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Festival Fanfare: Late entries accepted until Jan. 27

2024 Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival April 15 to 28.
Music 3
The Saskatchewan Music Festival Association is one of the province’s oldest organizations and has influenced all music in Saskatchewan.

THE BATTLEFORDS — The 2024 Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival is scheduled to run from April 15 to 28 with the celebratory gala night featured on the world-class stage of the Dekker Centre. 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.

Depending on actual entries, bands, strings, instrumental solos and small ensembles are scheduled April 15 to 19. Voice, musical theatre, and spoken word classes will be hosted at the Third Avenue United Church April 21 to 24. Piano classes, also hosted at Third Avenue United Church, are scheduled from April 24 to 28. Although the Jan. 20 deadline has passed, late entries will be accepted until Saturday, Jan. 27. The late registration fee is $25 per participant; see the online entry forms for more details. 

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 Saskatchewan Music Festival Association (SMFA) is one of the province’s oldest organizations and has influenced all music in Saskatchewan. Founded in 1908, the Saskatchewan festival system exists thanks to Governor General Earl Grey. In addition to being a football fan, he appreciated the arts. Following a concert which was part of the inauguration ceremonies of Alberta, he proposed that a Canada-wide festival be established for drama and music. Later, he sent letters to the lieutenant governors of each province and asked for their support; Alberta and Saskatchewan responded.

The SMFA has contributed greatly to the cultural life of our province by providing performance platforms in communities, such as the Battlefords, all across Saskatchewan. 

As stated on the SMFA website, “For many children, provincial music festivals are a first introduction to music and the performing arts. Music not only provides enjoyment but also a means of self-expression. Studying music is an interesting way to learn the value of practised discipline and, in the case of a band, orchestra or choir, the elements of collaboration.

“In the festival scenario, the competitive aspect allows students to set and attain goals, to learn stage deportment, to listen, to win or lose graciously and to become good audience members.”

The vision of SMFA is to enhance lives through music appreciation. The mission of SMFA is to promote excellence in music and speech through competitions, performance and educational opportunities for all the people of Saskatchewan. If you are interested in knowing more about the SMFA, check out their website

For local folks wanting to show support for 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 in the form of 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 P.O. Box 1301, North Battleford, SK, S9A 3L8.

“Everyone always says that ‘there are no borders to music’ but few have moved beyond the borders. It seems that the time has come that Japanese rock moves beyond Japanese borders.” — Heath, Japanese musician and singer-songwriter (1986 – 2023)