our history

The number of classes offered at the annual Rotary Music Festival has almost doubled in the years since its inception. The Board of the Rotary Burlington Music Festival has adopted an ambitious plan to attract top-calibre adjudicators, enhance the quality of the festival and increase the number of participants each year.

The first festival took place over one week in November 1999. It offered 235 classes and attracted 830 participant entries from the Burlington area. Twenty-eight scholarships, totaling close to $4,000 were awarded at the Grand Festival Concert.

The second festival was held over the two weeks in November, 2000. 504 classes were offered which increased the participant entry number to 1150. Students came from as far away as Niagara Falls, Brantford and Toronto.

Forty-three scholarships, totaling close to $8,800 were presented at the Grand Festival Concert. 2001 was a watershed year for the festival. A grant of $15,000 was received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which was used to put in place the infrastructure for growth, including a new computer, software to handle the very complicated process of competitor scheduling and our website: rotarymusicfest.org. A very successful recital concert was held,
featuring Gloria Saarinen.

The third festival was held over two weeks in November, 2001. 588 classes were offered. Over 1300 entries were received from all over the Golden Horseshoe.

Forty-two scholarships, totaling almost $8,000 were presented at the Grand Festival Concert, before an audience of about 300. For the first time, in 2001, successful students were recommended by the adjudicators to be candidates for the 2002 competition conducted by the Ontario Music Festival Association (OMFA).

The fourth festival was held over two weeks in November, 2002, with the final concert on Friday, November 29, 2002, where forty-eight scholarships, worth nearly $10,000, were handed out. 677 classes were offered, and approximately 1300 entries were received from all over the Golden Horseshoe.

Once again, top performers were recommended by the adjudicators to be candidates for the 2003 provincial competition conducted by the Ontario Music Festival Association (OMFA).