Bud Abbott, seen here performing at Kimberley’s Home Grown Coffee House, was a festival entrant for years, proving that it is indeed a festival for all ages. John Allen/Kimberley Bulletin file.

Registration for EK Performing Arts Festival to open Dec. 1

The annual East Kootenay Performing Arts Festival (EKPAF) will run from February 21 to March 11 2020 in Speech Arts, Voice, Woodwind-Brass, Piano, Strings and Dance – with composing entries invited as well. Registration will run from December 1 to January 27.

EKPAF was born as the Cranbrook Eagles Festival – “…so long ago we can’t track its start-up year,” says Board member Arne Sahlen. This festival has encouraged local talent for perhaps seven decades – or more. Young performers have gone on to represent the region in prestigious events, and an increasing focus on adult participation celebrates lifelong learning. EKPAF belongs to the provincial Festival Association, and this year’s BCPAF will be held in Cranbrook itself.

To celebrate today’s warm-and-friendly EKPAF, a popular online-type format lists the many benefits:

Top Ten reasons to experience our festival:

1. EKPAF welcomes all ages from preschool to 90+, and all styles from Classical to Now.

2. You may enter one or more divisions: Dance, Piano, Speech, Strings, Voice, Woodwinds/Brass. Enter solo, duo, or in groups.

3. You don’t need to have a teacher in order to enter. EKPAF is for anyone not professional in the chosen division(s). EK residents from Golden to Sparwood to Creston are invited to take part.

4. Adults of all levels are welcome, and may enter regular classes or in a dedicated adult stream.

5. Not your grandparents’ festival! Today’s adjudicators are relaxed, personable, encouraging and fun.

6. EKPAF gives a superb goal to stimulate your best efforts, and a chance for students and teachers to gain insight and ideas from distinguished arts professionals.

7. The focus is on shared experience, building community, and learning side by side. No marks or winners are announced in the classes.

8. You may hear and see music, speech or dance entries that thrill you – and learn them next year if you wish.

9. EKPAF belongs to the B.C. Provincial Festival Association. In June 2020, BCPAF will be held in Cranbrook! Area performers may be selected, to enter or to attend as merited participants.

10. EKPAF is supported by many local businesses and arts professionals, and managed by devoted volunteers. Your involvement in turn supports our thriving community of performers and teachers, and also the agencies that work with them.

For more EKPAF information, phone 250-427-2159. A website will be up and running soon.

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