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Talent show exceeds goal

Sylvan’s Got Talent was sold out and raised more than expected to support refugee families

Sylvan’s Got Talent brought out the town’s creative energy and shone the spotlight on a wide range of dancers and singers at the Gospel Chapel, Nov. 3. The event was organized by the Sylvan Lake Refugee Project as a fundraiser to help four families become part of the Sylvan Lake community.

Ticket sales, three minute-to-win-it competitions and a cake silent auction brought in a total of $7226.60 during the fundraiser, exceeding the goal of $5,000.

The show was opened by storyteller fiddler, John Walsh, who shared the poem The Green Fields of Canada by K. Coffner and played “Christy Barry’s Jig” by Fion Sesiun.

Elijah Fullerton sings "Believer" by Imagine Dragons.
Elijah Fullerton was next, singing “Believer” by Imagine Dragons and ending his high energy performance by jumping off the stage without missing a note.

The show continued with Stephanie Warnick playing the keyboard and singing her own rendition of “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell. In his remarks at the end of the performance, Scott McDermott, one of the three judges, stated he thought it was lip synced at first because it seemed so perfect.

Twelve year old hip hop and break dancer, Sebastian Reinhart captured the attention of judge Mayor Sean McIntyre with his performance to “Galactic Slap” by Decap, “Great Dane” by Daisy and “Kalimba” by Mr. Scruff.

“I couldn’t look away,” McIntyre said after the performance, also adding he could watch Reinhart every day.

Ten year old Coryn Tardif drew inspiration from the movie Moana, singing her heart out with “How Far I’ll Go.”

In a performance judge Megan Epp of House of Music said was elaborately choreographed, The VonRush Family Singers made the chapel come alive with the sound of “Doe a Deer” from the musical The Sound of Music. The group consisted of singers Pearl Rush, Rachel Rush, Caeden Rush, Charter Foreman, Rebecca Rush, Paisley Foreman, Charley Foreman, and Penny Rush.

Jessica Krause, Jennifer Fletcher and Taylor Smith made up the trio called TJ2 and sang "I Know It's Today from Shrek, the Musical. Photo by Myra Nicks/Sylvan Lake News
Next on the list was Jessica Krause, Jennifer Fletcher and Taylor Smith making up trio TJ2. The three took turns singing verses from Shrek the Musical’s “I Know It’s Today,” eliciting laughter from the audience and convincing judge McDermott he didn’t want to see the actual musical since he was sure the young ladies did a better performance.

Ken Rempel’s guitar and vocal performance of Where Angels Gather Tears by Bill Olsen touched judge Epp.

“That was a very heartfelt song,” she said and continued, “Your energy on stage really drew me in and I was just taken with the lyrics of that song.”

The audience started clapping to the next performance of an original piece written by Kristen Sandberg. Sandberg played the keyboard and gave an emotionally vulnerable performance of a song written by herself and Jadyn Habinski called “State of Mind.”

Ainsley Elisa held the audience and judges spellbound with her voice and keyboard performance of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.

“How did you get that great big voice out of that tiny little person?” asked Ali Kat, host of the evening and personality on Shine 105.9 FM

Mayor McIntyre found Elisa’s version of the song powerful, saying to the performer, “It was dynamic. You made some excellent choices in your runs and you really made that song your own.” He also said he wanted to echo fellow judge, McDermott’s thoughts on the performance, stating this was now also his favourite version of the song.

At the intermission, eight minute-to-win-it contestants attempted to shake ping pong balls out of boxes tied around their waists.

The show continued with the Johnson Brothers playing an electric guitar and violin arrangement of “Carol of the Bells” by the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Of the performance Epp gave it a thumbs up, saying, “Wow guys! That was epic!”

Next on stage was Grace Allred, a young cellist who shared two solos, “Rigadoon” by Purcell and “Minuet in C” by Bach.

Keyboard player and vocalist, Andrew Warnick, was on next with his version of “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. Mayor and judge McIntyre praised Warnick for his powerful vocals and ability to layer them on his keyboard performance.

Vocalist Alexis Moreside wowed the judges with “The Hills are Alive” from The Sound of Music. Judge McDermott had a tough time believing Moreside’s voice was coming from such a young woman.

“Your range and your ability to push out such notes and not crack…that was very well done…so good,” he said.

Stryder & Sabatoge won third place with their self-choreographed hip hop performance.
Another hip hop dance routine followed with duo Stryder and Sabatoge (Stryder Hamilton and Sebastian Reinhart) taking the stage with a storm of movement. The two young men choreographed their own routine to “I Can Make Ya” by Fingazz, “Beggin’” by Kid the Wiz & Sonic and “BNC Mixtape” by Foxx Boogie. The judges were highly impressed.

A pun-filled performance by guitarist/vocalist Don Palm was next on the stage as he sang what he termed a “runaway” song he wrote called “Colt, Colt Heart.” He kept the audience laughing with his song based on horse puns about how his sweetheart broke his heart. At the end, he stayed in true form, sharing with Ali Kat that his wife was not a nag and that he “hoped the humour didn’t get pasture.”

Next on stage was Harry Duchak who gave what judge McDermott termed a “soulful” performance of the popular gospel song “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.”

Brother, sister duo Kate and Mitch performed "Here Comes the Sun" by George Harrison.
Two previous performers and brother and sister duo, Andrew and Stephanie Warnick took to the stage as Kate and Mitch, singing “Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison. Andrew played the keyboard and Stephanie played guitar.

“You have outdone yourselves. You are so much fun to watch.” said judge Epp, going on to say she appreciated the duo’s energy and eye contact with the audience and letting them know they gave a “stellar” performance.

Vocalist, Crystal Sanderson gave what McDermott termed a “beautiful” performance of “Dancing in the Sky” by Dani and Lizzy.

Tri-Beat took second place with their performance of “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks.
The final act was a trio tribute to “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks performed by the group Tri-Beat with members Sara Koch, Jadyn Habinski and Taylor McCarthy.

“What an incredible way to close out the show,” said Ali Kat at the end of the performance.

“This is a fantastic arrangement,” said judge Epp. She complimented the group on how they arranged themselves on stage and how they layered their harmonies.

While the judges deliberated on the winners of the show, the final two Minute to Win It contests were held on stage. The first one involved contestants moving Smarties from one plate to another across the room while only being able to use a straw as a way to pick the candies up. The final Minute to Win it involved the remaining two contestants swinging a ball hung from pantyhose wrapped around their heads to knock over red Solo cups arranged on the stage.

Stryder & Sabatoge were given third place, winning a trophy and a basket of goodies valued at $430. The judges awarded second place to Tri-Beat who also won a trophy and a basket of prizes valued at $760. First place trophy and basket went to grand prize winner Ainsley Elisa which was valued at $1300.

The Decadent Desserts silent auction of cakes brought in $1725 in donations.

Photo by Myra Nicks/Sylvan Lake News

“It touches me to see all the people out here tonight supporting such a wonderful cause so Sylvan Lake, good on you, you’ve got such great heart,” said Mayor McIntyre, wrapping up the show.

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