Stampede talent show competitors impress judges

.

Seventeen-year-old Mariya Soetaert performs in front of a large crowd at the Ponoka Stampede talent show on June 29. Soetaert was chosen as the winner out of more than 50 hopefuls and was awarded with $1

ADAM JACKSON/Ponoka News

From more than 50 applicants, to 10, then down to one, the 2011 Ponoka Stampede Talent Show winner has been crowned.

Seventeen-year-old Mariya Soetaert of Stavely sang her heart out at the Stampede grounds on June 29 and took home $1,000 and a Ponoka Stampede leather jacket.

“I’m so excited,” said Soetaert. “I’m so glad that I had this opportunity.

“I’ve been in competitions like this before and placed, but this is the first time I have ever won.”

Soetaert battled against nine other competitors at the talent show, which drew a large crowd on the infield of the grounds.

After all 10 were given the chance to perform, the three finalists were brought to the front of the stage where representatives from KG Country announced the winner.

Finalists also had an opportunity of a lifetime — playing with country superstar Gord Bamford’s band.

Bamford submerged himself into the event, helping out with auditions, judging and providing guidance for competitors.

“He is a very cool and humble guy,” said Soetaert. “He’s a great performer to watch and he talks with everyone and treats them like people.”

Soetaert says that the prize money will be used to pay off part of the recording costs for an EP that she is recording.

Soetaert started singing at a young age and developed a love for it.

“It’s always been a part of my family and a part of me and I hope to carry it wherever I go,” said Soetart. “It’s something that you always carry with you.”

Although there was one winner selected to win the $1,000 cash prize, the job was not easy on the judges — including Bamford.

“The talent was extremely good,” said Bam ford. “It was really close but luckily we were on the same page.”

“You always want to make sure that you pick the right people, but we all agreed on who the winner should be.”

Bamford also has a special connection to the Ponoka Stampede Talent Show and central Alberta — he started his career there many years ago.

“It’s kind of natural for me to be out here, I feel right at home,” said the Lacombe native. “I don’t need to be treated like a superstar or anything, I’m just a normal person.”

Just Posted

The Brick Learning Centre celebrates 2019 graduates

The “Good Old Days” continue on

Ponoka senior receives first place writing award for her memoirs

Anne Teeuswen, 88, recognized for “Spending Time With My Memories”

Traffic safety measures during the 2019 Ponoka Stampede

Reduced speed limits and temporary four-way stop start June 22

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day

Events held around town, Maskwacis

VIDEO: Top NHL draft prospects Hughes and Kakko know they’ll always be linked

The two are on course to be selected No. 1 and No. 2 at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on Friday

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Fighter Jets light up Bucs’ to take AFL first place

38-3 loss puts Central Alberta into second place in the AFL

PHOTOS: Scamp the Tramp wins World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

‘He’s Scamp the Champ, no longer Scamp the Tramp,’ his Californian owner said.

Deals on paid time off for domestic violence ‘beginning of a wave,’ says expert

Philippines was the first country to pay for domestic-violence leave, starting in 2004

Calgary Flames select forward Jakob Pelletier with the No. 26 pick

The 18-year-old winger from Quebec City had spoken with the club earlier in the day and knew they were interested

Central Alberta RCMP constable found not guilty of sexual assault

Justice Grant Dunlop acquitted Const. Jason Tress following a week-long trial in Red Deer Court

Inuit sue feds over experiments that included skin grafts

Plaintiffs allege they were also prodded with sharp instruments to assess their reaction to pain

Most Read