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General FAQs

How do I get to the Provincials?

You must be recommended from a regional festival to be able to compete at the Provincial Festival. Please check the Member Festival section of this website for a regional festival in your area, including links to their websites, contact information and important dates for each festival. Each festival will have its own requirements for choosing provincial candidates at the local level.  Please check local syllabi carefully for these.  As well, please check our Syllabus for the requirements at the Provincial level. Eventually, we hope to be able to list music teachers around BC as well.


What are the affiliation fees and how are they decided:

Affiliation fees are calculated based on the total number of entries in your local/regional festival. Affiliation fees are $1.10 per dance entry and speech entry and $1.90 per music entry. Of this $1.90 per music entry, $0.90 is sent to the National Music Festival as affiliation fees. Fees are set at the Annual General Meeting.

How much are membership dues?

Membership dues are $100 per local/regional festival per year. There is a $100 initiation fee to join PABC and should a festival be in arrears with this annual membership fee, there is an additional $100 fee charged for reinstatement.

How many competitive entries is each local/regional festival allowed?

All festivals may send one competitor per category (for example, Classical Vocal) per age group (Junior, Intermediate etc.). However single discipline dance and speech arts festivals may send 2 competitors for each category and age level. Music is no longer considered a single discipline. Beginning in 2017, certain music festivals will be allowed to send more than one competitor in each level of a discipline, based on the number of entries in a specific discipline at their local festival. These festivals will be notified of the disciplines for which they can send multiple competitors, in the Fall of the year preceding the Festival

How many observers can a member festival send?

A local/regional festival may send any number of observers for each class. In 2017, there will be special programmes for observers, including performances and workshops. The Provincial Festival is a valuable motivation and inspiration for students of the performing arts, and attendance at performance classes and workshops is a valuable experience for those students who show promise for future years.

Should I be concerned about copyright issues?

In a word yes. Please read on for more information.

Original excerpted from Festival Features, March 1995, a newsletter of The Frederick Harris Music Co., Limited. Revised November 2004. Reprinted with permission.

The term “copyright” refers to the rights of a creator of intellectual property, such as a work of music. Although the rights may not be easily tangible, a creative work is a valuable property.

The Canadian Copyright Act protects the rights of creators to retain control over, and be compensated for, the use of their intellectual property. Many people do not realize that the unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted materials, such as print music, is in essence, theft. As music educators, we all recognize the value of creativity. Music teachers can play an important role in encouraging their students to respect composers' efforts by ensuring that students are made aware of the intent of the Canadian Copyright Act.

Misconception 1: A teacher may copy music for educational purposes.

False. Many teachers may be under the impression that photocopying for educational use is legal. Although public school boards, colleges, and universities may have negotiated licenses to enjoy special copying privileges in defined situations, print music is excluded from this arrangement. This means that teachers – including independent studio music teachers – are not authorized to photocopy print music. The publisher, often acting as the representative of the composer, should be contacted directly to obtain permission to make copies of print music for any purpose.

Misconception 2: It is permissible to photocopy music in order to facilitate page turns.

False. Permission must be granted by the holder of the copyright (the publisher) on the composer's behalf in order for a copy to be made for any purpose, including the facilitation of page turns.*

To understand the rationale underpinning this aspect of the Copyright Act, imagine that you wish to borrow your neighbour's shovel. Your neighbour will probably not say “no” or charge you a fee to use the shovel, but you would never borrow it without first seeking permission. As with your neighbour, a publisher's permission is required before you “borrow” an extra copy of print music on which the publisher holds the copyright.

Misconception 3: It is legal to photocopy music from out-of-print publications.

False. A creator's right to be compensated for the use of their creation continues after a book is no longer for sale. Copying out-of-print music still requires the permission of the copyright holder in order to avoid violation of the Copyright Act. On occasion, a teacher may wish his or her student to study a particular piece of music that is no longer available from music retailers. Contact the publisher of the music for permission to make a copy.

Misconception 4: Permission is not required to copy the works of long-dead composers.

False. Copyright exists both in a musical composition and in the physical notation of a musical score. This means that even if a composer's works themselves are in the public domain (for example, as Bach's are), a particular publisher's edition of those works may not be in the public domain. Therefore, if you wish to write out one of Bach's Inventions by hand, you may do so, but you may not photocopy it from a printed book without the publisher's permission. (Note: the compositions of living composers or of composers who have been dead for fewer than seventy years should not be copied, either by hand or otherwise, without permission).

*With this public notice, The Frederick Harris Music Co., Limited is pleased to grant permission to festival, recital, and examination participants to use one photocopy of one page of their original score published by The Frederick Harris Music Co., Limited for the purpose of facilitating a page turn. This permission is granted for a one-time use only, with the understanding that the photocopy will be destroyed immediately following the performance.

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