General Rules & Regulations

New and revised syllabus rules for 2024 are highlighted in yellow. Use the Syllabus menu above to review the syllabus changes for each discipline.



  • All competitors, parents, teachers and choreographers are sincerely advised to carefully review and abide by the regulations and spirit of the festival so that infractions do not occur.

  • Audience members observed taking pictures or filming/recording a performer(s) will be warned once and asked to refrain.
  • If the audience member continues to take pictures or video/record, the performer(s) will be disqualified
  • Members of the media are exempted from this prohibition if authorized by MIPAF and have their parents’ permission.

  • Participants are requested to avoid wearing scented products during all performances.


Eligibility (Definitions)

  1. Competitors in the Mid Island Performing Arts FESTIVAL are restricted to residents of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
    1. Please note this rule does not apply to Dance. Please see Dance Section rules.
    2. To be eligible for recommendation to the Provincial Finals, competitors must:
      1. Reside within the geographic area of our Festival (Ladysmith to Bowser, Port Alberni to Parksville) OR
      2. Study in the discipline, (i.e. dance, piano) within the geographic area of our Festival OR
      3. Have taken up temporary residence for study within our geographic area.
      4. FOR 2024: Music and Speech Arts competitors from the North Island area (north and west of Bowser) will be eligible for bursaries and recommendations to Provincials in the same manner as competitors from within our area.
    3. IF THERE IS NO COMPETITOR to recommend from within this geographic area, adjudicators may recommend participants from outside of this area.
    4. All competitors interested in obtaining a PABC Provincial nomination will be asked to show on their entry forms that, should they be privileged to be selected as a representative, they will attend the PABC Provincial Festival.
    5. Any competitor receiving a Provincial nomination from another Festival they have not declined is ineligible for a nomination to the PABC Provincial Festival from MIPAF.
  2. All competitions shall be open to non-professional performers, including:
    1. full-time students of the performing arts who teach, if they apply the money so earned to further their education.
    2. those who receive occasional payment for services rendered in the arts, where it is not their primary source of income.
    3. conductors of non-professional choirs.
  3. In any current year, a student may perform only once within any given solo class.
    1. Exceptions are allowed in vocal duet, vocal solo, accompaniment classes and lieder.
    2. Competitors in choral societies or choirs are required to have been members of their respective organizations for at least one month before the opening date of the Festival.
  4. See the Syllabus for each Discipline section for specific rules.
  5. Age of competitors is determined as of December 31st before the upcoming Festival.
  6. Competitors and the public are requested to refrain from conversation and stay seated during the performances and adjudications.
  7. Complaints or protests must be received by the Corresponding Secretary no later than seven days after the end of the section involved (e.g. dance, vocal), and a protest fee of $25.00 must be included.
    1. The Protest Committee will be composed of a maximum of five Festival Committee members whose decision will be final.



Entry fees for all sections have been streamlined as follows:

Entry Type Fee
All Instrumental, Piano, Speech & Drama, Voice Classes
Each Solo Entry (except Concert Groups) $25
Concert Groups (Piano, Instrumental, Vocal)* $47
Each Group Entry
(including choirs, duets, and trios)
$14 per group member
All Dance Classes
MIPAF will be enhancing our Dance Section with the services of DanceSync and TMM Dance, providing the following benefits to local dancers and studios:

  • streamlining our performance schedule to keep our sessions shorter
  • music submission with registrations so they will be automatically available in the schedule, alleviating music management duties from dancers, teachers and studio staff on performance day
  • video adjudication, so dancers can receive constructive feedback while watching their performances

Entry fees for our dance classes were adjusted as follows to support these additional services:

Each Dance Solo Entry $43
Group Dance Entries $23 per each group member
*N.B. Performers in all disciplines must also enter another class in their section to be eligible for bursaries or Provincial nominations


Own Choice Selections

  1. Memorization is considered by most adjudicators to be a vital part of the total performance.
    1. When all other qualities are about equal, memory work WILL affect the final marking; therefore, all competitors are strongly advised to perform from memory.
    2. Memorization is required in Speech Arts, except for those sections explicitly requiring sight-reading.
  2. No repeat performances:
    1. Competitors must not select and perform the same piece in more than one class, either within a particular section or in any other section of the Festival.
    2. Once a competition, dance, or speech selection has been performed, it may not be used again by the same competitor in succeeding years in the Festival.
  3. If required on the entry form, the length of the performance time MUST be stated for programming purposes.
    1. Competitors performing Own Choice selections must adhere to the stated time limit, or they could be subject to disqualification or adjudication only.


  1. Entry forms are now accepted online only. Please go to our online entry system to supply all requested information – including payment. We will not accept entries via e-mail.
    1. The closing date for entries to the Mid Island Performing Arts Festival is December 31.
    2. Check the competitor’s name for spelling as this information will be transferred to programmes and certificates. Correct spelling of composers etc. is also necessary.
    3. To be accepted as an entry, the entry forms must be completed FULLY and the required fee paid either online or via cheque payable to:

      Mid Island Performing Arts Festival
      4000 Rock City Road
      Nanaimo BC  V9T 4Y8

    4. Non-compliance may result in the entry being omitted from the Festival programme, with the performance prohibited.
    5. The committee reserves the right to refuse any entry without assigning a reason.
    6. After an entry has been received, there will be no refund.
    7. Please list all other sections entered in the festival on the entry form. This information is necessary to avoid programming conflicts.
    8. Late entries may be accepted up to one week following the closing date at the discretion of the Section Chairperson. A double entry fee must accompany all late entry requests.


Programme Procedure

  1. When the entry closing date has passed, the committee will decide the order in which the classes will appear in the Programme and shall arrange the order in which the entrants will appear. The committee reserves the right to:
    1. Subdivide any class if the number or character of entries warrants this decision.
    2. Combine classes if there are insufficient entries.


  1.  It is the responsibility of the competitors to be at the venue on time. Participants are strongly advised to confirm their placement in the programme as soon as it is published online.
  2. The appropriate chairperson should be notified immediately if:
    1. it is necessary to substitute a member of a duet, trio, group or ensemble.
    2. a candidate intends to withdraw from a class.
  3. Competitors will be designated by a number and should not begin their performance before the adjudicator indicates he/she is ready to go ahead.
  4. The adjudicator may at his/her discretion stop a performance at any time and is not required to give an adjudication or mark if it would be detrimental to the competitor.

Liability Waiver

  1. The Mid Island Performing Arts Festival Society (the “Society”) is not responsible for any claims, demands or damages concerning injury to any competitor that may occur during the annual Mid Island Performing Arts Festival (“the Festival”).
    1. The Society will not be responsible for any loss or damage to musical instruments, equipment, props, or other personal property.
    2. The Society’s acceptance of a competitor’s application for entry into the Festival will release any responsibility of the Society and volunteers for the Society from claims, demands, damages, actions or causes of action arising out of or in consequence of any loss, injury or damage to any competitor or any competitor’s personal property incurred while attending or participating in the Festival. This release of responsibility includes any claims, demands, damages, actions or causes of action arising out of any exposure to COVID-19 or other transmissible diseases.
    3. This clause shall also apply to all members of the public attending any/all events.

Special Concerts and Awards

  1. We may call upon outstanding students in the Festival to perform at the Honours Performance and Dance Gala. Selected students should be ready to appear if requested to do so by the committee. The selection performed must be the one chosen by the adjudicator and meet the following time limitations:
    1. Honours Performance – approximately 5 minutes.
    2. Dance Gala – time limits are the same as listed in the dance section of this syllabus.

Any competitor not complying with these conditions may not be asked to take part in future performances.

  1. MIPAF may hold a Dance Gala after the Dance Section. Selection of dance numbers are chosen ONLY by the adjudicators based on:
    1. 1st or 2nd place mark
    2. audience appeal
    3. variety of program
  2. The adjudicator may
    1. make a Gala selection from a group class that was initially entered as an “adjudication only” class, for example, adult tap or street dance. A mark is not required to be eligible for a Gala selection.
    2. choose a duet or trio as a group performance
  3. The Dance Gala committee attempts to showcase as many dance schools as possible from the selections provided by the adjudicators.
  4. Selections chosen for Dance Gala are required to attend a technical rehearsal.
    1. A “no-show” at the technical rehearsal may result in the dance number being removed from the Gala schedule.
  5. MIPAF will give bursaries to encourage and aid worthy entrants in pursuing artistic studies.
    1. To merit these awards, competitors must be 28 years of age or under (20 years or under in Dance) and have performed in two solo classes in the same section, with the following exceptions:
      1. the Rose Bursary may need only one solo
      2. three solo classes are required to be eligible for a bursary in the Piano section
      3. a Concert Group class is considered equivalent to one solo class
    2. Bursary awards are at the sole discretion of the adjudicator.
  6. To be eligible for any bursaries, the recipient must be studying now or planning further study in the field for which the award is given.
    1. For a student to win an award of more than $100.00, he/she must live within the boundary area of the Mid Island Performing Arts Festival (Ladysmith to Bowser) or have taken up temporary residence within or outside the boundary area for studying.
    2. If an out-of-district student is selected by an adjudicator to represent our festival at the Provincials, bursary funds may be given in excess of $100.00 with bursary committee approval.
  7. Representatives to Provincial Finals will be notified when decisions are finalized.
    1. When notified, acceptance of the nomination is required within 48 hours, or the nomination may be withdrawn.
    2. After accepting a nomination, it is the responsibility of the Provincial Representative to attend the Provincial Finals wherever they are hosted.
    3. Should a named Representative decline their nomination, they will still receive a recognition bursary.
    4. For all disciplines except Dance, Provincial registration forms must be received by Provincial Liaison Representative within seven (7) days of the completion of the section; Dance representatives must submit their registration forms on or before the date of the Honours Performance.
    5. Any competitor accepting the nomination at the provincial or national level and not appearing without just cause and due notice will not be eligible to receive a nomination the following year and may be denied eligibility for nominations to future Provincial Finals from MIPAF.


  1. The adjudicator’s decision is FINAL in matters of adjudication and the selection of class winners, bursary winners, Provincial and National Representatives.
    1. The adjudicator is not compelled to select a Provincial or National Representative.
  3. During the dates of the Mid Island Performing Arts Festival, rehearsals in the venues rented by the festival committee are not permitted.
    1. Warm-up areas may be available at the discretion of the section chairperson.

Code of Conduct

  1. The MIPAF committee expects that all participants, teachers and parents afford all Festival volunteers, adjudicators, participants and teachers due courtesy and respect.
    1. Verbal abuse or harassment of any nature will not be tolerated and may result in the DISQUALIFICATION OF THE PARTICIPANT(S) involved and the removal/prohibition of the perpetrator(s) from all Festival venues.

Dress Code

  1. Please note the following dress requirements for all Music and Speech Arts Competitors and Concert Performers:
    1. Girls/Women: appropriate concert attire (dress, skirt, dress slacks with a blouse)
    2. Boys/Men: appropriate concert attire (suit or jacket, dress slacks and shirt)
    3. No Jeans, Please!
    4. Dance Competitors should wear age- and genre-appropriate dancewear and costuming suitable for a family audience. See the Dance Syllabus for more information.

Snow and Cancellation Policy

  1. Should the MIPAF cancel sessions for any unforeseen circumstance (power outage, snow, etc.), no refunds will be issued.
  2. In case of inclement weather or other safety concerns, the Section Chairperson will have the authority to cancel one or more sessions in consultation with the President.
    1. Section Chairpersons will notify volunteers and teachers/schools as appropriate.
    2. It will be the responsibility of the teachers/schools to notify affected participants.
  3. MIPAF sessions will resume as soon as possible after a cancellation.
    1. Upon resumption, the Section Chairperson may adjust the priority of classes.
    2. If rescheduling is required based on the limited availability of the adjudicator or venue, priority will be given to those classes eligible for a Provincial nomination.


COVID Cancellation Policy

  1. Entry fee refunds will be provided only if an entire section of the festival (e.g., Dance, Instrumental, Piano, Speech & Drama, Vocal) is cancelled before the section is scheduled to begin due to pandemic-related restrictions following BC Health requirements. Refunds will not be provided if there is a change in the format of a section of the festival (e.g., from in-person to virtual).