Kincardine Summer Music Festival needs the community to get behind it



By Barb McKay


For 27 years, the Kincardine Summer Music Festival (KSMF) has been providing professional music training to people of all ages.


Now, organizers are hoping people who have benefitted from the music programs over the years can help to keep the festival going for future generations of music lovers. Like many not-for-profit, volunteer-run organizations, KSMF relies on government grants, corporate sponsorships and donations to operate.


Jasmine Schnarr’s parents, John and Dee Schnarr, founded the festival and work with a core group of volunteers to run the event each year. She said funding is increasingly hard to come by, and last year the festival was shortened from two weeks to one week to reduce expenses.


Schnarr said many people, herself included, have benefitted from KSMF music programs over the years and have gone on to have musical careers as a result, as musicians or teachers or both. With the decline of music programs in schools, she said, the festival programs are more important than ever.


“It’s important that people consider why this exists in the community if they want it to continue.”


Schnarr said more families need to be aware of the music programs that are available to them.


“We need to get a younger generation in there,” she said.


The 27th annual KSMF will run Aug. 13 to 17 in Kincardine. There are classes geared to all ages and abilities and all programs are taught by professional musicians. Classes include children’s music, beginning band, junior band, senior band, beginning strings, junior strings, senior strings, symphony orchestra, fiddle (age 18 and older), beginning guitar, junior guitar, senior guitar and harp. The week is culminated with a gala performance. Anyone who is interested in signing up for classes can take advantage of early bird registration until June 30.


In addition to the summer music classes, the KSMF hosts an evening concert series featuring world-class musicians including the Juno Award winning Mike Downes Jazz Quartet, Whiskey Jack, Frank and Max Evans with special guest Dara Weiss, violinist Andrea Tyniec and the Heavyweights Brass Band. Tickets are available at J’Adorn, Ralph’s Hi-Way Shopette in Port Elgin, through TicketScene and at the door. Music program participants are admitted free.


As always, the 4 O’Clock in the Park free concert series will be held in Victoria Park throughout the week of the festival.


Schnarr said KSMF is in need of volunteers to help out prior to the festival and during, to hang posters, distribute tickets, etc. Anyone who would like to help out can call 519-396-9716.


Registration for music programs will be open until Aug. 13. For more information, visit or the KSMF Facebook page.