After eight days of competition, 67 contestants, and 10 judges, Lizzy Munson came out on top as the 2016 Stampede Talent Search Champion. With her own mash-up of “Heart Shaped Box/Smells Like Teen Spirit” her unique vocals, combined with a moody and dramatic cello performance, stood out from the field.
Just because it’s wet outside doesn’t mean you can’t have a whole lot of fun on Stampede Park. We challenge you to use rainy weather to find something new on Stampede Park. Here are 10 ideas:
1. Grab covered seats at the Grandstand for the Rodeo or the Evening Show (which includes the GMC Rangeland Derby and the TransAlta Grandstand Show). Use the Virtual Venue to see which seats are covered – bring a blanket, stay dry and enjoy the show! Tickets available here.
Fiddlers. Break dancers. Painters. Sculptors. Singers.
130 young people armed with brass and kettle drums.
The Telus Youth Arts Showcase was an inspiring start to the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions.
As the Calgary Stampede Showband, joined by the Stetson and Round Up bands thundered “Jubilateo” (commissioned for the Showband as part of the 2012 Stampede Centennial celebrations) to open the lunch, I couldn’t help but feel a little humbled by all the time and passion that these young people, their instructors and their parents invested to bring them to that moment.
The Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions “celebrates the transformative power of the arts, building momentum for the future.”
If we believe that arts are a vital part of any vibrant community, how can we support? How can we be an arts champion?
In her welcome message, Patti Pon, president & CEO of Calgary Arts Development and chair of the Stampede Community Projects and Development volunteer committee writes:
“[Arts champions] see the arts as a good thing, as something of value, as a way to make discoveries to connect with others, to celebrate life, and to make meaning about what it is to be alive. They see arts as a way to develop youth into their best selves and to help tell our stories in the world.”
Did you know that Calgary Arts Development invested in 150 arts organizations on behalf of the City of Calgary in 2015 alone? Wow.
When I started working for Stampede, I had no idea how invested the organization is in the arts.
Stampede invests in youth development programs like the Stampede Showband and The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede. Did you know that every one of the participants in these programs is given a scholarship by the Calgary Stampede Foundation?
The Public Art volunteer committee works to bring public art works that tell the story of our western heritage—they have brought works like Outlaw to the community, and By the Banks of the Bow to Stampede Park. They will unveil a new artwork in ENMAX Park this May.
Western Showcase committee brings Western Canada’s largest Western Art Show to Stampede each year, showcases crafts, culinary arts and runs an artist-in-residence program throughout the year.
Youth Talent Search gives young people the chance to showcase their craft and winners get access to incredible resources, including a $10,000 grand prize.
The great takeaway? There are infinite ways to be an arts champion and we all have the capacity to be one.
The Stampede is honoured to work with artists of all ages – to invest in the next generation of creatives and patrons. And to live in a city where arts and arts champions abound.
For Kerrie Everitt, Stampede memories of being a Young Canadian in 1985 and 1986 are flooding back quickly. She’s preparing to travel with her daughter, Capri Everitt, from their home in Vancouver to be a featured Junior performer at the 2015 Stampede Talent Search.
“I was ten years old when I was a Junior dancer and first performed in the Grandstand show,” says Kerrie. “And it’s pretty neat that Capri is 10, and will be performing at her first Stampede, too.”
Since 1980, the Stampede Talent Search has been providing a platform for young, amateur performers to demonstrate their talent. Thirty-five years of Talent Search Champions have gone on to become Juno Award winning artists, International hit-makers, and Canadian and World Champions. And it’s all because of a man named Don Welden.
Welden was the Stampede Entertainment Manager, who was convinced that free entertainment would be an important way to enhance the guest experience on Stampede Park. After a trip to Memphis, TN, to watch a talent competition at the Tennessee State Fair, Welden was convinced that a competition format would be valuable to young performers and exciting for the audience to watch.
Welden set about inviting amateur singers, dancers and musicians to compete in a talent competition held during Stampede time. As the competition grew in popularity, he then established a volunteer committee. The competition grew in scope—sponsors soon aligned themselves with the event, and the size of the committee grew to administer a now marquee, Canada-wide event.
In 1988, the Stampede Talent Search committee created an award to honor Welden’s legacy. The Don Welden Most Promising Performer Award is given out annually to a contestant, selected by the committee, who demonstrates Welden’s values of integrity, commitment to their craft and congeniality.
The Stampede Talent Search is a must-see event during Stampede time. Free with park admission, talented performers ages six to 21 from across Canada entertain audiences nightly on a professional stage with a live band. This year, the top senior performer will earn $10,000 cash in addition to a valuable development package from the Calgary Stampede and a custom, one-of-a-kind Stampede Talent Search belt buckle.
If you’d like to see tomorrow’s next big star shine on our stage, preliminary performances start Friday, July 3 to Tuesday, July 7. Semi-finals are Thursday, July 9 and Friday, July 10, and the finals are held on Saturday, July 11. All performance begin at 6 p.m. and are held in the Boyce Theatre on Stampede Park.
As the Stampede Talent Search enters its 35th season, it’s impossible to reflect upon the history and transformation of this annual on-park event without a big “hats-off” to all of our sponsors.
Throughout the past three decades, significant evolution to the Talent Search show, format and set design have been enabled through generous donations and support from our sponsors. From technology to better showcase our performers, to equipment and musical instruments, the quality of contributions are a reflection of their commitment to our event.
Our performers directly benefit from sponsorship dollars as well. Sponsors have helped enable our Grand Prize award of $10,000 this year and finalists receive generous cash prizes. A professional recording session sets up our Champion with valuable studio experience, and a development package through the Calgary Stampede can often kick-start their careers. Even professional photography helps fulfill the committee’s mandate of developing young talent by providing an essential piece of their personal portfolio.
The Stampede Talent Search is becoming a well-known and reputable national talent event drawing young performers from across Canada. Whether they are participating in our first free audition training workshop this spring, or performing on our stage during the ten-days of the Calgary Stampede, our young talent is able to experience a state-of-the art production and we couldn’t be more proud to associate with these fine sponsors.
PSAV Presentation Services
The Calgary Stampede
Michael Lipnicki Fine Pianos
Benjamin Laird Arts & Photo
Bestway TV and Appliances
The Station Recording Company
Long & McQuade Musical Instruments
Hopewell Development Corporation
Global Experience Specialists
“Our sponsors are proud to be part of discovering and developing young talent,” says Vicki Kranenburg, volunteer lead of the Stampede Talent Search Sponsorship committee. “Over our 35 years, we have discovered major talent, internationally-acclaimed country recording star, Paul Brandt, being just one to note. Sponsors have been strong supporters of our event, and, through their generous contributions, have created an opportunity for all our performers to be their best.”
A free audition training workshop for all potential contestants is being held Saturday, March 7th at Lord Beaverbrook High School. Young performers between ages 6 and 21 are invited to visit StampedeTalentSearch.com for details and registration information.
For many young performers, becoming a Stampede Talent Search contestant is an incredible stepping-stone that propels them on to exciting careers. Our 2014 Champion, Layten Kramer, is no exception.
Since captivating audiences on our stage during the 2014 Calgary Stampede with his original piece, “Sea of Glass”, and earning top prize as determined by industry professionals, Layten has been working hard.
He funded his debut album through an Indiegogo campaign and completed a 5 track EP called, Through the Days. It is now available for download on iTunes or streaming on Bandcamp. Not bad for three weeks worth of recording between his co-hometowns of Canmore, AB and Vancouver, BC. And remember, he just became our Champion in July…
Earlier this fall, the Digital Journal named him one of 5 top young Canadian acts to watch out for in 2015.
And if that’s not enough, he’s currently touring with and opening for our 2007 Champion, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, during his #waytoobig #waytooloud tour. This is a show you do not want to miss, and an opportunity to see two incredible Stampede Talent Search Champions in one great night of music.
What does Layten have to say about everything that’s happened in his career since being named the 2014 Stampede Talent Search Champion?
Well, when we catch up with him, we will be sure to ask. In the meantime, you can get updates about Layten, and many of our other Champions and finalists, on the Stampede Talent Search facebook page, by following us on Twitter @stampedetalent or on Instagram at #stampedetalentsearch.
Michael Bernard Fitzgerald’s show will be coming to Calgary on Friday November 28th, at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Show time is 8pm. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and start at $33.
We will be giving away two tickets to see Layten and Michael in concert!
Go to our Twitter or Facebook page, like or follow, and tell us what year Michael Bernard Fitzgerald won the Stampede Talent Search using #stsTime2Shine to be entered into the draw. The draw will take place Thursday, November 27th at noon.
Last night was the night for Layten Kramer to shine at the 2014 Stampede Talent Search finals. Kramer was awarded the title of 2014 Stampede Talent Search Champion, $5000 cash, a customized performer development pckage as well as the President’s Trophy and a commemorative one-of-a-kind custom silver belt buckle.
Kramer stood out from a field of over 300 contestants from across Canada who auditions for the show in May of 2014, and by a panel of judges was selected to be this year’s winner.
“I am so shocked,” says Kramer. “It was such an amazing experience to play an original song on this stage, and tonight, everything came together perfectly”
“The Stampede Talent Search is often the first to shine the spotlight on rising Canadian Talent,” says Stampede Talent Search Committee Chair, Scott Henderson. “This year’s audience will no doubt brag about some of the artists they’ve seen on our stage in 2014″.
The first runner-up was Emma Rose from Calgary, AB.
Lizzy Munson from Calgary, AB was the second runner-up.
The third runner-up was Kaleigh Jo Kirk from Cochrane, AB who also received the Don Welden award for Most Promising Performer.
Kyra Brynne Lake, also from Calgary, received the “Fan Favourite” award, which is chosen through texts and tweets.
The 2014 Stampede Talent Search was made possible by the generous support of our sponsors. The Calgary Stampede, The Calgary Herald, PSAV, CTV, Lammles, Up! 97.7 FM. And, Benjamin Laird Arts & Photography.
The 2015 Stampede Talent Search Canada-wide auditions will open in March, 2015. So if you know of a young talented performer between the ages of 6 and 21 please send them out next year!
From contemporary dance to a magic show, vocal groups to gu zheng, the caliber of the Canadian talent to hit the stage in preliminary competition was outstanding. Contestants entertained crowds of hundreds each of the past five nights in the Boyce Theatre.
The top 24 young performers, out of a field of over 60, as scored by a panel of professional judges will be moving on to the next round of the competition. We are so excited that our semi-finalists represent Canada from British Columbia to Ontario!
The 2014 Stampede Talent Search Semi-Finalists are:
Annie Pattison: Calgary, AB
Brad Fleischer: Airdrie, AB
Brandon Patkau/ Ben Tizzard: Calgary, AB
Bryton Udy: Calgary, AB
Caity Gyorgy: Calgary, AB
Carina Oliviera: Mississauga, ON
“Daring Greatly”: Calgary, AB
David Epp: Hussar, AB
Emma Rose: Calgary, AB
“I Am the Mountain”: Chestermere, AB
Jada McKenzie-Moore: Vancouver, BC
Jana McDonald: Calgary, AB
Jessica Pearson: Clarence Creek, ON
Jill Bauer: Calgary, AB
Joshua Warren: Kitchener, ON
Kaleigh Jo Kirk: Cochrane, AB
Kira Lagadin: Calgary, AB
Kirstyn Johnson: Strathmore, AB
Kyle Miller: Calgary, AB
Kyra Brynne Lake: Calgary, AB
Layten Kramer: Canmore, AB
Lizzy Munson: Calgary, AB
Rachel Park: Blairmore, AB
Sylvia Lee: Calgary, AB
These 24 engaging performers were selected by earning the top marks from our panel of judges. Preliminary competition judges included Jesse-James Cameron, JUNO nominated lead singer and songwriter for Calgary-based band Make-Shift Innocence. Tara Wilson, dancer, choreographer and teacher, who co-owns PULSE studio, dedicated to hip-hop and street dance. And Tory Doctor, a 20-year stage veteran, singer, actor, director and coach. A new panel of judges will bring fresh eyes to score these performers in the next round of the competition.
Now, these outstanding young performers, ages 13 to 21, will take the experience they’ve gained and aim for their personal best during the semi-final competition on Thursday July 10th and Friday July 11th. There is no show Wednesday July 9th.
The top 12 will then go on to compete for the title of Stampede Talent Search Champion and their share in over $10,000 cash and a customized performer development package which will be awarded during the finals on Saturday, July 12th.
All shows are at 6:30pm in the Boyce Theatre on Stampede Park and free with Park admission. Come early to make sure you get a seat to see who will move on for the chance to compete and become Canada’s next rising star!
For 34 years the Stampede Talent Search program has been one of the first to shine the spotlight on some of Canada’s most talented young performing artists. At this year’s Stampede, many of our Champions will take on some of the biggest stages and dazzle the largest crowds with their talent, showmanship and outstanding personalities.
Our 1999 Champion, country artist Trevor Panzcak, will be on stage at Nashville North almost daily inspiring thousands to get into the Stampede spirit.
2008 Champion James “Peterpot” McInnes and 2012 Champion Annika Odegard will take the stage nightly during “Barnburner” – the 2014 Grandstand show in front of an audience of over 187,000 over 11 nights.
Our current Champion, 2013 winner Michael Bridge will be onboard a float during the Stampede Parade! He is an accordion virtuoso who will energize all 350,000 people along the parade route and 550,000 people watching the live TV feed at home with his lively music.
And back on stage at the Saddledome, Friday July 11th, 1992 Champion and Juno Award winning Country artist Paul Brandt will entertain over 18,000 in a much-anticipated arena concert.
The Stampede Talent Search committee takes great pride in providing a stage for young aspiring performing artists from across Canada to showcase their talent. Seeing so many of our exceptional Champions experience success in their chosen careers is an important tip of the hat that this program is successfully living up to its mandate to discover, develop, encourage and showcase top young artists. To see the list of all our 33 Champions, visit www.stampedetalentsearch.com.
You can watch the talented contestants ages 6 to 21 from across Canada in this year’s Stampede Talent Search competition, nightly at 6:30 pm in the Boyce Theatre, during the Calgary Stampede. No shows July 3rd, 9th, or 13th.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
You may have heard Calgary Stampede Talent Search contestants sharing Stampede spirit at a Caravan committee event, or singing on stage at “Windows on the West” during the 10-day Stampede. Past-winners have even taken the Coca-Cola stage, Nashville North and the Grandstand. Do you remember Paul Brandt hosting the centennial TransAlta Grandstand Show? He is the 1992 Stampede Talent Search Grand Prize winner.
The 2014 Stampede Talent Search auditions take place May 2 to 4, 2014. Qualifying contestants will then compete during the 10-day Stampede for their share of more than $10,000 in cash prizes.
From September to August, the Stampede Talent Search committee works hard to discover, encourage, develop and showcase talented performers. That means providing performance opportunities for many of our finalists and past contestants at venues across Calgary and the surrounding area. From office parties to grand openings and celebrations, we are continually seeking stages to show off our exceptional young talent.
The Stampede Talent Search program and committee is a little known yet integral part of the spirit and hospitality that the Stampede provides. We are dedicated to developing and showcasing some of the best young talent. This year is the first year that our audition call is Canada-wide – and so far, we have contestants coming to show their stuff from BC to Ontario. You can be certain that the diversity and quality of our performers will only get better and better in the coming years.
Sign up for auditions is still open. If you know a talented young performer between 13 and 21 years of age, information on submitting a video audition or to sign up for a live audition can be found at www.stampedetalentsearch.com. We are even looking for talented Junior performers between ages 6 to 12.
The Stampede Talent Search competition starts Saturday, July 5 and runs nightly until July 12. All shows start at 6 p.m. in the Boyce Theatre. After the first five nights of the competition, the initial field of 70 Senior performers is narrowed down to 28 for the semi-finals and then to 14 for the final night when the Grand Prize winner is announced.
The Stampede Talent Search committee works year round to discover, encourage, develop and showcase young talent. Along the way, there have been performers who have raised goose-bumps with their talent, reduced the audience to tears, and even become etched in the hearts and minds of committee members for their remarkable achievements.
Ask any committee member who has been around to see the ups and downs of several years of competition and the little moments are shockingly more memorable than the show-stopping ones.
For Colleen Tynan, committee member since 2002, her most memorable moment was following the story of Tara Tennant. “In Tara’s first year auditioning she was nervous and had little stage presence. Three years later, she captivated the audience, drew them in and won the competition.”
For Gay Robinson, committee member since 2010, a similar story. “Each year it is exciting to see contestants come back and be more confident. I love seeing that they have worked hard to grow as people and as performers. I remember a shy young Junior performer who continued on to be a Senior performer and just a few years later won 2nd runner-up!”
And Committee Chair Scott Henderson agrees. “Over the years we get invested in our young performers. My most memorable moment was watching Meg Contini win the Grand Prize. In 34 years, no one has won more money than her – including day money and prize money. To see her finally win was a testament to her talent, her incredible spirit and supportive and positive family. Back then, winning was just the beginning for her. She has achieved a music degree from Humber College (with help from her Stampede Talent Search prize money), and success with several musical projects including her stunning vocal trio the O’Pears.”
Of course, over the years there have been awe-inspiring performances from a handful of diverse talents, such as contortionists, yo-yo artists and a sitar player, but for Roxanne McKendry, without a doubt, Paul Brandt captured her memory.
“In 2004, Paul came to do a special performance during finals. One of the songs he sang was “Leavin’” and the hair on the back of my arms stood-up. It was absolutely electrifying to be that close to such an incredible talent. And emotional to know he started on our stage.”
Auditions kick-off the 2014 season and the entire committee is looking forward to seeing what new memories will be made that will inspire us to work harder on behalf of the incredible young talent we are lucky enough to showcase.
Canada-wide Auditions for the 2014 Stampede Talent Search are open! For video audition information or to sign up for live auditions May 2 to 4, 2014 details can be found at www.stampedetalentsearch.com.
Live auditions for the 34th Annual Stampede Talent Search competition will take place the first weekend in May, and there will be one volunteer committee member who knows all too well what the contestants will look forward to.
“Winning the Stampede Talent Search in 2005 has put me where I am today with my career,” says Maureen Murphy, a talented singer and entertainer who is currently recording a studio album at George Canyon’s C4 studios. The team she has in place today is, in part, due to the credibility of the competition and the exposure she received. “It’s like earning a certificate or degree.”
However, her current successes and career path is not just a direct result from winning. Maureen competed in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and every year, she benefit from the contacts she made, the opportunity to learn about the music industry and invaluable support from committee members.
“By far, this is one of the most organized and professionally run talent competitions I have ever competed in,” says Murphy. “From the committee members, to the judges and even other contestants, the entire experience was a positive learning environment.”
And now Maureen, along with 22 other volunteers, is part of the Stampede Talent Search Committee who works year round to provide an enriching experience for young performers.
Canada-wide auditions for the Stampede Talent Search opened in February. Video submissions will be accepted or performers can sign up for live auditions in Calgary May 2 to 4, 2014. Contestants can sing, dance, act or perform to earn the opportunity to shine in the spotlight during the finals held Stampede week at the Boyce Theatre and earn their share of over $10,000 in cash and prizes.
What advice does Maureen have for contestants? “Be yourself. Go with your gut. You will always have someone making suggestions about what you should do. No one knows who you are and what you can do better than yourself.”
Do you know someone who would be excited to compete in this year’s Stampede Talent Search? For more information about audition requirements and deadlines visit www.stampedetalentsearch.com