Contributed Michael Huber and Sandy McAfee perform during last year’s Okanagan Singer-songwriter competition. Huber won the competition.

Registration opens for Okanagan Singer-Songwriter competition

Lake Country - The seventh annual competition auditions are held around the Okanagan

Stretch those vocal chords because registration is open for the seventh annual Okanagan Singer-Songwriter competition.

The non-profit event—formerly known as the Lake Country Open Mic Has Talent competition— is meant to spotlight an original songwriter. Three winners will receive professional studio recording time, and the winner will be given numerous opportunities to perform throughout the Okanagan.

“I am a high-school math/science teacher and have a huge passion for songwriting and performing myself but, even more so, I really enjoy helping musicians spotlight their talent,” said founder Jennifer Boal. “I’ve been organizing this competition for many years now and they have been thrilling, not only for the musicians but for our community as well,”

The competition has been growing every year, receiving additional sponsorships from the Lake Country Arts and Cultural Events Society and TD Bank.

“Our past musicians have gone on to perform through West Kelowna’s Music in the Park, Kelowna’s Parks Alive and the Lake Country Coffeehouse, Marmalade Cafe, Lake Country’s LIVE in Lake Country, ArtWalk, Vernon’s Sunshine Festival, and Armstrong’s Interior Provincial Exhibition,” said Boal.

This year, a new performance opportunity has opened through the Penticton Ribfest.

Finalists will also be provided with songwriting workshops that are open to the public which is new this year, said Boal.

Her hope for this year is to “continue to have more musicians and more people at the finals.”

The connections that are built between musicians and contacts are astonishing sometimes, she said.

Audition dates are scheduled throughout February in Lake Country, Vernon, Kelowna and possibly Vernon. Boal recommends pre-scheduling an audition through the website lakecountryopenmic.ca due to the high number of participants.

Find the Okanagan Music Group online and visit the Facebook page to find out more event details. Registration is open until March 8.

Finals will be held at Lake Country’s Creekside Theatre April 7.

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