Rotary festival showcases talent
Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 06:00 am
Airdrie will play host to more than 390 performances across 10 days during the sixth annual Airdrie Rotary Festival of Performing Arts (ARFPA) March 15 to 25.
With a focus on classical music, the ARFPA is divided into seven disciplines, according to festival co-ordinator Jennifer Harbour. Those disciplines include piano, voice, speech arts, choral groups, musical theatre, strings and local school bands.
“The talent is absolutely amazing,” Harbour said.
The ARFPA is a non-competitive event that Harbour said strives to help participants grow in their craft.
Following each performance, an adjudicator professionally trained in the particular discipline takes notes, she said. Those notes are then used in a one-on-one workshop setting that Harbour said helps performers realize their strengths and learn how to fine-tune their performance.
“The festival is meant to build their confidence,” she said.
Often, Harbour said the ARFPA is a platform for artists to practise their piece prior to showcasing it on a competitive level.
This competitive progression is encouraged through local and provincial scholarships the ARFPA awards, she said.
Provincial scholarships, of which 23 were awarded in 2016, recommend the particular performance to a provincial music competition in Edmonton, Harbour said, adding ARFPA covers registration and a portion of the cost of the trip.
In 2016, she said approximately 30 local scholarships consisting of cash rewards were also given out to participants.
“It motivates the kids,” she said.
The festival culminates with a showcase concert March 25 at 7 p.m. at the Bert Church Live Theatre.
Throughout the ARFPA, adjudicators are asked to recommend two or three performers who put in a great effort and were entertaining and really embodied what the festival is about to perform at the showcase.
“They may not have been a scholarship winner but maybe it was just a very entertaining piece of music that an audience would love,” Harbour said.
The showcase concert, which is the ARFPA’s biggest fundraiser of the year, usually features talents of about 20 performers, with scholarships awarded throughout the evening.
“It’s so entertaining,” Harbour said. “The music is fantastic (and) it’s an opportunity to come and celebrate some of the young local talent we have in Airdrie.”
Tickets for the festival showcase concert are $10 and can be purchased at ARFPA events throughout the 10 days or by calling Harbour at 403-585-6532.
Performances throughout the festival, which are hosted either at Bert Church Live Theatre or Grace Baptist Church, are free for the public to attend, she said, with a full schedule available at airdrierotaryfestival.org.