About The Festival

Board of Directors, 2023-24:

Alison Weir, President
Catherine Rispler, Treasurer
Nadine Harshenin, Secretary
Judy Robins Weir, Volunteer Coordinator
Nancy Verdin, Fundraising Chair
Ruston Vuori, Festival Director

About the Festival:

Since its inception, the Red Deer Festival of the Performing Arts (formerly known as the Kiwanis Music Festival) has grown to become one of the most significant annual cultural events in Central Alberta. With a focus on performance and education for youth, it is estimated that some 200,000 performers have participated since the Festival began in 1964.

The Festival is a member of the Alberta Music Festival Association. It is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and contracted part-time Festival Director. It engages around sixty
volunteers each year to fill various roles at the venues.

Represented disciplines include band & percussion, brass, guitar, musical theatre, piano, speech arts, strings, voice & choral, and woodwinds. Participants typically range in age from five years old to young adults, but adult performers also participate in smaller numbers. Red Deer’s festival is one of over 250 such festivals in Canada.

Participants are provided with a unique opportunity to perform publicly and receive
constructive feedback from professional adjudicators. The Festival culminates in a Performer’s Showcase Concert which exhibits some of the finest performances and recognizes excellence through presentation of awards. Strong performers may also be nominated by their
adjudicators to represent Red Deer at the Alberta Provincial Festival, and from there they may be nominated to represent Alberta in the Canada West Festival – a major competition involving performers from Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.

The Festival is open to the public and admission is generally by donation.

Our mission:

To assist performing arts students in discovering and developing their personal talents, and and to foster lifelong appreciation for the arts.

We value:

  • Performance opportunities for performing arts students of all ages and skill levels
  • An encouraging atmosphere which values diversity and inclusion.
  • Constructive feedback from adjudicators who are outstanding in their professions.
  • The appreciation of performances of others as a valuable educational experience for students.
  • Further studies in the performing arts by providing scholarships.
  • The opportunity for the community to have a greater appreciation and understanding of the performing arts
  • Wise use of community resources,  including financial, volunteers and other contributions,  to operate in a fiscally responsible and sustainable manner.