For more than seven decades the Chilliwack Lions Club has been encouraging fine arts in the community’s youth by hosting the Annual Music and Dance Festival. And now, to ensure that tradition continues, they’re bring the Provincial competitions back to town.
“To be honest, there was going to be a one-year lag if we didn’t do it, and that would not be good for momentum,” explained Laurie Hirschman, who helps each year with the local Festival.
With a commitment to artistic excellence, dozens of young singers and dancers enter Chilliwack’s Music and Dance Festival with the sole purpose of trying to get to Provincials, which can lead to Nationals: both of which are the sorts of festivals where life-long careers in the industry are forged, noted Hirschman.
“This is often the springing point where a young person decides whether or not they want to be a musician or dancer.”
And although the action doesn’t start until next spring, Hirschman says it’s the current planning that’s most important: “We need sponsors and funding to help support the provincial festival.
“It’s a fairly prestigious event,” Hirschman continued. “Last year saw more than 600 participants in Victoria, and they each cam with at least one parent if not more.”
So besides being good for the kids who enter, Provincials are “great for the businesses in Chilliwack, too, (because) the money that’s raised locally stays and is spent in Chilliwack,” she added.
To bring it all together, Hirschman estimates it will take several dozen volunteers and about about $30,000. “The entry fees (mostly) just pay for the adjudicators.” The rest is done through the hard work and financial support of community members.
To sponsor, donate, or volunteer for the 2019 Performing Arts Provincial championships, please email Laurie Hirschman at firstname.lastname@example.org.