Insight and inspiration was everywhere for the 2014 Stampede Talent Search Contestants.

On Sunday June 1st, eager senior contestants and junior performers for the 2014 Stampede Talent Search competition assembled at Victoria Hall for an engaging afternoon of workshops and speaker presentations.

This workshop weekend is an annual event for contestants prior to the Stampede Week competition. It is an information rich afternoon where industry professionals, past Champions, judges and other experts share their knowledge and experience in interactive small group settings.

Among this years exceptional list of presenters was 2005 Stampede Talent Search Champion Maureen Murphy. She is a country artist currently recording a new studio album at George Canyon’s C4 Studios.

Maureen working with contestants on how to determine and develop their performance “brand”.

Maureen working with contestants on how to determine and develop their performance “brand”.

Former Canadian Bobsleigh team member and elite track athlete Nathan Cross provided tips, tools and techniques on how to become “mentally tough” to help contestants achieve their peak performance.

Nathan sharing the importance of visualization, preparation and “perfect practice”.

Nathan sharing the importance of visualization, preparation and “perfect practice”.

Juno-Nominated performer, member of Calgary funk group Souls in Rhythm and Vocal Director for the Young Canadians, Scott Henderson, engaged the contestants in how to increase their audience rapport and performance style on stage.

Scott getting ready to inspire and educate the contestants on how to be a great entertainer.

Scott getting ready to inspire and educate the contestants on how to be a great entertainer.

And the final session of the day on the ins and outs of being judged was co-presented by 2013 Stampede Talent Search Champion and Canadian Accordion Champion Michael Bridge, and Brandon Wood, a local triple-threat with a deep background in theatre, singing and dance who is currently Dance Faculty instructor with the Young Canadians School.

Together, these two provided their experiences of what it is like to be judged on the Stampede Talent Search stage.

Michael, who will also be performing in the 2014 Stampede Parade, left the contestants with this advice. “Pick the moments in your performance where you can create a memory of yourself for the judges that will last long after you’ve left the stage.”

Michael demonstrating and discussing aspects of showmanship.

Michael demonstrating and discussing aspects of showmanship.

And Brandon, also a two-time Stampede Talent Search judge, reminded the contestants of the importance of perseverance. “Keep in mind that this is a competition,” he said. “If you approach it like you’re not going to win, but going to give it your absolute best effort you will gain a lot from this experience to further your talent and your career.”

Brandon preparing to dispel the mysteries of being judged.

Brandon preparing to dispel the mysteries of being judged.

Senior performers will compete for over $10,000 in cash and performance development prizes during the ten days of Stampede.

The workshop weekend is valuable part of the experience that the Stampede Talent Search committee provides for young performers. Bringing in experts to help contestants hone their style delivers on our mandate to encourage, develop and support inspiring young talent for years to come.

You can watch these talented young performers, ages 6 to 21, from across Canada nightly at 6:30 pm in the Boyce Theatre during the Calgary Stampede. No shows July 3rd, 9th, or 13th. The show is free with park admission.

 

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