Students perform at NIFPA this weekend

Disciplines include musical theatre, strings, speech arts, fiddle, piano, vocal, ballet, modern dance, stage dance, and hip-hop dance

After months of hard work, over 1,000 dedicated students from all over Vancouver Island are converging on the Comox Valley to strut their stuff.

The 37th 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 Feb. 9 with Music and Speech Arts performances at the Little Red Church in Comox and continues there through to Feb. 20. Musical Theatre and Dance performances will be held at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay and run from Feb. 20 to March 3.

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 $3/session or $15 individual passes are available for the entire festival and allow unlimited entry into both venues.

Passes can be purchased prior to festival at Budget Brake and Muffler (on Cliffe Avenue) or Silhouettes (on England).

For a complete calendar of session dates and programs, go to

This local festival is a member of Performing Arts BC (provincials).  Each year, students are sent to provincials and this allows those chosen to perform in a similar process, on a more advanced scale.  Last year’s provincials were held in Chilliwack and will be held in Penticton the first week of June.

There are three shows scheduled to wrap up the festival.

The first is new — the Music and Speech Arts Awards Night on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Little Red Church. Participants chosen by 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 disciples 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 available at the Sid Williams box office or online at the Sid website.

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 Island communities in celebration of a common cause and allow the public to embrace the amazing talent we have on our island.

— North Island Festival of Performing Arts