(Nicole Zimmer photo)

Kootenay Festival of the Arts opens with dance competition

Dance runs in the Bailey Theatre starting Monday; returns to Trail with music, speech April 23

Kootenay Festival of the Arts returns to the Trail spotlight this month, bringing 10 days of dance, voice, piano and strings.

Read more: Kootenay Festival of the Arts

Dance competitions start Monday in the Bailey Theatre and run until Friday.

After a one-week break, the festival returns from April 23 to April 26 with piano and strings held in the First Presbyterian Church, voice and speech in the Trail United Church, as well as woodwinds and bands in the Bailey Theatre then the Presbyterian Church for the final two days.

A special Highlights Concert is slated for Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m. in the Bailey Theatre.

Admission is always by donation.

Save for a wartime break, and a three-year interlude in the 1960s, the festival has alternated between Trail and Nelson every year since its inception in 1930 at the Nelson Opera House.

In 2011, Trail hosted almost 1,000 young competitors from the East and West Kootenay as well as the Okanagan and United States.

Due to lack of volunteers, the festival did not run in 2013. The event has since been re-energized with a new board, and it has been held every other year in Trail from 2015 until present.

“We have seen an overall 59 per cent increase since it was last held in Trail in 2017,” says Michele Skuce, fundraising coordinator.

“It’s great to have this diversity in local opportunities for kids and adults alike, and I think Trail should be very proud of hosting this festival,”

Kootenay Festival of the Arts offers students of artistic disciplines the chance to perform in a theatrical environment and receive constructive critique from highly skilled, established professionals. The opportunity, in turn, nurtures and enhances their artistic talent.

Organizers for the first festival in 1930 describe the experience as, “A music festival is a good thing in itself. It is chiefly beneficial to the young who through the competitions have an opportunity of learning much about music that they could learn in no other way. The fact that the festival is to be held annually will encourage interest in music generally as the competitors have to spend months in practicing for the contests.”

For more information visit: Kootenay Festival of the Arts


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Kootenay Festival of the Arts begins with dance on Monday in the Bailey Theatre.

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