Live Festival - Rules and Regulations

Please take the time to read the Rules and Regulations.

By submitting an entry it means that you have read and understood the rules and regulations.

We are very excited to be able to offer opportunities to amateur musicians/actors who qualify through their local festivals.

  1. We are offering competitive classes for instrumental and voice levels from Grade 6 to ARCT (Classical Guitar, Classical Lower Strings, Classical Piano, Classical Upper Strings, Classical Voice & Classical Woodwinds)

  2. We are offering competitive classes for competitors ages 11 to 28 in Musical Theatre, Popular Piano, Popular Voice, Popular Voice Self-Accompanied and Songs from the Screen and More.

  3. We are offering classes for Speech Arts for all ages.

  4. We are offering classes for Chamber Groups from Level 1 to ARCT.

  5. We are offering classes for Amateur Adults 29 years and over in all disciplines.


  1. The Ontario Music Festivals Association (OMFA) is managed by the OMFA Executive Committee and the designated Provincial Administrator.

  2. All decisions of the OMFA Executive Committee regarding any Provincial Finals matter within or outside the rules or syllabus shall be final and binding.

  3. Requests for further clarification or interpretation of these rules may be made, in writing, to the OMFA Executive Committee.


  1. Competitors must be 28 and under as of December 31, 2023. Amateur Adult competitors must be 29 and over. For the purposes of this competition, for age level classes, ages are based on the age of the competitor as of December 31, 2023.

  2. Competitors must live or study in the Province of Ontario or in the Gatineau, Quebec area.

  3. Competitors must play/sing/perform at least one of the selections they performed at the Local Festival for which they must have received a minimum mark of 85. The second (or third, if applicable) selections are the competitor's own choice but must be at the same grade/level.

  4. All competitors must be amateurs. For the purpose of the OMFA Provincial Finals competition, an amateur shall be defined as: a music student, performer, or any person who does not earn income from performance in the particular discipline in which he or she is competing. If a competitor, during OMFA's fiscal year or any part thereof, is earning income (eg. over $1000.00) from performing, then they are not considered an amateur. Also, competitors who are full or junior members of either ACTRA or EQUITY are considered professional and are ineligible for the Provincial Finals, unless they are competing in a different discipline that is not in-line with the reason for their ACTRA or EQUITY membership (eg. they are earning income for a musical but have been recommended for classical piano). The year that the competitor is enrolled as a full member of either ACTRA or EQUITY and/or has received professional income, they are unable to participate in the OMFA Provincial Finals for that same year (meaning if the competitor was recommended in March, eg., but then joined ACTRA or EQUITY or has received professional income after they were recommended to the OMFA Provincials, they would be unable to compete).

  5. Competitors may only enter in one level of competition per discipline (i.e. only once in Classical Piano, only once in Popular Voice, etc.) at their correct instrumental grade or age level. Please note that Open and Diploma entrants in piano who wish to play a concerto must enter in the appropriate Piano Concerto classes.

    For the purposes of this competition:
    - Classical Piano, Piano Concertos and Popular Piano are three different disciplines.

    - Classical Voice, Musical Theatre, Songs from the Screen and More and Popular Voice, Self-Accompanied Popular Voice are five different disciplines.

  6. Diploma classes are offered for competitors who are studying at the Conservatory Associate Level but who have NOT completed the Associate Diploma as of December 31st, 2023. Competitors entering the Diploma section can only have been studying at the ARCT/A.Mus. level for 2 years or less. If the competitor has been studying at this level longer than 2 years, they must enter the Open Class.

  7. Open Level competitors must be performing at the ARCT/A.Mus. level or above but do not have to have attained their Associate degree. Competitors who have been studying at the Associate level for 2 or more years must enter this class.

  8. If a competitor has completed the repertoire section and taken a partial Conservatory examination before December 31, 2023, they are not eligible to enter that graded level of the Provincial Finals.

  9. Once a competitor has entered one level, they may not enter a lower level for the same instrument/discipline in future years.

  10. If a competitor places first in an age or graded level, they may not enter the same level the following year for the same instrument/discipline except in Musical Theatre, Songs form the Screen and More, Popular Classes, Speech Arts & Percussion. If a competitor wins at the Diploma level they must proceed to the Open Level the following year (if recommended).

  11. Repertoire cannot be repeated from year to year or if entering two different classes.

  12. For duets, trios and chamber groups with 3 members - The original group must attend. Substituions are not permitted.
    For chamber groups with 4 or 5 members - one member may be substituted.

Live Festival Registration Information

  1. Registration will open on January 1, 2024.

  2. You will need to create a new account for the 2023-2024 Festival.

  3. To register, click Sign Up in the top right corner of this page.

  4. You may register at any point up to and including your registration date. Early registration is strongly encouraged.

  5. You need to register and pay for your entry before your recommended festival's deadline.

  6. OMFA reserves the right to reject any entry for any reason.

  7. It is the responsibility of every Competitor and/or Parent/Guardian to ensure that they have read and fully understood all parts of this Syllabus.

Deadline and Registration Procedures

  1. Competitors MUST take the first recommendation they are given from a Local Festival.

  2. You must follow the repertoire requirements as listed in the specific OMFA syllabus for your instrument/voice/speech arts.

  3. Completed registration forms must be submitted electronically using the online registration form by 9:00 pm on the date of your local festival's entry deadline. Please refer to the Local Festival Deadlines page ( for your local festival's deadline date.

  4. You must register and pay for your entry by your Local Festival's deadline ( ).

    Early registration is strongly encouraged.

  5. Final repertoire selection and payment must be completed by your festival's registration deadline.

  6. The full entry fee for each competitor must be paid by credit card through Stripe at the time of registration. Because of fixed costs for the Provincial Finals, the entry fee is not refundable for any reason, except under circumstances where the entry is refused by OMFA. In these cases, OMFA will withhold a $25 processing fee. Refunds will not be given for failure to read and obey the rules and regulations.

  7. Late applications will be accepted for a maximum of 3 days after your Local Festival's deadline. All entries must be received before 8:59 pm. An entry received after this time will be considered a day late and will incur a $25 late fee charge per day.

    Please refer to the Entry Deadlines page for your local festival's late entry deadline (

    There will be no exception to this rule.

  8. Please ensure that you take the time to fill out the registration form completely, correctly and with ALL of the requested information. Putting "To Be Decided" in any field will not be accepted. Failure to provide all information required will result in disqualification.

    If you wish to make changes to your repertoire after your entry deadline has passed, you can make a request to do so by contacting the OMFA office at

    If the office approves your change, there will be a charge of $25 (per change) that must be paid by the competitor. The change will not be made until an e-transfer has been received (sent to

  9. For instrumentalists: names of composers, movements and opus numbers of works (if relevant).

  10. For Musical Theatre and Speech Arts: name of piece, source (i.e. name of musical or name of anthology), author and/or composer and lyricist.

  11. Time limits indicated within each discipline syllabus are "maximum" time limits. In most classes there is not a minimum time limit, however, in all Open Level classes the minimum performance time is 15 minutes.
    If competitors need to do a costume change, plesae add this change time into your total declared time.

  12. Entry forms must be complete to be accepted. Please use proper punctuation and do not use all caps. Full and accurate information must be included in all fields, including: Complete titles of pieces to be performed with the composer's name.

  13. Entry fees cover the competitor's participation in the Provincial FInals only and DOES NOT include accompanist fees.

  14. Accompaniment may be acoustic piano only. The only exception to this rule is for accompaniment for Popular Voice which may be: live, or pre-recorded piano back-track without vocal backtracks. For the Popular Self- Accompanied class accompaniment may be on acoustic piano, keyboard, guitar or ukulele.

  15. Original music for each selection must be presented at the welcome desk for use by the Adjudicator on the day of competition. An original score of the music or purchased digital music with attached receipt showing title and price (not a cover page or subscription to a sharing website) are acceptable. Measure numbers should be clearly marked in the music.


  1. Judging/Adjudicating will be by a qualified adjudicator in each discipline and all decisions made will be final. Criteria for judging/adjudicating will be for overall artistry but other aspects that will be considered are musicianship, musicality and expression, choice of repertoire, communication, presentation, and proper attire. In Classical Voice, Musical Theatre, Songs from the Screen and More, and Speech Arts, voice quality, diction, characterization and acting will also be taken into consideration.

Scheduling of Performances

  1. By submitting an entry form, the competitor agrees to perform at any time between the beginning and the end of the Provincial Finals.

  2. OMFA reserves the right to reschedule from the published schedule without advance notice.

  3. Requests to change the scheduled date will not and cannot be considered.

  4. OMFA will endeavour to arrange the schedule so as to avoid conflicts in playing time of collaborative pianists (Accompanists). Your Collaborative Pianist's name MUST be provided on the entry form. If you do not have your Collaborative Pianist lined up at the time of your registration you will be permitted to submit this information no later than May 12th. Failure to list your Collaborative Pianist could result in scheduling conflicts that OMFA will not be able to fix.

  5. The scheduled times of performance will be posted on the OMFA website and will be forwarded with instructions to each competitor as soon as possible after the final entry deadline.Competitors will be reminded of all rules and advised of all known changes to the published schedule.

Performance & Participation

  1. Competitors must play the pieces as listed in the CURRENT RCM or Conservatory Canada syllabus, if relevant, (e.g. if two movements are required then two movements must be played or if it is complete, then all movements must be played, etc.)

  2. Repertoire may not be used if the competitor has performed all, or parts, of a piece at any previous Provincial Finals. For Chamber Groups, repertoire may not be used if more than one member of the group has performed it at the Provincial Finals in previous years.

  3. Competitors are advised to reflect a variety of styles and periods in their choice of selections.

  4. The playing or singing of repeated sections in music is optional – but encouraged. Accurate timing MUST be indicated on the entry form. Adding or deleting repeated sections after an entry form is submitted is not permitted.

  5. In a year when a new RCM or Conservatory Canada syllabus is introduced, the previous syllabus may be used for one year only. For reference, all RCM and CC syllabi are available online.

  6. Music stands will not be provided.

  7. Competitors must be on time for all scheduled events – being late could result in disqualification.

    a) Competitors, with their scores, must check in at their competition venue a minimum of one hour before their scheduled performance time.

    b) Competitors must be ready to perform at their competition venue at least 15 minutes prior to the start of their performance.

    c) Warm-up space will be provided, whenever possible, at each competition venue. Times will be assigned when the competitor checks in and are based on fair use for all competitors. The warm-up room will be available for 10-15 minutes approximately 45 minutes before the competitor's performance time. Warm-up rooms are for competitors only and should not be used for rehearsals of any kind. (i.e. accompanists, teachers, parents are not allowed). No rehearsals are permitted in the halls used for the competitions. If you require rehearsal facilities OMFA we hope to have rehearsal space available for rental on the website as of May 2024. Competitors must book and pay for their own rehearsal space.

    d) Workshops occur after the final performer. Competitors must participate and be on time for their workshop. Competitors who do not participate in the workshop are not eligible for placement unless they have another workshop at the same time. Please inform the OMFA office of any conflict.

    e) Competitors are encouraged to attend the entire day of competitions.

  8. Competitors must provide original full scores, music or text for the Adjudicator. Full original scores or texts should be presented to the Welcome Desk at check-in.

    a) All copyright laws must be observed. Photocopies or digital copies will not be accepted unless they show legal authorization from the publisher or copyright holder or proof of purchase (Front pages with competitors names are not receipts – please print receipts from your account showing title of selection and payment.)

    b) OMFA reserves the right to disqualify any competitor presenting an unauthorized copy.

  9. Music competitors must neatly mark the bar numbers at the beginning of each line of music in the original score, if not already noted in the score.

  10. Competitors requiring an accompaniment must provide and pay for their own accompanist.

    a) A list of collaborative accompanists who are available to accompany at the Provincial Finals is provided on the OMFA website:

    b) Individual accompanists may only play for a maximum of SEVEN (7) performers per day between two disciplines and a maximum of FIVE (5) performers per day if playing for three or more disciplines.To avoid competitor disappointment and scheduling problems, please ensure that the accompanist is in compliance with this regulation.

  11. Competitors must perform selections listed in the published program.Selections may be performed in any order.

  12. No introductory remarks or comments are to be made by the competitor from the stage during music performances.In Speech Arts, competitors may introduce their repertoire, but may not state where they are from, what festival they represent, or any synopsis or set-up for the scene.

  13. Workshop and Playoffs - There will be a workshop with the adjudicator at the end of each day. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn, have fun and meet your peers from across the Province. Many competitors find this to be a highlight experience of their time at the Provincial Finals. Attendance is mandatory to be eligible for awards. Placements and Honourable Mentions are announced after this workshop. Written comments are handed out at the conclusion of the workshop. This 1-2 hour workshop usually takes place sometime between 3 to 6 pm each day. It is important to note that If your class has been divided into more than one part, there will be a Playoff where a few competitors are asked to perform one selection again to determine final placements. This will take place after the workshop.

  14. The Performance Rules have been devised to ensure fairness to all competitors, and failure to comply with any/all of the regulations listed in the rules or syllabus could result in disqualification from Provincial Finals.

Behaviour During the Provincial Finals

  1. Competitors, teachers, accompanists, parents/guardians are prohibited from being in contact with any Provincial Adjudicator during the Provincial Finals week.

  2. During a performance and while in attendance at the Workshop and/or Playoffs, competitors must wear clothing suitable for concert hall performance and promotional photographs. Informal clothing is discouraged.

  3. Competitors will be disqualified and ejected from competition premises without refund if found to be possessing or if under the influence of drugs or alcohol. OMFA reserves the right to refuse future participation in the Provincial Finals.

  4. A designated seat will be arranged in each competition venue for a parent/guardian/teacher to record or photograph their own competitor's performance.All other audio recording, video recording, or photographing of competitors during performances and workshops is prohibited and may result in the disqualification of the competitor.

  5. Appropriate behaviour and consideration of other competitors is expected at all times and in all aspects of the Provincial Finals, rehearsals, and its areas.Competitors may be disqualified if their conduct is disruptive or in violation of OMFA Rules at the discretion of the OMFA Executive Committee.

  6. All competitors under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Results of the Competitions

  1. Results will be announced on the date of your competition.Results will also be posted on our website ( and on our Facebook page ( and Instagram ( before the end of June.

  2. No marks are awarded at Provincial Finals. Adjudicators will award First, Second and Third place winners as well as Honourable Mentions.

  3. Winners who receive a monetary award MUST send a hand-written thank-you letter to the donor of the prize.Contact information details will be provided.