'Founder of the Federation' is an honour given to outstanding festival leaders who have committed themselves to the Music Festival movement in Canada. By their service to the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals and the National Music Festival, they have enriched the lives of countless young musicians.
Individuals worthy of this honour will be recommended to Federation members by the Executive of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals, and will be ratified by the delegates at the Annual General meeting. Their names will be forever listed annually in the Digest.
George S. Mathieson
Federation members have always recognized the pivotal role played by George. S. Mathieson. With his initiative the Conference of Festival Delegates was assembled in 1926 and continued to meet regularly until 1949. It was he who established the link with the British Music Festival Federation in order that the British adjudicator chain could be set in place. Mathieson, more than anyone, made that "chain" work in those early years. A man of energy and foresight, George S. Mathieson is indeed our principal founder.
Richard W. Cooke
Dick Cooke was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the newly formed Federation of Canadian Music Festivals in 1949. He served faithfully in that position until 1978. To his contemporaries he was known affectionately as "Mr. Festival". There can be no denying the devotion and dedication of this festival leader. He was energetic, clever and, in his own way, charismatic. As part of the "Winnipeg Trio"*, Richard Cooke helped create a strong and effective Federation.
*with Reg Hugo and James Seaton, who were for years fellow members with Cooke on the Administrative Council.
Reg Hugo, first President of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals in 1950, served in this capacity until 1964. Thereafter he remained involved as an active member of the Administrative Committee of the Federation until his death in 1974 - altogether nearly thirty years of conscientious service. This learned and articulate festival leader was honoured by the Federation in 1968 with the designation of Lifetime honourary President and Life Member. As founding President of the Federation we owe him a great deal for the solid foundation that he built.
E.G. “Ted” Pridham
Ted Pridham, President of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals from 1964-1967, made his greatest contribution to the Federation as chief organizer of the Centennial Festival of 1967 and then as coordinator of the National Music Festival in 1972. Ted Pridham was coordinator of the National Music Festival until 1977 and joined Reg Hugo as an honourary President of the Federation between 1970-1987. It is quite specifically through the vision, talents and energies of this man that the National Festival became a reality.
Marlene Cherry was responsible for initiating significant change in the sponsorship of the FCMF Conference and its associated National Music Festival at a crucial time. Working on a Steering Committee with colleagues Mac Jones and Dianne Johnstone, Marlene Cherry helped create a new Conference model in which she saw the realization of the first ever city-sponsored FCMF Conference and Competition held in Lloydminster, AB/SK in 2002, thereby ensuring that young musicians from across Canada would continue to have the opportunity to showcase their talents.
Cora Molstad began her involvement in the festival movement in 1963 with the Edmonton Kiwanis Club and continued her involvement in festivals throughout the next thirty years. From 1978 on, Mrs. Molstad was involved with and responsible for starting fifteen new Music Festivals in Alberta. In 1981, she and her committee organized and programmed the first National Music Festival to be held outside of Toronto. In 1993 she became the first woman to join the Edmonton Kiwanis Club and became the first female President of the Kiwanis Music Festival Board.
At the 2016 National Music Festival, Dianne Johnstone was awarded the honour of being named as a ‘Founder of the Federation’. Dianne began her involvement in the festival movement in 1987 with the Provost Music Festival. She sat on the Alberta Music Festival Board for many years and through her involvement with Alberta she became involved with the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals. It was at this time her passion grew even more for the Festival Movement and young musicians in Canada! In 2002, a time when FCMF was transitioning from corporate sponsorship, she was asked to raise funds to host the National Music Festival in Lloydminster and thus began her position as Fundraiser for the National Music Festival. During the years 2002 – 2016 she brought in over a $1,000,000. Her work and commitment helped shape FCMF into the organization it is today.
Pam began her involvement with festivals as a young talented student participating at the local, provincial and national levels. She was hired as Administrator by the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival in 1999 and shortly after became a member of Ontario Music Festivals Association’s Provincial Board of Directors. In that role, Pam became involved with the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals serving on many committees, then on the Executive Committee leading to President for 3 years, and Past-President for 7 years. She continues to be the administrator for both the Toronto Kiwanis Festival and OMFA. She is a strong supporter of the entire music festival system and has been around long enough to see the results of young competitors come back as inspired adjudicators, teachers and performers.