Powell River Festival of Performing Arts has taken place since 1944, making it the longest running festival in the community.
Each year amateur performers in piano, voice, strings, wind and brass instruments, speech arts, amateur choirs, bands, jazz ensembles, strings and dance are invited to perform. Registrations involve people from pre-school through to seniors.
The Rotary Club of Powell River is the sponsoring body of the festival, using a volunteer festival committee. Many other community volunteers assist Rotary at every session, including discipline heads, adjudicators’ secretaries, stage crews and theatre assistants.
“Our festival is based on the fundamental idea of providing all participants with the best possible support for their artistic development,” says organizing committee member Jill Ehgoetz. “It’s strongly committed to the philosophy that performance is a vital opportunity to learn and pursue excellence.”
The 2016 edition has concluded its first week with piano as well as band and instrumental.
Vocal sessions take place until Saturday, February 27, with Broadway Show Tunes and Music from the Movies held at 7 pm in Evergreen Theatre at Powell River Recreation Complex.
“Because props and costumes are allowed in this category, it has always been a popular one with audiences,” adds Ehgoetz.
Speech Arts begin Monday, February 29, and the festival has the most registrations for this discipline.
"That can be attributed to the tremendous support received from School District 47, which sees its value for students," says Ehgoetz. "Assumption School also has a high number of participants.”
Two years ago, with encouragement from Performing Arts BC (PABC) members, Powell River opened its festival to out-of-town registrations.
“This year, because of the success of PABC’s provincial festival here, we have more dance entries,” says Ehgoetz. “They and their parents are staying in hotels and eating in restaurants, which is good for the local economy.”
Dance sessions begin March 3 and end the next day. Entry to all regular sessions is by donation.
The festival concludes with the Grand Concert on March 5. Tickets are $12, $8 for seniors and $6 for children under 16.
Powell River Festival of Performing Arts
When: February 26 to March 5
Where: Evergreen Theatre at Powell River Recreation Complex
Price: By donation