About the RFOTA

Rockwood Festival of the Arts offers amateur musicians, dancers and speech performers from across the region the opportunity to perform, compete for awards, and be adjudicated by experts. Each year the Festival hosts hundreds of performances in choral, dance, guitar, instrumental, musical theatre, piano, speech arts, string and vocal categories!

The Festival runs for about 3 weeks in April days and includes Awards Nights showcasing some outstanding performers.

The Rockwood Festival of the Arts is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization which provides a venue for student performance and adjudication in the following disciplines:

  • Piano   
  • Strings
  • Band
  • Vocal/Choral   
  • Instrumental
  • French and English Speech Arts
  • Dance

The Festival runs during the month of April every year. It is hosted in the Town of Stonewall (even years) and the Town of Teulon (odd years)  Registration for the Rockwood Festival of the Arts takes place in January. Registration forms are available here.  There is a small fee for each entry to help cover the cost of expenses and adjudicator fees.

Announcements regarding Festival dates, locations and registration deadlines will appear in the local school newsletters as well as in local newspapers and on this website.

A major goal of the Rockwood Festival of the Arts is to encourage high levels of participation.  As part of this encouragement, we try to keep our entry fees as low as possible.

In and around 1952 the new School Inspector, Mr. William Friesen, came to the Interlake area from southern Manitoba, where musical festivals had been popular for a number of years. Mr. Friesen found out that Claudia (nee Doern) Campbell had participated in the Winnipeg Music Festival as a young person, both as a performer and as a choir leader, and suggested that this Interlake area needed a festival of its own. He called a meeting of teachers and other interested people to discuss this possibility.


History

The first festival, Rockwood Musical Festival, was held on Friday, May 4, 1956 in Stonewall and included professional adjudicators for Piano, Folk Dancing, Singing, and Speech. Classes were held in three different venues simultaneously on the one day. Enough interest and enthusiasm was aroused that in subsequent years more classes were added: Dance, Instrumental, Band and Theatre Arts. Since then , the towns of Teulon, Warren and Stony Mountain have also taken turns hosting the annual event. In 1957, the name was changed to “Rockwood Music and Speech” until 1977 in which the name was changed to the Rockwood Festival of the Arts as it is today.

Our thanks to Mr. William Friesen for initiating the creation of the Rockwood Festival and encouraging Claudia Campbell to play a critical role in the festival. In the past 60 years Claudia has served on the Rockwood Festival committee for 19 Years as President, 8 Years as vice or 1st Vice-President and she has served on the festival board in some capacity or another for over 54 years. Thank You Claudia for all your time, hard work and dedication to the Rockwood Festival of the Arts. As we celebrate our Diamond Anniversary in 2015 the Rockwood Festival of the Arts pays you tribute by naming you our “2015 Honourary President.