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Olds music festival performers compete in national festival

Jocelyn Zhou and Ella Challoner, two students who won provincial music festival awards, will be competing in the first Canada West Performing Arts Festival July 21-23 in Saskatoon
MVT Ella Challoner
Ella Challoner belts out a tune during a performance in Olds High School. Challoner and fellow provincial award winner and Olds Kiwanis Music Festival standout Jocelyn Zhou will be competing in the first Canada West Performing Arts Festival July 21-23 in Saskatoon.

OLDS — Two students who participated in this year’s Olds & District Kiwanis Music Festival will be competing in the first Canada West Performing Arts Festival. 

The event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan begins today, July 21, and ends July 23. 

Jocelyn Zhou will be competing in piano and Ella Challoner will be competing in musical theatre.  

In an email, Olds & District Kiwanis Music Festival Society treasurer Arlene Wilde listed three of the local festival's performers who were not only recommended to compete at the provincial music festival this spring, but who went on to win provincial awards. 

Ella Challoner finished first in Musical Theatre Ballad, Senior and Contemporary Vocals, Senior. She placed third in Musical Theatre Uptempo, Senior. 

Jocelyn Zhou finished first in Piano I, 12 and under. 

Also, Sophia Vermeulen placed first in Piano Concerto, Complete.  

“Congratulations to our festival performers,” Wilde wrote. 

This spring’s festival, the organization’s 39th, was the first one held in-person after COVID restrictions. 

“Our numbers were down, but there were still some excellent performances,” she wrote. 

Shortly before the festival began, Olds festival coordinator Wendy Durieux said this year, their entries had fallen from 460 entries previously to 221 entries. 



Doug Collie

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