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Victoria Drumfest 2012

Interview by Jillian Mitchell // April 13 2012
Victoria Drumfest 2012

I like the idea of showcasing local talent alongside national and international artists.

2012 marks year three in the life of one of Canada's best drum festivals. Festival organizer and creator (and Black Page contributor) Murray Creed can certainly be hailed as one of Canada's biggest and brightest talents in the drumming industry. A PIT alumni and owner of British Columbia's successful drum school Groove Studios, Murray recently took time from an incredibly hectic schedule to share his vision with us. 

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Murray, this is the third annual Victoria Drum Fest. Who do you have lined up and what can we expect this year? 

I like the idea of showcasing local talent alongside national and international artists. This year we are very excited to have Dom Famularo joining us. As many know, Dom is a powerhouse drummer and an incredible clinician. The Black Page’s own Sean Mitchell will take to the stage with his band, The Mitchells. Snare drum designer Ronn Dunnett will deliver a clinic on the inner workings of the drum. New this year is the Victoria Drum Solo Contest where drummers have been busy honing their chops to perform at the festival. The Victoria’s Fastest Drummer contest is a crowd favorite. The festival is also my opportunity to get behind the kit and personally break some new ground. 

Tell me about the drum solo contest you have going on your Facebook page.

We wanted to give drummers a chance to get on stage and show us what they’ve got. They start by submitting a three-minute video to our Victoria Drum Fest Facebook page. Then we have a panel pick two finalists from two categories: 18 and under and 19 and over. The finalists get to perform at the festival and have a chance to win some great prizes. 

For those of us who reside outside of BC, what can you tell us about Victoria and its music scene? 

Victoria is an amazing city with its mild temperature, beautiful gardens and incredible music scene. Local bands such as Jets Overhead, Current Swell, Vince Vaccaro and Acres of Lions are bringing a lot of attention to the city. There are a ton of great drummers on the scene, so when you hit the town you’re sure to be impressed. 

Murray, the role of festival organizer must bring with it some big lessons. Care to dish? 

The drumming community in Victoria is awesome! With the help of our local music stores, like Tom Lee Music and Long & McQuade, we are able to put on a first class event. As our festival grows I am sure we will come up against some challenges, but as I tell my students, life is about conquering challenges! 

What was your inspiration to start a drum festival? How did it get started? 

It is all about inspiration. I wanted to have a yearly event where drummers could come out and get excited about drumming. I know that every time a drum clinic happens the energy that it creates feeds the students to continue their pursuit of drumming. It spins off into better lessons, interest in new gear from the local music stores, and a renewed desire to play the drums. 

This year marks your move to a bigger venue and a destination event. Tell us a bit about the venue and how out-of-towners can make a holiday out of the festival? 

We have moved the festival to the Victoria Marriott Hotel this year. Their ballroom will provide a beautiful backdrop for the day’s events. Out-of-town guests can get a special rate at the Marriott by mentioning the Drum Fest when booking. The hotel is located in the heart of the city, minutes away from the inner harbour. This year’s festival is on the Saturday of the Victoria Day long weekend, making it a perfect time for a trip to Victoria. 

 

This will be your first year with a trade show. How can a company get a space with the Victoria Drum Fest, and what is the cost? 

We are offering booths this year for drum related companies that would like to exhibit their wares. As this is a new aspect to our festival we are giving this opportunity free of charge. We know that once the corporate drumming world sees our festival they will want to be involved every year. Interested companies can contact us through the festival website. 

And finally give us the 411. How much does the festival cost? How can we get tickets? 

The festival is Saturday, May 19 at the Victoria Marriott Hotel. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Victoria locations of Long & McQuade, Tom Lee Music, Groove Studios , as well as Harbour City Music in Nanaimo. 




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About the Author
Jillian Mitchell

As a professional vocalist (and self-professed grammar nerd), Jill brings a fresh perspective to The Black Page. In addition to earning a B.A. in music, creative writing and English, Jill has also studied vocals with Philadelphia-based vocal coach Owen Brown, known for his work with Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, and Wyclef Jean. Jill makes up the other half of world soul group The Mitchells, alongside Black Page creator, Sean Mitchell.



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