The Festival Alumni Ambassador Program

The Cause

Seeking all alumni from the Calgary Performing Arts Festival (formerly Kiwanis Festival).

The Festival just celebrated its 85th Anniversary!  The Festival (which runs over a three-week period) is a charitable organization and one of the largest amateur performing arts festivals in North America, with roughly 10,000 participants each year.  Over the past 85 years, it is estimated that over one million Calgarians have participated in the Festival. Somewhere over this period of 85 years, the Festival has lost some of its history by not maintaining an ongoing conversation with the alumni.  With all the challenges that face a Festival of this size it would be a significant benefit if the alumni could be more effectively engaged to be ambassadors for the Festival and ensure the vitality of this great event as it moves toward its century birthday!

Our idea is to create a project to locate our alumni (including past-participants, parents, adjudicators and music teachers), engage them through social media and otherwise, and build them into the Festival as active ambassadors for amateur performing arts in our community.

The Alumni Ambassadors will be able to connect: on social media, at reunions, at the Festival, at fundraiser events, at initiatives such as visits to seniors’ facilities and schools, and to speak on behalf of and in support of the Festival. The Alumni Ambassadors can bring their experiences to the conversation and help maintain a vital and relevant Festival for future generations. The project to locate the Alumni is much needed and support from the Field Law Community Fund could make it a reality.

Who Will it Benefit?

An Alumni Ambassador Program will provide support for the Calgary Performing Arts Festival. The Alumni Ambassadors will help root the Festival in its rich history to ensure its vitality in the years ahead. The Festival benefits the entire community by providing a venue for our amateur performing artists.  The Festival celebrates excellence in the performing arts with more than one thousand different classes in the various categories.  The Festival offers competitive and non-competitive classes for piano, voice, choirs, bands, wind and string instruments, handbells, speech, musical theatre, and Chinese ethnic instruments. All the classes offered provide the artists with an opportunity to perform in front of an audience and be evaluated by a professional adjudicator. Learning is a big part of the Festival and participants receive both written and oral feedback on their performances.

95% of active participants are 18 or younger, but the Alumni Ambassadors who we hope to engage will touch all age groups as we reach back through 85 years of the Festival.  We believe that many of these past participants, parents, adjudicators and teachers will benefit from becoming active ambassadors for the Festival - and the whole vitality of the Festival will be improved through their involvement.  Many of the Alumni Ambassadors (it is estimated that more than 1,000,000 Calgarians have been actively engaged in the Festival) will have continued on with their musical education into illustrious professional musical careers: in orchestras, as music teachers, actors, even indie stars (like Feist!) Some will have moved on to other endeavours – but most will still have a love of the performing arts and appreciation for their past Festival experiences.