The Pacific Northwest Music Festival received seven gift cards from Air Canada, each valued at $250. Presented at Elan Travel in Terrace on May 14. Left to right: Brianna Onstein (dance), Danielle Weary (multi-discipline: piano, speech arts, vocal), Erilyn Nicklie (strings), Clare DeMelo (piano), Stephanie Johnson for daughter Natasha (speech arts), PNMF President Bonnie Juniper, PNMF committee member Jane Blix and PNMF committee member Kelly Lima. (Submitted photo)

The Pacific Northwest Music Festival received seven gift cards from Air Canada, each valued at $250. Presented at Elan Travel in Terrace on May 14. Left to right: Brianna Onstein (dance), Danielle Weary (multi-discipline: piano, speech arts, vocal), Erilyn Nicklie (strings), Clare DeMelo (piano), Stephanie Johnson for daughter Natasha (speech arts), PNMF President Bonnie Juniper, PNMF committee member Jane Blix and PNMF committee member Kelly Lima. (Submitted photo)

Pacific Northwest Music Festival comes back singing in Terrace

“We just said no, we’re not going to quit,” PNMF President Bonnie Juniper.

The Pacific Northwest Music Festival (PNMF) made a successful comeback this year after being on hiatus since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The inter-community music festival has been a major event in Terrace since 1965. Students and people of all ages take part. PNMF President Bonnie Juniper said it was “really wonderful” to have the festival back in Terrace again.

“We’ve developed our festival so that it’s competitive but not at the expense of other people’s feelings. Kids congratulate each other, and they’re very supportive of each other,” Juniper said.

“We’re supporting the arts and we want the communities working together.”

This year’s festival was a ‘reduced version’ consisting of solo entries and held exclusively at the R.E.M. Lee Theatre. Despite that the event attracted more than 400 participants from different musical disciplines.

“It’s tough to get things back up again once you’ve stopped. You have to regenerate the energy and push and get people going,” Juniper said.

The scholarship competition was cancelled this year and anyone who finished first in their category with a score of at least 80 per cent got $50. Air Canada also sponsored a $250 gift card for the top contestant in each discipline.

A multidisciplinary award went to Danielle Weary for entering three categories and doing well in all of them.

Participants also got feedback on their performance from professional judges and mentors.

George Brown Dance College alumni Lindsay Aquin and New Brunswick choreographer Christopher Knowles were contest judges for dance, with Deborah McGladdery for speech arts and Suzanne Snizek for woodwinds.

Performer and teacher Jane Hays judged the piano section. Violinist and conductor Jonathan Der judged the strings performances and Metropolitan Opera veteran soprano Joslin Romphf Dennis was there for the vocals.

Juniper said new sponsorship from Air Canada this year combined with a pandemic recovery grant from the province was ‘huge’ in terms of getting the project back up and running.

Organizers and musicians are looking forward to the festival eventually getting back to where it was before the pandemic. Juniper said music was a good pastime for students during periods of isolation.

Classes at the Terrace Academy of Music were able to happen over Zoom.

“We just found another way. We just said no, we’re not going to quit.”

READ MORE: Pacific Northwest Music Festival set to return in 2022


 

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