Auditions to take place in November
The Canadian Tire Search for the Stars is back for another year at the EA Rawlinson Centre for the Arts for 2022.
Marketing and Events Coordinator Cara Stelmaschuk said the auditions are scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 21 and have been set up in a way that addresses COVID-19. That means soloists will come in for the first audition for the judges, with bands arriving later in the day.
“We have everybody spaced out with time to spare setting up between performers,” Stelmaschuk explained. “The bands obviously get a little bit of a longer break in between just because we need to make sure we have everything set up the way they need it.”
Age categories will remain unchanged from the previous year, with ages 8 to 10 competing in the junior category, ages 11 to 14 in intermediate, and ages 15 to 18 and senior category, where artists perform completely original work.
The Singer-Songwriter category is based on ages as of January 16, 2022 and bands are welcome to compete in the age group where the majority of the members belong.
The January 2021 version was slightly different with everyone safely distanced and wearing masks. Stelmaschuk said the workshop days were well attended, and while the performers themselves were the only people allowed in the in-house audience, the public livestream got plenty of views.
“It’s a long running thing and we were actually quite relieved we were able to do it last year,” Stelmaschuk said. “It really would have sucked to have to miss it.”
Local performers Jordy Balicki, Allyson Reigh and LJ Tyson are the judges for the 2022 event. Judges listen to all of the performers, make notes and suggestions, then pick the cast of the show. Competitors are selected based on their show.
The workshop will be taking place the same weekend as the showcase On Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 is the All-Day Workshop and Sunday, January 16, 2022 is the Rehearsal and Showcase,
Judges will be selecting the winners but also conducting workshops sharing their knowledge of the music industry will all young performers selected for the cast.
Balicki, formerly of the band All Mighty Voice, currently runs Reservoir Recording in Prince Albert and is currently the bass player with a local post-punk/garage act Rymestone. Reigh is an award-winning singer/songwriter based in Saskatoon who was most recently in Rosie and the Riveters until they amicably disbanded in September 2020. Tyson is a folk/pop artist from Prince Albert. Tyson is of Cree/Metis heritage and identifies as bisexual. Identity has become a major part of his artistry and sound.
Stelmaschuk said the varied experiences of each judge will benefit the performers.
“Just getting into the cast is pretty cool because of this professional oversight that you get to see in the day, and then learning from people,” she explained. “Allyson Reigh is a quite established performer. Jordy Balicki comes in with not only performance experience with a band but also sound recording.
“We can teach them etiquette for recording studios and things like that, and, of course, LJ is a songwriter and he has a real knack for (helping with) finding your own voice and your own message.”
She added that all three judges will help push young performers to be more creative, especially when it comes to song writing.
Stelmaschuk said all three judges have written music and lyrics, and get help participants step beyond singing and playing instruments to do some writing too.
“We find every year we only have one person entered to be the singer songwriter. It’s kind of like everyone is doing karaoke and no one is writing a song, so the singer songwriter category is kind of a big deal,” she said. “I think all of these judges would be a great asset for people who have written a song or at least have the lyrics for a song in their head that they would like to see actually turn into something.”
Stelmaschuk added that all their performers have impressive abilities, regardless of their age.
“There are very young performers (who) come through and just really blow you away with their poise, their confidence, and with the older performers, you see they have been performing for a long time and it just polishes up that skill.”
The contest also includes a Most Improve Performer category for those who go from auditioning to performing, and make great strides in polishing up their act and becoming more confident on stage.
“There is a reward for taking to heart all of the advice that they just gave you,” Stelmaschuk said.