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Young stars take it to the max

Matinee show added to annual contest
Chris Bolster

For the first time in Powell River Idol contest’s 10-year history, participants will sing their way to the top in two shows at Max Cameron Theatre.

A matinee performance is being organized at 2 pm on Saturday, April 20, without judges, but the audience will still choose the People’s Choice winner. Then at 7 pm the same evening, another show will be presented, this time with judges.

“There’s some serious talent here,” said event organizer Renelle Wikene. “The music that comes out of these kids is just phenomenal.”

Twelve finalists, aged 12 to 17, were picked from a group of 16 who auditioned for the show in February. The finalists have been preparing for their solo and group songs since then and are ready to showcase their talents.

Bill Hopkins will be master of ceremonies at the event. Sam Sansalone from Powell River Outdoors, Karen Skadsheim from Townsite Brewing and blues musician Sam Hurrie will be judging the event.

The first place prize, sponsored by Coast Realty Group, is $500 cash, a Yamaha acoustic guitar from Rockit Music and $75 gift certificate to the Laughing Oyster Restaurant. Runner-up will receive $400, donated by First Credit Union and Peak Publishing. The $200 People’s Choice prize for the matinee performance is sponsored by Powell River Chiropractic and the evening’s prize is sponsored by Powell River Chamber of Commerce. All participants will receive a 10th annual Powell River Idol T-shirt with their name embroidered on the sleeve as a “personal memento.”

This is the second year that Wikene has helped organize the event. Last year she was brought in halfway through to take over from event manager Jerald Formby.

“It was such an amazing experience working with the kids,” she said. “I loved it.”

Wikene said that this program is good for participants because it serves as a bonding experience. “It’s awesome to foster their passion for music,” she added. “They choose their songs.”

For some contestants this is the third year in a row that they have entered. A boy has never won the first place prize before, but Wikene said there are some serious contenders this year. Five of the 12 finalists are boys.

“I’m really stoked about the contest,” she added. “It’ll be the biggest and the best.”

Tickets are $15 adults, $10 children 12 and under and a family pack is available for two adults two children $40. Tickets can be purchased at Breakwater Books and Coffee, Taw’s Cycle and Sports, and Rockit Music.