For decades, the East Kootenay Performing Arts Festival — the premier showcase for vocal and musical talent in the region — has heralded the beginning of the end of winter.
Starting Monday, with the Voice category, almost 300 registered performers will come to Cranbrook to participate in the categories of Voice, Speech Arts, Piano and Strings.
The advent of the festival comes with some exciting news — Cranbrook will host next year’s provincial showcase — the Performing Arts BC Provincial Festival June 2-6. 2020.
Corinna Robinson, on the Board with the East Kootenay Performing Arts Festival (EKPAF), said this year there are 100 performers in voice, 100 in piano, 50 in speech arts and 30 in strings — violin, viola and cello.The performances are adjudicated, with the adjudicators coming from Lethbridge, Calgary and Penticton.
The performances are open to the public. See a basic schedule and further information below.
Robinson told the Townsman that last fall was the first time EKPAF attended the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Regional Festivals in Chilliwack (the locale of 2019’s provincials).
“I went down to the Performing Arts Provincial AGM in October, and just got a feel of how that board operates, and asked them a lot of questions, got great feedback from all of the board members, as well as other local festival board members who go to the AGM.
“The EKPAF board had never participated in the provincial AGM, this was our first time doing it. A really wonderful group of people from all over the province.
“So we will go and see how they operate and get a good feel for things. So much is involved, but it’s going to be a lot of fun. Then we’ll come back here and hit the ground running in June. Hopefully get our volunteer list built up, and a little more local sponsorship. We’ll be doing some grant writing and build up our bank account.
Each year, every regional Festival, like EXPAF, sends its most promising young artists to participate in the annual provincial festival. The age group for provincials is 12-28 years old.
“We can anticipate 600-650 kids coming with their families,” Robinson said.
Here is the basic schedule for the upcoming East Kootenay Performing Arts Festival. For a full schedule, including the individual performers and their times, go to https://events.solarislive.com/events/schedule.php
• Voice: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 25-27, starts 9 a.m.each day, at Knox Presbyterian Church in Cranbrook (Adjudicator Sandra Stringer);
• Speech Arts: Friday, March 1, 9 a.m., at Knox Presbyterian Church (Adjudicator Deborah McGladdery);
• Piano: Monday through Thursday, March 4-7, begins 9 a.m. each day, at Knox Presbyterian Church (Adjudicator Eric Nyland);
• Strings: Friday, March 8, Knox Presbyterian Church, begins at 9 a.m. (Adjudicator Olena Kilchyk).