Aspiring singers, dancers and actors will take part in the Aurora Performing Arts Festival

Now, young people whose talents might be in acting or dance, or anything in between, will also have the chance to step into the spotlight with the new Aurora Performing Arts Festival.

The Aurora Performing Arts Festival was launched by Marquee Theatrical Productions and the City of Aurora last week. Led by Marquee, the new festival and competition format will be open to all of York Region and will take place on Saturday, June 11 at Town Park.

Competitors who pass the audition will be categorized into three different age brackets (12-17, 8-11, and 7-and-under) and into singing, acting, or dancing.

There will be winners in each category, with the winner of the 12-17 vocal category taking home the title of Aurora’s 2022 Teen Idol.

“I had been thinking about something like this for a really long time, and then I thought it would be nice to find a way to partner with Aurora Teen Idol,” said Marquee founder Sheryl Thomas. “I developed the plan, presented it to the city and it worked. The budget was excellent and everything seemed to fall into place.

“Beyond singing, we wanted to include elements of acting and dancing. There are lots of dance schools in the area and lots of art and music schools – there’s a lot of talent and not just in Aurora.

Hosting festivals is part of Marquee’s mandate, and from Ms. Thomas’ perspective – and that of Shelley Ware, Special Events Coordinator for the Town of Aurora – everything went perfectly.

“The city has always focused on Teen Idol,” says Ms. Ware. “Marquee’s concept of expanding that into theater and dance is a really nice evolution of that and I think it’s going to open the doors to more opportunities in the performing arts, not just for 12 year olds. at 17, but the other two age categories. We focused on singing and Sheryl and her team excel in singing, dancing and acting. We really believe it will be a great partnership between the city and Marquee, as well as the community to participate without any restrictions.

Interested participants are invited to register online at and submit a video of their performance by Wednesday, June 1.

“You should always go for it,” says Thomas, encouraging talented young people to try something new. “What’s really important is that a lot of people are afraid to try because they don’t have any training or experience, but it’s so useless. Some people just have this natural gift and we should just share and go in. Admission is free, so what have you got to lose?”

Ms Ware adds: “I think missed opportunities are even more missed and I really want to encourage young people to take a chance, get out there and see where it can go. Even if the outcome isn’t necessarily the winner, sometimes doing something where you’re nervous or not sure how it’s going to turn out is where some of the greatest opportunities for growth can happen for you personally as well as professionally. The sky is the limit after taking the stage for the first time. It could reaffirm that this is where you are meant to be in the future.

“This event is for the community, but we are also counting on the community to help us collectively build this Festival into what it will become and what we hope it will become. Anything in its infancy always requires a bit of awareness. If you know a cousin, niece, friend, or even your own child, encourage them to take those risks. These are opportunities for growth and the City and the community are as supportive as possible.

Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, The Auroran