A chorus of youthful voices is being added to Kamloops Idol as the singing competition enters its fourth year.
And, for the first time, auditions for the main competition will be held in public in an effort to generate even more excitement than ever before, said Alan Corbishley of BC Living Arts.
“It’s going to be idol mania,” said Corbishley.
In the past, the main competition has seen between 80 and 90 entrants aged 14 and up vie for 40 semi-final spots in the Canada Day showdown at Riverside Park.
This year’s idol is also open to youth aged 8 to 13, with an anticipated 30 to 50 young voices competing for 10 semi-final spots. Corbishley said the mini idol will also take place on Canada Day.
“We always get quite a few phone calls from people just under the age, so we wanted to do something for a bit younger market and split the demographic a bit,” he said. “I think it will be a great addition.”
Registration for the mini idol takes place at McGowan Park elementary on June 25, Arthur Hatton elementary on June 26, Beattie School of the Arts on June 27 and David Thompson elementary on June 28.
Auditions for the main competition take place at Aberdeen Mall on June 28 and 29, with auditions for the mini idol held on June 30.
These auditions will be open to the public, which will add a heightened level of excitement leading up to the big showdown, he said.
“People like to see all ranges of talent,” said Corbishley. “People like to watch people perform, good or bad.”
As in the past, the Kamloops Idol semi-finals will be held at the Rotary Bandshell in Riverside Park from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on July 1. The mini-idol performance takes place 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the B.C. Living Arts booth, which will be set up at the park entrance near the Interior Savings Centre.
As in the past, there will be two winners, one voted for by the judges, the other by the audience. Amy Watters, a Grade 12 student at Valleyview secondary, won both honours last year.
She said the experience was great, a real whirlwind. Although Watters sang at weddings and Kamloops Blazers and Storm hockey games prior, she’d never performed in front of a crowd like the one at Riverside Park.
Watters has some advice for anyone wanting to take part in Kamloops Idol this year.
“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s just for fun,” she said.
Although she enjoys singing immensely, especially country songs, she isn’t pursuing a professional career. In the fall Watters will begin a bachelor of science at Thompson Rivers University.
“I’m too practical,” she said. “Singing for a living would scare me.”
For more information on Kamloops Idol, including how to register for the main competition, go online to bclivingarts.ca.