The Alberta Band Association Festival of the Bands is expected to bring a positive economic impact to Red Deer.
About 7,000 junior, senior and community band students from across Western Canada will compete in the event, which runs Monday to Thursday and May 21 to 24.
With friends and families travelling to the city to provide support, more than 10,000 visitors are expected to come to Red Deer because of the event.
“An event of this magnitude really brings a substantially positive impact to our community,” said Reg Warkentin, Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce policy and advocacy manager.
“Anytime you’re attracting people to the community for any reason, I think it’s a huge win for our hospitality sector in particular. Inevitably, these visitors will end up shopping, buying gas.”
Kimberley Denis, Alberta Band Association managing director, said some visitors will only pass through the city, but many will stay in Red Deer hotels.
Having the event in Red Deer makes the city a “destination” for concert band musicians, Denis added.
“We’ve had the festival for so many years in Red Deer that it’s just assumed this is where it’ll be.
“People associate concert band with things like the summer music band camp at Red Deer College and the Festival of Bands. This is the forefront location for activities of that sort,” she said.
Denis said RDC is a perfect location for the Festival of Bands.
“Every band will have about two hours where they’re in motion, and we use the entire Red Deer College Arts Centre. They perform on stage, there’s a place to hold their instruments … they’ve got a warmup space,” said Denis.
Adjudicators, educators and clinicians from across Canada and the United States will judge this year’s festival.
These judges will “provide (students) with a different perspective with the music they’re playing and a learning opportunity to further their musical education and musical growth,” said Denis.
The public is invited to attend the free performances on RDC’s main campus from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.