Hear what parents, adjudicators and students have to say about the festival.
The Oakville Vocal Arts Festival is one of my favourite festivals to participate in. I really enjoy getting the opportunity to perform and to get feedback from an adjudicator without feeling pressure to get first, second, or third. Having a non-competitive festival really changes the overall atmosphere of the performance room. I find that everyone who is performing is much friendlier and supportive of one another, when they don’t have the thoughts of whether or not they will place over their heads.
This festival is one of the best because it promotes the sharing of music, for the love of music, and not for the need of competition. It is inclusive of everyone and provides a safe and welcoming environment for people to grow as musicians.Natasha, Festival Participant
Since its inception, the Oakville Vocal Arts Festival (OVAF) has been dedicated to celebrating the joy of singing. The festival is unique in that participants have their performances adjudicated by world-class professionals; however the focus is on the growth of the individual, not on awards. In this non-competitive environment, I have seen young singers cheered on by other participants when they hit all of their notes and comforted by other participants when their voice cracks or they forget their lyrics. By design, they are inspired to be passionate about their gifts, and to share those gifts with their community.
Perhaps the best testament to the value that OVAF brings to our community is the finale concert and the massed voice choir, made up of all of the festival participants – it is this beautiful opportunity for coming together that embodies the true spirit of community. The organizing committee of OVAF truly represents the best of what our community is, in action and in spirit, and are deserving of this recognition.Parent’s Community Spirit Awards Nomination
This festival has to be one of the strongest festival I have ever adjudicated. The teaching and performing is at a very high level. Adjudicating the entire festival by just having to give a standing of bronze, silver or gold makes it so much easier for the adjudicator when you hear so many beautiful voices in one class and you don’t have to choose just one winner but you can reward many singers for their hard work and accomplishments. The participants looked extremely happy with the feedback and less preoccupied with a mark. I love it and think we should do this at all festival where music and performing is so subjective. Music needs to be fun, encouraging and educational and this festival has certainly created this environment. Congratulations OVAF.
Thank you again for inviting me. I wish you a wonderful week next week of more beautiful singing. I hope that I can return in the near future.Monette Gould, Adjudicator
I got to sing with joy from my heart instead of worrying about whether I would win or not. It was a lot less stressful.12-Year-Old Participant, 2015
I like that it wasn’t about first, second and third … the comments were more important.10-Year-Old Participant, 2015
Our children have participated in numerous festivals over the past 10 years. By far, the best experience we have ever had, was this past year in the Oakville Vocal Arts Festival. It was easy to register, the venues were great and the adjudicator was terrific. But for us, the best part was the experience for our daughter. It was a learning experience for all the participants, rather than just a competition to see who was the best. We will definitely be participating again this year.Ann, Parent
Adjudicating the first Oakville Arts Festival was an absolute delight! The focus on creating an encouraging and supportive environment with emphasis on non-competitive performance made it a joyful, educational experience. Integrating workshops into the festival helped clarify and support the feedback given to each student.
Bravo to all those who contributed to the creation of this positive, educational, inspiring Festival!Marie Baron, Adjudicator
Thank you again for a wonderful experience in Oakville. Your first festival was a big success – congratulations to all who were involved. This event was so well organized and well run and fostered an atmosphere of friendly encouragement among the singers and strong support from the wonderful teachers and accompanists too. You deserve big credit for this I know!
Good Luck to all the participants going to Provincials! I’m sure they will represent the fine calibre of singing at your festival and the fine teaching behind it.Irene Ilic, Adjudicator
It was less stressful because of no placements and I felt a positive environment in that church.14-Year-Old Participant, 2015