Winner of songwriting contest announced at children’s festival

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Five finalists for the St. Albert sponsored Canada 150 Songwriting Contest have been announced.

The local singer-songwriters will battle it out for bragging rights and a few choice prizes at the International Children’s Festival of the Arts’ main stage at St. Albert Place on Saturday, June 3 at 1 p.m.

The under-21 finalists are Amanda Penner, Allison Storry, Bridget Reschkel, Lia Cole and Martin Murphy. They were tasked with writing original material that reflected St. Albert and the Canada 150 anniversary.

Penner has entered Home, a rootsy-folk number while Storry has written Our Canada, a soft ode to our nation. Reschkel’s More Beautiful is a catchy piece that packs a lot of information into it and Lia Cole’s Home to Me captures a faint bluesy spirit.

The lone male finalist, Martin Murphy, entered St. Albert Hurrah!, a bilingual song with a fun, upbeat, francophone folk vibe.

The five finalists were part of 12 submitted entries.

“I was happy to receive 12 good songs. Anyone who took the time to write and enter is appreciated. The quality of songs was phenomenal and it shows St. Albert has some very talented people. It was tough to pick the top five,” said Canada 150 coordinator Rhonda Egar-Lee.

Egar-Lee is one of the judges along with CTV weatherman Josh Classen, PlanIt Sound record producer R.J. Cui and Tupelo Honey drummer Greg Williamson.

“We’ll be looking at their stage performance, the clarity of their singing, their original song and overall audience participation,” added Egar-Lee.

The winner will receive a $5,000 professional theme song recording package with PlanIt Sound, $1,000 cash from The Survey Company and opportunities to perform their original song at St. Albert’s Canada 150 events.

“It’s going to be wonderful to see them perform live instead of a YouTube video. To see their stage presence and personalities come through while they sing will make the day.”

Videos of the top five finalists are available at https://stalbert.ca/exp/canada150/projects-events/songwriting/

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Anna Borowiecki

Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.