Festivals are urged to utilize the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association annual Directory. Festivals may obtain adjudicators by direct contact, through their Provincial Associations, or through the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals.

After initial contact with the Adjudicator, a letter of invitation/confirmation, or contract, issued by the festival, must follow. The adjudicator should indicate that as a member of the CMFAA, he/she adheres to the CMFAA’s Guidelines, and that his/her acceptance of an invitation must include the festival’s recognition and acceptance of the Guidelines as well.

The written agreement should outline the following terms:

  • the actual dates of the festival for which the adjudicator will be scheduled
  • the total number of days for which payment is due
  • travel and expense arrangements
  • and extra duties required (if any) including additional fees (if any).


     THE FEE

The CMFAA recognizes the financial challenges of smaller festivals, as well as the importance of supporting the remuneration of our membership in a professional way. With this in mind, we believe that there should be an open dialogue with festivals and their contracted adjudicators, and festival committees are encouraged to contract their adjudicators based on their individual circumstances. The following are guidelines only.

The festival is responsible for the payment of the adjudicator’s fee.

  1. Such payment should be made directly to the adjudicator at the immediate conclusion of their responsibilities at the festival, unless other arrangements are agreed upon in the contract.
  2. The CMFAA has two types of fee recommendations, a daily rate and a session rate. The daily suggested minimum fee is four hundred dollars ($400.00) per day plus GST or HST as applicable. For smaller festivals who do not have enough entries to engage an adjudicator for a full day, we recommend a session rate of $150 plus GST or HST if applicable.
  3. A “day” may be one, two or three sessions: morning, afternoon, evening.  A session may be either regular adjudication, scholarship deliberations with committee members or final concert selections.
  4. A session should be no longer than three hours. Sufficient time between two consecutive sessions in a day should be given. The evening session should not extend beyond 10:30 pm.
  5. The adjudicator must be given one session off within every two consecutive working days.
  6. In some circumstances, the festival and/or adjudicator may prefer to schedule all six sessions over two consecutive days without a session off. This is permissible if the arrangement is agreeable to both parties. Additional monetary consideration may, however, be required.
  7. If for any reason (such as a reduction in the number of entries) a festival requests the adjudicator’s services for fewer days than originally negotiated, the festival shall nevertheless be responsible for the full amount of fees for which it originally contracted, unless it can negotiate a reduction which is satisfactory and acceptable to the adjudicator.
  8.  If for any reason (such as an increase in the number of entries) a festival requests “heavier” scheduling or an extension to the duration of the original contract, should the adjudicator agree, the festival shall be responsible for the full amount of fees for which it originally contracted plus additional fees. Should the adjudicator be unable or reluctant to make such changes, the original contract should be honoured, and the festival should engage the services of a second adjudicator for the additional workload.


  1. The festival shall be responsible for all travel costs of an adjudicator within its employ, from the residence of the adjudicator to the festival and return.
  2.  Preferred means of travel must be made clear by the festival.
  3. In the case of travel by car, the rate of reimbursement must be stated in the contract.
  4. In making travel arrangements such as by airplane, the adjudicator should obtain the best possible rates. It is recommended that cancellation insurance be arranged in case of illness or other emergency and that the cost of such be borne by the festival.
  5. If circumstances (such as a change in the festival’s schedule, or bad weather causing flight delays, etc…) require a change in travel plans involving increased cost, that extra cost must be borne by the festival.
  6. It is usually understood that the adjudicator should arrive on the day (evening) immediately prior to the first day of his/her contract, and shall be free to leave immediately following the final day of his/her contract. Any changes to this should be clearly understood and agreed upon by the festival and adjudicator.
  7. If the festival requests that the adjudicator arrive or leave a day early or late (such as in order to take advantage of special airfare rates) the adjudicator shall be given a days’ fee and expenses for each additional day.
  8. It is also recommended that the festival compensate the adjudicator for time spent in traveling, by paying one day’s fee, especially when the adjudicator suffers loss of income from professional engagements which could be fulfilled on travel days.
  9. Travel costs for the adjudicator such as taxi service, private vehicle, etc… to the sessions within the festivals are also the responsibility of the festival.


  1. The festival shall be responsible for the living costs such as hotel accommodation, meals, gratuities, the Goods and Services Tax, and reasonable living expenses of the adjudicator within its employ.
  2. The festival is responsible for meals during the contracted days and for the adjudicator’s period of travel to and from the festival.
  3. The festival shall engage the most satisfactory accommodation for the adjudicator that it can provide.
  4. The festival may elect to provide the living costs for the adjudicator on either a per diem allowance basis or through reimbursement: the method (and the amount per diem if offered) should be clearly stated in the contract. The suggested minimum per diem is ($50.00) per day.
  5. The festival shall give the adjudicator the per diem funds on arrival. In case of reimbursement of expenses, the festival shall refund the adjudicator at the immediate conclusion of the adjudicator’s responsibilities at the festival unless other arrangements are agreed upon in the contract.
  6. Adjudicators should be given, well in advance of arrival, complete details of local arrangements such as the name, address and phone number of the hotel; time-tables, extra activities; local contact person’s name, address and phone number; and so on.
  7.  Adjudicators should inform the festival of his/her travel arrangements including method of travel and expected time of arrival. The festival in turn should communicate its availability for meeting the adjudicator at the plane, bus or train.


  1. The normal duties of the adjudicator are adjudicating at regular sessions of a festival or at a final concert and scholarship considerations.
  2. Any activity other than normal duties (see above), such as conducting Master Classes or Workshops, shall be subject to agreement by the adjudicator, and may require additional monetary consideration. Such agreements shall be part of the contract between the festival and adjudicator.
  3. Adjudicators should expect to attend social events connected with the festival, as long as they do not interfere with their workload for the festival, and do not occur during sessions off.
  4. Adjudicators should cooperate with the festival regarding newspaper, radio or television publicity. As much notice as possible should be given to the adjudicator for such interviews.
  5. Should the festival require the adjudicator to select and/or bring music for sight reading, quick study or other special classes, details should be confirmed as much in advance as possible. Any extra cost resulting must be borne by the festival.
  6. The festival should hold a pre-festival briefing session with the adjudicator re: marking procedures, scholarships and awards, individual local festival procedures and expectations.  Rules regarding marks, memory work, photocopying, etc… should be confirmed.