Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Provincial Finals Competitions. This list will be added to as more questions are received and responded to.

Enjoy your time at the Provincials! And please remember that as a competitor at Provincials, you are considered a “Provincial Finalist” representing your home festival on the Ontario stage. This is a great title to add to your resume when looking for admission to schools or applying for jobs–it WILL open doors!

Updated: May 2019

When should I arrive at my performance location?

You must arrive at your performance location a MINIMUM OF ONE HOUR BEFORE YOU ARE SCHEDULED TO PERFORM. Warm-up space is provided at each venue and could be assigned to you at any time in that hour. If you do not want or require warm-up time, you must arrive at your venue a MINIMUM OF A HALF HOUR before your scheduled time. It is important to note that the ONLY person permitted in the warm-up room is the competitor. Teachers, parents and accompanists are not allowed in this room.

What is the difference between rehearsal time and warm-up time?

Rehearsal time is time provided, IF AVAILABLE, for you and your accompanist, or for you alone if solo, well ahead of your performance time and in a different location than your performance hall. The cost for rehearsal time is $20 per half hour, $40 per hour and is booked on a first-come first-served basis. Rehearsals may be on the day or evening before your performance, but it will not be immediately prior to your performance, and it will not be in the same venue.

Warm-up time, on the other hand, is a short period set aside for you to warm-up (not rehearse) just before your actual performance. It will be in a room in the same venue as your performance and, because of space limitations, it could be scheduled anytime in the hour before your performance. That is why you must be at your performance venue no less than an hour ahead. Space and time is very limited for warm-ups, and if you don’t arrive at least an hour ahead, you might miss your available warm-up time. Remember you must be at your performance location no less than an hour before your performance, and your warm-up time will be scheduled to meet that requirement. Again, it is important to note that the only person permitted in the warm-up room is the competitor. No parents, teachers or accompanists will be allowed in this room.

By what procedure and when are rehearsal and warm-up facilities scheduled? We haven't met our accompanist yet and are not likely to until shortly before the performance.

We do provide a warm-up room approximately 1/2 hour before each competitor performs, for their use for about 15 minutes (remember, they have to be at their performance venue one hour ahead of their performance time).  That being said, your accompanist may have made other arrangements, and you should contact him/her directly. The facilities we provide are for warm-up prior to the performance, NOT for rehearsing.  There is limited rehearsal space available for a fee in a different location (not the performance venue).  Please contact us.

Do I have to play my pieces in the order that is in the programme, or can I change the order?

While you cannot change your repertoire from what you registered with, you can perform your repertoire in any order you like, even if it is different than what is in the program. Please just be sure to give it to the Adjudicator’s Assistant in the order you want it performed before the start of the class.  Don’t forget to number your bars!

I sent the registration form myself but the Festival is paying the entry fee separately. The Syllabus says they must be submitted together; does that jeopardize my daughter's registration?

Not at all!  We will match up your registration with the fee, but it would help if you would put on the registration that your Festival is covering the fee so we know that you haven’t just forgotten to include it.

Is it possible to confirm that you received my daughter's application?

Unfortunately, due to the very tight time line between the end of the last festival in Ontario and the start of Provincials, at this time of year we are very busy taking registrations from many local festivals that have just finished, and don’t have time to confirm each registration as it is received.  If you paid by e-transfer you would have received a confirmation from your bank saying that we had deposited the fees. If you paid by cheque, you can look at your online banking statement to see if the cheque has been cashed.

Section 5.3 of the Syllabus says " introductory comments or remarks are to be made by competitors..." My children have always been coached to announce the name and composer of their pieces, is that considered an "introductory remark?"

At Provincial Finals we do not have enough time for students to introduce themselves or their pieces.  We have found that some people keep it short and sweet, while others tend to give a bit of a history lesson.  The decision was made to simply not allow any introductions.  Competitors should go on stage, bow to acknowledge the audience, and begin their performance.

My son has two pieces to play, should he wait for a signal from the Adjudicator before starting his second piece?

Yes, he should wait in between pieces for a signal from the Adjudicator.

The Syllabus says that attire must be "clothing suitable for Concert Hall performance". Does this rule mean orchestra black and white, all black, formal gowns, tuxedos? Or simply "no jeans, T-shirts and sports shoes?"

Generally speaking, we treat this competition as a concert recital. Individuals will be assessed as to appropriate concert attire, whether they acknowledge their accompanist at the end of the performance, and of course, on their musicality and performance – they are judged on the whole package.

Competitors should wear something that they are comfortable wearing, but NOT jeans, shorts, running shoes, flip-flops, no undergarments showing, etc. Black and white is fine, as is a formal dress or suit. You will see a bit of both at the competition.

For males, depending on the instrument, tuxedo or jacket and tie is fine; dress shirts with tie and dress pants are also appropriate for some disciplines where jackets would restrict movement.

Music Theatre performers may have their own costumes. The workshops should be “smart casual” dress, again no jeans, running shoes etc. as promotional photos may be taken. For music theatre workshops no costumes are required, just ‘smart casual’ dress.  However, costumes may be worn in the playoffs.

I have to stay overnight at Provincials, do you have any recommendations?

There is a link on our website to local hotels and nearby restaurants; we can make no recommendations but there is a wide selection of each from which to choose.

I want to change my accompanist, can I do that?

As performances are scheduled around accompanists, we need to know their names at the time of registration. We are able to change the name of your accompanist as long as scheduling has not begun; once scheduling starts, we cannot guarantee that there won’t be a conflict if you change accompanists and that is something we cannot change schedules for. You can, however, change accompanists if you wish. If you DO change accompanists, kindly let the original accompanist know that you have made other arrangements. It is not fair to them to change without informing them.

It should be noted that an accompanist must be listed on your entry form when you submit it. It is a required field and the entry will not be accepted without it. If you need help finding an accompanist, please go to our list of accompanists who will be coming to Provincials.

I just noticed that the timing for one of my pieces is wrong, what should I do?

Timings on registrations must be accurate, and we ask you to perform your piece and time it accurately.  It is VERY IMPORTANT that you let us know any changes to timings as soon as you find out.  Classes at Provincials are scheduled very tightly (to the minute, in fact).

Will I be informed of my individual schedule?

Yes – you will get an email when the scheduling has been completed indicating that you can go to the OMFA website to look up your performance time.  WORKING EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE CRITICAL and we can take no responsibility for emails that bounce back.  Please make sure to print your email addresses clearly and we recommend that you do not use a hotmail address due to delivery problems in the past.

What is the "workshop"?

Workshops are mandatory for all competitors and happen at the end of each day. Failure to participate in the workshops could eliminate you from being eligible for a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or Honourable Mention award. Workshops are conducted by your adjudicator and is a time for them to provide more in-depth comments about your performance and/or to work with the competitors as a group. It is a fabulous learning experience and part of what makes the Provincials special.

The workshop is not until the end of the day, and I sing first thing in the morning. Do I have to stay?

We encourage you to pend the day listening to the other great performances in your and other disciplines. The festival isn’t just about your performance, it’s a great learning experience in many other ways – hearing new repertoire; hearing someone else’s interpretation of the same piece you played, etc. We encourage you to hear as many performances as possible during your stay in Niagara Falls.

Does my accompanist have to stay for the workshop?

No – your accompanist does not have to be with you for the workshop. Should they not be available, you may have to sing/play without him/her or perhaps another accompanist in the audience will step up. More importantly, however, is if there is a play-off in your section and you are selected to perform again, your accompanist, or another one, will have to be there with you.

What exactly is a "play-off?"

Because there are so many entries in some disciplines, we often have to split the groups into two, three, and sometimes four classes, otherwise the competition would have taken place over two days.  Since we split the groups, we created “play-offs”.  At the end of the workshops, the Adjudicators will announce the top two finishers in each group (“A”, “B”. “C” and/or “D”).  These four, six or eight competitors will then perform again to determine the final order of winners. Only one piece will be performed and is chosen by your Adjudicator. In classes where play-offs are scheduled, Honourable Mention certificates will be made at the conclusion of the workshop. The announcement of who will be playing at the Playoffs will also be made at the conclusion of the workshop. PLEASE CHECK THE LOCATION OF PLAY-OFFS, as they may be at a different venue. Even if you aren’t selected to perform at the play-offs you are more than welcome to go to see who the winners will be!

Am I allowed to videotape the performance?

  Recordings–video or audio–and photographs are permitted during the competition – but only of your own child/student. There will be a specific chair set up for this purpose and it will be the ONLY place where this can happen.  Photographs (and ONLY photographs–NO VIDEO OR AUDIO RECORDING) may be taken during the workshops providing it is very subtle, no flash is used, and it does not interrupt the Adjudicator.  If you are asked to stop photographing by one of the volunteers, please do so.  You are, however, welcome to take photographs after the workshop if there is time, and during and after the announcement of winners.