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National Festival

From the late 60's there were efforts made to hold a National Competitive Music Festival under the auspices of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals. A Choral Festival was held in Saint John, New Brunswick in Centennial Year 1967, and from our Festival, George Street United Church Choir competed.

As a first step in the process of establishing a National Festival, each province was required to establish a provincial festival at which winners from local festivals would compete to choose one entrant for each class in the National Syllabus to represent the province. The best performer in each class is designated eligible to proceed to the National Festival if the Adjudicators consider that a National Standard of performance has been reached. This required the establishment of a Provincial Festival organization. In 1969 the Newfoundland Federation of Music Festivals was established and currently has seven member festivals. Originally national competitions were held at the Canadian National Exhibition in August, but this arrangement was not entirely satisfactory. With the support of CIBC, the festival was held independently in centers across Canada. In 1987 the St. John's Festival was host to this National Competition. Each year a Provincial Festival is held in early May in centers across the province and winners are selected. Choir competition is conducted in five classes from submitted taped recordings. Considering the size of our province, the accomplishments of our competitors, especially in Choral Classes, have been quite remarkable. Put in perspective, the population of St. John's is about .5 percent of the Canada wide total, yet competitors from our Festival have earned almost 4% of the National awards.

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