These young performers took part in the 2018 Kootenay Festival of the Arts. This year’s event will be held in Nelson. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Kootenay Festival of the Arts puts out call for performers

The annual event is in Nelson starting March 30

Submitted by Kootenay Festival of the Arts

Kootenay Festival of the Arts, a local tradition since 1930, is gearing up for new season

The event is once again calling all students of performing arts as well as members of the audience, volunteers and donors. It is the only local festival focused on encouraging young musicians, dancers and students of the vocal arts.

The first festival was held in the Nelson Opera House in 1930. For over 80 years, with only a three-year wartime break, Nelson and Trail have been taking turns hosting the annual festival. Its goals remain to inspire, educate, evaluate and promote regional students in the performing art disciplines of piano, strings, woodwinds and brass, voice, choral, dance, drama and speech arts.

The Kootenay Festival of the Arts is a two-week series of public performances by people of all ages who want to show and improve their skills in music, vocal arts and dance. Most of the participants are taking private music and dance lessons. Students of all ages are welcome to participate. Private and public schools also enter choirs and instrumental ensembles.

For two fun filled weeks Nelson venues will host a variety of festival events. Make a note of it in your calendar, and we hope to see you at some of the daytime performances or at one of the two highlights concerts at the Capitol Theatre.

Dance performances will take place March 30 to April 4 at the Capitol Theatre, with the highlights concert on April 4 at 7 p.m. at the Capitol.

Music performances will be held in different venues in Nelson from April 14 to 17. The music highlights concert runs April 18 at 7 p.m. at the Capitol.

All performances are open to the public and a full schedule will be available on the festival’s website. Registration is now open and runs until Feb. 1 at

The festival is run exclusively by volunteers from the Nelson Music Festival Association and the Trail Music Festival Association in alternating years. Venue rentals, adjudicator fees and awards are paid by participant entry and audience donations, plus private, business, and corporate donations, all of whom are publicly acknowledged.

Come be part of the festival either as a participant, part of the audience for the two weeks of daytime performances or the two Highlights concerts at the Capitol Theatre, a volunteer or a donor. Visit to read about many different ways in which you can direct your money to support young performing artists. For those wishing to donate directly, our address is Nelson Music Festival Association, Box 2, Nelson, V1L 5P7 or phone 250-505-7609 and leave a message.

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