The Kootenays’ best singer will be decided next month!

The finals are coming up on June 1 in Cranbrook, where 14 singers will sing their hearts out.

The Kootenays’ best singer will be decided next month!

The finals are coming up on June 1 in Cranbrook, where 14 singers representing the communities of Fernie, Grand Forks, Castlegar, Nelson, Creston, Kimberley, and Cranbrook will sing their hearts out.

Contest producer Vern Gorham is very impressed with this year’s group of talented singers from each community. Gorham said, “Judging is the most difficult part of the contest, and with the high level of the local best singer champions from each community, I do not envy the job that the judges will have to try to determine who will win the crown of 2013 Kootenays Best Singer Champion”.

This year’s Kootenays Best Singing Contest season started in August in Grand Forks with Missy Faulkner placing first, followed by older sister Wendy Faulkner finishing second. That was followed up by Nelson in which Gabe MacDonald won followed closely behind by Charlie Pears Smith.

In the new year, Creston produced Victoria Bowns and Ben Lansing as their two finalists, Kimberley saw Devin Fikis and Kathleen Decosse advance, Fernie’s top two singers were Maria Landa and Claire Bernier, Castlegar had Mateo Villa and Kelsea Dorosz move on, and on Monday May 20th, Cranbrook’s Best Singer was Tyrel Hawke, with Jamie Byram finishing second.

Fernie’s hopeful is also the youngest singer in the group. Claire Bernier is only 11-years-old and is the youngest singer to advance to the Kootenay Finals in the two years of the contest, eclipsing Devin Fikis who advanced in 2012 as a 14-year-old, but who is coming back again this year from Kimberley, one year older and wiser. Regarding the ability of the young singers, Gorham said, “A number of the best singers from each community were relatively young this year, but are immensely talented. I am amazed that someone as young as Claire, and even Devin Fikis, who is now a veteran of both Kootenay Championships at the ripe old age of 15-years-old, can sing with such strength and power!”

The contest will be held at 7 p.m. at the Alliance Church. Advance tickets are $5 for seniors, children and students, and $8 for adults, and tickets can be reserved through contacting Gorham, and then paid for at the door for those people who live outside of Cranbrook. Please contact contest producer Vern Gorham through email at or phone 250-428-0305. Ticket prices at the door are $10 for everyone except children who will pay $5.

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