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Jane McLaren, registrar
1602 Walton Street
Cornwall, ON, K6H 1W2
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Welcome to our 66th year.

The Kinsmen Club of Cornwall wish to invite you to celebrate 66 years of supporting and encouraging music and the arts in the Cornwall area!  This is our 66th year of the Kinsmen Music Festival and we are celebrating by offering you some great opportunities at this year’s festival, March 31 - April 5, 2020.

Registration forms can be found ONLINE at and then in the sidebar to the right.

Once again this year the Kinsmen Music Festival will promote a workshop style festival and performance experience in which the talents of each participant are celebrated and enhanced. At the request of our adjudicators, there will be no written notes.  In lieu of this the adjudicator will have increased time to workshop with the participants increasing opportunity for experiential learning. Parents and/or teachers will be permitted to videotape the workshop segment so that they can review the learning and work on the skills shared at the festival.  We encourage teachers to share this information with participants so that they can take advantage of this learning opportunity!  In order to better facilitate the workshop style memorization will is optional but encouraged.

This year the Kinsmen Music Festival is pleased to bring back our piano bursaries and voice bursaries to young musicians displaying outstanding potential at the festival across a variety of musical genre.  There will be up to six $50 bursaries awarded. Please note, in keeping with the non-competitive nature of the festival, the bursaries will be awarded for outstanding potential in music and not for the ‘best performance.’ The Kinsmen will be awarding up to $200 in scholarships to musicians going on to provincial competition.  These will be awarded in consultation with the adjudicators and will be presented in either $50 or $100 increments.  Attendance at Provincial Competition is required to be awarded this scholarship.

For Piano competitors this year’s classes allow for performing 2 or more selections in the Conservatory Concert Class. Please note and respect the time limits for each class. Piano classes also includes an “Accompanist” class.  This new class encourages competitors to invite a soloist to perform with them.  Pianists will be adjudicated and coached on accompanying skills!  The soloist will not be adjudicated in this class.

If you are interested in being a first time participant in our music festival we’d love to help you with the various classes, and let you know about our music festival. We are excited to have you and you’ll be glad you came!  If you are one of our hundreds of returning participants, welcome to another year of music, community spirit and renewed friendships. We’re looking forward to seeing you again and are glad you are taking part.

Voice Adjudicator: Canadian soprano Cara Gilbertson-Boese brings passion to her work as a soloist, educator, and director. Known for her “nightingale-like voice” she strives to delve into the historical context of the music she performs, looking at each song or musical work for clues that the composer may have left behind. In 2007, Cara was appointed a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa and in 2013 became the Performance Specialist & Vocal Coach for the Ottawa Regional Youth Choir. She particularly excels in her work as a vocal educator, maintaining a vibrant private studio and traveling throughout the country as an adjudicator and masterclass/workshop facilitator.  This is Cara’s second time with the Kinsmen Music Festival.


Piano Adjudicator:  Collaborative pianist Nadia Boucher holds a Master of Music Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Ottawa and an A.R.C.T. Performer's Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada). Nadia has had the opportunity of studying with many great pianists including celebrated Canadian pianist Jean Desmarais, director of the Piano Wellness Seminar Sheila Paige, and American pedagogue and collaborative pianist Anita Pontremoli. She has also worked with vocal coaches, Dalton Baldwin and Warren Jones, and chamber coaches David Cerone, Shauna Rolston, Mark Fewer, and Roman Borys of the Gryphon Trio. Nadia is at home in a broad range of musical styles and performs regularly with vocalists and instrumentalists alike. She is a member of the Passport Duo with cellist Samuel Bisson and has performed with renowned Canadian mezzo-soprano and host of CBC Radio 2's Tempo, Julie Nesrallah and with up and coming Canadian tenor, Christopher Dallo. Nadia has performed at festivals throughout Canada and the United States including the Banff Summer Arts Festival, Scotia Festival of Music, the Toronto Summer Music Festival and the Piano Wellness Seminar. She has also been a guest of the Toronto Arts and Letters Club, the Midday Music with Shigeru concert series in Barrie, ON, and numerous embassies in the Ottawa area. Nadia has been the recipient of many awards both as a soloist and collaborative pianist. In 2010 she was featured in an interview on CBC/Radio Canada's morning program Y'a pas deux matins pareils.


Instrumental Adjudicator: Pierre Vaillancourt  a specialist in both vocal and instrumental music retired after thirty three years of teaching at the elementary and secondary levels. His music programs produced national winning bands and choirs. He was the founding director of the SD & G Board of Education,Youth Concert Band Workshop 1978 – 1998. He presently pursues his performance career on saxophone, keyboard and vocals as a soloist and musical director. He is also guest conductor/adjudicator/clinician in various educational settings, music camps, workshops /master classes…


He has worked at the Ministry Of Education of Ontario 1999 to 2003 writing-compiling the music course outlines in French.  Pierre accompanied April and Edward Ellington at the Festival de Jazz de Montréal, children of the late Duke Ellington . He performed at the Ottawa Jazz Festival with his son Paul in 2009 with his organ blues/jazz trio. He has performed on radio and television as well as being recorded on several albums. The latest project featured Vaillancourt on the Hammond B3 organ, Dr. Paul Vaillancourt on drums and renowned guitarist Robert Orr. It was a tribute album to the music of the later greats: Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery.


Dance Adjudicator:  Helen Gagne  Registered RAD Teacher, Dip. RBS (TTC), ARAD - Growing up in England, Helen was fortunate enough to receive her early vocational training from the faculty at Tring Park (formerly the Arts Educational School), where she enjoyed an all-round education in academics & the Performing Arts, encompassing Drama, Music and many genres of Dance. Throughout her nine years at Tring Park, Helen was afforded numerous opportunities to perform, gaining valuable & varied experiences, on both stage & screen.


Specializing in Ballet, Helen continued to pursue her passion, becoming a highly qualified dancer & teacher. She graduated from the prestigious Royal Ballet School Teachers' Training Course in London, England, and, after teaching in London for a few years, immigrated to Canada in 1992. She has had the joy & privilege of teaching students & serving the families of Ottawa’s dance community, ever since.


With a teaching career now spanning three decades, Mrs. Gagné  provides an engaging & positive learning environment for all,  encouraging students to recognize, & attain, their full potential, as artistically & intellectually dynamic dancers & performers!

At this time we anticipate our schedule to be:

Tuesday AM / Early afternoon – School Instrumental

Tuesday late afternoon/evening – private piano

Wednesday AM / Early afternoon – School Dance

Wednesday Late afternoon / evening – private piano (may also include school piano)

Thursday AM / Early afternoon – School vocal, may include choirs, ensembles, or solos

Thursday late afternoon / evening – Private voice

Friday AM / Early afternoon – School vocal, may include choirs, ensembles, or solos

Friday late afternoon / evening – private voice

Sunday, 2PM Concert of the Stars

IMPORTANT This schedule may change based on registration!  The final schedule will not be confirmed until after all registrations are received.

Deadline to register is Friday February 28th.  All events for the festival will be held at Aultsville Theatre at St. Lawrence College

The Festival of the Stars will be held the afternoon of Sunday April 5th.  All trophies, bursaries, and cash prizes will be announced and presented at the Festival of the Stars concert. Participants will be notified throughout the festival of their recommendation to perform in this concert.  This concert will feature outstanding performances by participants from both the private and school participants who have performed during the festival week. We look forward to continuing the Festival of the Stars in its new format as the Kinsmen Music Festival celebrates young artists in the area!

Please refer to the registration form and festival rules for additional information. All documents are available on the website at  - just look under the music festival tab. You may also contact the registrar with any questions or clarifications needed.  We hope you are as excited by this year’s festival as we are.  Plan to join us in gaining new knowledge and skills at the 2020 Kinsmen Music Festival – workshop format!

Musically yours,

Jane McLaren on behalf of THE KINSMEN MUSIC FESTIVAL

Music Festival Photos

Music Festival Rules & Regulations


 Click here to download the Kinsmen Music Festival Rules and Regulation


Music Festival School Division


Click here to download the school division syllabus for our Kinsmen Music Festival 66th year



Click here for the school division online registration form

Music Festival Private Division


 Click here to download the private division syllabus for our Kinsmen Music Festival 66th year



Click here for the private division online registration form


Music Festival Trophy List


 Click here to download the Kinsmen Music Festival Trophy List






















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