Festival dance performances are now on in Chilliwack

Impressive 1,850 entries signed up this year for the Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival 2014

These talented, young performers always need an audience.

With at least 1,850 entries signed up this year for the Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival, it means a whopping 5,550 participants will be streaming into the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, from February 4-24, for Dance and February 24 to March 13 for Music.

With a 67-year-tradition of arts excellence from Chilliwack and surrounding communities, the Lions Music and Dance Festival 2014 once again has the Cultural Centre is the main venue, with dancers and musicians of all levels determined to bring the wow factor.

“No matter their age, you will be delighted, astonished and above all, entertained by the efforts of both young and old alike,” says festival spokesperson Colleen Adie. “What these performers need is an audience. The bigger the better since performers feed off the positive energy from their audience.”

That’s why festival officials make a point of keeping admission rates for audience as low as possible. Sessions are $4 each or fans and families get a real bargain by purchasing a festival pass for $18, which permits entry into everything except for the final Honour Concerts.

“In the volunteer world, 67 years is a feat in itself,” said Adie.

The Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival launched the festival in 1948 with the combined efforts of the Chilliwack Lions Club and members in the Chilliwack/Abbotsford British Columbia Music Teachers Association.  The Chilliwack Lions Club took on the enormous task of supplying the finances and volunteers.  The BCRMTA teachers helped scrutinize the entries and together both organizations put trophies in place.

Chilliwack Festival is known for its hospitality. Using the Cultural Centre as the main venue has led to some growth for the dance category.

“We also have an Acro Division in Dance which is really exciting, almost nail-biting to watch, as dance is combined with acrobatics,” she said.

This association between volunteers continues still today with the great help and assistance of Chilliwack Lions Club members, member of other Lions Club plus many other community volunteers.

Last year more than 550 Volunteers and festival executive personnel chipped in 4000 hours to make this such a successful event.

That yielded an incredible audience and participants of about 14,000 people who were welcomed to the festival.

Bands will perform March 11-13 in the G.W. Graham Middle-Secondary School Theatre on Thomas Road.  Session rates are $4, Family Pass for $10/one session or get a Seasons Pass for $18 for audience members.  Venues are open daily for competition and actual times for sessions are available from our Calendar at www.chilliwacklionsclubmusicanddancefestival.com. Programs for the whole festival can be purchased for $8 during the festival.

The best of the best are invited back for the Honour Concerts held at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre at 9201 Corbould St. Dance is on Sunday, Mar. 2 at 1:30 p.m. and Music is Friday, April 4 at 7 p.m.  Tickets for the honour concerts are $15 each, from the Box Office at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, by phoning 604-391-7469 or www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca.