The organizers of the Lacombe and District Performing Arts Festival are looking forward to their 38th annual event, which promises to be the largest Festival in it’s history
“It starts on April 29th and runs for three weeks, Monday through Thursday each week,” Organizer Craig Colgrave said. “It wraps up with a with a celebration of the performing arts on Tuesday, May 21st. That will be a big splash at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.”
This year, participants in the event were able to register in 39,985 different classes in 11 different disciplines, which is up from the 2,500 different classes offered last year.
“This is our 38th year and like most festivals, we have suffered through the loss of performers over the year due to primarily the decline of musical education in schools,” Colgrave said. “This year we decided to reinvent the wheel and expanded our festival dramatically.”
The dramatic increase is due in relation to a survey put out last year — the point of which was to create a Festival that is a, “People’s Festival”.
“We instituted a lot of changes and I am delighted to report that this year, we are up 38 per cent in our uptake of participants,” Colgrave said. “That is an absolute historical record over the last 22 years. We are getting through to people.”
Part of the changes will be an altered closing evening where People’s Choice Awards will be presented on May 21st.
“When you come to the celebration, you will get a card that allows you to vote for your third, second and third choice of the most popular We also have Sponsors Choice Performers. We are hoping to have at least 28 performers performing over a two hour period from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m,” he said.
For the three weeks leading up to the 21st, the majority of shows will be at the LMC — with two disciplines taking place near Burman University.
“We have Junior Piano and Senior Piano performing up at the College Heights Seventh Day Adventist Church,” Colgrave said. “That is where we have the best piano.
“The rest of the Festival is all under one roof — thanks to the generosity of Lacombe and Lacombe County. — at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.”
The other non-piano disciplines presented are: Bands, instrumentals — which is divided into woodwinds, brass and percussion, choral, dance, fiddle, guitar, musical theatre, orchestra, speech arts, strings and vocal performances.
Colgrave said the Committee is very grateful to the City of Lacombe and Lacombe County for the use of the LMC. He said their generosity is representative of the whole district.
“Lacombe and District is a unique pocket in Alberta. There are more supporters of performing arts in this City than just about anywhere else I have seen in Alberta. It is truly fantastic,” Colgrave said.
He added, “We are a non-profit organization and without their help, there is no other way we could have done that.”
The Festival Committee is currently looking for volunteers, with a specific need being a new treasurer.
More information on the festival can be found at lacombestagelife.com/.