About The Festival


Kiwanis Club of Red Deer – Founding Sponsor

Since its inception in 1962, the Red Deer Festival of the Performing Arts (formerly known as the Kiwanis Music Festival) has grown to be one of Alberta’s largest annual competitive music and speech arts festivals with around 800 group and solo entries. This equates to about 1,500 individual performers from over 20 Central Alberta Communities, approximately 50% of which come from the City of Red Deer. With a focus on performance and education for youth, it is estimated that approaching 100,000 performers have participated since the Festival began in 1962.

The Festival is a member of the Alberta Music Festival Association. It is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors, supported by a contracted part-time Production Director and assistant, and engages around 80 volunteers each year to fill the roles of Masters Of Ceremonies, Clerks and Ticket Collectors.

Competitions include the categories of band, piano, strings, guitar, woodwinds, brass, vocal, speech arts, and musical theatre.

Participants typically range in age from 5 years old to young adult. The Red Deer Festival is one of over 250 such festivals in Canada, with about 35 being held in Alberta. Red Deer hosts the largest such event in the central Alberta region.

Students are provided with a unique opportunity to perform publicly and receive constructive feedback from professional adjudicators, making it a worthwhile learning experience for all. The Festival culminates in Performer and Musical Theatre Showcases which exhibit some of the top performances and recognize individual and group excellence through presentation of more than 100 scholarships. Top performers may also have the opportunity to progress to provincial and national events. Events during the Festival are open to the public for a nominal session admission.

The format of the Festival is based upon establishing classes by age group or experience level within each category. Participants in each class perform in front of an assigned adjudicator and those audience members in attendance. Following each performance the adjudicator will provide feedback and at the completion of the class and identify the top performers.