Organizing an annual Festival of the Arts is a big undertaking and so it is understandable that when the final presentation is made at the Deloraine Border Festival Awards Concert, the entire committee breathes a sigh of relief. The 39th annual festival concluded on April 28 with what can only be described as an “amazing” awards concert.
The committee meets a couple weeks after the awards concert to review the festival — what went right, what went wrong, how can it be improved, are there any suggestions, discipline reviews and so on. It’s interesting to track the changes as the festival continues to evolve.
The following contains some interesting statistics and information from the various disciplines.
Visual Arts review (Verna Keeler and Kim Radcliffe coordinators)
Visual Arts took place April 8 at Deloraine School with 31 school entries and 35 personal entries. Two of the school entries were not submitted, so a total of 64 entries. Previously it had been discussed that 50 pieces (entries) would be the maximum for a one-day adjudication, fortunately Erica Symcyshyn adjudicator was willing to work into the evening and lived close enough to drive home. She spoke with each child about their art. The pieces were transferred to the theatre to be enjoyed for the remainder of the festival. The school entries were doubles and it was decided to give K-6 as well as a 7-12 school Visual Arts Award – this will be decided each year depending on entries.
Speech and Theatre Arts (Donalda Vandenberghe and Lynn Richard coordinators)
There were a total of 128 entries from Nursery School to Grade 12 – with 12 withdrawals and seven recommendations to the Provincial Festival, one which opted to attend. The coordinators contact parents early in the fall to circulate the Speech Arts Manuals and leave a set at the school in early January. Nine sessions were held to accommodate all the entries. It was planned so that the Nursery School choir was scheduled to perform first and be adjudicated right away so they could return to Nursery School and the waiting time would not be too long for these wee ones. The adjudicator was Rudi Enbrecht from Boissevain, a former educator, educational researcher and performer. He had the younger participants involved in short activities prior to their sessions to help calm nerves and break the ice. “We were happy with the number of entrants and commend parents, teachers and performers for the work that goes into preparing for the festival and for their excellent performances and their conduct at the festival,” concluded Donalda and Lynn.
Instrument review (Darcia Raes and Kori Nestibo)
The Instrument Discipline ran April 16 and 17 with 56 entries and 6 withdrawals. The entries included one Orff entry, 12 recorder entries, 8 violin entries, 12 guitar entries and 23 band instruments. The adjudicator was Wes Mann and he commented how much he enjoyed the festival. Both the school and theatre venues were utilized. There were provincial recommendations but none of them decided to attend the provincial festival.
An interesting note about the adjudicators. All the adjudicators were complimentary in their comments about the festival – “Well organized, amazing talent, performers appropriately dressed, etc.” Four of the adjudicators did not charge the committee for their meals – being mindful of the budget!
Vocal review (Kim Sunaert and Debbie Sambrook)
There were 118 entries with only two cancellations. They ended up scheduling more evening sessions than morning ones.
Some new committee members are needed for Adjudicator coordinator, Dance discipline coordinator, and Awards Committee members. Angi Day is stepping down from the Adjudicator/Dance coordinator roles. Donna McGregor has volunteered to be the new adjudicator coordinator. Donna Moore is also stepping down from her role as Awards coordinator after many years. The committee is very grateful for the contributions of these dedicated members through the years.
Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the Deloraine Border Festival and so the committee did some brainstorming as to how best celebrate this milestone.
Festival dates for 2020
• Week of April 6 – 9: Piano
• April 9 – Visual Arts
• Week of April 13-17 – Vocal/Choral
• April 20 – Dance
• Week of April21 – 24 – Instrumental, Bands
• Week of April 27-30 – Speech Arts
• May 3 – Awards Concert
Note: The reason to say “Week of” is because the days aren’t concrete until entries are in and it is known how many days are needed