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Book of Chords

KW Kiwanis Music Festival
Celebrating excellence in music education since 1948


About the Festival...

The Kitchener-Waterloo Kiwanis Music Festival is a service project of the Kiwanis Club that was established in 1948 and has been running ever since as the largest annual music education event in the region. Each year, approximately 1200-1600 public school and private music students perform in solo and group classes.  The aim of this two-week event is to support and inspire our youth in their musical ambitions and skill development. The festival offers classes in a wide range of instruments and musical styles and offers both competitive and non-competitive opportunities to music students.  The festival also welcomes music students of all ages, with classes for families, adults, and community ensembles.

Festival classes are a learning opportunity for students to develop their musical skills beyond their regular lessons.  Every participant receives valuable feedback from an adjudicator who is a professional musician and educator to help them on their journey.  And in addition to the class workshops participants are eligible to receive Ribbons, Financial Awards and Trophies.  Each year the festival distributes $8000 - $20000 to deserving students, with awards ranging from $25 to $500.

Each year, the KWKMF selects about 150 participants to represent Kitchener-Waterloo at the Ontario Music Festivals Provincial Competition. The festival culminates in a gala Finale Concert which features an impressively diverse musical program performed by some of the top festival participants.  The concert also celebrates student achievements with Awards & Trophy presentations.

The KWKMF is supported by volunteers from the community to help run the classes…and we are always looking for new team members! The festival also relies on the generosity of local businesses, arts organizations, and private donors to support our scholarship fund and festival operations.  A new initiative starting in 2022 is the KWKMF Music Lessons Bursary Program to provide music lessons to students who show both promise and a financial need.

CLICK HERE to make a Donation and help supports students on their musical journey!

Glasses and Music Sheet

Letter from the Festival Coordinator:

Dear Kitchener-Waterloo Music Community,

I am the KWKMF Coordinator, Danielle Beck, and I have myself been a festival particpant as a student, teacher and volunteer.  It is an honour to serve our music community in my current role, and I am truly excited to witness the musical development of our students.  It has been a challenging few years for music programs everywhere as we have come through the pandemic, but I'm amazed to see all the ways in which our community has guided students to overcome these challenges.

We returned to our live festival format for the 2023 season and it was wonderful to see our students getting back into the swing with live performances.  And with our school music programs making a full recovery I'm excited to see so many ensembles return to the fold this year.  I am very much looking forward to our 2024 festival and be able to connect with student, parents and teachers. So, music students.... keep up the hard work in your lessons and best wishes with your performances this spring! 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at Thank you for your continued support of this long-lasting community music event.


Danielle Beck

Festival Coordinator

February 2024

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