Every one here at CPE are very sad to hear of the passing of Scottie Guthrie. A colleague and friend, who passed unexpectedly this past week. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.
Rest Easy Scottie
Season 3 of “The Great Canadian Karaoke Challenge” is currently postponed. It will commence in March of 2024!
There are no refunds as we already have committed sponsors and venues on board for the event.
We look forward to seeing all the talent again and working with our business partners. Thank you for supporting this competition from the start!
The Great Canadian Karaoke Challenge was created by Stephen Robert John Gaudet. The event is produced by our team at Creative Power Entertainment. The singing competition started very small in 22 venues across 6 of the Canadian Provinces in 2018.
This major singing competition, now in its 3rd year, is in over 100 venues across the Nation in ten Canadian Provinces.
The contest now awards over $25,000 in cash and prizes. The GRAND PRIZE is $10,000 cash to the National Champion, making it one of the biggest prizes in Canadian history.
Provincial winners win Airfare & Hotel to compete at the National Finals.
Kingston native Carolyn Derue admits to being a little nervous heading into the championship round of the Great Canadian Karaoke Challenge, to be held Saturday at Overtime Sports Bar on Bath Road.
“It’s gotten a little bit more competitive, a little bit more serious, but I’m more excited than anything,” Derue, a St. Lawrence College nursing student, said.
“Whatever happens will happen. I’m excited to meet everyone from the other provinces and hear everybody else. It will be a great night regardless.”
The challenge, which sources contestants from six provinces across the country, has amassed a prize of $10,000 for the national champion.
Derue will be representing Ontario after winning the provincial qualifier on Aug. 4.
“I have been singing all my life, I grew up singing and had a very musical family,” Derue said in an interview.
“From the age of six, I began competing in the Kingston area. I’ve always lived here and continued singing here for years.”
Recently, however, Derue said she put singing on hold to pursue a degree in nursing from St. Lawrence. Now, nearing the end of her studies, when Derue heard about the competition, she took a shot.
“I decided to try out and it’s gone pretty well since,” she said.
Derue went through two rounds of local qualifiers, which reduced the number of contestants from 30 to just two. After the local rounds, she and another Kingstonian competed in the provincial competition, with Derue emerging as the winner.
This weekend, Derue will face off against five other contestants from provinces across the country, all of whom have won their respective provincial competitions.
The other contestants will be flown in from British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to compete for the title of national champion.
The producer of the Great Canadian Karaoke Challenge, Steve Gaudet, said that before he chose to organize a national competition, he had been hosting karaoke events on the East Coast for years. This year’s challenge will be the first time Gaudet has organized a nationwide competition.
Gaudet co-ordinated the competition at more than 30 venues across the country, each running the event for 10 weeks to select candidates.
“It’s been eight months of work,” he said.
In an interview, Rob Lanteigne, the owner of Overtime Sports Bar, said patrons have come from across the country to watch the qualifying rounds of the competition. He added that a visitor had come from as far as the United Kingdom for the competitions.
The Kingston Whig-Standard 2018 ©
Prince Edward Island
Winning the $10,000 cash prize in a national karaoke competition was very satisfying for Ayla Rodney.
But more fulfilling was the rekindling of a lost love.“My love for singing was sparked again,” she said. “I enjoy singing ballads, but when you perform in the music industry, you end up doing a lot of pop and Top 40 music and that takes you away from the genre you enjoy doing which is unfortunate. In the karaoke competition, I was able to sing the songs that I love and really connect with and I was able to see that there’s still a love and appreciation out there for that kind of music.”
Last August, Rodney won the second annual Great Canadian Karaoke Challenge in Kingston and the right to participate in the World Singing Championship in Las Vegas from November 17-20.
Organized by Stephen Gaudet, the 10-week contest is held in nearly 40 venues across Canada with the provincial winners advancing to the final.
Rodney learnt about the competition a few days before the second to last qualifier in the Greater Toronto Area.
“My mother-in-law is into karaoke and when she told me about the competition, I must admit I wasn’t really interested because I am a professional singer,” said Rodney. “When she alerted me that there was a cash prize, I asked, ‘How much?’ She said she would look into it and get back to me. After she told me how much it was, I said ‘Ok, we are doing it and sign me up’.”
She blew away the judges and the audience with renditions of ‘I Who Have Nothing’, ‘I Surrender’ and ‘Titanium’.
“Celine Dion is one of my idols, Shirley Bassey sings with passion and is theatrical and Titanium lyrics, which talks about being strong to face the world and the things that are thrown at you, resonate with me,” she said.
Rodney is taking the World Singing Championship preparation seriously.
“I will be going up against talented singers from around the world, so I have to bring my ‘A’ game to the stage,” she pointed out. “I am also trying to find moments in my songs where I can create a connection with the audience. This will be my first time going to Las Vegas and I am super-excited to leave my mark there.”
During her father’s company picnic at Wild Water Kingdom, Rodney – then 12 – took off and entered an Open Mic competition at the water park. By the time her family found her, she was on stage performing Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’.
“That was the first time that my parents (her father Owen Rodney migrated from Jamaica and her mother, Juliana Simard, was born in Guyana) recognized I had a special talent and my mom immediately enrolled me in singing classes for a year,” recounted Rodney, the third of four siblings.
After graduating from the Nancy Campbell Academy in Stratford, Rodney entered York University in 2005 to pursue a Sociology degree.
“Mom, who worked three jobs and made many sacrifices for me, always insisted I get a degree before I fully embarked on a singing career,” she said. “I didn’t agree with her then, but I started university.”
Two years into the program, Rodney saw an advertisement online for singers to perform overseas.
“The ad said the monthly pay was $2,000 and you would be put up in a hotel,” she said.
Rodney applied and was accepted.
Putting university on hold, she spent five years performing in China, Thailand and South Korea.
“Once I started in Beijing where I spent six months, I realized this was a gig I was going to enjoy because it offered the opportunity to travel which I love and I saw that audiences were appreciative of the music,” she said. “It was also a great learning experience that really allowed me to grow as an entertainer as it took my skills and stage performance to another level.”
There were lows with the highs during the cultural odyssey.
“Being away from my family for an extended period was tough because I am a family-oriented person,” she noted. “I am accustomed to spicy food and the food there was very fresh. While in Macau, I and other coloured members of our band experienced racism. The people there appreciate your music, but they don’t care to rub shoulders with you. I remember going to a store and rubbing my arms to indicate to the salesperson that I needed skin lotion. She took me to the section where there was bleaching lotion.”
In 2016, Rodney chose to remain in Toronto and pursue a solo career while dealing with mental health challenges.
An introvert, she suffers from severe social anxiety.
“It has always been a struggle for me because being a singer requires one to be extroverted,” Rodney said. “On stage, however, I didn’t feel that anxiety, but off stage, having to put on a face and interact in big crowds and having to deal with the business side of things was always a challenge. I lost out on many opportunities for this reason. In my last year in Asia, my anxiety began to affect my stage performance. It was a very scary time in my life because the idea of who I am and who everyone knew me to be was being torn away from me.”
The recent birth of her daughter was a pivotal moment in Rodney’s life.
“My motivation and drive shifted from a self-point of view to having someone that was going to depend on and look up to me,” she said. “It was no longer about ‘if’ or ‘maybe’ I can do or be what I needed. It was ‘I will do and be whatever she needed’. With that perception change, I started to accept every opportunity placed in my path. I no longer allow my fears to keep me from what is meant for me.”
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