Caitlin McKechnie of Nelson will be performing in this year’s Kootenay Festival of the Arts. Photo submitted

Festival of the Arts invites student applications

The deadline is January 31, with a late fee until February 10

Music students have until Jan. 31 to enter this year’s Kootenay Festival of the Arts. The categories of competition are dance, piano, speech and dramatic arts, strings and guitar, choral and vocal arts, winds, and chamber groups.

In their festival performances, the students will be adjudicated by experts who recommend some performers to go on to a provincial competition and potentially to a national competition. The students also have the opportunity to participate in workshops to develop their skills.

The festival opens April 4 with a week of dance at the Capitol Theatre followed by a highlights concert on April 7.

Then from April 16 to 21, music and drama are the main events at Nelson church venues, wrapping with a final highlights concert at the Capitol on April 21.

The prominent jazz singer and pianist Diana Krall found her career through B.C. festival competitions. Locally, successful musicians such as Nancy Argenta, Wendy Herbison, Robert Kwan, Natasha Hall, and Rebecca McLeod all performed on the stage of the Kootenay Festival of the Arts.

In 1930 the Kootenay Music Festival began with representatives of the Trail Veteran’s Orchestra and the Nelson Symphony Orchestra launching the very first Kootenay Music Festival at Nelson’s Opera House. The Kootenay Music Festival has alternated between Nelson and Trail almost every year since that date.

As one of the oldest festival traditions in British Columbia, the festival has become a cultural cornerstone of the history of Nelson and Trail and all the surrounding communities. Its goals have always been to inspire, educate, evaluate and promote regional students in the performing arts disciplines. The festival has embraced new forms of performing arts expression, while respecting and upholding the historical forms.

The adjudicators at this year’s festival will be soprano Ingrid Attrot from the Victoria Conservatory of music; Carla Birston, chair of the Strings Department of the VSO School of Music; Murray Nichol, adjudicator, examiner and outstanding piano instructor; Lori Birk (Stage Dance); and Chelsea Beamish (Ballet/Modern Dance). The wind adjudicator is Doug Sonju, principal clarinetist with the Okanagan Symphony for 44 years.

Entry forms and more information can be found at kootenayfestivalofthearts.ca.

The Kootenay Festival of the Arts is sponsored by the Nelson Musical Festival Association, a non-profit society managed by volunteers in the West Kootenay area.

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