The Nechako Valley Exhibition Society is searching for talented local solo artists for a regional talent competition, which will culminate with live performances at the Nechako Valley Exhibition later this summer. (Photo/NVES website)

Nechako Valley Exhibition holding regional talent competition

Solo vocalists and instrumentalists wanted

Calling all aspiring musicians!

The Nechako Valley Exhibition is holding a regional talent competition this year for solo vocal and instrumental artists this year to coincide with the Nechako Valley Exhibition that is taking place fro, August 17 to August 19 later this summer.

This is the first year that the regional talent competition will be taking place and Don Rudland, the Nechako Valley Exhibition event organizer believes that the competition will be an ideal time for talented regional artists to showcase their musical chops.

“I think that every exhibition wants to add a variety to their shows, just to change things up a little,” says Rudland. “In the past, we’ve had live music performances on stage with some talented groups and it’s been great. So we’ve decided to add a competition to the event because we think it will be a great opportunity for those who compete and those who attend, as well.”

“We want to give people the opportunity to get on a live stage and perform,” says Rudland.

Applications for solo vocalists and solo instrumentalists, specializing in folk, blues, jazz or classic rock genres, will be taken until June 24, with a team of judges than selecting 10 semi-finalists that will perform at the Nechako Valley Exhibition. They will be required to submit two songs for a house band to learn before the event.

“On the Friday night, the 10 will perform their two songs with the house band,” says Rudland. “From there, there will be three chosen as finalists that will be performing on the Saturday to decide the winner.”

The winner of the competition will receive the grand prize of a professional quality recording session that will be produced and featured on various websites, including Youtube. Other prizes are still being decided at this time.

Rudland is particularly excited about the house band that the finalists will be able to share a stage with, stating that they are an exceptional group of musicians.

“What we’re doing is hiring a house band, comprised of talented musicians from Edmonton, Victoria and Prince George,” says Rudland. “These guys are really, really talented and they should make the contestants inspired and excited to play with such a high quality band. I’m sure some of the contestants will have played with some good bands before, but I think that these fellas will take it to a higher level.”

Rudland, who has been a passionate, lifelong musician himself, has performed and written with the likes of June-nominated artist Marcel Gagnon. He is a massive proponent for showcasing local talent and believes that there is nothing like performing in front of a live crowd.

“The best part is seeing the reaction that the crowd gives you,” says Rudland. “It’s just an adrenaline rush. When people get up there and start clapping or stomping their feet and having a good time, you know that you’re connecting with your audience. Or, on the other hand, their stone-quiet and you’ve really grabbed their attention because they are listening to every little thing you do.”

“If you can bring three minutes of calm, stressless time on stage, you’re doing something right,” says Rudland.

Rudland is also hoping that the house band, comprised of a drummer, bassist and guitar player, will host workshops at the exhibition.

“It will give some of the young musicians out there a chance to connect with some really talented musicians and get a different perspective on things,” says Rudland.

Interested applicants are urged to head to the Nechako Valley Exhibition Society website, at, to find due dates, requirements and further information regarding the competition.

Ultimately, for Rudland, the competition is about more than just competing against other regional artists.

“I like to see musicians get the best opportunities that they can, so I think a regional competition is a great way to provide those opportunities,” says Rudland.

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