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About CDMF Performing Arts Festival

We would like to thank all the volunteers and the members of the executive.

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CDMF Executive

President : Michael Wright

Vice President:  Pat Bradley

Recording Secretary: Jo-Ann Dahms
Treasurer: Robert Nicolson
Vocal & Speech Arts Co-ordinator: Thelka Wright
Piano Co-ordinator: Ely Chan
Volunteer Co-ordinator: Eve Tuebert

Awards and Bursaries Co-ordinator: Eurilda Larsen

Member:  Shelley Livesey 

 

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History of CDMF

The CDMF was started in 1953 on the suggestion of Beryl MacLeod (Founder). At that time the students were participating in the Kiwanis Festival in Vancouver. The parents, children and teachers were weary of driving or taking the train all the way into the city and back, often returning late at night. Beryl suggested, ”Let’s put Port Coquitlam on the map and start our own festival”. Beryl was a music teacher (piano and vocal) who ran a small music store, first on Kingsway in Port Coquitlam and then in a bigger premises on Shaughnessy Street near the old Batty Shoe Store (which in those days was a grocery store). Velma Manion was one of five music teachers who worked in Beryl’s store selling sheet music and other musical items. They, along with several other enthusiastic volunteers, organized the very first CDMF festival.

Many of the local merchants got involved to support the festival. Events took place in school gymnasiums, church halls, the Masonic hall, the Elks hall, the movie theatre (which is now Giggle Dam), Golden Ears Hotel – whatever space was available. In the beginning only piano and vocal competitions were held. Speech Arts was added later and as time went on, dance as well. Two local ladies, Velma Manion (Honorary President) and Vivienne Bennie (who is now working with Pac West) were original founders and have continued to motivate and encourage the CDMF all these years.

As the festival grew, with many more participants and all disciplines, it became necessary to move from Port Coquitlam to Shadbolt Theatre in Burnaby and even the Massey Theatre in New Westminster was used for the large dance groups. Only Speech Arts has remained in Port Coquitlam throughout. More recently Vocal was brought back to Port Coquitlam leaving both Dance and Piano in Burnaby.

In 2005, the board serving at that time, voted to take a sabbatical – that was the last year for Dance. Piano made the decision to close for just one year. Speech Arts and Vocal chose to continue on without a break.

 


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