Rossland will soon get a chance to find out who the best singer in town is, as the Kootenay’s Best Singer contest makes its way here.
The contest was started in Creston back in November 2010 by Vern Gorham, while he was waiting for another business venture to get going.
Gorham thought, why not hold a Creston Idol contest.
“Nobody was doing anything like that,” he said. For that show he hoped to sell maybe 200 tickets and make a bit of money. He was blown away by the response.
“We sold out the place. It holds at least 330 people and we had at least 100 people at the door that we had to send away,” he said. So after that he thought that he had struck something.
His philosophy is to simply give people a chance to sing in a classy environment..
Gorham, a former bank manager said he’s “not a promoter or advertiser or anything like that, I’m just a guy who likes to sing.”
So with that success he decided to hold another concert in March 2011, which sold out again.
From there he decided to see what he could do with the talent search contest and began expanding to other towns like Cranbrook, Nelson and soon Rossland.
“We’re just going to try and conquer the Kootenays first and see how that goes,” he said. The Rossland contest is May 23 at the Miners’ Hall and Trail is May 31.
“I’m looking for singers. It’s open to duets and trios,” he said. Typically most of the singers will sing to a backing karaoke track, so he needs the music ahead of time for set up.
There are prizes as well. First place in Rossland will win $100, second $50 and third $25.
The top two singers from Rossland will advance to the Kootenay’s Best Singer contest in Cranbrook on June 23.
“That’s going to be a big event. We’re going to be holding it in the Alliance church, which holds 1,000 people.
First place for the regional contest is $1,000, plus time in a recording studio to record an original song and a music video of the person singing the song.
The judges come in from out of town, to relieve any biases. They also try to keep things positive and look to lift singers up, rather than point out too many flaws.
He said there are a lot of people out there that never get a chance to sing in front of a crowd that paid to see them and others sing, and this is that chance.
“It’s a wonderful thing, it’s great for the singer, it’s great for the audience and it ends up being just a positive, fun night.”