Section I. Registration

  1. The International Music Festival and Competition (IMFC) is open to all musicians regardless their residence or nationality. The IMFC has two divisions: Festival and Competition.
  2. The International Music Festival is open to musicians of all levels. There are no qualification requirements to enter in any of the classes in this division. In the IMFC Syllabus, all Festival classes start with the letter “F”; all Competition classes start with the letter “C”.
  3. The International Music Competition has two section: Performing Arts (instruments and voice) and Creative Arts (composition and conducting).
  4. Registration is accepted online, via the IMFC website. Registration form can also be printed by following this link and is subject to additional processing fee.
  5. The IMFC Office reserves the right to reject any registration for any reason.

Section II. Deadline

  1. Registration e-form, payment and all required documents must be received by Sunday, March 2, 2025, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).
  2. Registrations received within two weeks after the deadline may be processed, subject to a late registration fee.

Section III. Fees

  1. All fees must be paid upon registration through the IMFC website, using a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) or by debit (through PayPal). A receipt is sent via e-mail immediately upon completing the payment. Personal or certified cheques or money orders are accepted and subject to additional processing fee.
  2. Cancellation fee is $30 per class.
  3. Registration fee is $30 per competitor.
  4. Paper registration form processing fee is $30 per competitor.
  5. Personal or certified cheque or money order processing fee is $10 per competitor.
  6. Late registration fee is $30 per competitor.
  7. Class enrolment fee varies and is listed for each class in the IMFC Syllabus.
  8. Registration fees, paper form processing fees, late registration fees and cheque/money order processing fee are non-refundable.
  9. Class fees are not refundable, except in case of a major injury that would impair the competitor from performing, upon presenting a note from a physician licensed in Canada and at the discretion of the IMFC Office.

Section IV. Competitor’s age

  1. Wherever required, competitor’s age is calculated as of March 1 in the year of their registration.
  2. Classes marked “Open” are open to all ages, within the guidelines noted for the section or the class.

Section V. Repertoire

  1. Pieces with orchestra accompaniment must be performed with piano accompaniment. Recorded accompaniment is not permitted.
  2. Performing all orchestral tutti sections is mandatory.
  3. Performing published cadenzas is mandatory. The IMFC Office may approve the performance of unpublished cadenzas upon receiving a written request prior to March 1 in the year of the competitor’s registration.
  4. Competitors must respect the time limit wherever required. If the time limit is exceeded, the jury may interrupt the performance. Whenever multilevel works (e.g. concerto, sonata, partita, variations) are performed, the jury may request, either prior or during the performance, to hear selected movements.
  5. Observing repeat signs is recommended only if the maximum time limit is respected. Da capo and Dal segno signs must always be respected.
  6. All pieces must be performed from memory, except works written for ensembles and piano four-hands. Use of music will result in adjudication only without a mark being awarded.
  7. Pieces listed upon registration must be performed. No substitution is permitted.
  8. Using a piano pedal extension is subject to approval by the IMCF Office upon receiving a written request prior to March 1 in the year of the competitor’s registration.
  9. Pieces must be performed in the prescribed key; transpositions are not allowed unless specified under the class or section.
  10. Wherever applicable, pieces must be chosen from the latest editions of the syllabi of the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) or of the Conservatory Canada (CC).
  11. Costumes and stage props may be used to enhance the performance.

Section VI. Procedure

  1. Competitors can select between performing in-person or via recording at the time of their registration. Competitors who choose to participate via recording need to submit a YouTube weblink before the first day of the IMFC. Guidelines and requirements are available here. Recordings received after the deadline will not be reviewed and will result in disqualifying the competitor. 
  2. Schedule will be posted on the IMFC website 2 weeks in advance. Requests for specific days and times will not be accepted and can not be accommodated.
  3. Competitors must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the performance. Late admission into the concert hall will not be provided and the competitor will be disqualified.
  4. All classes are open to the general public without a fee, with the exception of master classes and workshops, which require payment of an entrance fee.
  5. Competitors and, wherever applicable, their accompanists, must notify their presence at least fifteen minutes before the time of their performance.
  6. Competitors and their accompanists shall dress in formal attire. Wearing jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sneakers, running shoes, or hats is not appropriated.
  7. Competitors must demonstrate a practical knowledge of basic concert performance etiquette
  8. Competitors who do not perform at the required time will be disqualified.
  9. Immediately after the end of the last performance in their class, competitors will receive their marks and written comments from the judge. All prizes, awards, certificates, trophies, medallions and scholarship winners will be announced and presented at the Awards Ceremony in June 2025.
  10. Marks and evaluation comments are private and confidential. Verbal adjudication may not be provided.
  11. Competitors must give to the judge one original of each piece they will be performing. For accompanied works, the original must include both the solo and the accompaniment parts. Bar numbers must be written at the beginning of each staff line or accolade.
  12. The accompanist must use an original print of the piece. Using page-turners is expected, if required.
  13. Competitors who received a first place award in a graded class in the previous year of the IMCF cannot enter the same graded class in the current year of the IMCF.
  14. The IMFC may, in its sole discretion, combine classes if it considers the number of competitors in such classes to be insufficient.
  15. The IMFC may, in its sole discretion, subdivide any class into two or more competitions under circumstances where the number or character of the entries would justify such a subdivision.
  16. The IMFC may, in its sole discretion, substitute or appoint additional adjudicators.
  17. Competitors who are studying with a member of the IMFC Jury will be adjudicated by another member of the IMFC Jury.
  18. In string classes for juniors (grade 4 and under), competitors may have their instruments tuned by a teacher or other person.
  19. No rehearsal on stage is permitted.
  20. Upon request, IMFC Office can recommend accompanists.
  21. Pianos may not be tried except by accompanists.
  22. Tuning and warm-up are permitted within the allowed time limit where noted.
  23. Offstage and warm-up facilities are not available.
  24. Competitors, teachers or members of the public may not approach or speak with the judge.
  25. Upon request, music stands will be made available, free of charge, to competitors in solo or chamber music classes.
  26. Upon request, professional quality timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, tam-tam, bells, xylophone, glockenspiel, and vibraphone will be made available, free of charge, to competitors in percussion and chamber music classes.
  27. The marks awarded by the judge are final.
  28. The IMFC will not be responsible for the loss of or damage to scores, musical instruments, or other property.
  29. All travel and accommodation expenses, as well as accompanist’s fees and, wherever applicable, public performance royalty fee, are responsibility or the competitor.

Section VII. Marking criteria

  1. Competitors are evaluated according to the following 3 criteria: technical proficiency (up to 33 marks), understanding of style (up to 33 marks) and musical communication (up to 34 marks).
  2. Technical proficiency concerns the the control of musical elements, such as, but not limited to duration, pitch, tonality, timbre/tone colour, texture, dynamics, form and structure.
  3. Understanding of style concerns the competitor’s understanding of the particular style of each musical piece within the selected performance.
  4. Musical communication concerns with the extent to which the competitors communicates their musical re-creation to an audience.
  5. Competitors receive marks for each criterion according to the following grades: high level and consistent (31-34 marks); effective (26-30 marks); mostly effective (20-25 marks); partially effective (13-19 marks); somewhat effective but inconsistent (5-12 marks); ineffective (0-4 marks).

Section VIII. Evaluation and Results

  1. At the International Music Festival, competitors are evaluated by one judge. A minimum mark of 90% is required to receive a Gold Medallion, a minimum of 85% for a Silver Medallion and minimum of 80% for a Bronze Medallion. All competitors who receive a mark between 75% and 79% will be awarded a Certificate.
  2. A trophy is awarded to a competitor who has received the highest mark in a specific category (e.g. “Sonata by Beethoven”) or level of the Royal Conservatory of Music / Conservatory Canada Certificate program.
  3. At the International Music Competition, competitors are evaluated by three judges. A minimum mark of 92% is required to be awarded a First Place, a minimum of 90% for a Second Place and a minimum of 88% for a Third Place.
  4. The Competitor who receives the highest mark among all First Place winners at the International Music Competition will be awarded the IMFC Grand Prize. There are up to three Grand Prizes awarded: one for performance, one for conducting and one for composition.
  5. Competitors who have received the three highest marks above 85 in chamber music or in levels 1 through ARCT of the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) / Conservatory Canada (CC) Certificate program are recommended to perform at the Ontario Music Festivals Association provincial festival. The recommendations take into consideration the total number of classes per level that each competitor is registered in as well as the proficiency of the competitor in performing pieces from various époques, genres and styles.
  6. Competitors who have received the two highest marks in composition, chamber music or performance (for each of the following instruments: piano, voice, strings, guitar, woodwinds, brass, and percussion) in minimum two classes of the same level in the Emerging Artist Stream (EAS), or the Developing Artis Stream (DAS), or the Non-Competitive Education Stream (NCES) are recommended to perform at the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals (FCMF) national qualifying round. Competitors at Levels 4-7 of the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) / Conservatory Canada (CC) Certificate program are recommended to the NCES; at Levels 8-10 are recommended to the DAS; and at Levels ARCT-LRCT are recommended to the EAS. The recommendations are drawn from the highest level available in each stream and take into consideration the total number of classes per level that each competitor is registered in as well as the proficiency of the competitor in performing pieces from various époques, genres and styles.
  7. Prizes, certificates, trophies, and medallions will be presented at the Awards Ceremony and Gala Concert at a place and time decided upon by the IMFC Office and will be posted on the IMFC website as well as communicated to all competitors via e-mail within 2 months after the registration deadline.
  8. Everyone, including the competitors, needs a ticket to attend the Awards Ceremony. Each competitor will be offered one complimentary ticket to the Awards Ceremony. Competitors must confirm their attendance of the Awards Ceremony no later than 2 weeks prior to the event. After the deadline, all unconfirmed tickets will be offered to the general public. The Awards Ceremony is typically a sold-out event.
  9. Decisions of the jury are final and there are no appeals or reviews.
  10. The jury reserves the right not to award any or all prizes.

Section IX. Scholarships

  1. Scholarships are awarded based on the results obtained during the current year of the IMFC and are awarded to competitors who register for a minimum of 3 classes in the Festival and/or the Competition division and achieve a minimum mark of 90 in each class.
  2. Winners of scholarships will be advised officially by the IMCF Office and public announcements thereof may be made as deemed appropriate. All scholarship cheques must be cashed by June 30 in the year they were received.
  3. Competitors who are 12 years old or older and receive a scholarship of $500 or more, are responsible for paying taxes in accordance to the federal and provincial laws of Canada. Social insurance number will be required for the purpose of issuing a T4A and/or Relevé 1.

Section X. Withdrawal

  1. Competitors who wish to withdraw from the IMFC must notify the IMFC Office as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks prior to the first day of the IMFC.  Fees are refundable in accordance with Section III.
  2. Withdrawal requests made after the IMFC schedule is published on the IMFC website are not refundable.
  3. Withdrawal requests must be made in writing by completing the IMFC Withdrawal Request form and sent via email to
  4. In the case of a force majeure, the IMFC reserves the right to modify the rules and offer alternative away of participating, reschedule or cancel a part of or the entire Festival and refund the class enrolment fee to the competitors who would be unable to perform.

Section XI. Photography / Audio and Video Recording

  1. During the Festival performances, competitors are permitted to photograph and/or record only their own performances.
  2. It is forbidden to photograph and/or record another competitor without his/her authorization made in writing prior to the performance.
  3. During the Competition performances, photography and audio/video service is available for a fee, upon written request made to the IMFC Office 1 week in advance.
  4. During the Competition performances, using personal recording devices is forbidden.
  5. Photographers and videographers appointed by the IMFC can photograph and/or record all performances.
  6. The use of any flash photography or special lighting is forbidden during performances.
  7. Recording equipment, including photo cameras must be silent.
  8. Personal communication devices, tablets and smart watches must be turned off or in silent mode.
  9. Competitors agree to forfeit all recording, broadcasting and distribution rights to the IMCF for perpetual use, together with all artists’ resale rights.
  10. The IMCF may use images and recordings made during the event for promotional purposes.

XII. Disqualification

  1. Not being ready to perform when called will result in disqualification.
  2. Using photocopied music sheets or a computer-generated copy of the music sheets by the competitor and/or by his/her accompanist will result in disqualification.
  3. Not complying of the IMCF rules is a ground for disqualification.
  4. Providing false information will result in disqualification.

XIII. Miscellanea

  1. The IMFC does not discriminate based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, or political association.
  2. All matters not dealt with in these rules shall be referred in writing to the IMCF Board of Directors, whose decisions on such matters shall be final and binding upon all concerned.
  3. The IMFC is a registered public charity and a non-for-profit organization. Donations over $50 will be acknowledged and an income tax receipt will be issued.
  4. Students who volunteer during the IMFC will be provided with a community involvement activity certificate required by the Ontario Ministry of Education for earning an OSSD.
  5. The IMFC events take place at Cornell Recital Hall located at 3201 Bur Oak Ave, Markham ON L6B 0T2 Canada. Performances with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra take place at CBC Glenn Gould Studio, Meridian Arts Centre, or Flato Markham Theatre.
  6. No solicitation or distribution of 3rd-party promotional materials is permitted at the IMFC premises without prior written authorization of the IMFC Office.