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 1,250 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 and engages around 80 volunteers each year to fill the roles of Masters Of Ceremonies, Clerks and Ticket Collectors.

Competitions are in 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 and is the only such event servicing performing arts students within Central Alberta.

Students are provided with the opportunity to perform publicly and receive constructive feedback from professional adjudicators, making it a worthwhile learning experience for all. The Festival culminates in Performers and Musical Theatre Showcases which exhibit some of the top performances, and recognizes individual and group excellence through 100 plus scholarships being presented. 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.

The upcoming Festival takes place from April 3 – 7, 2017 (voice, speech arts and guitar programs) at Sunnybrook United Church, and April 18 – 22, 2017 (all other programs) at Red College Arts Centre. The Performers Showcase takes place on May 4th, 2017, and the Musical Theatre Showcase takes place on May 6th, both at Sunnybrook United Church.