Olds & District Kiwanis Music Festival wraps up (6 photos)

Last Olds & District Kiwanis Music Festival 2023 event being held tonight, April 4 at 7 p.m. at the TransCanada Theatre

OLDS — Olds & District Kiwanis Music Festival coordinator Wendy Durieux is confident the festival is on its way back to pre-COVID participation, as it received about 100 more entries than last year. 

“Last year was a very small festival – the smallest we’ve ever, ever, ever had,” Durieux said during an interview with the Albertan

“This year we have another hundred entries from last year; still not quite back up to our pre-COVID numbers, but I do see that over the next few years, the numbers will come back.” 

The festival ran from March 20 to March 29 with a grand concert held March 30. There’s one more event on the Olds & District Kiwanis Music Festival calendar. The benefit concert is scheduled to be held April 4 at 7 p.m. at the TransCanada Theatre. 

Durieux was pleased with the quality of performances, as were the adjudicators. 

She said the festival underlined the importance of a musical education.  

“One of the adjudicators, the band adjudicator, who was very, very good, was explaining how music is the only subject in school that actually uses both hemispheres of the brain,” Durieux said. 

“That’s why it’s so unique and that’s why it’s something that needs to be kept in our schools. 

“Always when they go and do cuts, it seems like the arts is the first thing that they want to cut out. 

“They feel like it’s the fringe benefits and it’s really not, not the fringe. It is really, really crucial for kids to be able use both sides of their brain and they do it at the same time when they do music.” 

Durieux said lots of people recalled that they too had performed in the festival years ago. 

“It might have been in a band, it might have been a school choir, it might have been a solo. But a lot of people have reaped the benefits of being in that festival,” she said. 

This year marked the 40th anniversary of the Olds & District Kiwanis Music Festival. That’s a milestone that not every Alberta community can claim. 

“It is our 40th anniversary and you know, it is a real privilege to be able to have that in our town,” Durieux said. 

“Not every town has the wherewithal to be able to have a festival. There’s only 36 in the province, so we’re kind of lucky that we’re able to host a festival here and to have done so for 40 years.” 

To celebrate that anniversary, festival organizers held a fundraiser whereby donors could nominate someone to receive flamingos on their lawn. If the recipient wanted to get rid of them, they were encouraged to donate. 

Those who received the flamingos were said to have been “flocked.” 

People could also get their picture taken with the flamingos if they wanted. 

“It was a really good fundraiser. It brought in close to $4,000. People were very receptive,” Durieux said. 

Alberta Music Festival recommendations

Fourteen students and three choirs that performed during this year’s Olds & District Kiwanis Music Festival (ODKMF) have been recommended to participate in the 2023 Alberta Provincial Festival. 

That festival will be held May 29-June 2 in Edmonton. 

Award winners performed during the ODKMF Grand Concert & Awards, held March 30 at the TransCanada Theatre. 

Following are the performers recommended and the categories in which they received their awards. 

Glen Machel Memorial Piano Recommendation Awards 

Piano Solo 12 years and under: Jocelyn Zhou

Piano Solo 17 years and under: Andrue Kincaid-Proctor

Piano Solo Senior: Juan-Pierre Hoffman

Piano Solo Grades 2/3: Ben Meyers

Piano Solo Grades 4/5: Ameila Hoffman

Mitchell Ormann Memorial Piano Recommendation Awards 

Piano Solo Grades 6/7: Lilyann Saunders

Piano Solo Grades 8/9: Sophia Vermeulen

Piano Concerto, one movement: Jocelyn Zhou

Contemporary Vocals, 12 and under: Keira Fitzner

Contemporary Vocals, 17 and under: Lily Gee

Contemporary Vocals, Senior: Makayla Rand

Classical Vocals, 12 and under: Ameila Hoffman

Classical Vocals, 17 and under: Andrue Kincaid-Proctor

Musical Theatre, 6-9 years: Eloise Litchfield

Musical Theatre, Ballad, 12 years and under: Timothy Shonwise

Musical Theatre, Uptempo, 12 years and under: Spencer Peck

Musical Theatre, Ballad, 17 years and under: Ashlyn Ord

Musical Theatre, Uptempo, 17 years and under: Ashlyn Ord

Elementary, Grades 4-6 Choral: Bowden Grandview Choir

Middle/Junior High Choral: Hugh Sutherland School Choir

High School Choral: Olds High School Choir