One of the acts at last year’s showcase. East Kootenay Performing Arts Festival file.

East Kootenay Performing Arts Festival – Enter Now

The East Kootenay Performing Arts Festival (EKPAF) is rapidly approaching! (Feb 21-Mar 11). Sooner, though, is the entry deadline of this Saturday, January 25. Entrants pre-school age to 97 have taken part since the mid-1900s. Back then, the Cranbrook Eagles managed this annual arts celebration. It has evolved with the times and now embraces Classical to Jazz, opera to top 40, drama to poetry, ballet to hip hop – and more – in Voice, Piano, Strings, Woodwinds and Brass, Dance and Speech Arts. Contact ekpafestival@gmail.com with any questions, or register at East Kootenay Performing Arts Festival – Solarislive

The professional adjudicators praise the positives in each performance and give suggestions for settling and enhancing. The piano adjudicator for one, Erik Nyland of Calgary, was so enjoyed here last year that he was invited back. He expressed admiration for the teaching standard here (noted in all divisions), and seemed especially intrigued by the number and finesse of adult entrants. EKPAF gives a special Bud Abbott Award certificate to every adult participant, to honour lifelong learning and music sharing in the name of our late, iconic community supporter – who himself performed in EKPAF for many decades.

“Anyone – literally anyone – can enter EKPAF,” says President Marta Zeegers. “You don’t need to be studying with a teacher to enter, and the online system is now much streamlined from recent years.” EKPAF is linked with Performing Arts BC, hosted each year by a different community. As it happens, Cranbrook will be the PABC host community this June. Kimberley hosted in 1988, and gained greatly in legacy provisions, visitor revenue and long-term goodwill, among other benefits.

EKPAF is a vital component in our region’s many rich quality-of-life offerings for sports, arts, education and healthy-community service. Public interest and support, a hallmark year after year, helps to sustain its solid footing in the region. “We look forward eagerly to another fine festival experience,” says President Zeegers. “Come and join us!”

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