What We Do
With each annual Festival, we aspire to introduce a new generation of amateur artists to the joys of performance! Our Festival is one of the city’s highest profile arts and culture events with over 10,000 performers taking part each year.
The Festival began in 1931 with just over 200 entries and has since grown into one of North America’s largest amateur performing arts festivals. Our mission is to encourage amateur performance in our community.
We do this by producing a three-week Festival each year to showcase the talents of approximately 10,000 young musicians, singers and drama students in over 3,700 performances. There over 15 performance categories including school bands, Chinese ethnic instruments, choral music, drama, guitar, musical theatre, piano, strings and woodwind to name just a few.
For over 80 years the Festival has focused on expanding our categories so that we continue to reflect performance trends and the interests of our audience. Most recently in 2015, Festival added a popular guitar category to encourage students who are learning to play the guitar but are not interested in classical music. New classes for Chinese ethnic instruments were added a few years ago and prove to be very popular. More recently, performance piano, which is non-competitive and non-adjudicated, was added to give participants an opportunity to gain confidence from the experience of public performance without the pressure of being marked.
A very important aspect of Festival for many young performers is the adjudication. We invite adjudicators, well-respected within in their field, to offer constructive oral and written feedback with the intention of nurturing the budding talent and growing passion for performance.
Outside of Festival time, we host concerts and collaborate with local performing arts organizations so that we may provide Festival participants with additional opportunities to perform publicly and share their passion for the arts.
Festival is a member of the Alberta Music Festival Association (AMFA) and the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals (FCMF) which provides those who excel locally with the opportunity to advance to the provincial or national levels.