It’s almost time for local residents, young and old, to take the stage under the bright lights and deliver performances for adjudicators during the 100 Mile Festival of the Arts.
The annual arts festival, which goes from April 22 to May 2, is in its 38th year and will see close to 375 entries in four disciplines – speech arts, vocal, piano and instrumental.
An awards presentation and showcase performance is set for May 2 at 7 p.m. at Martin Exeter Hall, where performances are taking place throughout the 11-day event.
Organizers are busy and they’re looking forward to the festivities, says Marilyn Buyar, festival committee co-chair.
“We’ve got a fabulous group of volunteers. We’re really burning up the e-mail wires making sure we have everything taken care of.”
It’s Buyar’s third year helping put the festival together. The retired school teacher says what she looks forward to most is seeing young students develop as performers.
“It’s wonderful to see the little ones start out, and two or three years later, they’re growing up. Their performances are becoming more polished and their confidence [is up] as well.”
She adds: “[The festival] is a wonderful way for the young and old to connect through music and the performing arts.”
The local arts festival is one of 34 around the province as part of Performing Arts BC. Adjudicators can recommend local participants move on to the provincial festival, which is held in Penticton this year from June 3 to 7.
Buyar says close to a dozen performers from the 100 Mile House area were invited last year.
“The thing that’s exciting is it’s a real opportunity for performing artists to get together, to hear one another. There’s also a lot of networking that goes on. You find out who in your community is interested in doing the same kind of things you are.”
The committee is selling T-shirts to raise funds.
The number of entries in speech and dramatic arts is down this year, but piano entries are up, Buyar explains.
However, no matter what discipline is explored, the real key of the festival is how “the arts enhance our lives,” she adds.
“It’s an enhancement of our lives individually, and also an enhancement of the arts in our community.”