Original Music Competition in Collingwood this Weekend!*

The Collingwood Live and Original Music Series is a chance for original songwriters to get their music heard and win up to $3000.  This year, the series spans three days, from May 5th-7th, 2017, and incorporates some new opportunities for the performers, as well as the public.  There will be two industry workshops that anyone can sign up for: “Hitting the Studio” (May 6th at 12PM) is a workshop with Josh Maitland of Red Room Recordings, providing an introduction to studio experiences; “Songcraft” (May 7th at 12PM) is a songwriting workshop with L&O alumni Bernadette Connors and Blair Packham of the Songwriter Association of Canada and organizer of Songbird North, formerly Bluebird North.  These are both great opportunities for musicians to ask questions, discuss the industry, and network.

This year’s Top Ten (chosen from 55 audition videos) span a variety of genres, including folk, bluegrass, country rock, indie singer/songwriter, garage punk, and reggae/R&B.  It’ll be interesting to see the array of songwriting and performance methods all on one stage, and to see some fresh faces performing in Collingwood.  Many of the artists performing are from Barrie, ON, as well as Huntsville, Azilda, and Kitchener, so this weekend is a chance for them to experience Collingwood and all that it has to offer.  As showcased on Route 26, the music scene is alive and well along this side of Georgian Bay, so I hope these are some faces that we’ll be seeing back in the area in the future.  Here’s a little preview video of each of the Top Ten:

Live and Original alumni (from the 2015 and 2016 series) will be performing at various venues around Collingwood this Friday, May 5th.  The full lineup is on the Route 26 calendar as well as the Live and Original website, and I highly recommend checking out some of these performers.  They’re all names that you’ve probably seen around town performing at different events and venues: Austin McCarthy, Sohayla Smith, Luke Martin, Gina Horswood, Ian Raeburn-Gibson, Alyssa Pridham, Hunnay!, Jamie McLaughlin, Bernadette Connors, and 2016 winner Mike Charette.  I can’t recommend any over others because honestly, from what I’ve heard, they’re all great songwriters that put on good shows.  Support these musicians!

This year’s judges from Corus Entertainment, who will make the big decision on Sunday night at the finals, are Jeff Woods (Host of the new “Records and Rockstars” radio program at Classic Rock 94.5), Kris Bawden (Host at 101.1 BIG FM in Barrie), and Lisa O’Hara (Host at 95.1 The Peak FM in Collingwood).  The fourth judge this year will be Mike Charette, 2016 winner of Live and Original.  I’m sure it’ll be a difficult decision, as Arts competitions tend to be, as each of these artists will be bringing something unique and personal to the stage.  The top 3 finalists all walk away with cash prizes, but everyone involved in this process has the opportunity to meet industry professionals, meet fellow songwriters/artists, and perform for a new audience.  Semi-finals (May 6th) and finals (May 7th) will be held at the Eddie Bush Arena in downtown Collingwood.

More information on the Live and Original website: http://liveoriginal.visitsouthgeorgianbay.ca/

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