After months of hard work, more than 1,000 dedicated students from all over Vancouver Island are converging on the Comox Valley to strut their stuff. The 39th annual North Island Festival of Performing Arts (NIFPA) is a non-profit society dedicated to providing a festival for students to perform before audiences and adjudicators. The performing arts disciplines represented include musical theatre, strings, speech arts, fiddle, piano, vocal, ballet, modern dance, stage dance, and hip-hop dance.
NIFPA begins today with Music and Speech Arts performances at the Old Church Theatre and continues there through to Feb. 16. Musical Theatre and Dance performances will be held at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay and run from Feb. 18 – March 2. The public are invited to watch the festival, which occurs in sessions throughout the day and evening. Potential audience members should keep in mind that these are adjudicated performances with pauses between performances. Admission is by donation (suggested minimums $3/session). For a complete calendar of session dates and programs, please go to www.nifpa.org.
This local festival is a member of Performing Arts BC (Provincials). Each year, students are sent to Provincials where those chosen get to perform in a similar process, on a more advanced scale. Last year’s Provincials were held in Penticton and this year’s will be held in Powell River the last week of May.
There are three shows scheduled to wrap up the festival.
Our newest addition – Provincial Rep Showcase, runs Saturday, March 7, 1 p.m. at the Sid. The participants chosen by the adjudicators to represent our local festival at Provincials will be presented and their talents showcased. Admission is by donation.
The Festival Variety Showcase and Dance Gala are familiar favourites. Friday night showcases a variety of all disciplines chosen by the adjudicators for their achievement and entertainment value. The Dance Gala is specific to dance with performances selected by adjudicators also, creating a spectacular show for the public to observe. Tickets are $15 and are available at the Sid Williams box office or online at their website.
The fine arts flourish at the festival and NIFPA feels it is important to value and further develop these talented youth and to encourage them to have personal growth and development in their discipline. The performances gather the various V.I. communities together in celebration of a common cause and allow the public to embrace the amazing talent we have on our Island.