Solutions

In Perfect Harmony

MusicFest Canada

From all over a great nation they come — thousands of young musicians, eager to demonstrate their skills, excited by the chance to compete for national honors in Canada's largest educational non–profit music festival. And leading up to the competition, volunteer staffers help keep the contestants organized with FileMaker Pro, the award–winning database software application from FileMaker Inc.

Overview

  • Each year, over 450,000 young musicians complete at MusicFest Canada, Canada's largest educational non–profit music festival. To keep contestants organized, MusicFest Canada moved from a Lotus system to FileMaker Pro — chosen for its flexibility, easy customization, ease of use and cost.

Industry

  • Non–Profit
  • Travel/Hospitality

Business Challenge

For three decades, musicians at the high school and college level have looked forward to the challenges of MusicFest Canada, a five–day, nationwide event held in early May in a different location each year, which attracts over 10,000 of the nation's best young musicians — bands, choirs, orchestras, musical ensembles of every sort — to be judged by expert panels of top professional musicians and music educators. But you don't just go to MusicFest Canada — you have to earn the privilege, after emerging at the head of hundreds of regional and district competitions, which all together attract more than 450,000 contestants each hear.

That's a lot of talent. That's a lot of music.

That's a lot of information.

And keeping it organized means a lot of work for MusicFest staff. 'We feel that keeping our organization running as efficiently as possible, we will offer the best educational and overall experience to our guests, the young musicians of the nation,' explains MusicFest Canada production director Al Bourke. 'This keeps our position strong within the somewhat competitive field of music festivals.'

MusicFest Canada had previously maintained its records in a Lotus database, but when it came time for an upgrade, the organization took a long, hard look at alternatives. A new system was needed — one which combined maximum flexibility and easy customization with ease of operation and programmability. And, since MusicFest Canada is, after all, a non–profit organization, cost was an important secondary consideration.

Successful Solution

The choice? FileMaker Pro. Why? Al Bourke explains. 'In a single point: simplicity. FileMaker Pro is overall the easiest to program, and use, software solution that we have come across. Our data structure can become incredibly intricate while remaining easily programmable and easy to use for our office staff. The cross–platform availability is also important within the music industry.'

In a single point: simplicity. FileMaker Pro is overall the easiest to program, and use, software solution that we have come across. Our data structure can become incredibly intricate while remaining easily programmable and easy to use for our office staff. The cross-platform availability is also important within the music industry.

— Al Bourke, Production Director, MusicFest Canada

Each year's event requires Al to prepare an entirely new database directory, which works alongside a standing directory containing the files which don't change annually. These directories combine to provide documentation for event staff, housing and performance–venue requirements, event scheduling, and of course individual records for each artist and ensemble expected to compete. The number of records contained in each directory changes, naturally, from year to year — but what doesn't change is the efficiency and accuracy provided by this carefully–coordinated system.

'My personal vision is to become entirely database–based within our own structure,' says Al, 'so that the entire operations can be called up from one application.' Future refinements of FileMaker Pro – and especially FileMaker Pro Mobile — are expected to play an important role in those developments.

Customer Benefits

And every year, as young musicians follow their dreams to the excitement of this nationwide competition, you'll find FileMaker Pro behind the scenes helping bring it all together, harmoniously.

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For MusicFest Canada:

Al Bourke
Production Director
MusicFest Canada
905-281-9711
bourke@musician.org