Edmonton - Director's Package

About Schedule Register Package Adjudicators Fees Guest Performances

**this page will be updated in the fall of 2023**

We are looking forward to another very successful Festival. Below are some details and important changes regarding the Festival.  Last day for schedule changes is March 1, 2023 – no exceptions.  Requests before this date are not guaranteed and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Venues and Parking

Please note the addresses for your bus drivers:

McDougall United Church: 10086 MacDonald Dr NW, Edmonton
* NOTE: Parking is limited - prepare in advance, students may be dropped off on side streets

Francis Winspear Centre for Music: 4 Sir Winston Churchill Square NW, Edmonton
* NOTE: No parking at venue. Participants should be aware that the Winspear Centre is undergoing a major addition and along with construction for the new LRT immediately to the north, a new library and construction in Churchill Square, downtown Edmonton is a bit of a traffic nightmare!!  Please watch for updates as access to the hall changes monthly and we will inform everyone one month before the festival as to where the best place to park your bus and unload.  Please ensure that your bus drivers are familiar with traffic in the downtown core as well as across the river for the instrumental and band workshops.

Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre: 8426 Gateway Boulevard NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4B4

Yardbird Suite: 10203 86 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2M2

Knox Evangelical Free Church: 8403 104 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4G1

Strathcona Baptist Church: 8318 104 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4E8

Muttart Hall, Alberta College – 10050 MacDonald Dr. NW
*NOTE: (directly behind McDougall United Church). Parking is limited – similar to McDougall United issues.

Northern Jubilee Auditorium, 11455 87 Av. NW
*NOTE: drop students off in front of the hall just off 87 Avenue.

View Edmonton Cantando Festival Map in a larger map 

Required Documentation

In order to make things run a little smoother, we require some information from you ahead of time. Listed below are documents to download, fill out and email back to Kelsey ASAP

  1. Ensemble Seating Chart:
  2. Ensemble Biography and Repertoire list (this is what the MC will use to introduce your ensemble)

***one per ensemble***


FINAL PAYMENTS – DUE FEBRUARY 15, 2023 (Let us know ASAP if you need to arrange a late payment)

Follow these steps to calculate the amount owing:

  1. Please indicate on a separate email and note exactly what you are paying for:

    • Number of students in each concert band

  2. Fees:

    • Concert Band fee = number of participants x $85
      **Minimum fee of $2000, maximum fee of $4750 per ensemble

    • Choir fee = number of participants x $85
      **Minimum fee of $2000, maximum fee of $4750 per ensemble

    • Jazz Band fee = $1000

  3. Deposit: subtract any deposits you have already paid

Make cheques payable to New Era Music Festivals and mail to the following address:

Canadian Cantando Festivals
250 Greenoch Crescent NW, Edmonton, AB T6L 1B4
Edmonton, AB T6L 1B4


Photographs, Plaques, Grades & Recordings

All Concert Band and Concert Choir performances are recorded, and those results (with adjudicator comments) will be sent to you via email a few weeks after your performance.For those wanting pictures, we encourage your students or chaperones to take photos of all aspects of the event, except for the evening concerts. We no longer are able to hire professional photographers to document the festival as there was more interest in the personal aspect of photos being taken by participants than there was of paying $$ to receive photos. Everyone has a camera with them and documenting your travels on social media would be of interest to all those that know you(with permission of your subjects of course).

We are also sending out certificates with this same email. Edmonton is fully non-competitive however if your school board (or you) requires a grade, simply send an email to kelsey@cantando.org and we can accommodate you. Otherwise the certificate will simply say "Participation".

Evening Concert Schedule

We have an exciting series of evening concerts on Monday and Tuesday in the Winspear Centre, and Wednesday in the Northern Jubilee Auditorium (there is NO CONCERT on Sunday evening). Due to the increased enrolment and the limited seating in the Winspear, we are assigning students to an early (7 pm) or late (8:30 pm) concert on Monday and Tuesday. Contact Kelsey if you have a preference or need a specific concert due to busing schedules. The concert on Wednesday evening is in the Jubilee, a larger hall, and starts at 8 pm. Concerts are free for participants and there is no need to reserve tickets, just be sure to wear your Cantando badge.  Seats are first come-first served.  Please check the Guest Performances for complete details.


All conductors must bring copies of scores for the adjudicators. Please note the number required below, in addition to the score you will be using yourself:

  • Choral: 2 copies of each selection
  • Jazz Ensemble: 1 copy of each selection
  • Concert Band: 3 copies of each selection

Concert Band Participants

DAY 1: Performance Day

Concert Band Performances are in the Francis Winspear Centre for Music Centre for Music on Sunday, Monday & Tuesday and in the Northern Jubilee Auditorium on Wednesday.

Check-in and Warm-Up
Before unloading your students, you must check in at the Registration desk. The warmup space is available 20 to 30 minutes before your performance – ONLY CHAIRS ARE AVAILABE, NO STANDS. Please warm up quickly and be prepared to move to the stage once notified. Please note, the regular rehearsal room is not available due to construction and warm ups must involve only wind players, no percussion is available. REMEMBER – it is a warm up – not a rehearsal space.

One bass amp will be provided on the performance stage. If you require more, please bring your own additional amps and extension cords.

A list of available percussion is available here

Your allotted time on stage includes coming on and off stage, and any percussion set-up that you require, in addition to your actual performance. We suggest that you use as much of your time on stage at both venues for performance. Both halls are spectacular and the acoustics are wonderful – you'll discover this after your first note!

For 2023 we are not requiring any mandatory selections and understand that limited rehearsal time in the past has affected performances however we are trying to promote quality repertoire and this is a major concern of the adjudicators. They will make comments on the quality of your selections as well as the quality of your performance so choose repertoire carefully.  Twenty minutes is allocated on stage for all ensembles.

Listening Opportunity
Be sure to schedule time for your students to hear other groups. Expose your students to the music-making of others. In the past, several band directors have asked their own students to act as adjudicators themselves – analyzing strengths and weakness of other groups, listening critically to the music, their own sections, solo parts, etc. Several use standard adjudication forms for their students to make comments about other groups – this is a terrific idea and I encourage you to think about doing it. Make this more than just a trip to visit “The Mall” – have your students come away with some kind of musical growth as well!!

Plan to attend the evening concert in the Francis Winspear Centre for Music – check the Guest Performances tab for more info.

DAY 2: Adjudication and Workshops

Venues are across Southside Edmonton (Old Strathcona area).

Prior to their adjudication workshops, Directors should check in at the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre to determine the location of their band workshops and instrumental clinics. This venue and 2 churches are a short walk apart.

Band workshops are held in the OSPAC or in the adjacent Knox Evangelical Free Church. Instrumental clinics are held in Strathcona Baptist Church or KEFC. 

50 minute workshop with your band.
Be sure to talk with the adjudicator about the format for this and discuss your expectations of the time they spend with you. We have some great adjudicators. They are concerned with musical growth and aren't concerned about giving you a rating or comparing you with others. Let them know about your own specific situation so they can help make recommendations with everything from intonation to scheduling! 
Make sure you are available for the entire clinic, as the adjudicators will be designing the clinic for you and your band.  Your written adjudication and music scores will be included with your adjudication packet as well as information on how to access the recorded performance in the Francis Winspear Centre for Music from our Dropbox site.  These can be picked up from the adjudicator immediately following the workshop.

Instrumental Masterclasses: Various rooms
Students will spend 50 minutes in instrumental masterclasses with specialists on their instruments. You are welcome to attend and move from clinic to clinic. 
See masterclass schedule here

Faculty recitals will be held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday noon at Strathcona Baptist Church for all interested students.

Plan to attend the evening concert in the Francis Winspear Centre for Music – check the Guest Performances tab for more info.

Choral Participants

Choral performances and adjudications will occur on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at McDougall United Church.  This church has terrific acoustics – live and clean – and I know your choir will enjoy performing there.

Arrive 45 minutes prior to your performance time to check in at the registration desk at the church. You will have 20 minutes to warm up. Choirs perform in the morning will have their workshops in the afternoon.  We hope the choirs will have a chance to listen to each other during these morning sessions.

The program for your performance should be varied and include solid choral values in the repertoire you choose. Each choir will have 20 minutes on stage to perform; therefore, time your selections accordingly (i.e. c. 15 minutes of material would suffice). 

The 50 minute workshops are scheduled for the afternoon.  Express your expectations of this workshop to the adjudicator so that they may use this time to your greatest advantage.

Grand piano and risers will be provided.

Mass Choir Performance – Tuesday – Francis Winspear Centre for Music Centre

All choirs are expected to sing in the Mass Choir performance at the Francis Winspear Centre for Music. This should be a stunning performance and a great opportunity for your singers to perform with others from across Canada and the U.S. in the Francis Winspear Centre for Music Centre. I hope everyone can participate – let us know immediately if you can or can’t!! 

The Mass Choir director is aware that a few schools will have participants in adjudication workshops and understands that they will be late for the Mass Choir rehearsal.  Please have your students at the rehearsal as soon as possible after your adjudication.

  • Rehearsal begins at 5:00 pm on the 3rd floor foyer at the Winspear Centre for Music on Tuesday. At 6:00 we move quickly for a run through on stage. Rehearsal should be over by 6:15 pm.
  • Please arrange for your choir members to eat their dinner nearby, as there won’t be much time to leave between rehearsal and concert time, and the Francis Winspear Centre for Music does not allow food inside. Note that there will not be food services available at the Francis Winspear Centre for Music at this time.The mass choir sings last on the first (7 pm) concert and first on the last concert (8:30 pm) so students should be lined up ready to go by 7:50 pm.

Please ensure that the repertoire is thoroughly learned before the festival, as rehearsal time will be used mainly for artistic purposes.

Mass Choir Selections: The repertoire was emailed to all choral directors

Jazz Ensemble Participants

Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your performance time to check in at the Yardbird Suite, home of the Edmonton Jazz Society.

A drum set, 1 bass and 1 guitar amp, vibraphone and a grand piano will be provided. Bring whatever else you need (you can use your own drum set if you like).   Should you need additional equipment please bring your own.  Solos will not be amplified; however, a sound technician will help out to guarantee everyone is heard.

Warmup and performance should take no longer than 30 minutes – the venue has no space for warmup so build this into your performance time. 

The repertoire is up to you, but should be varied in style. 

30 minute workshop with the adjudicator follows immediately after your performance.  Be sure to talk with the adjudicator about your expectations of the workshop and your own specific concerns with your ensemble. 
All Jazz performances and workshops are open to the public but seating is limited.

Be sure to address any questions to us as they arise – we want to make your trip here comfortable and easy so you can focus on all the music-making surrounding you! THE EASIEST WAY TO REACH US IS VIA EMAIL.  Address your questions and concerns to our Director, Dennis Prime, dprime@cantando.org or Assistant Director Kelsey Moore, kelsey@cantando.org