What is the Bow Valley Musical Festival?

Our annual Festival is an event which offers students of private Bow Valley music studio teachers a public venue to meet, learn and perform together. These young musicians come from many different communities and school settings across the Bow Valley region: Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore, Exshaw, Morley, and Cochrane. The Festival takes the form of adjudicated non-competitive master classes lead by accredited professional adjudicators who offer constructive advise and feedback to individual students and ensembles. Select students are recommended to participate in the annual Festival Showcase Concert in Canmore and the Provincial Festival in Edmonton. 


Why Participate?

Festival adjudicators are professional musicians specially selected from their field to adjudicate the festival classes, providing valuable feedback to students as well as their teachers. Teachers often comment how instruction they have been giving students suddenly ‘clicks’ when given from an objective third party in the festival setting. Students also benefit from the solo performances given before the larger community. While some school music programs include private music students’ performances in their school concerts, the festival provides every student a performance opportunity among their peers.

Classes Offered and Works performed

The Bow Valley Music Festival offers classes in classically-based music and music theatre in the following categories: piano, strings (solo and ensemble), and vocal (including music theatre). Within each category a number of different classes are offered. Classes eligible are based on an approved provincial syllabus. See the Syllabus page of this site for details on specific classes. There is a set of rules that govern the Festival as set out by the Alberta Music Festival Association. A complete set of rules can be found here. If you are a student or a parent of a student we recommend speaking with your teacher to best understand which class to participate in.


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Provincial and national festivals

Each local festival organization has the option to become part of the broader provincial festival organization. Our local festival became a member of the provincial music festival association a number of years ago which gives our participants the privilege of competing at the provincial level with the best of each local festival community. The exposure to peers at this level provides additional motivation to pursue music diligently. The local festival can also act as a venue to send students to the national competition level by offering the appropriate classes. Those students entered in provincial/national classes, if recommended to the provincials, are then eligible to be recommended for the national festival - the 2018 National Festival will be held in Saint John, New Brunswick