Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival
Contact DetailsCleo Breton
The Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival Association is a volunteer-based organization. We are dedicated to working with performing arts educators to develop artistic skills and a love of the performing arts for all ages and skill levels in music, dance and speech arts. Our annual community festival provides reputable professionals who foster inclusion, education and performance opportunity during adjudicated sessions. We celebrate participation, achievement and excellence through a series of highlights concerts and an awards program.
For six weeks from March to May, over nine thousand Victoria-area performers and students of music, dance and dramatic arts are on stages throughout the city receiving adjudications from renowned experts in the arts. Performances in Brass, Classical Guitar, Choral, Composition, Dance (School and Studio), Ethnic Dance, Fiddle, Musical Theatre, Piano, School Bands, School Orchestras, Speech and Dramatic Arts, Strings, Voice and Woodwinds by talented youngsters and adults take place daily throughout Festival. Our Highlights concerts showcase the amazing talent. Dozens of significant awards and trophies are presented including the Rose Bowl (Classical Voice), the City of Victoria Medallion Tray (Piano), and the Roberto and Mary Wood Scholarship, the largest of its type in Canada. Alumni include Kim Cattrall, Benjamin Butterfield, Richard Margison.
To arrange, promote and carry on adjudicated festivals for students of all ages in music and the performing arts and to engage in other activities having as their objective the development of artistic skills, the appreciation of music and its allied arts and ultimately, the pursuit of excellence.
The "Festival" is dedicated to the development of artistic skills, the appreciation of the performing arts and the pursuit of excellence. To this end:
1. It arranges and conducts a community Festival that encourages, through performance, participation in music, dance and speech arts.
2. It provides reputable practitioners to adjudicate in each discipline.
3. It fosters the values of self-discipline, teamwork and excellence and provides awards and scholarships that recognize achievement.
4. It arranges and promotes special concerts that celebrate achievement and participation, through performance, in music, dance and speech arts.
Festival began in 1927 as the Victoria Music Festival, its purpose being "to promote, arrange and carry on competitive musical festivals, and to engage in other activities having as their object the development of musical ability and appreciation of good music and its allied arts". At that time it was a major event in the City's cultural and social life with - according to the Mayor in 1935 - one-tenth of Victoria's population represented. Two of the trophies currently awarded have their roots in those first years - the Rose Bowl (voice) and the City of Victoria Medallion (piano).
Over the years, the name has changed to reflect the addition of studio dance and speech arts and instruments have been added and deleted. Currently, there are classes in Brass, Choral, Classical Guitar, Composers, Ethnic Performance, Fiddle, Harp, Piano, School Dance, School Bands, Speech and Dramatic Arts, Strings, Studio Dance, Orchestras, Vocal and Woodwinds. Participants range in age from 4 - 70 years.
The "Festival" is a member of the Provincial Festival and provides students with the opportunity to be recommended by adjudicators for competition at the Provincial and National levels. As a result, it has been and continues to be, an important stepping-stone for many talented young Victoria musicians and performing arts students in their development as professional artists.
Festival is a non-profit society. It is a registered charity under the Income Tax Act. Volunteer-based and managed by an elected Board of Directors, the Festival is six weeks of classes, concerts and special competitions during April and May of each year, supported by approximately 300 volunteers.
Listing last confirmed: Nov. 16, 2016