Provincial FAQ's
Are you attending the Provincial Festival as a participant, teacher, or parent? Never heard of the Provincial Music Festival or AMFA? Need to know where to park, what to wear, or if there is a cost of admission? Here you will find a list of the most common questions & answers in regards to the Alberta Provincial Music Festival.

Please note that the following information is informal in nature, to help answer some of the most common questions. If you are attending the festival as a participant, make sure to read the complete AMFA Provincial Festival Rules found in the AMFA Syllabus.

General Information

What is AMFA?
The Alberta Music Festival Association

Who belongs to AMFA?

AMFA is an association of 35 local festivals throughout the Province. All are entitled to send qualified representatives to the Provincial Festival.

What kind of music is performed?
The emphasis of all the festivals is classical style music. Exception: Musical Theatre

Is there speech, pop music or dance?
There are other components such as speech arts and musical theatre at the local and Provincial levels. Some local festivals offer some opportunities for the performance of pop music and dance (neither of which are included at the Provincial festival). Please contact your local festival for more information. 

Why is the Provincial Festival held?
Annual Provincial Festivals are held to provide competition for selected representatives from local festivals.

Are the adjudicators local?
Adjudicators from Canada and abroad are engaged to offer constructive criticism as well as to choose winners in the various areas of performance.

How do I find a list of classes that I can enter at my local festival?
Rules for participation in all festivals (Local, Provincial and National) are printed in an annual syllabus. The syllabus is available

on this website.   It is generally posted by the end of October for festivals held in the following calendar year. There may be a local addendum to the Provincial Syllabus which will be available from your local festival.

Why should I read the rules and guidelines in the syllabus?
Always read the rules and guidelines well ahead of time as it is in your best interest to be aware of the rules so that you choose the right classes and music for your performance. Remember the absence of a rule prohibiting certain kinds of music, the use of technology, etc. does not mean that such things are acceptable. Should you have any questions check with your local festival for clarification.

What classes are offered at the Provincial festival?

Piano, woodwind, classical guitar, speech, vocal, musical theatre, brass, strings, music composition, chamber, choral (community and school, percussion and choral speech. ALL classes at the Provincial Level are solo except for Chamber Group, Choral and Choral Speech classes.

Festival Attendance Information

Where and when is the Provincial Festival?

The Provincial Festival is held  in Edmonton from May 26 - June 1, 2019.  Performances are in McDougall United Church, 10025—101 St. and Grant MacEwan Conservatory of Music at 10050 McDonald Drive (Alberta College).  The locations are neighboring buildings.

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The location of the Festival Office for both sections of the Festival is in Alberta College Campus of Grant MacEwan College. There are usually three sessions per day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.

When do I need to arrive and how long do I need to stay?
You should plan to arrive before the beginning of your session. If your class is divided into two sessions, you are welcome to sit in on the session before or after yours. Published editions of your music or speech selections should be turned in 15 minutes before the beginning of your session—usually to the adjudicator’s secretary at the competition venue. Adjudication sheets and certificates are presented only when the whole class is finished. However, the adjudicator will make comments at the end of the first session of a two part class. If you are in the first part of a two part class and cannot stay, you should;

a) pick up your music at the end of the session
b) make arrangements for someone to pick up your adjudication sheet and your certificate or
c) stop at the Festival Office (room 101 at Alberta College) and request that your adjudication sheet and certificate be mailed to you.

Are practice rooms available?

No.  Practice rooms are not available.  However, there are warm-up rooms—often not suitable for a full rehearsal. The rooms are in Alberta College and in McDougall Church. There are no warm-up facilities for choral speech. The number of rooms available each year depends on what other events are scheduled at the College. To book a warm up room you need to be there and ready to go to the room immediately. You will have 15 minutes in the room. If no one is waiting you may stay longer. Booking the rooms begins one hour before the scheduled class starting time and is handled at a table located in the main foyer of Alberta College. Advance booking is not permitted.

What should I wear?
What you wear should be appropriate for the circumstances. Revealing clothing and bare midriffs are never acceptable. At the very least, guys should wear dress pants and a clean shirt. In musical theatre, you will be in costume. In some speech classes you may wear at least a suggestion of a costume. If you are a younger student, 12 and under, dress clothes that you might wear to church are appropriate. In senior classes, dress is more formal. A suit for males and a long dress for females is not overdressing. Both genders may choose to wear black slacks and a black top. Jewellery, if worn at all, should be small pieces and should not “jingle.”

When do I find out where and when I perform?
An at-a-glance schedule that shows the days for each class should have been given to you by your local festival representative. This schedule is also posted on our website. A more detailed schedule will be available about a week before festival starts. It will be posted on the official Alberta Music Festival Website. Each participant will be responsible to check which session they will perform in. You will not receive any other notification. If the class is completed in one session, then you will know when your class is scheduled. If the class spans two sessions, you will know just as soon as is possible. Until all entries have been submitted by all 36 festivals the complete schedule is subject to change. However, changes will be in the number of sessions, not the day. Be sure to check our website often as changes will be posted as soon as they become available.

Where is there to sleep and eat?
Accommodation:   The Crown Plaza Hotel across the street  from Alberta College & McDougall United Church. The Fairmont MacDonald is about a block east of the College. There is a Holiday Inn Express a few blocks west. Families or speech or choral groups may wish to use the Grant MacEwan Residence. Please contact these hotels/residences directly.

Food: There is a Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and other fast-food restaurants within easy walking distance in downtown Edmonton. On the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the Festivals there is cafeteria-style food service for breakfast and lunch at Alberta College. All hotels mentioned above, except the Holiday Inn Express, have restaurants.


There is parking right next to the College, but it is both expensive and fills up quickly on weekdays.  The Crown Plaza hotel has a public underground parking available. There is street level parking one or two blocks west of McDougall Church. Success at finding a spot is clearly better on weekends. There is a loading zone in front of Alberta College on MacDonald Drive for dropping off passengers or for bus unloading and loading. That is a one way street west bound. To get on it you need to stay in the right southbound lane on 100th Street. (You will be on the west side of the Fairmont MacDonald Hotel to get onto MacDonald Drive.)

Performance Information

For a more detailed description of Performance rules and guidelines, please see the AMFA Provincial Festival Rules found in the AMFA Syllabus.

I forgot my music! What happens?
The adjudicator must have a published edition of your selection—music or speech—which must be complete with solo and accompaniment parts. No photocopies will be accepted (exception, Music Composition). Assuming that you and your accompanist can go ahead with the performance, you will get an adjudication only—not a mark, and therefore not able to place in the class. 

What if my selections take longer to perform than the time limit for my class?
The time limits for the various classes are in the syllabus on page 100. If your performance is longer than the time limit, you will receive an adjudication only—no mark and no placement in the class.

Since my performance in my local festival I’ve worked really hard on another selection and I’d like to play that instead. Can I?
If you perform a selection other than those submitted by your local festival, you will be disqualified meaning an adjudication only, no mark and no placement in the class. Changes in selections must be approved by the Provincial Administrator. No changes are permitted within 10 days of the start of the Festival.

If I place first in my class, do I have to do anything special?
Yes, you need to go to the Festival Office and write a thank you note to the donors of your scholarship and plaque. You don’t get the cheque until after you write the thank you card.

Is there a chance for me to practice in the room I’ll be performing in?
No. If you or your accompanist use rooms scheduled for performances, you will be disqualified.

Audience Information

Are there admission costs to the festival?

Performers and their accompanists are free. Parents, grandparents, teachers and general public are expected to pay a $5.00 admission fee. This admission is good for the whole day. Even if someone is going to see just your performance, payment is expected. The costs of putting on the festival do not change even if any one person just goes to one session. Admissions are an important source of revenue for the Provincial Festival.

Can my family/teacher/friends come to my performance?
Yes. The Provincial Festival is open to the public. Everyone attending the festival must pay a $5.00 admission fee unless they are a performer or accompanist. For Choral and Choral Speech participants, free admission is given to the performing groups of that day, which includes teachers and chaperones.

Note to performers: if you wish to attend the festival on a day that you are NOT performing, you will have to pay the $5.00 admission fee.

Audience Etiquette
If you wish to attend the festival as an audience member, you should be aware of the following etiquette rules. Each class is competing for trophies and scholarships, some are competing for National class placement, and certain Choral classes are recorded for future adjudication. As a result these rules are very important to maintain a proper and level field of competition.

• Audience members are to remain seated and quiet during performances. If necessary, you may leave the performance hall in-between performance, but please note that you will not be allowed back into the hall until there is a break in-between performances. Note: Families with small children are welcome to attend the classes, but please note that a silent and seated audience is required for the class to commence, and classes can run anywhere from 1-4 hours. If your young child is found to be a disturbance (crying, running, misbehaving) you may be asked to leave the performance hall. Discretion is advised.
• Please be sure to turn off any cell phones, pagers, or any devices that make audible noise before the class begins (turn OFF, not "silent" or "vibrate" mode). Anyone found using a cell phone or allowing an audible device to disrupt a performance will be removed from the performance hall.
• Photography, video and audio recording is permitted of your child's performance only. No flash photography is permitted, so be sure to turn the flash OFF on your camera. No video or audio recording of the adjudication is permitted.


Still need answers?
Very often your local festival contact person will be able to provide them. If not, contact the Provincial Administrator or the Assistant Provincial Administrator.

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