Festival on the St. Lawrence is an international festival of music, art and heritage in the region of the 1000 Islands and St. Lawrence Seaway.

The result of a partnership between Saint Lawrence College, Human Resources Development Canada, and the State University of New York at Potsdam, it is being developed as an annual summer event that engages the communities along the Canadian and American shores of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

This year's Festival will present concerts of symphony and choral music, chamber music, jazz and multimedia.

From May 14 to June 30, musicians from the region, across Canada and the United States will be presented in Kingston, Gananoque, Brockville, Prescott and Cornwall. As a bi-national initiative, the festival is in partnership with SUNY Potsdam to promote events on the American shores of the Seaway. This year, events will be held in Massena (June 5), Clayton (June 12), and at the Remington Museum in Ogdensburg (June 19).

The Festival kicks off with the Young and Emerging Artists Competition at the Brockville Arts Center on April 24. Senior prizewinners from the Kingston Kiwanis Festival, the Brockville Lions Club Music Festival, and the Cornwall Kinsmen Music Festival will perform for the public and a jury of three professional musicians. One young artist will be sponsored to travel to Edmonton and perform at one of Canada's premier concert halls, the Francis Winspear Centre for Music, as part of the Resonance at Winspear concert hosted by the Alberta College Conservatory of Music. Scheduled for May 12, 2004, this highly publicized annual concert features outstanding faculty and students from the Conservatory of Music. Second and third prizewinners receive scholarships for educational programs sponsored by Festival on the St. Lawrence. All three winners will perform during Festival 2004 concerts.

Festival on the St. Lawrence builds bridges and partnerships in the communities along the St. Lawrence Seaway. This season, concerts are being produced in partnership with the Kingston Theatre Organ Society and the Kingston Jazz Society. As well, a special event to open the Firehall Theatre in Gananoque is being hosted by FoSL in partnership with the Kingston Symphony and the Thousand Islands Playhouse.

Ensemble Vivant, a Toronto group comprised of piano, violin and cello, has been performing to sold-out houses throughout North America and Europe and recording for over 15 years. Variety and unique eclecticism are the trademarks of Ensemble Vivant. Members of the faculty at Queen's School of Music will be performing a concert at the beautiful St. Columban's church in Prescott.

Two fascinating performances will bring other art forms to the stage. The acclaimed team of Kristi Allik and Robert Mulder will present their most recent ~infoweaver: Shanawdithit that pays homage to homage to a vanished people of Newfoundland. The performance uses computer-generated electroacoustic music and computer generated imagery.

The Montreal musicians who form Kiosque à Musique will perform at Grenville Christian College. Kiosque pays homage to Canadian musicians of early last century who would join together in their villages, using only those instruments at their disposal and perform outdoor concerts. Kiosque brings this tradition to life in a performance of brilliant musical arrangements vaunting the talents of its instrumentalists in décor and costumes from the period. A historical narration allows the audience to discover fascinating anecdotes of the time.

The festival will close with the well-known and classy jazz ensemble of Laila Biali. Called Without Words, this group captured the enthusiasm of the Kingston Jazz Society's audiences last year. Everyone is thrilled to have them back.

Several Outreach concerts are planned during festival 2004. Musicians and music students will be visiting hospitals, schools and care homes in the region. For full events listings and more information visit www.fosl.ca