Join us for a journey down memory lane as we explore the history of our festival through photos and newspaper clippings.

Feel free to email archived photos of your community band or choir to be included on our timeline


It appears as though the first festival was planned to be held in September, not the middle of May, as we are all familiar.


Moose Jaw Lions Band, directed by Tommy Toddington.

In 1950, the 1st year of the festival, cash prizes are awarded and it is already seen as an international event

For those who remember being greeted by the “crushed can” as they entered Moose Jaw, the festival in ’59 was one of the first events held in that venue


The Calgary Scottish Pipe Band having a wee rehearsal in Crescent Park – 1966.

Early 1960s parade down the “Golden Mile”. The Army and Navy building is now part of the Mae Wilson theatre.

Bobby Gimby, composer of Canada’s Centennial song, “CA-NA-DA”,

has probably been the festival’s most notable guest.

Times have certainly changed! Baton twirling was a big event,

including judged competitions, in 1967.



Moose Jaw’s White Hackle Pipe Band in 1971. St. Andrew United Church, our newest venue, can be seen down the street.

Frank Connell leading the Moose Jaw Lions  “A” Band down the Golden Mile in 1972.

1976 included choral groups for the first time. This change was well received right from the beginning.

In 1976 the festival needed a sponsor to assist in expanding to include choirs. Chic Wray, owner of the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Moose Jaw, contacted the home office and received a positive response. To our delight, the Colonel himself came to Moose Jaw to present the, first ever, choral awards.

Night shows in the 70s were public competitions, as this program from 1977 depicts.

Medals were given out for both solos and chamber groups during the 70s.



1984 trophy awarded for Gr. 2 drum solo in a pipe band.

It’s no wonder Moose Javians still reminisce about the parade. 20,000 people lined Main Street to watch 87 bands in 1982.

For decades the festival included hundreds of soloist and chamber groups in competition. (1982)


1995 marked a big change in our festival. The Kinsmen Club was dwindling in size and, provincially, they were focusing their energies on TeleMiracle. The decision was made by the club to either end the festival that year, or pass on the responsibility to another service group or group of interested citizens. It was picked up by a group of concerned citizens and participants felt no more than a blip on the radar.

Editorial from the Moose Jaw Times Herald in 1994. The demise of the festival? Not by a long shot.

Even without the Kinsmen Club, the festival continued. In 1995, for the first time, there was no parade. In its place, bands set up on Main St. intersections and the audience traveled from group to group still enjoying wonderful music.


Not long after initiating the Saturday concerts on Main Street it was evident to the committee that bands were less and less willing to participate in a festival that ran during the May long weekend. Festival events were bumped back to the middle of the week. In 2015 it became necessary to add another day to the concert band venues, thus running from Monday to Thursday.
By 2005, hour long clinics had become the norm and the expectation by both students and directors.


Demand for concert bands resulted in adding an extra day to those venues. The festival then ran Monday to Thursday.

“Band Builder” award, received in 2019 from the Saskatchewan Band Association.
Enjoying “Moosic in the Park”, with sunshine and beautiful music.

2019 saw a new festival event, “Moosic in the Park”. Many bands seized the opportunity to perform in the amphitheatre in Crescent Park. The weather cooperated!

A third concert band venue was needed and St Andrew United Church was chosen because of its location and appropriateness. In 2020 our concert band festival was planned to involve 12 days, which had doubled since 2009.


After 70 years of music making, due to the Covid 19 virus, our 2020 festival was cancelled. Groups that had registered and were preparing for a great week in Moose Jaw were guaranteed slots in the 2021 festival. Clinicians and night shows were rebooked. We missed the music in person but the students kept playing.

2021 saw the virus still dictating changes in music programs and travel practices, resulting in yet another year with no festival. However, students and directors alike were excited to hear that the 2022 was a go!