Kootenays Best Singer contest underway for next year
The Kootenays Best Singer concert is already in the works for next year. Event creator and organizer Vern Gorham is making plans to come to Grand Forks in September with the hopes of working with a local non-profit — like the high school’s graduation committee – to help with ticket sales.
Gorham will start travelling around the West Kootenays in the fall, recruiting new singers and setting up the local contests. In the past he has gone to Trail, Castlegar, Grand Forks and Nelson to raise interest in the competition. He hopes to have the contests in this region finished by December. The finals will be held at the end of May or early June next year.
This will be the third annual contest. Last year two sisters — Missy and Wendy Faulkner — won the top two places in Grand Forks and competed in the finals. Missy came in the top seven when she competed in the finals, June 1. Nelson local Charlie Pears Smith won first prize, which was $1000, 1.5 days in a recording studio and a chance to sing at the Kootenay Festival.
Other finalists came from Castlegar, Grand Forks, Nelson, Creston, Fernie, Kimberley, and Cranbrook with 14-year-old Maria Landa from Fernie coming in second and Gabriel Macdonald from Nelson bringing home third.
According to Gorham, the contest grows each year and he hopes to have plenty of contestants for this year’s competition. The contest is open to anyone or any age as long as they haven’t previously signed a recording contract.
“We get amateur singers that are just so amazing. Sometimes the professional singers have to eat humble pie,” said Gorham.
He says Trena Spears is a great example of the talent in the Kootenays. Spears won the contest the first year and blew everyone away, according to Gorham.
“She had only ever sang to her kids,” he said. “Since winning Kootenays Best Singer she’s been singing a fair bit.”
Anyone in the Boundary can sign up for the contest through his website kootenaysbestsinger.com.