Strathmore is getting it’s own performing arts festival in 2019. The new board for the Strathmore Performing Arts Festival met on September 9. If all things go to plan, the festival will take place from March 30 to April 9, 2019.

“The Alberta Music Festival Association has something like 35 music festivals,” explained Carolyn Steeves, president of the Strathmore Performing Arts Festival Board. She explained that in the past children from Strathmore and area have been travelling to compete at festivals in Calgary and Drumheller.

“Loralee Laycock and I got our heads together,” she said. “We thought it might be time for Strathmore to have it’s own music festival,” she said. Laycock is the director of the Strathmore Children’s Choir and vice president of the new board, while Steeves is the director of music at Ecole Brentwood Elementary School.

Initially organizers met in early June to begin planning. A Facebook group was formed, and messages went out to everyone they thought would be interested in creating a music festival. Two weeks later a second meeting was held where numbers of attendees exceeded expectations.

That night the group was formed.

“Right now we are planning on it being a music festival in the traditional sense of the word that a student would play a piano piece or a vocal piece, do musical theatre, or a band or choir would play,” said Steeves. “They would be adjudicated, they would get feedback from that adjudicator, and everyone will get some kind of rating,” she said.

The festival will be non-competitive. There will be a final concert on April 9 at the Alliance Church.

“After we run one successful festival, we can apply to the Alberta Music Festival Association to become a member festival,” said Steeves.

Once it becomes a member festival, hopefully in the fall of 2019, the following Spring of 2020 the festival could be held under the umbrella of the Alberta Music Festival Association.

“We would be able to send our top rated competitors to provincial festival in Edmonton,” said Steeves.

There are currently 18 members of the board. They chose to call it a performing arts festival as there is a growing trend to host multi-discipline festivals, like Drumheller and District Music Festival which has a dance component.

It’s likely, but has not yet been confirmed that on March 20 there will be a musical theatre day, April 1 will be a band day, April 2 will be a voice day, April 3 a choir day, on April 4 a piano day and the Friday April 5 an instrumental day.

“The adjudicators would choose people to perform at the final concert on April 9,” said Steeves.

Presently board members are working on creating logos and creating their social media accounts.

“We are trying to get non-profit status,” said Steeves. “We are right at the very ground level for our fundraising. We are going to be looking for a presenting sponsor, a community sponsor, and sponsorship for scholarships,” she said.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” she said.

Keep checking social media as organizers hope to have information online by November 1 at the earliest. “We are hoping that our deadline for entries will be February 1,” she said.