Since 1927

The Kiwanis Festival for the Performing Arts (Stratford) began in 1927. The Festival now runs at least 3 weeks every April with an annual average of 1,000 entries and is managed by a small part-time staff and over 100 volunteers. We are a registered charity (887047199 RR0001) supported by donations, sponsorships, and participant registration fees and governed by an Organizing Committee headed by Kiwanians named as Trustees by the Kiwanis Club of Stratford.

Organizing Committee 2023

Ron Bailey* - Chairman and FR Cttee
Barb Schoch* - Treasurer
Wendy Orr - Secretary
Howard Famme*, Co-chair Fundraising
Nora McDonald*, Co-chair Fundraising
Ivan Buchan, Fundraising
Deb Mountain, Adjudicator Assistants
Heather Herman*
Mark McIntosh

* Trustee

Pat McKinna (she/her) - Executive Director
Kathryn Baker/Sarah Elliott - Assistant

Kiwanis Club Board

Terry Marklevitz - President
Cynthia Hastings - Past President
Tom Edge - President Elect
Heather Herman - Vice-President
Gerald Cook - Treasurer
Ron Fischer - Secretary
Barrie Beech
Dave Evans
Ken deLaat
David MacLennan
Barb Schoch
Mike Westmorland

Milestones

1927 - Music teachers, led by WB Rothwell, organized the Stratford Music Festival featuring competitions in voice, piano, strings and school choirs.

1941 - The festival, now grown in size and popularity, was one of the few in Canada to remain in operation through the war years.

1952 - Volunteers from the Kiwanis Club of Stratford assumed responsibility for Festival administration.

1967 - The "Kiwanis Music Festival of Stratford" was granted Charitable Status.

1980 - The music festival expanded its syllabus to include competitions in dance, guitar, jazz, and rock and roll bands.

2008 - The festival was renamed "Kiwanis Festival of the Performing Arts".

2020 - The festival was cancelled for the first time since 1927 due to COVID pandemic.

2021 - This venerable event showed its resilience by going online!

Today, our festival operates as an independent charity, administered by Executive Director Pat McKinna, managed by a volunteer Organizing Committee headed by Kiwanis Trustees, and generously supported by the local business community and individual donors. Won't you join that family??