In a continuing effort to respond to the needs and talents of our artistic community, we have revised some disciplines, adding new competition classes for the upcoming season: more..
Competitors who are interested in advancing to the prestigious Ontario Music Festivals Association www.omfa.info finals competition in 2013 should keep the qualifications and performance requirements in mind when entering classes or selecting music for our local festival. more..
August, 2012: Read all the news that's fit to print... more..
Since the nineteen twenties, hundreds of thousands of amateur performers have graced the stages of Stratford in what has become one of the longest-running music festivals in Canada.
The tradition began in 1927, when the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association hosted the first music Festival in this area. The Festival developed in size and popularity throughout the thirties and forties, giving people of all ages an opportunity to perform live music and receive encouragement to continue in their artistic studies.
In the early 1950s, the Kiwanis Club of Stratford became the Festivals major sponsor, taking over its administration. By the late sixties, the Festival had grown to the point where substantial funding from donors and sponsors was essential, and the Festival was registered as an independent charity in January, 1967.
Today, the Festival has expanded to include classes in dance and performance arts, as well as all traditional music disciplines. During an eighteen-day celebration each spring, some 6,000 musicians, dancers and speech artists perform for live audiences and receive adjudication by professional musicians, dance instructors and drama teachers.
Performers with exceptional abilities are featured at our Stars of the Festival finale, and some go on to represent Stratford at the Provincial and National Championships.
With over 90 trophies and some $20,000 to give away in awards annually, the Festival continues to foster the development of the arts in Stratford and neighbouring communities.