Southeastern Manitoba Festival (SEMF) is kicking off on Tuesday, February 20. 

Missy Taylor with SEMF is looking forward to seeing how performers have grown this year. 

“Actually, that's one of the most fun things, is to see who is back at our festival, when they're going to be singing, and how we can plan out where we're going to go and who we're going to watch.” 

She’s hoping each discipline has a big audience as it is great for the performers. 

“That's so incredibly important for our performers, for them to actually be able to perform for new people, that's such an important skill for them. It's so nice for them to be able to look out and see lots of friendly faces, that really helps with their confidence.” 

Each festival session is only $3 per person. 

They also have a pass that you can purchase for $20, and another pass for families too.  

“We understand that some people have a number of people in their family, and they still want to enjoy the festival, so we actually have a path specifically for families that makes it a little bit more doable for them as well.” 

She says there is a lot of excitement for performers heading into the festival. 

“I remember as a performer, getting ready for festival, having a chance to perform, because it's so important when you're taking lessons and you're learning a new skill, that you have an opportunity to perform what you have been working on.” 

It’s also something the teachers and parents look forward to, because they can see all the practice coming together. 

Taylor shares her personal experience as a mom. 

“I'm very excited this year because my little guy, my oldest, he's seven, and he is going to be performing in the festival for the first time with a couple of his buddies,” she says. “And so, for me, it is such a beautiful full-circle moment that is happening, just to see the arts living on in our younger kids is so special.” 

Vocal is the first discipline from February 20-22, then strings is on March 1.  

Junior piano is March 5-8, choral is March 11-12, musical theatre is March 13-14, and finally senior piano is from March 18-21. 

As for venues, they will differ depending on the discipline.  

Performances will take place at Evangelical Fellowship Church, Grace Mennonite Church, Steinbach Arts Council, the SRSS theatre. 

Taylor notes the coordinators of each discipline are looking forward to the festival. 

“Things are coming together. We have our adjudicators all in place, we have all of our venues, and we're just really looking forward to welcoming all of our students back for the amazing couple of weeks that we have for the festival.” 

For more details on the festival, visit 


With files from Michelle Sawatzky