Imagine that you have a blooming musical or acting talent. You are waiting for the world to discover you. Sometimes capturing moments to be seen seems impossible to grasp. You dream of performing in front of audiences and professional judges.
This is the reality for many budding talents, and it’s that time of year for Edmontonians to help. Celebrate and support the stars of tomorrow at the 114th Annual Edmonton Music & Speech Arts Festival (EMSAF). This event, formerly known as the Edmonton Kiwanis Music Festival, is the longest-running festival of its kind in North America and provides new avenues for participants to follow their dreams.
From April 19 to May 1, over 970 single and group entrants, ranging from ages 5 to 70, will perform and compete. These entrants include choirs, bands, orchestras, singers, guitarists, pianists, harpists, speech/acting students, musical theatre performers, string players, composition students, woodwind players, and brass players. Due to COVID-19, choirs, bands and orchestras are competing virtually, and these recordings will not be available to the general public.
EMSAF creates over 2,500 opportunities for participants as some will win scholarships to aid their blossoming talents while others are recommended to represent Edmonton at the Provincial Music Festival. Above all, it is an opportunity for participants to perform in front of audiences for the first time and receive professional feedback from adjudicators.
The adjudicators this year include Grant Paterson, Edwin Gnandt, Jessica Kos-Whicher, Glen Gillis, and Marion Abbot, among others. All bring years of expertise to the table.
Performances will be held at MacEwan University’s Alberta College Campus, and sessions generally start at 9, 1, and 6 pm. The best part? All events are entirely free to the public! Check on the festival website for up-to-date guidelines on COVID-19 protocols, as these are subject to change depending on Alberta Health Services, the City of Edmonton, or MacEwan University.
You can also check the Edmonton Music & Speech Arts Festival website for more details on the program and schedule so that you can catch and support all your favourite types of performances.