Tributes from our 90 Years
Do you have a story or an expression of gratitude to share from the past 90 years of the Swift Current Music Festival? Tell us below!
Submitted Tributes
"The Swift Current Music Festival was instrumental in my development as a musician, performer, and educator. From my first competition on the piano at age nine to my last performance at the festival gala my Grade 12 year the experiences I had at the festival challenged my abilities, strengthened my competitive spirit, and created lasting friendships with fellow performers, accompanists, and adjudicators alike. Singing at the annual Broadway Night, competing against my peers in Senior Playoffs, and performing with a variety of school ensembles are a few of the many highlights for me as a young musician. In addition to the many performance opportunities, the scholarships I received from generous local businesses and patrons of the arts enabled me to attend music camps and workshops each summer furthering my development. I’m grateful to the many festival organizers and volunteers for creating and maintaining a place in the community where the next generation of musicians from the southwest will continue to be introduced to the joy that music and performance can bring to oneself and others."  

                                                                                                          - Aaron Thingelstad, BMus Ed

Our children's involvement in the Swift Current Music Festival was from 1995-2006. As a parent, I volunteered during those years as part of the Music Festival Committee. These were wonderful years filled with special memories. After reading the festival tributes, one in particular resonated with our family. Aaron Thingelstad so eloquently put into words the experiences and opportunities that the music festival offers. I would also like to express my gratitude to the many festival organizers, the music teachers, accompanists, service groups, businesses, and the community of Swift Current for the dedication to and support of the music festival over the years.

Congratulations to the SCMFA on celebrating 90 years!


Jacquie Lomax


I have been associated with the music festival since the 1970s as a teacher, parent of participants and as a participant myself. Over the years there have been many changes, most notably the size of the event. It is much smaller in numbers than it used to be, but it continues the standards of excellence. It has been a pleasure to introduce students to the joys of music and to watch them grow -- some of them going on to professional music endeavours.
The enrichment for my students, my children and myself cannot be measured. I have been retired for many years, but still continue to help in small ways, such as being a chairperson or secretary in piano or vocal classes at the festival. Children and older participants still receive good feedback and encouragement all of which enriches their lives and instills musical enjoyment and excellence. In this anniversary year, the festival staff and teachers both now and in past years deserve thanks and commendation. I hope Swift Current Music Festival will continue its good work for years to come.

                                                                                                              - Joyce Olesen

Greetings from Swift Current Mayor Denis Perrault

The City of Swift Current is proud to be the home of the Swift Current & District Music Festival, and we look forward to the exceptional musical talent that it brings to our community.

On behalf of my colleagues on City Council and our entire community, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the musicians who make this event possible each year. Your dedication to your craft is both admired and applauded.

Furthermore, I would like to extend a big thank you to the Executive Committee, Adjudicators, Sponsors, and the many volunteers whose hard work and commitment help make this event a success year in and year out.

I’d also like to extend our sincere congratulations on your 90th Anniversary! This is an outstanding accomplishment and a testament to the vision and dedication of all those who have been a part of this event for the past near Century.

We wish audience members, organizers and musicians another fantastic event, and we are pleased to welcome all of our visitors — have a wonderful stay in Swift Current!


Mayor Denis Perrault

I was asked to write about how music has changed my life. Music is the best way I know to channel the creative energy I’ve had since I was a kid. Music helps me deal with the emotions I have and the things I’m going through. whether I’m just listening to music, writing lyrics, making beats or playing instruments it’s therapeutic for me. Music can put you into 1000’s of different moods, and that’s why it’s so important. It doesn’t matter If you are a famous musician, an NBA player, or an accountant trying to get through the day, music will play a big role in your life. I have been competing in the Swift Current Music Festival for 7 years now, and I would like to thank everyone involved in the Swift Current Music Festival for helping kids have a musical experience! The Music Festival scholarships have helped me pay for studio equipment, such as monitor speakers and a keyboard. Although kids might hate it at first like I did, If they are pushed to pursue music in their High School career they will hopefully be impacted forever. I know I have been!

                                                                                                          - Micah Bruinsma, Grade 12 Student

Greetings from Everett Hindley, MLA for Swift Current

As the MLA for Swift Current, it is my honour to congratulate the Swift Current & District Music Festival Association on celebrating its 90th annual festival this year.

Featuring nearly 500 performances from groups and individuals from across Swift Current and area, the music festival is one of the highlights of our community every spring.

Thank you to the volunteers from the local organizing committee who dedicate countless hours of their time to ensure that the music festival is a success.  I would also like to extend a special thank you to all of the music teachers who help their students to enhance their talents, and best of luck to everyone who is part of the 2019 competition.

                                                                                                           - Everett Hindley, MLA for Swift Current

Participating in the Swift Current Music Festival was an integral part
of my musical education. The festival gave me an annual goal to work
towards that involved immediate feedback from adjudicators. I learned to
love the act of performing in front of people - I was able to explore
the excitement of the “give and take” between performer and audience, a
thrill that has never left me! There was friendly competition amongst
the singers, but we never lost the sense of being a part of a Festival, a
Party, a Joyous Occasion! I learned to expect myself to honour the
music and to reach beyond my abilities. My teachers, the adjudicators
and my peers encouraged me to explore new ideas and take risks I didn’t
think myself capable of taking, and in so doing, I learned what it is to
be courageous.

                                                    - Robyn Driedger-Klassen (daughter of Elaine and Irwin Driedger)

Robyn is a Soprano specializing in contemporary classical works and traditional opera and recital. She is currently Head of Voice at Vancouver Academy of Music

The festival has always been important to me. We moved here in '67. In '69, I think Kelly sang in it at age 6. All 3 of my children participated, the last one in 1983. Glenna won numerous scholarships, which went towards her university.

They learned the process of preparation, practicing, and performing, as well as success and disappointment.

Over the years, I accompanied them in their singing, as well as many other band and singing students.  My years go back to Saskatoon, singing in school choirs and playing piano solos and duets, so I personally have been involved since age 8.

After Glenna graduated, I felt I wanted to give back to the festival here, as a thank-you for all it did for my children, so I joined the scholarship committee, eventually heading it. This was in the days of no computers, so a lot of paperwork, and phoning, but always lots of good helpers for that.

I love being able to help out every year, at the ticket table, and follow the students as they progress every year.  I have been involved with Swift Current Music Festival for 50 years. I was very honoured, several years ago, to receive a Volunteer Award from the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association.

Yours truly,

Kae Waters