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Hometown Stars grows beyond Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life

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If you think you can sing then show it with Hometown Stars. The Lethbridge based performance competition began as a way to choose acts for the Canadian Cancer Society’s annual Relay of Life in Lethbridge, but has taken on a life of its own over the past two years during which it has attracted singers age 4-89 from Red Deer to  Trail B.C and a whole lot from Southern Alberta.Scott Paterson is excited about this year’s edition of Hometown Stars. Photo by Richard Amery

“This is the second year as Hometown Stars. It was different for six years. We wanted to round up people to perform sets at the Relay for Life,” said Hometown Stars Event Co-ordinator  Scott Paterson.

“ But it has branched out on it’s own,” he said.
“ It was hard to find spots for all of the performers at Relay For Life,” he said.

“ We’ve expanded the competition,” he said noting the finales were held at CASA  last year, but due to Hometown Stars’ increased popularity, it has been moved to the Yates this year.

 Auditions are ongoing in a variety of categories including “ Cover Star,” for  people over the age of 18 performing cover songs, “ Original Star” for  anyone performing an original song, “ Rising Star” for students under the age of 18 performing cover songs and “Junior Star” for students under the age of 13 performing cover songs.

There are also two band categories —  “ Band Cover Star” — a battle of the bands competition for any band performing a cover song and “ Band Original Stars”  for band who perform an original song.
A panel of judges including Dory Rossiter of CTV and the band Dory and the Weathermen, University of Lethbridge vocal instructor Alicia Bigras and singing instructor Andrea Ceron from Infunit Performing Arts Academy who replaces Miss Teen Lethbridge Brookelyn Fortier, will choose the winner.

 While live auditions took place, Oct. 22, Nov. 13 and Nov. 23, the next live audition is Jan. 16 at Infunit Performing Arts Academy (#106 920 2A Ave North) for Cover Star, Original Star,  Rising Star and  Junior Star.

You can register online at or by posting a Youtube video of yourself performing through their website. Bands are required to audition online. There is also a fan favourite section of the band competition. The video with the most votes as of Dec. 30 gets a spot in the finale for the singing competition is 6-9 p.m., Feb. 20  and  for bands  6-9 p.m. , Feb. 21 at the Yates Memorial Centre. The winners receive a variety of prizes including Long and McQuade gift certificates and other surprises to be announced.

“ I’ve been impressed with the calibre of talent we’ve been seeing,” Paterson said.

“ The talent just keeps getting better and better,” he added.

“ We had an 11-year-old last year who had one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. I was blown away,” he enthused.

“ The goal is to give the participants the opportunity to perform,” he said noting he is seeing competitors, like 2012 fan favourite Sophia Makela and Jordan Bryant return to the competition.
 It doesn’t cost anything to audition though tickets to the finales cost  $20 adults, $15 students or four packs for $65.

Admission to the band finale included 25 free fan votes, and you can pay for extra with all proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society. Last year the finale attracted 125 people
“ Come out and see the competition and support the arts,” he said.

A  version of this story appears in the January 7, 2015 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 January 2015 02:25 )  
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