Music and Dance fest fosters excellence

The Lions Music and Dance fest will see thousands of eager performers streaming into Chilliwack for competitions and final performances.

The Lions Music and Dance Festival began this week in Chilliwack and continues until March.

The Lions Music and Dance Festival began this week in Chilliwack and continues until March.

The Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival has been proudly hosted in Chilliwack for 68 years.

This year, the tradition of putting the spotlight on talent continues, offering some of the best winter entertainment values in town.

Adjudicated festival competitions kicked off Monday with Dance categories with the help of many volunteers.

The Lions Music and Dance event will see thousand of eager young people and chaperones streaming into Chilliwack for the competitions and final performances.

The Dance part of the festival runs from Feb. 2-24 at a range of venues inside the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

“The Festival not only provides an opportunity for those in the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and Vancouver, it also fosters excellence in music and dance, providing encouragement to emerging artists,” said festival chair Madelaine Lange.

“Over the years, some have gone on to pursue an artistic career as a teacher or performer.”

Thirteen highly respected adjudicators are on their way from B.C. and Alberta to evaluate the festival’s dancers and musicians.

Music competitions begin the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 24 and run until Thursday, March 12.

More than 5,500 participants are signed up, and the performers range in age from five to 20.

“About 20 of the most talented will be chosen to go on to compete at the Provincial level, May 26-30, in Powell River B.C. and along with other winners from the country will go onto Nationals in Edmonton, Alberta in August 2015,” said Lange.

Dance Disciplines include Classical & Contemporary Ballet, Tap & Stage, Jazz Dance & Hip-Hop/Street Dance, as well as the Music Disciplines of Voice, Choral, Guitar, Strings, Woodwind & Piano – all at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre with Bands competing at G.W. Graham Middle/Secondary School.

Most venues run morning, afternoon and evening at a cost of only $4 per session, a One-Session Family Pass for $10 or $18 for a Season Pass.

“Don’t miss the crème de la crème at the Dance Honour Performance on Sunday, March 1 at 1:30 p.m. and the Music Honour Performance on Saturday, March 21 at 7 p.m.

Both Honour Performances are at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, tickets are only $10 each (available at the Box Office 604-391-7469 or online. There’s a Family Rate of $25 (up to 4 people) and another Family Rate $40 (for 5-8 people).

Pop by the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Corbould Street to pick up a program for the entire Festival for eight bucks.

“It’s great entertainment for a nominal sum and a great way to support our local talented youth.”