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Plenty to see at the Kootenay Festival of the Arts 2014

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
April 4th, 2014

The Kootenay Festival of the Arts has been showcasing dancers, pianist, vocalists and musicians since 1930.

And for the next 10 days, more than 400 performers between five and 69 years of age will be performing in front of adjudicators in the 2014 edition.

“A lot of people don’t realize how much talent there is in the Kootenays,” said Wendy Herbison, president of the 2014 Festival of the Arts.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to come out and see these young people and adults and see what they’re doing in the world of the arts . . . music and dance.”

The Kootenay Music Festival began when representatives of the Trail Veteran’s Orchestra and the Nelson Symphony Orchestra set up a joint committee to plan for a Kootenay-wide festival in the spring of 1930.

Founders realized that one of the most challenging problems was a suitable venue for the large number of participants and audiences anticipated.

Following some breaks during the war and in the 60s, the festival was revived, alternating between Trail and Nelson each year.

In 2013 Herbison said the Festival in Trail was cancelled.

The curtain raiser for week one of the festival, the dance competitions, began Wednesday.

The category is highlighted be the Dance Concert Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Capitol Theatre — site of all the events.

Week two of the festival begins Monday (April 7) with piano.

Vocal, strings and guitar are also featured before the concert finale — featuring the top students Saturday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in the Capitol.

“The goal of the adjudicators is to help and mentor the kids . . . not to destroy them,” Herbison explains.

“We want to make this a very positive experience for them and give them the skills needed to help them accomplish their goals.”

Piano is hosted at the Nelson United Church at 602 Silica Street while the Bethel Christian Church at 623 Gordon Road is the site of speech arts and vocal.

Strings is hosted at St. Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral at 701 Ward Street.

Admission for the festival is by donation.

Festival Programs are being sold at Eddy Music and Cowan’s Office Supplies for $5 while supplies last.

The top performers from event in Nelson have the opportunity to advance to the 2014 Provincial Festival of Performing Arts June 3-7 in Penticton.

“I think (public) will be surprised and very pleased as well . . . it’s very enjoyable,” Herbison said.

“They students have been working months and month to get their routines just right and it’s very gratifying to see what they can do.”

Categories: Arts and Culture

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