District Festival Competitions
Provincial Final Competitions
The Provincial Finals Competition is an event, held the first weekend in June of each year, during which the district winners compete provincially for scholarships and awards. Please refer to the SMFA Regulations & Scholarships (below) for more information.
PROVINCIAL SCHOLARSHIP REGULATIONS
An annual Provincial Competition will be held for District Winners. Scholarship winners are selected by the adjudicator. If the standard attained is not of sufficient merit, the scholarship will not be given.
Provincial Scholarship Class Regulations are found on pages 11-12 of the SMFA Provincial Syllabus. The Provincial Scholarship Classes, including scholarship amounts are listed on pages 27-42.
Provincial Level of Canada West Performing Arts Festival Regulations are found on page 13 of the SMFA Provincial Syllabus. The Canada West Excellence Classes are listed on pages 47-49.
INFORMATION FOR DISTRICT FESTIVALS
- For 2022, District Festivals are allowed two District Winners to the Provincial Finals for each Provincial Scholarship Class and each Canada West Excellence Class, provided the qualifying mark (88) has been attained.
- An accurate record of all competitors entered in Provincial Classes, including name, contact information, and marks, must be maintained.
- Qualified District Winners will be notified within 24 hours following the scholarship meeting.
- Completed pages of the District Winner Charts (signed by adjudicator) must be sent to the Provincial Office (via e-mail) immediately following the scholarship meeting.
ELIGIBILITY FOR RECOMMENDATION TO PROVINCIAL FINALS
- comply fully with the Regulations.
- enter and compete in at least two solo classes in the same discipline at their District Festival. Instrumentalists must compete on the same instrument, with the exception of percussion, where performers play more than one percussion instrument. This rule does not apply to the pianist in the lieder class. Musical Theatre and Voice are considered separate disciplines.
- obtain a mark of 88 or higher. In classes where two selections are performed, the combined mark must average 88 or higher.
- not exceed 28 years of age for Provincial Scholarship Classes, or 24 years of age for Canada West Excellence Classes.
- provide their own piano accompanist, page-turner, and instrument (piano being the exception).
- eligible to be a District Winner from one or more District Festivals, providing they are not in the same Provincial Scholarship Class.
- required to represent the festival where they first became eligible for Provincial Finals.
- not eligible to compete in more than one age category in the same discipline nor in Grade A and Grade B Voice. Canada West Excellence Classes are exempt from this regulation.
PROVINCIAL PERFORMANCE REGULATIONS
- Memory work is mandatory at the Provincial level with the exception of the pianist in Lieder Class 10267 and in Canada West Excellence Choral and Chamber Classes.
- Memory work is mandatory at the District level in all Canada West Excellence Classes, in order to advance to Provincial Finals.
- Competitors and accompanists must provide an original score or authorized copy of their music before performing. Number the first bar of each line in the scores and each fifth line of the Spoken Word selections.
- The maximum performance time is 30 minutes, and all movements must have been performed in the same Provincial Class at the District Festival. Some exceptions may apply (e.g. time limits in Canada West Excellence Classes on pages 47-49 of the SMFA Provincial Syllabus.
CHORAL CLASSES REGULATIONS
- Choirs advancing to Provincial Final Competitions must submit an audio recording in MP3/MP4 format for adjudication. Recordings may be done during the District Festival performance or any time before the entry deadline. Recordings must be done with the same choir, conductor, and accompanist as in the original performance. The first take must be used. A festival official must supervise and witness the recording. Recordings must be checked for completeness before being forwarded to the Provincial Office. Arrangements and costs for the recording of these classes are the responsibility of the participating Choral Directors and must be made in consultation with the District Festival committee.
- High quality recordings (two selections per class) must be submitted as per instructions on the entry form. No acoustic or electronic compensation, filtering or other enhancement is to be used while recording.Recordings and scores should contain no reference to the name of the choir, its conductor, or the festival from which they have been sent. In the event that a recording made during the scheduled performance is blank or seriously compromised, a substitute recording may be made under the conditions outlined above.
- A complete original music score for each selection, containing choral parts and accompaniment, in the correct key, is required for the adjudicators. The first measure of each line in the score must be numbered. All copyrights must be observed.
- Minimum number of singers constituting a choir is 8, except where specifically stated otherwise.
- In classes limited by an upper age, the average age/grade must fall within the age/grade category entered.
If further clarification is needed, please contact the Executive Director at the Provincial Office. Entry Forms, Fees, and Choral Recordings, must be RECEIVED by the Provincial Office by midnight May 15. Provincial entry forms will be available at www.smfa.ca by April 15.
GRAND AWARDS REGULATIONS
- At the conclusion of the Provincial Final sessions, the adjudicators will select the competitors to advance to each Provincial Grand Awards Competition.
- Each adjudicator will spend a few moments with the competitor(s) they have chosen, to advise them concerning the selection(s) to be performed, as they will be competing for our most prestigious awards. Competitors must choose selection(s) that they have performed during Provincial Finals. There is a 10-minute time limit, which may necessitate an abridged version of their selection(s).
- Immediately following this discussion, the competitors must report to the on-site festival office.
- No music is required for the adjudicators at the Grand Awards Competition.
- After the Grand Awards competition, the judges will deliberate and choose the winners.
Notwithstanding any other provision in these Regulations, the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association’s Board of Directors shall be the final and binding decision-making authority on all matters pertaining to competitions administered by the SMFA.
2022 Provincial Finals Competition
The Saskatchewan Music Festival Association (SMFA), now in its 114th year, presented the annual Provincial Finals Competitions and the Provincial Level of Canada West Excellence Competition at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon from June 2 to 5, 2022. Adjudicators for the competitions were: Piano: Greg Caisley, Vancouver, BC; Voice: Valdine Anderson, Winnipeg, MB; Strings: Frank Ho, Edmonton, AB; Brass/Percussion/Woodwind: Gareth Jones, Calgary, AB; Musical Theatre: Ron Long, Edmonton, AB; Spoken Word: Carrie Pengilly, Yorkton, SK; Choral: William Brown, Toronto, ON.
From Thursday to Sunday, 435 performances by winners from District Music Festivals across Saskatchewan were heard. On Saturday evening, June 4, competitors chosen from each discipline in the 28 years & under division competed in the Grand Awards Competition. Prizes of nearly $50,000 were awarded during the weekend’s competitions, the most prestigious being the Garth Beckett/Gustin House Senior Piano Scholarship of $1,500 for the most promising senior piano competitor (awarded to Leah Macfarlane), and the Sister Geraldine Boyle Memorial Gold Award of $1,000 for the most outstanding performance of the Grand Awards Competition (won by Alice Li). Choral entries were adjudicated by recording and were announced during the Grand Awards Competition.
Blanche Squires Memorial Bronze Grand Award of $500: Declan Hewitt (Musical Theatre, bari-tenor)
Wallis Memorial Silver Grand Award of $750: Grace Liu (Classical Voice, mezzo-soprano)
Sister Boyle Memorial Gold Grand Award of $1,000: Alice Li (Piano)
The Garth Beckett/Gustin House Senior Piano Scholarship of $1,500 was awarded to Leah Macfarlane.
Canada West Performing Arts Festival
The provincial performing arts associations of Western Canada (Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia) partnered to present the first Canada West Performing Arts Festival at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, July 21 to 23, hosted by SMFA. The next CWPAF will be hosted by the Alberta Music Festival Association (AMFA) in Edmonton, July 20 to 23, 2023.
Shurniak Concerto Competition
The Saskatchewan Music Festival Association’s Concerto Competition is held in conjunction with the Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras, and sponsored by the late Mr. William Shurniak. Originally an annual event, the competition is now held every two years, alternating between Saskatoon and Regina.
The next Concerto Competition will be held on February 20, 2021. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 Shurniak Concerto Competition will be held in virtual format. Entries close February 12, 2021 at midnight. Performances will be posted to an unlisted YouTube Channel and winners will be announced via Zoom. All Saskatchewan Health Authority Guidelines OR provincial health guidelines in effect at the time, and in the location, of your recording must be followed. Please note mask requirements for musicians.
The first place winner receives a $2,000 scholarship and has the opportunity to appear as a guest artist with the Regina Symphony Orchestra and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. Second-place and third-place scholarships of $750 and $500 may also be awarded.
The competition is open to non-professional* musicians, between 14 and 30 years of age. Age restrictions are as of December 31 of the year preceding the competition. All solo instrumental categories will be considered. Previous first-place winners of the Concerto Competition are not eligible to enter. Only those of talent and industry, who have the necessary potential for a possible career in music, should consider entering the competition.
*A non-professional musician shall be defined as a person whose principal means of livelihood is not obtained from the performance of music in the particular category in which he or she is competing. This stipulation, however, does not preclude such a person having occasionally received remuneration for musical services rendered, even in the area in which he or she is competing.
- live or study in the Province of Saskatchewan, with the inclusion of Lloydminster, AB,OR if studying outside of the province, have competed in a Saskatchewan Music Festival within the preceding five years
- perform from memory a complete concerto from the standard concerto repertoire
- provide their own collaborative pianist and page turner, and be responsible for their own expenses
- upload their performance to an unlisted YouTube channel and provide the link to the performance on the entry form
- submit the entry form online along with the fee of $75 and a biographical paragraph and photo
For the 2021 Virtual Concerto Competition, competitors will not be required to provide a copy of the score for the judges. The collaborative pianist must perform from an original score; photocopied copyright music will not be accepted; failure to comply will result in disqualification.
Changes to the repertoire will not be permitted after the entry close date. The winners will be announced following the competition. The judge’s decision is final.
Notwithstanding any other provision in these Regulations, the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association Inc.’s Board of Directors shall be the final and binding decision-making authority on all matters pertaining to competitions administered by the SMFA.
Entries close February 12, 2021 at midnight.
Wallis Memorial Opera Competition
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.
The next Wallis Opera Competition will be held February 25-26, 2022 at the University of Saskatchewan, Convocation Hall, in Saskatoon. Entry deadline is January 15, 2022. Please be advised that, if an in-person competition cannot be held safely and within Sask Health Authority guidelines, the competition will convert to a virtual event. SMFA is not responsible for expenses incurred due to a change in format.
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 25 & 26, 2022 at the University of Saskatchewan, Convocation Hall in Saskatoon. Entries close January 15, 2022. Competition is limited to a maximum of 16 competitors. SMFA reserves the right to close the competition once the maximum has been reached. Please be advised that, if an in-person competition cannot be held safely and within Sask Health Authority guidelines, the competition will convert to a virtual event. SMFA is not responsible for expenses incurred due to a change in format.
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