Host Vern Gorham (right) named Gabriel Macdonald and Charlie Pears Smith for first and second place in the Nelson's Best Singer Contest last February.

Nelson singers hope to be crowned the Kootenays’ best

Two Nelson singers will compete for the title of the Kootenays’ Best Singer this Saturday in Cranbrook.

Two Nelson singers will compete for the title of the Kootenays’ Best Singer this Saturday in Cranbrook.

Gabe McDonald and Charlie Pears-Smith topped the Nelson’s Best Singer competition last February, earning them a place in the Kootenay-wide competition. They’re up against singers from Grand Forks, Castlegar, Creston, Cranbrook, Kimberley and Fernie.

Organizer Vern Gorham said he’s very impressed with this year’s group of talented singers from each community.

“With the high level of the local best singer champions from each community, I do not envy the job that the judges will have to try to determine who will win the crown of 2013 Kootenays Best Singer Champion,” Gorham said.

Each community sends two singers to the finals. In the running from Grand Forks are Missy Faulkner and her older sister Wendy Faulkner; Castlegar has Mateo Villa and Kelsea Dorosz as its two finalists;  Creston produced Victoria Bowns and Ben Lansing; Cranbrook’s best singers are Tyrel Hawke and Jamie Byram; Kimberley saw Devin Fikis and Kathleen Decosse advance; and Fernie’s top two singers are Maria Landa and Claire Bernier.

“A number of the best singers from each community were relatively young this year, but are immensely talented,” Gorham noted.

Both Nelson singers are still in high school, and Fernie’s Bernier is just 11 year old.

The singing competition will be held on June 1 at the the Alliance Church in Cranbrook at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door or $5 for children. To reserve a ticket, email verngorham@telus.net or phone 250-428-0305.