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MusicFest Canada: The Finals © Fred Cattroll

MusicFest Canada

47th Annual MusicFest Canada: The Nationals

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MusicFest Canada: The Finals © Fred Cattroll
Special Events Music

NAC Co-presentation

More than 8,000 of the country’s most outstanding young musicians from every corner of Canada are on their way to Ottawa for the 47th  annual MusicFest Canada, North America's largest festival dedicated to developing musical talent.  

The MusicFest Nationals will bring together more than 8,000 of Canada's finest young musicians aged 9-19 in 300 ensembles who will perform for national recognition.

The Nationals take place from May 13-18 at the National Arts Centre, the Bronson Centre, Knox Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church, and the University of Ottawa. For more detailed schedule information, please visit

Students from the elementary to high school levels are invited to attend MusicFest Canada Nationals after securing top adjudications at the regional level in concert band, orchestra, choral, vocal jazz or instrumental jazz categories. This year, the NAC will host the concert band and orchestra performances during the national week-long music festival.

MusicFest Canada and its sponsors will be giving out up to $100,000 in scholarships and awards at the festival, including two NAC Awards at $1,000 each for the best brass and string musicians, and $1,000 from the Friends of the NAC Orchestra for the outstanding woodwind player of the festival.


The following adjudicated performances, featuring some of the best young musicians from every corner of Canada, are free and open to the general public:

Concert Bands, Orchestras: May 13-18 at the National Arts Centre Babs Asper Theatre

Instrumental Jazz, Jazz Combos: May 13-17 at the Bronson Centre (211 Bronson Avenue)

Choirs, Contemporary/Vocal Jazz: May 15-17 at Knox Presbyterian Church (120 Lisgar Street)  


The objectives of MusicFest Canada are:

  • To provide an opportunity for students and educators from across Canada and elsewhere to meet and to demonstrate and to share their musical achievements and creativity.
  • To evaluate and reflect on musical achievement and creativity in a constructive and educationally focused way.
  • To encourage the study and performance of music written and arranged by Canadian composers.
  • To complement and enhance the teaching, learning and growing process.
  • To foster and promote a lifelong interest in music as a basic human experience.

Staged in a major Canadian city each year, MusicFest Canada is the ultimate experience in combining music and education and is a moving force in the cultural life of Canada's youth. These young musicians perform in hundreds of ensembles and attend showcase concerts, clinics, feature cabarets and workshops for an intense, non-stop six days.

The NAC is a proud partner of MusicFest Canada. The NAC holds youth and education as a key priority of the NAC’s strategic vision, and reaches out to young people across the country in order to help strengthen arts education, support young artists and build young audiences. Programs like MusicFest are made possible in part by the NAC’s National Youth and Education Trust. The NYET is supported by the supporters and patrons of the annual NAC Gala and the donors of the NAC Foundation’s Corporate Circle and Donors’ Circle.

MusicFest Canada: The Finals © Fred Cattroll