Young thrushes are finalists

Chosen from more than 250 entries, the odds of a Comox Valley singer becoming B.C.’s next singing sensation is very good, thanks to Variety — The Children’s Charity.

Chosen from more than 250 entries, the odds of a Comox Valley singer becoming B.C.’s next singing sensation is very good, thanks to Variety — The Children’s Charity.

“The Variety Club wanted to reach into outlying areas and kick off the annual telethon with a talent show,” said Wayne Peterson, spokesperson for the event, which is scheduled for tonight (Feb.4) at the Red Robinson Show Theatre in the River Rock Casino in Richmond.

“We asked youths from 13 to 29 to send in a two- to three-minute video, and the top 11 from 254 videos were chosen by a panel of judges,” Peterson explained.

Three of the 11 finalists include Rebecca Simms, 13, and Alexandria Maillot, 18, both from Courtenay and Avery Smith, 13, of Comox.

JET-FM program director Pete Montana whose parent company, Vista Radio, sponsored the program locally, notes he predicted a handful of finalists would be from the Valley.

“The area is so talented … when the numbers came in and we found out from the entire province three people from the Valley were finalists, that’s a pretty good sign,” he said. “I’m really proud of the three; I’m very impressed.”

Simms, a jazz and blues singer, won Valley Idol at age 11, and has sung for various events including Relay for Life.

Maillot, a pop singer/songwriter has performed around the world for the past 10 years. In addition to working with charitable organizations, she has organized youth vocal workshops and talent showcases.

Smith’s influences range from Taylor Swift to Adele; she notes she loves to perform in front of an audience and enjoys the connection she makes with the crowd.

The winner, selected from a panel of judges including Dal Richards, Vicki Gabereau and Amy Foster, will appear on The Variety Show of Hearts Telethon Feb. 12, as well as receive an opportunity to perform in one of the Great Canadian Casino properties, said Peterson.

“It’s about kids entertaining kids. You just don’t know where this can lead to,” he added.

For more information, visit www.variety.bc.ca/talent.htm.

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