British Columbia Association of Performing Arts Festivals
British Columbia Association of Performing Arts Festivals (British Columbia Music Festival Association 1964-82). Provincial umbrella organization founded in 1964 (after informal discussions held as early as 1961) at a meeting of representatives of urban competition festivals. The meeting was initiated by Elise White, at that time secretary of the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival, and Phyllis Schuldt, a Vancouver music teacher. The association has worked to further the competition festival movement, acting as a link between local festivals and exploring possible sources of financial support for them. By 1989 28 individual festivals throughout British Columbia had become members. Both the association and the festivals themselves have received regular financial assistance from the British Columbia Cultural Fund (British Columbia Cultural Services Branch).
In 1972 the association organized its first provincial competitions, open to winners from the member-festivals. Solo instrumentalists, instrumental ensembles, singers, and choirs competed for provincial standings, trophies, and money prizes, and also for eligibility to compete at the national level in the FCMF's recently established annual National Competitive Festival of Music (CIBC National Music Festival) at the CNE, Toronto. The provincial competitions continued annually (the association's own alternating with the government-sponsored biennial British Columbia Festival of the Arts which began in 1982), held in a succession of British Columbia cities, including New Westminster, Prince George, Terrace, Vernon, and Victoria. In 1989 247 competitors performed in the provincial competitions. Adjudicators from outside the province (eg, from the universities of Alberta or Washington State) have been favoured for the provincial assignments. The 28 member-festivals have been autonomous in British Columbia, each preparing its own syllabus, unlike those in Alberta, which in 1918 adopted a common syllabus prepared by their provincial association. The association began producing its own syllabus for the provincial finals in 1982.