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Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts approaches

The dance elements of the performing arts starts the series
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Elledae Armstrong was one of four dancers who participated in their final Quesnel Festival of the Arts dance festival in 2021. Armstrong had competed in 12 straight festivals. (Submitted Photo)

Hollywood has its awards season, and Quesnel has its festival season. The first in a series of talent showcases is about to begin, and all the performers of the city, young and old, are starting to feel those bubbly butterflies as they rehearse their parts for competition.

There are several components to the overall festival, broken into stages of time, all leading to the grand performance, the Celebration of Stars, happening May 6 at the Chuck Mobley Theatre at Correlieu Secondary School.

There are times for the speech and dramatic arts and the bands and instrumentalists to have their voice (dates to be announced as volunteers are desperately needed), time for the piano players to have their spotlight (April 12-15), time for the vocal and choral singers to rise in song (April 4-6) but first come the dancers. The dance component of the festival leaps onto the Chuck Mobley stage from Feb. 17-20.

“(There are) over 500 entries. Dancers are coming from all over the province to perform in ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern, contemporary, acrobatics, song and dance, variety, and more,” said Vicky Predan of the Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts organing group.

“We kick things off with our 40th Annual Dance Festival from Feb. 17 - 20,” she said. “Everyone is welcome. We encourage all community members to come out and support our talented youth. We begin Friday night with ballet and stage musical interpretation at 7:30 p.m. The celebration continues with solo, duo and group performances on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m to 6:30 p.m. Our Highlights Gala and Awards Ceremony is on Monday, Feb. 20th at 1 pm.”

Like all events that brought people into close collaboration, the festival had pandemic effects beyond its control. It feels like this big event comprised of many small events is now back on track.

“It has not been an easy journey,” said Predan. “During COVID we lost all of our seasoned volunteers. Since COVID, our current board members were determined to keep the legacy alive. It was/is a humbling experience and we still have lots to learn. We have all worked extremely hard and, long story short, we have a functional board, we have a solid foundation, we have the funds, we have the talented youth, we just need more volunteers to help out. We are non-profit, we are a youth charity, we support youth in the performing arts.”

For much more information on the live performances and the times and dates they occur, you can visit their website at www.qfpa.org or email them at quesnelfestivalperformingarts@gmail.com.

Read more: Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts hosts Celebration of Stars

Read more: Spotlight shines on dancers at Quesnel Festival of Performing Arts