It's thanks to “a lot of very dedicated musicians and teachers” that the Kiwanis Music Festival of Sudbury is now in its 71st year, said the festival's co-ordinator.
It's become a tradition for music teachers to enter their students in the festival, said Heather Parker. In some cases, it may be the first time a musician has had their work professionally adjudicated.
“A lot of these kids start competing in the festival when they're six or seven years old, and now they're teenagers,” Parker said. “We get to see them develop every year.”
This year's festival started March 29 and runs until April 8, and features about 1,000 musicians competing in categories including vocal, strings, bands and guitar. It's being held at St. Andrew's Place in the downtown.
“It's a chance for the students to perform and be a adjudicated by an unbiased person,” Parker said. “It's character-building.”