Gordon Wallis Opera Competition
The next Wallis Opera Competition will be held February 25, 2022 in virtual format. Entry deadline has been extended to February 1, 2022.
The competition is open to non-professional vocalists, between 20 and 35 years of age. Age restrictions are as of December 31 of the year preceding the competition. Previous first-place winners of the Opera Competition are not eligible to enter. Only those of talent and industry, who have the necessary potential for a possible career in the operatic world, should consider entering the competition, otherwise no scholarship will be awarded. Scholarships must be used to further vocal studies in opera and will be paid directly to a recognized school of music or teacher of the winner’s choice. Due to closures at the University of Saskatchewan, the 2022 Wallis Opera Competition has converted to virtual format. SMFA is not responsible for expenses incurred due to a change in format.
In July 1999, prior to his death, Gordon Wallis established an opera competition to encourage and assist young Saskatchewan singers in furthering their vocal studies in opera. Held every two years under the administration of the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association, its $5,000 first-place prize is one of a kind in Canada. In addition to the prize money, the winner may be featured as guest artist with the Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras.
Professor Wallis was a former Assistant Director of the University of Regina, Conservatory of Music and Dance. He was a valued member of the SMFA Syllabus Music Selection Committee and he adjudicated our festivals across the province and throughout Western Canada. Wallis was a consummate musician, musical director, performer, and acknowledged authority on opera. His extensive collection of opera material – complete operatic scores, recordings, libretti, books, documents, periodicals, and programs from every major opera house in the world – are housed in the Gordon C. Wallis Opera Resource Room in Darke Hall in Regina. These resources are open for use to all who have an interest in music and, in particular, opera.Wallis Opera Competition Regulations
OPERA COMPETITION WINNERS
2000 – Michael Harris
2002 – Laurien Gibson
2004 – Allison Arends
2006 – Sarah Vardy
2008 – Jordie Hughton
2010 – Meara Conway
2012 – Chelsea Mahan
2014 – Whitney Mather
2016 – Allison Walmsley
2018 – Spencer McKnight
2020 – McKenzie Warriner
SMFA Musical Theatre Competition
The Saskatchewan Music Festival Association has established a Musical Theatre Competition to encourage and assist young Saskatchewan singers in furthering their studies in Musical Theatre. The competition is held every two years, with a first and second prize of $1,000 and $750 (prizes can only be used to further Musical Theatre studies and will be payable to a school/teacher of winner’s choice). The competition is open to non-professional vocalists, between 16 and 28 years of age. Age restrictions are as of December 31 of the year preceding the competition. Only those of talent and industry, who have the necessary potential and desire for a possible career in Musical Theatre, should consider entering the competition, otherwise no scholarship will be awarded.
The next SMFA Musical Theatre Competition will be held February 26, 2022 in virtual format. Entry deadline has been extended to February 1, 2022. Competition is limited to a maximum of 16 competitors. SMFA reserves the right to close the competition once the maximum has been reached. Due to closures at the University of Saskatchewan, the 2022 Musical Theatre Competition has converted to virtual format. SMFA is not responsible for expenses incurred due to a change in format.Musical Theatre Competition Regulations
MUSICAL THEATRE COMPETITION WINNERS
2020 – Emry Tupper (1st place), Declan Hewitt (2nd place)
SMFA Provincial Finals Competitions
SMFA Provincial Finals Competition
June 2 to 5, 2022 in Saskatoon
Provincial Scholarship Listing COMING SOON
Canada West Performing Arts Festival
July 21 – 23, 2022
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Music Festival Conference and SMFA AGM
SMFA Annual General Meeting (via Zoom)
November 6, 2021 @ 10:00am
Congratulations to the 2021 SMFA Volunteer Recognition Award recipients:
- Heather Barnstable (Estevan & District Music Festival)
- Calla McLean (Kindersley & District Music Festival)
- Mark & Penny Miles (Mainline Music Festival @ Wolseley)
- Maxine Leschuk (Meadow Lake Music Festival)
- Margaret Caldwell – posthumous (Saskatoon Music Festival)
- June Fletcher (Weyburn Rotary Music Festival)
We salute these volunteers and thank them for their service!
SMFA & SDA Spoken Word e-Festival
SDA & SMFA Spoken Word e-Festival
The Saskatchewan Drama Association (SDA) and the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association (SMFA) Spoken Word e-Festival is for Saskatchewan students, ages 5 to 17 years and any level. This program seeks to allow students to prepare, perform and develop their ability to speak with purpose to an audience. Entering the Festival will give you a chance to work towards a goal, improve your public speaking skills, perform and have fun!
Shurniak Concerto Competition
Due to COVID-19, the 2021 Shurniak Concerto Competition was held in virtual format.
History of the Concerto Competition
In 1979 three Saskatchewan organizations marked their 70th Anniversaries: the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association (SMFA), the Regina Symphony Orchestra (RSO), and the Regina Cartage and Storage Co. Ltd. To celebrate this milestone, Kathleen Keple, then Executive Director of SMFA, initiated a Concerto Competition in partnership with the RSO, to be administered by SMFA and funded by Regina Cartage and Storage Co.
The three organizations held similar ideals of “enhancing lives through an appreciation for music”. SMFA has played a vital role in the cultural life of Saskatchewan by “providing young musicians with educational opportunities to compete and perform”. The Regina Cartage & Storage Co. President, Brian Keple, had long been supportive of community events throughout its history. The RSO, the oldest operating orchestra in Canada, also held a commitment to education in the province through the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra. The establishment of the Anniversary Concerto Competition was a broadening of this commitment. In addition to the monetary awards, the RSO provided the opportunity for the winner of the SMFA Concerto Competition to be featured as a guest artist in the upcoming season. In 2000 the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (SSO), under conductor Earl Stafford, added their support by providing the winner with a performance opportunity with the SSO.
The first competition, in which several performers from across Saskatchewan competed, was held in Regina before a panel of three distinguished musicians: Isobel Moore, pianist of Edmonton; James Mendenhall, bassoonist of Brandon; and Gregory Millar, Music Director of the RSO.
During the ensuing years generous sponsorship was provided by the City of Regina Arts Commission, CKIT FM Radio, and the Sister Geraldine Boyle and Goodfellow Trust Funds. From 1992-2007 Yolande Hodges Fitzgerald, a former Saskatchewan teacher, was the major sponsor for the competition, followed by the Lorne & Evelyn Johnson Foundation in 2009. Mr. William Shurniak became the event sponsor in 2013.
SMFA continues to play a major role in the development of our province’s musicians. The SMFA Concerto Competition is a tangible result of Saskatchewan co-operation. SMFA is delighted that the Regina Symphony Orchestra and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra provide guest appearances for the winner of this event.
Since its inception in 1979, the annual Concerto Competition has gained momentum and recognition within the musical community of our province. It is with great pride that we list the winners of previous years’ competitions.
William (Bill) Shurniak enjoyed a long and successful career in international banking and corporate business in Canada, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Australia, and the UK. Upon his retirement, he returned to his native Saskatchewan, and established the Shurniak Art Gallery in Assiniboia to showcase his extensive collection of international and Canadian art. Mr. Shurniak was a generous supporter and true friend of education and the arts community, including the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association. Bill Shurniak passed away on August 8, 2020.