Okanagan - Directors Package

About Schedule Register Package Adjudicators Fees Guest Performances

**Please check regularly for updates**

The Okanagan Cantando Festival is BRAND NEW this year and we have some great venues, some great adjudicators and some great guest artists. As with any new festival, there will be lots of questions so we will try to answer them on this page.

Venues and Parking

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT EVENTS OCCUR IN BOTH VERNON AND KELOWNA AND LOCATIONS ARE ABOUT A 45 MINUTE DRIVE. Be sure to plan your schedule accordingly. It is a scenic drive but can get busy. There are numerous restaurants along the way in both cities.

Here are the addresses for your bus drivers:

Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre (PAC)– 3800-33 Street, Vernon, BC
This is the best venue for classical music in the entire Okanagan and will be a great experience for all participants. There is lots of parking directly on site and should hold all buses for events here. All Concert Band performances and adjudications take place here as well as the Monday and Tuesday evening concerts. Please note time, guest groups and repertoire under the “Guest Performances” tab.

Prestige Vernon HOTEL, 4411 32 Street, Vernon
This HOTEL is the venue for jazz ensembles and most of the instrumental workshops. ( Please don’t confuse this hotel with the Prestige Vernon LODGE (which is across the street from the Performing Arts Centre). Please check carefully the location of the instrumental workshops which is found on the “Schedule” tab as some of the smaller workshops are also held In the PAC.

St. Michael’s Cathedral- 608 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna
The Sunday evening choral concert at 7:30 pm occurs in this wonderful venue. It is not large and parking for a few buses is available beside the Cathedral. Any overflow parking should be on the parallel street just north of Sutherland Avenue. All Monday choral events during the day occur here, however the mass choir rehearsal and concert take place in the Vernon PAC.

View Okanagan 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***


Contact Dennis Prime at dprime@cantando.org or Kelsey Moore at kelsey@cantando.org for payment information.

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. This festival is 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.

Evening Concert Schedule

We have an exciting series of evening concerts and more information can be found under the “Guest Performances” tab.  Please note the times of each of the concerts.  The Sunday evening concert has limited enrollment due to the size of the church, so 1st come, 1st served.  There will be lots of room at both the Monday and Tuesday evening concerts.


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

Concert Band Participants

All Concert Band Performances and Workshops are in the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.

Check-in and Warm-Up
Before unloading your students, you must check in at the Registration desk in the Main Auditorium Lobby.  The warmup space is called the Marie Fleming Hall and is available 30 minutes before your performance – chairs, stands and percussion are available.  Please warm up quickly and be prepared to move to the stage once notified.

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 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.  This is a very nice hall 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 your repertoire carefully.  A maximum of 30 minutes is allocated on stage for all ensembles.

All concert bands receive 50 minute workshops with an adjudicator – some directly after their performance, others an hour or two later. 

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 hall from our Dropbox site. These can be picked up from the adjudicator immediately following the workshop.

Listening Opportunity
Be sure to schedule time for your students to hear other groups perform.  Expose your students to the music-making of their peers.  In the past, several band directors have asked their own students to act as adjudicators themselves – analyzing strengths and weaknesses 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 – have your students come away with significant musical growth as well!

Instrumental Masterclasses
Various rooms – check the room schedule in the Schedule page Students will spend 50 minutes in instrumental masterclasses with specialists on their instruments.

You are welcome to attend and move from clinic to clinic. Plan to attend the evening concert in the PAC– check the Guest Performances tab for more info.


Choral Participants

Choral performances and adjudications will occur on Monday in St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kelowna.  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 30 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 30 minutes on stage to perform; therefore, time your selections accordingly (i.e. c. 20 minutes of material would suffice).

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

Grand piano will be provided.

Mass Choir Performance – Monday evening, Vernon PAC

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

  • Rehearsal begins at 6:30 pm on stage at the Vernon PAC.  Rehearsal should be over by 7:15 pm however the concert then opens with you at 7:30.
  • Please arrange for your choir members to eat their dinner before the rehearsal  as there won’t be much time to leave between rehearsal and concert time, and the PAC doesn’t allow food inside. 

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 Band Participants

All jazz ensemble performances occur in the ballroom of the Prestige Vernon HOTEL, at 4411 32Street, Vernon.

Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your performance time to check in.

A drum set, 1 bass and 1 guitar amp, vibraphone and a electric 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 so plan on having them come up front to play.

Performance & Warmup
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.

Additional Information

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 Dennis Prime (Director) at, dprime@cantando.org or to assistant director Kelsey Moore at kelsey@cantando.org