Showcasing your best

Fiddlejam, a fiddle group of mixed ages and abilities performs at NIFPA. - Photo by Tara Warkentin
Fiddlejam, a fiddle group of mixed ages and abilities performs at NIFPA.
— image credit: Photo by Tara Warkentin

The North Island Festival for Performing Arts (NIFPA) is an excellent venue for improvement and competition.

Dance, music and speech arts students from Port Hardy to Courtney participate in the annual festival which continues until March 8. Each discipline has an adjudicator – a professional who gives feedback on the students’ performance.

The festival takes place in Courtney at the Sid Williams and the Little Red Church Theatre. Getting to play in a large venue is a great experience for young performers, even if the audience is comprised of parents.

The most promising young artists in each section: strings, fiddle, classical guitar, and dance – ballet, modern, stage and street – are chosen to go to provincials, a five-day event including workshops and adjudications.

Preparing for the festival can “get a bit heavy in addition to homework,” according to Natalia Matheson, a Carihi student and pianist.

Showcasing your best work is stressful, whether you are going into it with a competitive mindset or not.

“You try to think of it as not competitive so you can just do your best and learn for future performances,” Matheson says.

NIFPA is also a great way for artists to connect with people who are doing the same thing as them and see their peers improvements year after year.

A selection of performers will participate in showcases open to the public. Check the website, www.nifpa.org for more information.

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