Nelson’s Best Singer host and organizer Vern Gorham at last year’s competition

Nelson’s Best Singer returns for third year

The contest is open to singers of all ages and styles. The only requirement is that you don’t have a recording contract.

A moment alone in the spotlight, singing in front of an auditorium of people looking only at you — that’s the prize guaranteed to everyone who auditions for Nelson’s Best Singer next week.

From there, 16 competitors will move onto the semi-finals. Five will sing in the finals. One will take the city title and a $500 prize.

Then there’s the chance for the top two local singers to compete regionally, against the top singers from eight or nine other communities in the Kootenays. Last year a Nelson singer — Charlie Pears Smith — took home the regional title that came with a $1,000 cash prize and other career development opportunities.

“Nelson is definitely a very amazing place when it comes to the talent of singers and artists that come out of there,” said contest producer Vern Gorham. “I’m really looking forward to seeing the new people who come out of the woodwork this year.”

Now in it’s third year, the contest is open to singers of all ages and styles. The only requirement is that you don’t have a recording contract.

For many competitors, it will be their first time singing in front of other people.

“For a lot of the singers, there’s no question when they get out there they’re nervous,” Gorham said. “They’re not seasoned professionals. It’s a scary situation.”

He tries to make it as supportive an environment as possible — there’s no nasty judges like on reality TV shows. Everyone in the room wants to see the singers succeed.

“I sometimes wish I could take the contest element out of it and just make it a ‘share your talent’ night,” Gorham said. “But the competitive angle is what sells tickets, and the bottom line is I want to get people out to see the artists who are performing.”

If you’d like time take part in this year’s Nelson’s Best Singer contest, go to kootenaysbestsinger.com and click “Singers Sign Up Here” at the top of the page.

The auditions will take place in front of an audience in the L.V. Rogers auditorium. Singers are expected provide their own accompaniment, which can either be pre-recorded on a CD or played live (you can bring other musicians as backup). A piano will be provided.

The auditions go Friday, November 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the L.V. Rogers auditorium. Around 30 singers will perform and the public is encouraged to come out and enjoy the show.

Tickets are $5 at the door, or in advance at Maglio’s Building Center and Bent Over Leather in Nelson. Proceeds from the night go to the LVR Grad Class.

The finalists will be announced in the November 22 issue of {vurb}.