Music, Speech Arts and Visual Arts Rules & Regulations – 2023

The Festival relies on the integrity of entrants to comply with all rules regarding age, membership, etc. in entering specific classes.

In these rules and regulations:

  • Association means the Kiwanis Music Festival Association of Greater Toronto and the Toronto Kiwanis Festival.
  • Festival Office means the Toronto Kiwanis Festival Office..
  1. Scholarships are available to individual competitors in solo classes for voice, instruments, speech arts, visual arts and group competitors. To be ELIGIBLE to be awarded a scholarship, competitors must receive a mark of 85 or more and must enter TWO OR MORE classes. Failure to participate in all classes entered and programmed will influence the awarding of scholarships.
  2. Scholarships are awarded solely on the recommendation of Adjudicators to competitors who show the most promise of future development musically.
  3. A complete list of scholarships will appear on our website. Winners of scholarships will be advised officially by the Association and public announcements thereof may be made as deemed appropriate. All scholarship cheques must be cashed by the end of the Festival fiscal year, June 30, 2023.
  4. Competitors who have passed an RCM or Conservatory Canada grade level exam in the previous year (2022 and before) may not enter that grade in the festival.
  5. All virtual entries must be submitted with a YouTube URL link directly into your registration profile..


  1. The competitions shall be under the Management of the Association.
  2. All matters not dealt with in these rules shall be referred to the Association, whose decisions on such matters shall be final and binding upon all concerned. Complaints or protests will not be considered unless made in writing to the Festival Office. Under no circumstances are such protests to be made to the Adjudicator.
2023 Festival
  1. For all categories in the 2023 Festival, competitors will have the option to perform live OR via a virtual festival.
  2. All Composition competitors for the 2023 Festival will be required to submit the scores for their pieces to the Festival Office by email.
  3. For Visual Arts participants, competitors will be required to deliver their artwork to a pre-determined location for display and adjudication.
  4. Participants submitting videos must observe the distancing requirements recommended or mandated within the Province of Ontario as of the date on which they record their video.
  1. All competitions, unless otherwise stated, shall be open to amateurs only. “Amateur” means any person who up to the date of closing of entries for the forthcoming Festival has not been in receipt of remuneration forming the major portion of livelihood from the profession or practice of music. A competitor who qualifies as a professional for the purpose of a particular class is not precluded from qualifying as an amateur in other classes. Please note that musicians who are full members of Actra, Equity or the Musician’s Union are considered to be professional.
  2. All competitions, unless otherwise stated in these rules and regulations and in class headings, shall be open to any competitor without regard to residence or citizenship.
  3. In all classes in which an age limit is prescribed, competitors must be no older than the prescribed age as of December 31, 2022. Exact date and year of birth must be entered in the space provided on the entry form. Classes marked “Open” are open to all aged competitors, within the guidelines noted for the section or the class. Competitors under eighteen years of age on the last day of the forthcoming Festival are not eligible for competition in classes for Senior Vocal Solos. Competitors may enter only once in each class. Competitors who have taken an RCM or Conservatory Canada Exam in the preceding year are not eligible to enter that grade level in the current festival year. (i.e. if you took grade 4 piano exam in 2022 you may not enter grade 4 in the 2023 festival). If a competitor received a first place award in a graded class in the 2022 festival, they cannot enter the same graded class in the 2023 festival. (This does not apply to Open, Advanced, Musical Theatre, Non-Western or Speech Arts classes.)
  4. Competitors in Choral Societies, Choirs, Orchestras and Bands must be bona fide members of their respective organizations on January 1st of the year of the Festival. Competitors must be prepared to submit a list of such members under circumstances wherein a certificate of bona fide membership is required by the Association.
  5. Conductors may be either professional or amateur. Conductors may not sing with their choirs nor play with their orchestras/bands/ensembles.
  6. Competitors are urged to exercise caution in entering the class information on the entry form since transfers to other classes are impossible following the closing date for entries. Please read the notes in each individual section before completing your entry form.


  1. Test pieces must be performed in the prescribed key; transpositions are not allowed unless specified under the class or section. However, in all choral classes transpositions will be allowed one tone or semi-tone up or down.
  2. In all solo classes all selections must be performed from memory. Use of music will result in adjudication only; no mark will be awarded. Exceptions to this rule may be found in Solo Brass, Solo Percussion, Solo Woodwind Sections, Piano Duet Section and String Sonata Section. Please read the section notes for exceptions.
  3. Choral numbers must be sung in the language(s) given in the printed copy. Translations of songs, into English, must be provided. Piano accompaniment only. However, if a solo instrument or hand-held percussion (maximum 5) is indicated it will be allowed. The competition is based on the performance of two contrasting selections, only one of which may include brief solo or solo ensemble passages. The total number of bars of the solo or solo ensemble passage(s) may not exceed 10% of the total length of the selection. No medleys. Language and accompaniment optional; same voicing as test piece.
  4. Where a specified edition is indicated in the Syllabus a copy thereof will be furnished to the Adjudicator by the Association. Specified editions as indicated in the Syllabus are mandatory. Where editions are not specified, any standard edition is acceptable. When you are ordering music leave at least two months lead time.
  5. PLEASE NOTE: Repeats are optional. Points will not be deducted if you choose not to play them. However, repeat signs should be observed if indicated in the RCM Piano Syllabus 2015 or 2022 Editions or Conservatory Canada 2018 Editions.
    Rule 21 does not apply to vocal repertoire that has verses.
  6. In “Own Choice” class time limits must be observed or a penalty in marking will result. You are not required to submit scores of your pieces for the 2022 Virtual Festival unless you are performing an unpublished work or a little-known work. In these cases, we ask that you email the scores to:
    Performance times (i.e. length of pieces in minutes) MUST be included
  7. A piece of music or dramatization, whether prescribed or own choice, cannot be used by a competitor in more than one class or in more than one year. Repertoire which does not coincide with stated categories will result in disqualification.

Video Submission Rules for Music and Speech Arts Entries
for those choosing the Virtual Festival
(does not apply to Live Festival Entries)

  1. All videos must submitted using a YouTube link directly into the competitor’s registration profile.
  2. You may record the video in any location with suitable lighting. Professional recordings are not required. While good audio and visual quality is important, video recording equipment made for personal use, and even cell phone cameras, are capable of producing video that is satisfacotry and acceptable. The adjudicators will NOT be judging the quality of the videos.
  3. The recording must offer a clear picture of the performer, showing face or profile, and, in the case of instrumentalists, hands and instrument (keyboard only in the case of piano). For singers in both classical voice and Musical Theatre, a full body shot is preferred.
  4. The recording need not offer a clear picture of any professional accompanist during the performance.
  5. The camera must remain stationary to the greatest extent possible. For performances with stage movement or choreography, the zoom settings must be set such that the camera requires as little movement as possible to track the performer, while still offering a clear picture of the performer’s face as described above.


  1. You must prepare one video for each class for which you are submitting a video. For example, if you are are entering three different classes, please submit three videos. If a class requires performance of multiple repertoire selections, you must include all repertoire for that class in a single video.
  2. You must record each repertoire selection in a single, continuous take. Editing or splicing of any given performance in any form is prohibited and will result in disqualification of the performance. However, you may make the following edits to your video:
  3. You may add in a title card as a post-production edit. For more information on title cards, please see the Performance Protocols section, below.
  4. You may edit together distinct recordings of separate repertoire selections, or distinct recordings of individual movements of a multi- movement work, into a single video.


    1. When performing in a piano class, you may perform with any piano or keyboard instrument capable of reproducing piano tones. A digital piano is permissible, while, for instance, a harpsichord is not.
    2. If your performance is accompanied, you must observe physical social distancing measures in effect on the date of your submission as described above in order for your accompanist to be present. Your accompaniment may be included by any of the following means:

• Your performance may include live accompaniment.
• Your performance may include pre-recorded accompaniment, which may either be recorded by your accompanist or consist of a backtrack you have acquired by other means.
• Your performance may include simultaneous remote performance by your accompanist, if technology permits.


  1. At the start of the video, the following information must be displayed in the order specified, whether in the form of a sign held up by a performer or assistant during the recording, or a title card added in by means of post-production editing:
    a) The discipline and class. (For example: Class 10101 – Piano Solo – Grade 6– List A)
    b) The name of the performer. (For example: Christopher Ng)
    c) The name of the repertoire selection(s) and composer(s). (For example: Sonata in G Major, K. 63, 1st mvt. (Domenico Scarlatti)Taken together, identifying information should appear in a format identical to the example below:
    Class 10101 – Piano Solo – Grade 6 – List A
    Christopher Ng
    Sonata in G Major, K. 63, 1st mvt. (Domenico Scarlatti)
  2. Please undertake the performance for your recording as if undertaking a live Festival or recital performance, or as if preparing a video audition, with the appropriate comportment and dress.


  1. Where possible, ensemble performances must follow the above requirements, modified as required for each ensemble’s instrumentation. Ensemble members must respect physical distancing measures in effect as described above in order to perform in the same space.
  2. As long as each individual ensemble member’s performance is recorded in a single continuous take, the performances of the ensemble members may be edited into a single video. In addition, editing the audio output of ensemble performances is permitted to balance instruments against each other.


    1. You must submit a separate video for each class entered using a YouTube link only.  No other format will be accepted. For example, MP4’s, google drive, reddit and dropbox files are NOT permitted.  The video must be submitted directly into the competitor’s profile in the MFS Registration system.
    2. You are not required to submit scores of your repertoire, unless you are performing an unpublished work. You are encouraged, however, to submit scores if the repertoire is little-known.

Email to:

Submissions for Visual Arts Entries

  1. After completing your online registration, artwork may either be emailed to: (for virtual) or delivered to the Festival Office for live display and adjudication.
  2. All artwork must be received by Wednesday, February 15, 2023.
  3. For video entries, ensure that your artwork is labelled as follows: Artist Name, Title of Work, Medium Used, Size (HxW – inches or centimetres)
    Example: Robbie Brown_”Bird in the Wind”_Drawing_8″x10″
  4. Acceptable formats are: jpg, gif, png or pdf.
  5. Minimum Resolution is 72 dpi.
  6. If the file size of your artwork is too large to send by email, please contact the festival office for alternative methods.
  7. For live entries, please make sure your artwork is labelled as follows: Artist Name, Title of Work, Class Entered.

Entries & Entry Fees

Entry fees can be found by going to the syllabus at:

    1. Performance times (i.e. length of pieces in minutes) MUST be included on the entry form.
    2. Group entry forms MUST include the number of performers in the group. Groups refer to duets, trios, quartets, chamber groups, small ensembles as well as bands, choirs and orchestras.
    3. The Association will levy a $50.00 administration charge for N.S.F. cheques. Cheques will only be accepted from schools. All other payments must be made by using Stripe in our online registration system.

Deadline For Entries

  1. Entries must be filled in using the on-line registration form.  The deadline for entries is  Friday, January 20, 2023 and no later than 11:59 pm. Payment can only be accepted via PayPal using our online payment process. Entry forms cannot be completed without payment.
  2. It is the responsibility of the competitor to read all rules and enter the correct class by CLASS NUMBER. In cases where entries have been submitted for the wrong class entrants will be disqualified; the Festival will transfer them into the correct class for adjudication only, where possible. Incomplete entry forms will NOT be accepted. It is NOT the responsibility of the Festival Administration to ensure that the correct class number has been entered.
  3. Please note that a competitor may not perform any piece that has been performed previously at this festival.
  4. Entry fees cannot be refunded, except under circumstances where the entry is refused by the Association.
  5. Competitors desiring to withdraw their entry must do so in writing (either by mail or email) to the Festival Office as early as possible and will NOT have their fees refunded.
  6. Failure to participate in all classes entered and programmed will influence the awarding of scholarships.
  7. The Association reserves the right to reject any entry for any reason.
  8. The Association may, in its sole discretion, combine classes if it considers the number of entries in such classes to be insufficient.
  9. It is essential that you notify the Festival Office of any change of email address following submission of entry form as all communication occurs through this medium.

Programme Procedure

  1. Following the closing date for entries, the Association will begin the process of sending the video and artwork submissions to the adjudicators for the Virtual Festival and for the Live Festival, the scheduling process will begin.
  2. The Association reserves the right to subdivide any class into two or more competitions under circumstances where the number or character of the entries would justify such a subdivision.
  3. The Association reserves the right to substitute or appoint additional adjudicators.
  4. In all solo classes LIVE piano accompaniment is required, unless otherwise specified. Recorded back-tracks are not permitted in the Live Festival.
  5. FOR CHORAL CLASSES: Piano accompaniment only. However, if a solo instrument or hand-held percussion (maximum 5) is indicated it will be allowed. The competition is based on the performance of two contrasting selections, only one of which may include brief solo or solo ensemble passages. The total number of bars of the solo or solo ensemble passage(s) may not exceed 10% of the total length of the selection. No medleys. Language and accompaniment optional. This same singers must be used in both pieces that are to be performed.
  6. A chord ONLY may be given on the piano at the commencement of each piece of unaccompanied music.
  7. Except where otherwise noted, no props will be allowed in any class.
  8. In string classes for juniors (grade 4 and under), competitors may have their instruments tuned by a teacher or other person.
  9. No competitor may contact the Adjudicator.This may result in disqualification. No teacher or member of the public may contact the Adjudicator. Necessary questions from a competitor must be directed to the Festival office. “Disqualification” means that no marks or awards will be given. An adjudication will, however, be given.Time limits will be strictly enforced. The adjudicator has the discretionary authority to stop the performance.
  10. The marks awarded by the adjudicator are final. Only the top marks will be announced.
  11. The Festival does not make music stands available to competitors in solo or small group classes.
  12. The Association will not be responsible for the loss of or damage to scores, musical instruments, music stands or other property.


  1. Photography at sessions is permitted with the following provisos:

Photographs and videos may be taken during the performance of solo classes only. A suitable location will be set up in each venue where the parent/guardian/teacher may sit to take pictures/videos during their competitor’s performance. It is not permitted to take videos/photographs of any competitor unless you are their parent, guardian or teacher.

No photography or videos are permitted for any school class. This is a policy of the school boards.

No photography is permitted for commercial purposes, except by the accredited agents of newspapers, television stations, etc.

All users of cameras/phones, etc. must not advance further forward than the Adjudicator. The use of any flash or lighting is forbidden during performances. There must be no movement by the operator during the performances. All recording equipment must be SILENT. No photography or videotaping is allowed of competitors or Adjudicators without their express permission. These rules are designed to protect the concentration of the performer and the adjudicator. They apply to any other type of behaviour which might also damage this concentration.

  1. Cell phones / pagers / smart watches must be turned off or in silent mode.


  1. Certificates will be presented at a time decided upon by the Association and in accordance with the following classifications and minimum standards: platinum 92 and above, gold 87-91, silver 82-86, bronze 75-81: unless these marks are obtained the awards will be withheld regardless of the number of entries. A minimum mark of 85 is required for eligibility for scholarships (as well as a minimum entry in two classes) To be eligible for Provincials, a minimum mark of 85 is required.
  2. Open classes (in graded classes) are for those competitors who have already received their ARCT designation or equivalent, playing pieces at the ARCT level or want to play pieces at the licentiate level or above. Diploma classes are defined as people working towards their ARCT but have not yet received the designation. If a competitor has been working at the ARCT level for 2 or more years they must enter the Open classes.
  3. Competitors in solo categories in all grades (1 through Open) and levels should be aware that there is the possibility that they may be recommended to compete at the Provincial Finals which will be held virtually (for levels 1-5/beginner & Primary Levels) and Live (for levels 6-Open) in June 2023. The live Provincial Finals will be held in the Niagara Region. Competitors in Musical Theatre, Non-Western Instruments, Percussion and Speech & Drama may also be recommended for ages 6 and over. We are permitted to send only three (3) competitors per level, per discipline.
  4. Adjudicators’ reports and certificates will be available on your profiles in MusicFestivalSuites at  conclusion of the Festival.  It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure that they have entered valid emails on the entry form.
  1. Each year our team of adjudicators are asked to recommend competitors for the Provincial Finals of the Ontario Music Festivals Association (June 2023) in the following categories: Brass, Popular Brass, Chamber, Guitar, Popular Guitar, Harp, Musical Theatre, Non-Western Instruments, Piano, Popular Piano, Popular Voice, Speech and Drama, Percussion, Strings, Popular Strings, Voice, Popular Voice, Woodwinds and Popular Woodwinds . As well duets, trios and chamber groups, small ensembles, bands, choirs and orchestras can be recommended. We are only permitted to send three (3) competitors per level in each category. Competitors must also reach a minimum mark of 85 in order to proceed to Provincials. Recommended competitors will be notified by the Festival Office. Please do not call the office to ask.Criteria for repertoire as well as which classes will be live and which will be virtual are listed in the Provincial Syllabus ( which may be obtained from its website. Classes that are eligible to proceed to the Provincial level are marked with the letter P.