Second time performer Matchap wins senior prize at Search for the Stars

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Allison Matchap performed “Take Me to Church” by Hozier during the Canadian Tire Search for the Stars on Sunday at the EA Rawlinson Centre.

In just her second year competing at Search for the Stars, 17-year old Allison Matchap is at the top.

Matchap took home the senior prize at this year’s edition at the EA Rawlinson Centre on Sunday. She was new to the stage when she performed last year, and she put those lessons to good use when the 2023 competition rolled around.

“This is only my second time and the first time was my first time ever performing anywhere. It feels amazing like I feel so happy,” Matchap said.

Along with the senior category trophy, Matchap also took home the $750 prize. She chose the song “Take me to Church” by Hozier this year after some feedback from family.

“I listen to it a lot and my dad really liked it so I was like, ‘I will sing it,’” she said.

Matchap, who attends Carlton, explained that the audition process was difficult but she made it to Sunday’s performance.
“It’s really hard. The first (part) of the song I didn’t get any of the words right and I didn’t get to sing very well. But then I did the ending good and somehow got in. I was really surprised that I got in,” she said.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Search for the Stars senior winner Allison Matchap posed with the judges after winning on Sunday at the EA Rawlinson Centre.

The other Senior performers included Rebecca Fines, who was awarded most improved performer (any category

“Lots of the seniors are my friends. They were just amazing I love that,” Matchap said.

Next year would be the last time she can enter before aging out of the competition.

Search for the Stars kicked off Saturday, with the final show happening Sunday afternoon.

The winner of last year’s competition Relan Meeks aged out along with several other performers. This was balanced by a large contingent of nine performers in the intermediate category.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald (L to R) Bailey Price, Tori Korczak, Allison Matchap and Rebecca Fines were the winners at the Canadian Tire Search for the Stars on Sunday at the EA Rawlinson Centre.

Judges Ian Dickson, Gillian Snider and Fabian Minnema noted the depth in the competition while announcing the winners in three categories.

After the performances, the judges took nearly a half hour to decide on winners in all categories.

Bailey Price took home the Junior Star (ages 8 to 10), Tori Korczak won the Intermediate Star (ages 11 to 14), Matchap won the Senior Star (ages 8 to 15), and Fines was the Most Improved Star (any age group).

There was no Singer Songwriter category in this year’s competition.

The performers had an intensive all day workshop with the judges on Saturday at the Rawlinson, which Matchap said was beneficial for all the competitors.

“That it’s not really about winning,” she explained. “I made lots of new friends and it was amazing.”