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Local singer wins big at Kootenay Festival of the Arts

River Arnott of Grand Forks will compete in the Provincials in Chilliwack at the end of May. — Submitted photo

Singer/artist River Arnott of Grand Forks received two significant achievements —Top Junior Voice Award' and a Certificate of Merit for 'Outstanding Performance' — during the recent Kootenay Festival of the Arts competition.

The 12-year-old Boundary City performer now advances to the Provincials in Chilliwack at the end of May where he'll not only be competing with others who have won in other locales of the province, but he will be representing the Kootenay Festival of the Arts, in his division. 

The Certificate of Merit for 'Outstanding Performance' was an added coup, as they don't award these often, and do so only if a performance reaches the status of 'outstanding' in the judge's view.

Both the Kootenay Festival of the Arts competition and the provincials are highly disciplined competitions - adjudicated by experienced and accomplished judges. 

In Arnott’s division, the adjudicator was the legendary Kevin Power - highly acclaimed award-winning Canadian actor / performer who offered some comments of River's performance... "WOW! Fantastic voice..." "Your talent really excites me - Bravo!" "Fantastic gift you have been given" "Well done, River!" 

Arnott is grateful for the comments and awards but also is warmly appreciative of his teacher/mentors and facilitators who helped him get there to begin with. 

"I'd like to thank my vocal coach, Megan Phelps, my piano teacher, Peri Best, Laura Jean Cuthbert, and Lorraine Barg - and my parents who always give me outstanding support," he said.  

In the operatic division, another winner was local Grand Forks resident, Adrian Palek. The provincials begin in Chilliwack May 26th to 30th.