‘I still can’t believe it’: Rebecca Strong wins it all at Canada’s Got Talent

Rebecca Strong, winner 2024 Canada’s Got Talent, the “One Million Dollar” Season, receives a cheque for $1M from Colette Watson, President of Rogers Sports and Media. R-L: Lindsay Ell, Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh, Rebecca Strong, Colette Watson, Kardinal Offishall, and Trish Stratus. -- Photo used with permission from Canada’s Got Talent.

“I feel amazing,” Rebecca Strong said, the morning after winning “the biggest cash prize in Canadian television history.”

The Prince Albert singer won $1 million, in the Canada’s Got Talent Finale on Tuesday, May 14 in Niagara Falls. Ont. Strong, the first Indigenous person to win a Canada’s Got Talent title, chose Rolling in the Deep, by Adele, for her Finale performance and came out on top.

“I still can’t believe it,” she said in an interview with the Prince Albert Daily Herald. “But, I’m proud of myself and grateful to everyone that voted for me and just the entire process.”

Facebook lit up with encouragements for people to vote for Strong from such places and people as the Federation of Saskatchewan Indigenous Nations (FSIN); Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC), the leader of the NDP and Premier Scott Moe, along with many people across Saskatchewan and the country.

“This really launched my career,” Strong said, adding that she hopes to add “more music content, hopefully touring, and I just want to share my music with the whole world.”

That includes writing some of her own music. She has written some words, sometimes they have a melody, which she records separately.
“I have a lot of things that I want to share with the world. Not just my voice, but also some words. So, I’m going to put those to music.”

But her first priority – take some time with her family, “and celebrate,” and prepare some new content for her performances moving into the future.

A good part of her reason for competing in Canada’s Got Talent, was to encourage other young, Indigenous people, to “follow their dreams,” she said.

And not just musical talent, but all kinds of talent. She chose beaded earrings and eyelashes from “Misty Rain Designs.

“She’s based in Prince Albert. I had seen her earrings and I wanted; I need them,” Strong said.

Through her CGT performances, Strong said, she’s become more recognized by people and her social media has grown.

The week before the Finale, Strong performed at the Indigenous National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) in the Gatineau, Que. May 10. 

“That was amazing. I loved that. The performance and just the entire experience,” she said.

Strong met many artists and small business owners, including a 14-year-old.

“She started when she was nine. I couldn’t believe it, and she gave me a little gift. I was so grateful,” Strong said.

Born in Stony Rapids, northern Saskatchewan, Strong began singing on stage with her father, Glen Strong and older sisters, Amanda and Allison, at five years of age. She spent many years living in Price Albert. She continued singing with her sisters for several years before “going solo,” more recently.

Rebecca Strong said she experienced “unity” in Saskatchewan with the voting process in her bid to win the third Canada’s Got Talent (CGT) title in the first million-dollar season, she said, noting that northern Saskatchewan is not always recognized, “as it should be.”

With her first CGT performance, Strong received the Golden Buzzer from Lilly Singh, one of the four judges. She also received $25,000 with her Golden Buzzer performance. She moved on to the May 7 performance and went straight through to the Finale.

“As soon as that music started, you just disappeared into that song. Incredible performance,” said Kardinal Offishall, one of the CGT judges, following Strong’s May 7 performance of Driver’s License, by Olivia Rodrigo. 

The 2024 “Million Dollar Season” began Tuesday, March 19 with a two-hour episode. The series featured 116 acts from across the country.

Judges for Canada’s Got Talent were: Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh, Trish Stratus and Kardinal Offshall. Funders for the One Million Dollar season were Rogers, who provided the $1M, CIBC that will provide one year of financial support, and Tim Horton’s, according to a Canada’s Got Talent news release.

Strong, the 2024 season’s winner, takes home $1million “thanks to Rogers” and financial advice from CIBC. 

Although, Strong practices every day, she tries to find a balance to not over tax herself. As for choosing a song to sing in a competition, or performance, she said, “Really it comes to me, whatever I’m feeling. Or whatever I’m trying to portray.

“It’s my passion; I just sing.”