Dear Festival Participants, Parents, Teachers, and Festival supporters at-large.
Greetings from your Festival committee. We hope you are faring well. The past season has been a difficult one, with many challenges and unprecedented circumstances none of us could’ve seen coming. But we’re still here. And after much deliberation, we feel we as your festival committee are finally able to offer you all some clarity as to what the year ahead will look like for us.
As a board, we are unanimously united on a few points.
There is a massive need in our community for a performing arts festival to be held in 2022
We as a board are very uncomfortable implementing any practices which would segregate or make it not possible for certain students and families to participate based on their personal medical/health choices
We feel that out of respect towards the integrity of our festival, we absolutely must at the very least abide within any government-mandated guidelines that happen to be in place at the time of our festival
We value everyone’s health and respect their individual rights and freedoms to choose how best to protect and safeguard both health and well-being in this current season we are facing.
As a result of unity on these key points, we have come to the following decision regarding our festival in 2022.
—Festival WILL take place, planned in such a way where it will be able to proceed regardless of whatever restrictions happen to be or not be implemented at the time
—We will plan towards an in-person festival, and should circumstances progress in such a way where this is no longer possible for all students (we will not be put in a situation where we will be required to check vaccination status etc), we will move to hold festival as-scheduled, but with an online format rather than in-person.
It has come to the attention of the committee that the consensus of our community is that students would rather have a festival in which all students are able to participate, even if it means moving online, rather than to have a festival take place where only a small percentage of our participants would be able to participate or might be incentivized to do so in going against the beliefs and practices of their families/parents/guardians. While on our board, we represent all walks of life and perspectives concerning the situation around us, we are united by the fact that our festival is a community service and in order to serve our community must not be made to exclude any specific demographic.
What you can expect:
If you plan towards festival, work hard, and invest careful preparation on your end, we are committed to deliver you a festival on our end. You can plan towards this and not have it “disappear,” like so many other losses we have all experienced up until this point.
If we are able to proceed with an in-person festival, we may find it necessary to increase greater distancing between participants, limit the number of audience members, decrease class sizes if applicable, and encourage the wearing of masks in accordance with both government mandates and general common-sense in terms of performing groups. If taking these above steps allows us to hold an in-person festival when we otherwise would not be able to, we are willing as a committee to implement them, both out of respect to those who choose to be more cautious involving health-related risks, and also as to our knowledge implementing these measures would not be exclusionary towards any students wishing to enter nor be a point of contention within their families.
There will be a cut-off date at which time we will decide whether it looks possible to continue with an in-person festival, or whether we will need to proceed to plan with moving things online. Think of it as the point-of-no-return at a yellow light. At this time, we will make an assessment of how things are trending both provincially and locally and make the best possible decision at that time.
IF we choose at this time to proceed with an in-person festival and something happens suddenly, even as late as the week before, in which case we are no longer permitted to proceed within the criteria we have above communicated, we will have “backup plans” that enable us to proceed with the scheduled festival (keep students at their class times), but move the adjudications and performances to an online platform.
We are fortunate for many reasons. At this point we have been able to observe several festivals throughout the province proceed through this unprecedented time and have been able to learn from what worked/what didn’t work in terms of both in-person performance protocols, as well as the ups and downs of hosting festival sessions online. We are confident both CAN be done.
What we are unable to do is predict both the path ahead of the current situation within our province. However it is fully within our grasp to proceed wth planning a festival that serves the need of students within our community and it is our priority to keep this opportunity available for all of our students and community members.
Please note the following dates:
Registration Deadline for Dance Entries: December 17
Registration Window for Music Entries: February 2-February 16
Registration Deadline for Music Entries: February 16
**Please note late entries will NOT be accepted**
Scheduling: February 16-28
Final Schedule to be Posted: March 1
Festival Dates: March 14-18
We would also like to thank
—The City of Lacombe/Lacombe Memorial Centre, St. Andrew’s United Church, and College Heights Seventh-Day Adventist church for their generous donation of venues and ongoing support of our festival
—Our adjudicators, many of whom have chosen to stay on with us for the 2022 season after their 2020 contracts had to be let go
—Our teachers who have made many sacrifices, adjustments, and pivots in the past year to continue making education in music and the arts accessible for students to the best of their abilities.
—Our sponsors who have continued to support our festival throughout this difficult and unprecedented time.
—Festival families and students who have done their very best to continue to work hard, to not give up, and to pursue their skills, interests, gifts, and talents even in the middle of so much chaos and uncertainty.
YOU all inspire us.
Looking forward to seeing you all in 2022,
Your Festival Committee
Ps. Please note this email communication is sent out to registered participants from our 2020 festival. Teachers, if you have new students who have joined your studio since this time, feel free to forward this message to them. If you no longer wish to be on this email list, please email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will go into our software and remove you.