Kenora District

Festival of the Arts

A HISTORY OF TROPHIES 1931 - PRESENT

Throughout several decades, organizations and individuals have offered the festival trophies and plaques to reward excellence in the arts. Individuals and groups have been honoured for their performances in:

Band and Orchestral Instruments Voice Verse and Drama
Piano Dance Visual Arts

Voice

The Musical Competition Festival Shield for high school choirs was presented by the Kenora Board of Trade in 1931. Later known as the Kenora Board of Trade Shield, it has been awarded 38 times. The winning groups have been the Kenora High School Glee Club (1931-1934), Mrs. Cameron’s Girls Group (1937 and 1938), Kenora Keewatin District High School (KKDHS) in 1955, “45” Choir KKDHS (1956), Dryden High School Glee Club (1960,1963, 1965, and 1969), Lakewood Music Club (1966 and 1967), Beaver Brae Chorus (1973), Lakewood Secondary School Glee Club (1975), Thomas Aquinas Choir (1989, 1990, and 1994), Beaver Brae Choir (1995-1997), Beaver Brae Singers (1998-2003), Mac’s Angels (2006), Beaver Brae Singers (2008-2011), Good Fortune (2015-2019). The original shield was full and replaced in 2018.

Choirs for grades 1- 3 competed for the Dr. W.J. Gunne Cup from 1931 to 2002 with 33 winners. Dr. Gunne (1859-1950) practised medicine in the community and was supportive of the arts. Many local schools’ names were on his Cup - Northward (1931-1933), Central (1934 and 1935), Northward (1936-1938, and 1955), Mount Carmel (1956), Evergreen (1957), Northward (1958), Evergreen (1959-1962), Southward and Keewatin (1966), Pinecrest (1967), Central (1969), Southward and Central (1970) ,Central (1971), St. Louis and Keewatin (1973), Keewatin (1975), Mount Carmel (1977), King George VI (1979 and 1981), Northward (1983),King George VI (1988), Evergreen (1990), Keewatin (1991), Valleyview (1999 and 2000).

Musical competition for church choirs was encouraged by the Alexandrina McLeod Shield from 1931 to 1991 with 32 winners. These were Knox Church (1932 - 1936), Presbyterian Church (1953), Bethesda Lutheran (1955,1957,1959-1967, 1970,1971, and 1975) St. Alban’s Church (1958,1969, 1973, and 1981), Knox United Church Senior Choir (1987,1989,1990, and 1991). The award was discontinued when the church choirs no longer wished to compete against each other.

The Kenora Women’s Institute Musical Competition Festival for Vocal Ensemble was presented by G.M. Rioch in 1932. The Rioch trophy was awarded 15 times before being retired in 1991. The groups winning were Kenora Male Voice Choir (1932, 1933, and 1934), Mrs. Cameron’s Senior Ensemble (1939 and 1937), G.Clef Choir (1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, and 1989). The First Presbyterian Ladies Choir (1991) was the last winner. The church choirs decided they did not want to compete, just participate.

The Kenora Rotary Club Shield, donated in 1970 for intermediate school choirs, was destroyed by fire in the early eighties and replaced in 1986. It has been won 22 times. The winners were Mount Carmel (1970), Evergreen (1971, 1973 and 1975), Dryden Pinewood Senior Public (1977), Lakewood Intermediate School Choir (1979 and 1981), T.A. Choir (1987), Lakewood Choir (1993-2001), Evergreen Choir (2002 and 2004), Lakewood Choir (2005 and 2006), and Olivia Whiddon Academy of Music- Blue Bells in 2015.

The Bishop Dewdney Cup (for school choirs grades 4-6) was donated to honour Bishop Dewdney, the second bishop for the Diocese of Keewatin (Anglican Church of Canada). He served from 1921 to 1938. From 1970 to 2001 it was awarded 15 times. The Junior Choirs winning were from King George VI (1970), Central (1971), Keewatin (1973), Northward (1975), Keewatin (1977), Northward (1979 and 1981), Pinecrest (1983), Valleyview (1988), Evergreen (1989 and 1990), Ste. Marguerite Bourgeoys (S.M.B.) in 1994 and 2001 and King George VI (2000).

When the festival was revived in 1952, awards were offered to reward individual performances. The Rose Bowl was donated to the Festival of the Arts by Newman’s Jewellers. This major trophy was offered to those performing at a RCM grade 10 level and was awarded in four categories - voice, instrumental, piano and dramatic arts. Since 1952 it has been awarded 80 times*. Often the cup was shared between 2 winners and the years 1978, 1979 and 1991 each had three winners.*

In 1954 the Tudor Trophy was offered to vocal soloists performing at the RCM grade 6 level and has been won 55 times*

In 1998 the Ramchandar family donated a trophy and scholarship in honour of Janet, their wife and mother, who passed away in 1997. She was a pillar in the festival organization and was greatly missed. The Janet Ramchandar Memorial Trophy was offered to vocal soloists performing at the RCM grade 8 level and has been awarded 15 times. The winners have been Stacey Francis (1998), Meghan Daly (2000), Debbie Girard (2001), Tricia Caldwell (2002), Tallie MacDonald and Rebecca Daly (2003), Monique Nabb (2004), Alexandra Whiddon (2005), Cora Matheson (2006), Rebecca Penner (2007), Gavin Bowerman (2010), Erika Rasmussen (2012), Jenna Doering (2013), Angela Myshkowsky (2015), and in 2016, Lindsey Wenaas.

Musical Theatre performances became popular in the early 2000’s and two awards were offered to show an appreciation of this genre. The Musical Theatre Solo has been won 9 times : Erin McIntosh-2009, Gavin Bowerman-2010, Katie Plett-2011, Jenna Doering-2013, Kirsten Favreau-2015, Jesse McIsaac-2016, Sophie Dexter-2017, Amelie Graham-2018, Alanna Troilo-2019.

The Musical Theatre Ensemble Award has been won 5 times: Gavin Bowerman, Erin McIntosh, and Dylan Shumka White-2008, King George VI School-2015, St. Louis School grades 4 and 5-2016, St. Louis School grades 5and 6-2018, St. Louis School Choir-2019.

* The winners of these trophies are listed in the Appendix.