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Festival History
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Festival History​


 
The Surrey Schools Jazz Festival is Canada's largest and longest-running educational jazz event. The festival began as a dream of founder and Surrey band teacher, Bob LaBonte, in 1980 in the cafeteria of Queen Elizabeth secondary school in Surrey.

 
Due to the overwhelming response to having a jazz festival in Surrey it was moved to the Surrey Performing Arts Center for its second year where it remained for 14 years. Since then, the festival has been administered by the Surrey School District.

 
Both daytime performances and evening concerts will be held at the beautiful Bell Performing Arts Centre, boasting 1100 plush seats with state of the art sound and lighting.

 
The involvement of many major sponsors, such as Long and McQuade and Tom Lee Music, have allowed this festival to continue to grow and become one of the key events for student jazz in Canada.

 
Throughout its 38 year history the two main goals of the festival have been to provide excellent musical opportunities to the participating students and directors and to honour excellence through awards and scholarships. 

 
Awards are given annually to recognize the most outstanding groups and individual musicians in the festival. Scholarships are given to the most outstanding soloists to provide these exceptional young musicians the opportunity to pursue further musical study. The scholarships range in value.

 
For more information about the festival, please contact us.​