Festival Dates: April 20-24, 2015
Performer’s Showcase: May 2, 2015
In 1964, Dr. Stu Fleming of the Kiwanis Club of Red Deer had a vision, ‘To promote growth and development of music and the arts for our youth in Central Alberta.” From its humble beginnings, the Kiwanis Music Festival was born. In its first year, entries were mostly piano and vocal solos and a few school choruses. Two bands came from Canadian Union College in Lacombe. The Music Festival continued to grow in popularity both in Red Deer and the surrounding communities.
In March 1986, the “Red Deer Festival of the Performing Arts Society” was formed to oversee and operate the festival. Members of the Kiwanis Club, their spouses, friends and other community volunteers have and continue to donate hundreds of hours each year to event planning, funding raising and operating the Festival.
The Red Deer Festival has grown to one of Alberta’s largest competitive music festivals with typically over 1,100 participants and more than 6000 individual performances. Competitions are in the categories of Band, Piano, Instrumental, Vocal, Chorus, Orchestra, String, and Speech Arts. Participants range in age from 5 to 25 and come from over 30 Central Alberta Communities.
Events during Festival Week are open to the public for a nominal session admission. The professional adjudications makes it a worthwhile learning experience for all. Festival Week culminates in the “Performers Showcase” which exhibits some of the top performances from the Festival and recognizes individual / group excellence through 100 plus awards being presented. This year’s Showcase is at 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 3rd at Living Stones Church. Admission is a voluntary donation.
On a National scene, Music Festivals have come a long way, firmly establishing themselves as a Canadian tradition. In 1967, the Centennial Commission of Canada sponsored the National Centennial Festival of Music in St. John, New Brunswick to honour Canada’s Centennial. This was the forerunner of the Annual National Festival of Music. Today there are over 240 Music Festivals in Canada with more than half a million children participating each year..