Lakes festival may go

As the Lakes District Music and Speech Arts Festival celebrates its 55 anniversary in March 2012,

  • Feb. 8, 2012 3:00 p.m.

As the Lakes District Music and Speech Arts Festival celebrates its 55 anniversary in March 2012, organizers are facing the possibility that this will be the festival’s swan song.

In view of declining entries and lack of community support, the Festival Association is regretfully concluding that a music festival is no longer viable in the Lakes District.

“We are seeing fewer entries each year,” said Louise Rompen, president of the association.

“A small group of dedicated volunteers has been organizing and staging this event for a long time. We need new blood if we are to keep going.”

From its small beginnings in 1957 the festival grew into a healthy and influential event, drawing entries from Prince George, Vanderhoof, Houston, Smithers and Terrace.

Ironically, the majority of entries now come from these communities.

Participation by local schools and individuals has decreased dramatically.

While speech arts, voice and piano are still included, the categories of dance, strings, band and instrumental are no longer offered.

The decision to retire or continue the festival depends in large part on public response.

The current syllabus is available at the Burns Lake Public Library, Western Financial Group in the mall, the Artisan Centre, the SEDA Centre on the Southside and Country Wide Printing in Houston. Entries are due by Feb. 1, 2012.

“The festival is a wonderful opportunity for music, speech arts and voice students of all ages to gauge their progress and to benefit from the advice of a professional adjudicator,” said Rompen.

“But anyone can enter – you do not need to be taking formal lessons.”

The emphasis has shifted away from competition to focus on personal growth and education. As a step in this direction, last year the trophies were retired and replaced with gold and silver participant ribbons. Instead of first, second and third place, each colour represents a specific range of marks.

Workshops presented by the adjudicators encourage students to improve their skills.

Those wishing for more information on the festival and how to become involved can phone Rompen at 250-698-7407.


Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Most Read