The first Quesnel Music Festival took place in 1983, with the inspiration and organization of two Quesnel piano teachers, Anne Garry and Sue Doughty. There were 80 entries that first year, and the Festival was a day and a half long.
Four years later, Sue Doughty, Linda Campbell and the parents of Quesnel ballet students organized the Quesnel Dance Festival, administered by the Quesnel Dance Society. Jazz and Tap , as well as school and community dance classes, were added in the years following.
By 1991, the Music Festival included Band & Instrumental and Vocal & Choral, as well as Piano. In 1992, Speech & Dramatic Arts was added. In 2001, the Music and Dance Festivals merged to form the united Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts as we know it today.
Over the past 32 years of annual Festivals, many thousands of aspiring young performers have enjoyed their time in the spotlight. The chance to perform before an appreciative audience, and to receive constructive critiques from professional adjudicators, has always been a major part of what Festival is about.
Thanks to the vision and dedication of QFPA’s many volunteer organizers over the years, our community continues to have an event that celebrates and encourages the performing arts at its most grassroots level – among our children and youth. With the many ongoing broad governmental cuts to arts funding and support over the years, we are extremely happy and proud that our community is willing and able to continue to personally support this worthwhile cause!
Where we are today:
The 2015 Performing Arts Festival will be Quesnel’s 32nd!
QFPA is a not-for-profit society, run by a group of volunteers who are devoted to sparking and encouraging a life-long passion for the performing arts. Festival provides an ideal opportunity not only for our aspiring performers, but also for anyone who is a performing arts fan, to take in some truly amazing talent right here in Quesnel.
The 2014 Festival was attended by over eight hundred participants, along with their families, friends, teachers and fellow community members turning out to applaud Quesnel and area “home-grown talent”.
Our goal continues to be to provide a forum for students of the performing arts–Vocal and Choral, Piano, Dance, and Speech and Dramatic Arts — to perform in public before an experienced, skilled adjudicator, in order to receive training and opportunities above and beyond what they receive in their regular studies, by way of adjudications and constructive critiques.
Every spring, over the four to six week period of the Festival, participants aged 5 and up receive the opportunity to gain greater knowledge and appreciation for the performing arts. Each discipline presents trophies, cash awards, scholarships, and medals to outstanding participants. Top performing participants within the age range of 10-28 years may further be chosen by their adjudicators to attend the annual Provincial Festival of the Performing Arts.