Welcome to Southeastern Manitoba Festival

The Southeastern Manitoba Festival offers amateur musicians, dancers and speech performers from across the region the opportunity to perform, attend workshops, compete for awards, and be adjudicated by experts. Each year the Festival hosts hundreds of performances in choral, dance, guitar, instrumental, musical theatre, piano, speech arts, string and vocal categories bringing our participant numbers to over 3,000!

The Festival runs for about 22 days and includes Awards Nights as well as several Highlights Evenings which are also presented each year, showcasing some outstanding performers.  The Southeastern Stars Gala Celebration is a particular highlight where each trophy winner is invited to perform and receive their trophy, often presented by the donors.


SEMF would like to thank the many volunteers who help make things run smoothly each year. Volunteer opportunities are listed on our Volunteer page.

The Southeastern Manitoba Festival would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors. SEMF relies mainly on these donations to cover its operating costs each year. If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation, please see our Sponsor page.

Thank you to all who contributed to the Southeastern Manitoba Festival and making it a big success!

Thank you to our major sponsors for 2015:
  • Manitoba Hydro
  • Steinbach Dental Clinic
  • Dwight Wiebe – Registered Piano Technician
  • Steinbach Credit Union
  • Manitoba Public Insurance
  • Iggy’s Family Doener
  • Elite Dance Academy
  • Primary Care Pharmacy
  • Penner International
  • Steinbach Arts Council
  • Sussex Realty


SEMF is a member of Associated Manitoba Arts Festivals. Check the AMAF website for Resource materials and other current information


Important notice from our President! Please read carefully.

Hello all!

You will be hearing this on the radio, our website, and several other places over the next few weeks, but I wanted to make you aware of some of the changes that will be taking place in the festival. We have had to do some sweeping revision due to several different factors, and I would ask for your patience as we make the necessary adjustments necessary to accommodating well over 3000 participants every year!

First, due to the huge increase in entries this year we will be overlapping some disciplines. Junior and Senior piano will run at the same time. Choral and Musical Theatre will also overlap by a day with attention paid to scheduling to ensure that our kids are not expected to be in two places at once. Most disciplines will have an added day. Even with these changes we have had some difficulty securing venues due to these added days, so please watch the website for changes!

Second, also due to our entry increase we are incurring greatly increased costs, and this means that to alleviate part of this we are raising our entry fees. We are not increasing to the rate of comparable festivals such as Brandon, but we are upping solo entry fees to $12. Memberships, group entries, and admission have also seen small increases so again, please check our addendum carefully! Our increased costs also mean that the electronic entry option will not come into effect until the 2016-2017 festival.

Third, we are committed to contributing to strong teaching practices and as such we have made several changes with awards. Everything has been overhauled to be consistent between disciplines. We will now also be allowing ALL award and trophy winners to compete at the same level (with different repertoire) two years if needed. By doing so we hope to avoid contributing to pushing students beyond a level at which they can satisfactorily compete or progress. Second, across the board, ALL students 10 years and under (vocal, musical theatre) or Level 2 (grade 2) piano or strings will now be non competitive. We wish to allow our youngest students to perform and enjoy the experience without any pressure from a trophy that may be awarded.

We will be adding guitar as a discipline this year, with classes for classical and chording based students! We are hoping to piggyback our adjudicator off the Winnipeg festival, meaning that currently we do not have a date, but it will be one day and will be announced on the website and the addendum. We would like to encourage all guitar teachers to plan to send several students, both for the performance opportunity, to see other guitarists at the same level, but also to allow the teachers an opportunity for feedback as we work to ensure all teachers are maintaining a professional standard in their work.

We are asking everyone who has any questions during the year to contact the discipline coordinator for their specific discipline and not the President or Vice President. The discipline coordinators understand their discipline, and it’s both a matter of respect for their work and also the reality that I (Candace Hamm) literally spend hours forwarding emails and questions to each specific coordinator. Accordingly, the discipline coordinators will decide what needs to be sent my way and inquiries sent directly to me will not be answered. Their phone numbers are on the website. Please understand that while I love to hear from everyone, my work and other activities mean that I physically do not have the time to answer everyone personally. Your questions will get the attention they need by sending them to the appropriate person first!

There are many other changes, but these are some of the most important. It will be imperative to check the addendum and the NEW AMAF syllabus carefully this year. If you have questions please contact your discipline coordinator well in advance. We understand that not everyone may agree with some of these changes, but they have been made as a result of careful thought and are what we believe will give us the strongest foundation going forward. As a result of the changes and the late arrivals of the AMAF syllabus, the addendum will not be available before October 15th. It will then be available for pickup at the Steinbach Arts council and Outbach Music. The Syllabus itself must be purchased from AMAF or is available for viewing at the SAC.

Thanks! Looking forward to a great year.
Candace Hamm