social Welfare Department so that needy families can enjoy the festivities too. Tickets are now on sale at all Urbtix outlets. Prices range from $50 to $180, with half-price discounts for senior citizens, the disabled, full-time students, and Friends of Cultural Centre. The programmes will be held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, City Hall, Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre, Queen Elizabeth Stadium and the Space Museum. For more information, call 2734 2905.