There aren’t many district events that can boast a 75-year plus history.
The Rainy River District Festival of the Performing Arts is among those few—getting underway today for the 76th time and running through April 22, with the annual “Highlights” concert set for Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Townshend Theatre.
With the spotlight always seeming to be on the achievements of local athletes, “Festival” (as it is affectionately known) is a tremendous opportunity for all ages, but especially young people, to display their various talents—whether as vocalists, musicians, or in the dramatic arts.
That’s certainly not to say athletes can’t have a love of the arts, as well. But for those who will never capture a NorWOSSA or NWOSSAA crown, or revel in OFSAA glory, “Festival” is their moment to shine; the culmination of years of practice and dedication in the pursuit of excellence in their particular endeavour.
“Festival” would not happen year after year without those who give of their time to hone the talents of their pupils, and especially the volunteers who spend months organizing it. That “Festival” is marking its 76th year is a testament to all those who work so diligently to ensure the arts remain a valued facet of district life.
The fact “Festival” continues to attract top-notch adjudicators here each spring is another sign that it’s a quality event.
And with “Festival” having joined the Associated Manitoba Arts Festivals this year, local performers now have an opportunity to compete at the Manitoba provincials at the end of May in Brandon—allowing them to showcase their skills on an even bigger stage.
Many district residents have gone on to pursue careers in the arts and no doubt most of those can point to “Festival” as where they got their start.
Kudos to those who have kept this important district event going all these years—and here’s to it continuing for many more.