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Festival Fanfare: Entry deadline is this week

Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival April 15 to 28.
Entrance to Saskatchewan Music Festival Association (SMFA) festivals is accessible to all ages, all ethnic groups and people of all religions across the province.

BATTLEFORDS — The Jan 20 entry deadline for the 2024 Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival arrives this week. The late entry deadline is Saturday, Jan. 27. There is a late registration fee of $25 per participant. The festival is scheduled to run from April 15 to 28. Entry forms can be found online by searching “Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival” and clicking on the “music festival suite” link. The teacher and student profiles set last year are saved in the MFS system.

The areas of musical discipline for the festival include vocal singing, musical theatre, spoken word, choral, piano, organ, guitar, strings, woodwind instrument, brass instrument, percussion and band ensemble. Festival entry fees are solo $15, duet/trio/small ensemble $15 and band/choir/large ensemble $30. The late registration fee is $25 per participant; see the online entry forms for more details.

Entrance to Saskatchewan Music Festival Association (SMFA) festivals is accessible to all ages, all ethnic groups and people of all religions across the province. Participants may enter any class for adjudication only or participate in non-competitive classes and forego marks and scholarships.

SMFA hires over 170 qualified professional musicians to serve as adjudicators each year.

The provincial syllabus can be found on their website Established in 1908, SMFA provides performance and educational opportunities in Saskatchewan. In addition to providing a provincial Syllabus for the more than 40 district music festivals, SMFA provides entrance to the annual provincial competitions, concerto competition, and opera competition, as well as the Canada West Performing Arts Festival. Member festivals, such as the Battleofords, are organized by local volunteers and judged by qualified professional musicians.

Depending on actual entry submissions, chosen dates for each discipline have been set. Bands, strings, instrumental solos and small ensembles are scheduled for April 15 to 19. Voice, musical theatre, and spoken word classes will be hosted at the Third Avenue United Church from April 21 to 24. Piano classes, also hosted at Third Avenue United Church, are scheduled from April 24 to 28. The celebratory gala night will be held at the Dekker Centre. 

To be eligible for an award or scholarship, a participant must be 19 years of age or younger, have lived in or studied in the Battlefords and district for a minimum of six months before the festival, or be furthering their education elsewhere but still supported by parents living in the Battlefords and district. Other students are welcome for adjudication and recommendation to the provincial and national level competitions.

The Battlefords Music Festival committee is again running a booster program for teachers in the area. If you would like to bring a clinician/teacher in to hold an event for your students, the committee will pay $350/day for facilitator’s fees, .56/km for travel and accommodation costs. If the expenses for your event go above and beyond this, please submit a proposal for consideration. All that is asked in return for this support is entering your students/group in the 2024 music festival.

Last year, string players, Orff musicians, spoken word groups and young pianists benefitted from these booster workshops. As well, the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association is refunding entry fees for school classroom groups in the spoken word discipline.

 For local folks wanting to support the festival, there are a variety of options. Businesses or individuals may wish to sponsor a session or award. Volunteer opportunities come in all sizes. For folks with more complicated schedules, volunteering might be making phone calls or running errands. For folks with less complicated schedules, volunteering might involve being a greeter outside of sessions during the festival or being a secretary for the adjudicator. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and see where your time, skills, or resources might be of most help. Correspondence can be directed by email to the committee secretary Amy Francais or to P.O. Box 1301, North Battleford, Sask., S9A 3L8.

"When we get ready to step out on that stage when you exhale and people just light up, that's when you know you're going to have a great time. The people have a great time and so do we. We’re happy when the people are happy.” — George Brown, drummer for Kool and the Gang (1949 – 2023)