Idols celebrate in Shuswap

The sun lit the faces of the smiling winners at the 12th annual Shuswap Idol as they relaxed after three-days of performances

The sun lit the faces of the smiling winners at the 12th annual Shuswap Idol as they relaxed after three-days of performances.

Held during the 119th Salmon Arm Fair, participant Arianna Vrieling has been in the contest seven times and was awarded an honourable mention.

“I really like singing and I really like performing. (Shuswap Idol) pushes me to get better, I’ve done it for so many years,” she said.

“She’s dedicated, she loves to sing and she has fun up there,” said coordinator Lori Risling.

Risling, and her husband Gil, created Shuswap Idol as a way to provide entertainment and to give local singers a chance on the stage.

The turnout was exceptional, said Risling.

“It’s nice for the community to see, and come support the singers.”

The contest was judged by David Byers, Sharon Fitzsimonds and Shelley Desautels, who have musical experience.

“Shelley was a winner last year. I was happy with the three judges we had this year and agreed with the results,” said Risling.

The competition is divided into two categories: singer/songwriter, where participants must write and perform their own music, and vocal, which just involves singing.

In the singer/songwriter category, 14-year-old Ruby Bruce won the $500 first prize, Robin Johnson took second and pocketed $250, while Guy Fredric Johnson placed third, earning $125. It was Bruce’s first time in the contest, and her first time performing her own song Shady Beach.

First place and $500 in the vocal category went to Jenna Zinger, Matthew Braun placed second to net $250 and Laura Close won third and $125.

The participants are judged with score sheets, with the focus on vocal abilities. Stage presence and audience reactions also play a role. The songwriter participants were also judged on musicality, said Risling.

“Every year they’re excellent. They support each other. They’re such a nice group to have every year. It’s rewarding to us, knowing one of their first times on stage was at Shuswap Idol.”

The contest is open for all ages and took place all three days of the fair, from Sept. 9-11.