This year’s rendition of the annual Stettler & District Music Festival has unfortunately been cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns.
Organizers made the decision this past Sunday for the event, which was set to kick off on April 14th and run through to April 23rd, wrapping up with the Grand Concert on April 26th.
Wendy Staal, the Festival’s board chair, said that members talked about many options including limiting the size of audiences, but ultimately decided that cancelling this year’s event was the most prudent way to go.
“We just don’t know what the days to come have in store, so we just cancelled it,” she explained.
Having first launched back in 1969 as a three-day event, today’s Festival runs for nine days and can attract hundreds of entries.
More than 100 volunteers also help out each year as well to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Staal said that the Festival can boast many speech, vocal soloist and choirs that have been recommended to go onto perform at the provincials.
According to the Society, the Stettler & District Music Festival wasn’t always known by this name.
“The first music festival started on May 17th, 1933 and was just the Stettler Music Festival. It was sponsored by the teacher’s association and included only vocal classes with four categories: rural schools, open, high school boys and high school girls. This format continued until 1952 excluding the years of 1941 – 1945. At that time, it was discontinued.
“In 1969, an interested group of people decided to form the Stettler Music Festival Association, which was a part of the Alberta Music Festival Association.”
The purpose of the Festival is and has always been, “To promote the appreciation of and participation in music, speech arts, musical theatre and dance in the citizens of Stettler and District.”
For more, check out www.stettlermusicfestival.com or find them on Facebook at ‘Stettler and District Music Festival’.