The Lacombe and District Performing Arts Festival capped off their 2019 festival — the first of which featured the majority of performances taking place at the Lacombe Memorial Centre (LMC).
“It was a phenomenal turnout this year,” Organizer Craig Colgrave said. “We were up 38 per cent this year which is a first in 23 years.”
“We had well over 1,000 performers go through our two venues — the LMC and the College Heights SDA Church.”
The show this year also was the first year to feature the Celebration of the Performing Arts taking place at the LMC on May 22nd.
“We were able to host 25 different acts featuring 14 of the 19 different disciplines,” Colgrave said.
“We featured a different spin on our celebration. Normally it is just the performers but this year we added the extra incentive, which was the Peoples’ and Sponsors Choice’ Awards. We gave away first, second and third prizes in both Peoples’ and Sponsors’. Almost $1,000 was given out.”
The night capped up Festival organizer’s long dream to have every event in one venue — the caveat this year being that performances requiring a grand piano had to be held at the SDA church.
“We are going to push forward with our one festival, one roof mandate,” Colgrave said. “In order to make that happen, we have to get the piano into the LMC and that requires us purchasing a piano.
“That is no small feat and requires significant fundraising. Pianos like that cost dearly.”
Colgrave credited the LMC and City of Lacombe staff who helped make the LMC accessible for their Festival.
“There was a few bugs, with some sound bleed between the two rooms and the acoustics that we have to work out. We are working with the LMC the City of Lacombe to help with those small problems,” he said.
Colgrave was impressed with the increased attendance, but he is not satisfied.
“Are they up as high as we wish — that will never happen,” he said. “I would like to fill the LMC every session we hold. It is about raising the profile of the festival through our social media pushes as well as the one-roof solution.
“The festival is Lacombe’s best kept secret and we are trying to change that. This is our first kick-at-the-can to do that and overall our attendance numbers were up 30 per cent.”
Colgrave thanked the Festival’s loyal sponsors and supporters and he hopes to have new supporters for next year.
“We are trying to generate new ones, we gained a couple but we still don’t have enough. We can always use more support,” he said.
He added, the Festival is moving in the right direction.
“We listened to the public’s wishes from last year through out survey and implemented the changes,” he said. “They have reacted with increased support.
“We will have another survey this summer and we will continue to test the pulse of our clientele and react accordingly.”