The Pacific Northwest Music Festival has been a major annual event in Terrace for the last 54 years. It is a competitive festival affiliated with Music Fest Canada. The Festival society is a non-profit community based organization, and is non-political, non-sectarian, and non-religious. The society and festival are run entirely by volunteers. The PNMF is a registered Charitable Organization.
The 17 day festival is the largest annual event in the Terrace area, last year there were over 1400 entries in performing arts disciplines such as Dance, Speech Arts, Piano, Strings, Guitar, Band, and Choral. As an entry such as a duet or trio, or a band, choir, dance group, or elementary school choral speaking group is classed as a single entry but has multiple participants, the 1400 entries actually translate to about 4000 performers on stage. Participants range in age from under five years to retirees, and encompass the entire surrounding area, including Smithers and Houston, Prince Rupert, Kitimat and the Nass Valley, a radius of over 400KM. 136 awards, scholarships and trophies are sponsored by local individuals and businesses, the cash value of the awards and scholarships presented is over $13,000. Although it is a competitive event, the main focus of the festival is as a learning and growth experience for the participants, rather than a formal competition. To assist in this highly qualified individuals are brought in as adjudicators for each discipline. They critique and evaluate each individual performance and provide guidance on improvement, in addition to scoring for the competition side. Master classes and workshops are also an integral part of the festival.