Jeremy Hopper remembers entering Powell River Festival of the Performing Arts when he was 12 years old and throughout the years since. He recalls entering numerous categories and singing “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
Now 23, he has entered the 78th festival, coming full circle with his original voice teacher Megan Skidmore.
After hosting a virtual festival in 2021, Rotary Club of Powell River members of the organizing committee are thrilled to have an in-person event this year.
Jeremy took voice lessons from a previous festival adjudicator, Adele Clark, while attending university in Vancouver.
“She’s been my tried and true through the years and we still keep in touch,” explains Jeremy, who has been living back in the qathet region since the start of COVID-19 and is currently working full-time with Toba Montrose General Partnership.
“There are so many good festival memories and I’m looking forward to performing on stage because it’s something I’ve enjoyed for such a long time,” adds Jeremy. “And to get feedback from an expert adjudicator.”
He has chosen to participate in the secular, sacred and musical theatre categories, all totally different selections.
“It’s been a while since I participated in the festival but it’s like riding a bike and I told myself, I remember how to do this.”
In addition to the festival, Jeremy has performed in high school musicals, at International Choral Kathaumixw where he was judged top soloist in his age group, and at events in the Lower Mainland.
Jeremy says he misses the opportunity for a venue to perform as he did frequently when living in Vancouver prior to everything shutting down with the pandemic.
”Post-COVID, I’ll be happy to do more shows and get right back at it,” he adds.
Vocal and choral sessions started today Wednesday, February 23, at 2:15 pm and with a second session at 7 pm. Piano is scheduled for Saturday, February 26, at 9:30 am and 1 pm, and strings take place on Sunday, February 27, at 11:30 pm. Speech arts sessions will be held at 12:30 pm on Friday, March 4. All sessions take place at Powell River Academy of Music.
Dance will be held at Evergreen Theatre on Wednesday, March 2, at 9 am, 1 and 7 pm, and Thursday, March 3, at 9 am.
Go to Powell River Festival of the Performing Arts Program at events.solarislive.com/events/docs/RZOFT36U.pdf to find the program and performance times. Family and friends are welcome at these performances. Masks, vaccine cards and picture ID are required for audience members.
“We have entries in all of our disciplines,” says festival coordinator Val Thompson. “Because of COVID, our school entries are very limited this year, and there will not be Focus on Youth Concerts, which proved to be so popular in 2019.”
The Grand Concert will be on Saturday, March 5, at Evergreen Theatre at 7 pm. COVID-19 capacity restrictions have been lifted by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Tickets are $15 and $10 for seniors and students and are available at Grand Concert Tickets: tickets.powellriveracademy.org/TheatreManager/1/online?event=0, at Powell River Academy of Music, by calling 604.485.9633, at the Peak office (4493 Marine Avenue, cash only) or at the door. Masks are mandatory and vaccine cards and picture ID must also be shown for this event.
Traditionally performers selected by adjudicators at the festival travel to Performing Arts BC Provincial Festival. For the third year, due to the pandemic, it will be held virtually so performers will provide video of their numbers and they will be judged through that medium.
“I know in the past our performers have benefited from the in-person provincial experience,” says Thompson. “We’re all looking to a time when that can happen again.”