The 2018 Festival was one of the busiest on record with over 3,000 individual and group performers participating in the Festival and more than 5,000 audience members, supported by over 1,000 volunteer hours. In 2019, we will distribute several thousands of dollars in awards and scholarships.
- Okanagan Valley Music Festival was founded in 1926.
- The first Festival was a one-day event with choral, voice, piano, and elocution classes offered.
- In 1927, the Festival grew to become a two-day event.
- Folk dancing added in 1931.
- The Festival becomes a tri-city event in 1936 with Kelowna, Penticton, and Vernon taking
- In 1949, the Okanagan Valley Music Festival becomes part of the Federation of Canadian Music
- During the 1950s, concert band classes are added and the festival increases scholarships and
- The festival becomes part of the BC Federation of Festivals in 1958.
- The Kiwanis Club of Kelowna became the main festival sponsor in 1980.
- In 1981 the festival becomes the the Kelowna Kiwanis Festival and made its permanent home in
- During the 1980s the Festival continued to grow under its first Executive Director, Val Bardot.
- The Festival hosts the National Federation of Music Festival in 2014.
- In 2016, the Festival produces its first alumni concert and reception in honour of its 90th
We rely on volunteers, donations, and sponsors to achieve our mission while ensuring that each performer has a wonderful festival experience that encourages further study in their discipline.
Zonia Arnold, President
Marion MacNeil, Secretary
Eric Reitsma, Treasurer
Karen Jo-Anne Sigurdson, Communications
Sandy Kakoschke, Volunteer Coordinator
Denise Andre, Director (Dance)
Graham Vink, Director
Althea Di Gregorio, Director
Dulcie Sharpe, Director
John Przywara, Director
Karen Jean Machura, Executive Director
2018/19 Kiwanis Music
Festival Society of Kelowna
Board & Executives
We are a board-governed, non-profit (and registered charity) organization. The Kiwanis Music Festival Society of Kelowna oversees all aspects of the Festival. Membership in the society is open to the public. Festival Executive positions are elected from the membership.
We provide an annual festival for aspiring performing artists to showcase their achievements in dance, music, and voice to their community and peers while having their performances evaluated in a constructive and positive manner.