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Country singing contest brings out Ontario’s best

Sunday, August 26, 2007   by: Kate AdamsWeather plagued the 19th annual CKAT Northern Ontario Country Open Singing Contest over the weekend but it didn’t keep die hard fans of the contest from coming down to the grounds at Lee Park.

The event started out Friday with and estimated 500 plus audience members and even with the steady rain Saturday 350 country fans turned out to watch the semi-finals. Sunday saw a reprieve with nice warm sunny weather and brought in a record-breaking crowd that filled the park.

Over 1,000 tickets on the hand made quilt where purchased with weekend to help keep the event free, along with Nipissing Country Music T-shirts, program booklet with over $3,000 in prizes that was drawn at the end of today's events. But highlight of the event was the passing of the hat Friday and Sunday to have Harley Renaud and son Chris perform the Yodel Song. Friday’s yodel brought in $446.45 and Sunday’s performance better then doubled with $1,074.66.

This year fifty-two contestants from across the province were on hand to compete for $10,000 in cash prizes.

Complete details contained in news release below.

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19th Annual Northern Ontario Open Country Singing Contest bring the Best in Ontario Contestants.

Friday's Nipissing Country Open Singing Contest .. draws about 52 competitors for this years Annual Northern Ontario Open Singing Contest.... with contestants from Ottawa, Hamilton, Sault Ste Marie, Timmins, Stratford,
Barrie, Kingston and Cochrane with many other communities in between with strong local support. In the First Round the audience, vendors and judges were entertained by many of today top 10 country songs, however a few oldies
were preformed a nice touch and a crowd pleasers.

A list of a few memorable performances where the 4 young females in the Karaoke 12 & under with Jenna Brunt (Azilda), Kaitlynn French 6 year old (Barrie), Karly Shoults (North Bay), Naomi Bristow (Beeton), Elisabeth
Johnson 82 years young (Schumacher), JP Fournier (North Bay) with When you Play A Country Song Backwards, Husband and wife from North Bay Robert Guillemette and Donna Lee Guillemette.... Where judges selected the top 10
to advance to the Semi-finals.

Saturday's Semi-finals a real nail bitter with only the top "5" being advanced in each classification and will be performing on the big stage for the finals, the 6 judges had their work cut out with high quality performances by each contestant.

Sunday's Finals the results of the Country Open .....$10,000 awarded to the following.

Female 50+
1st place - Caroline Wood (Windham Centre)
2nd place - Fleurette Drouin (North Bay)
3rd place - Diane Crowther (North Bay)
4th place - Bonnie Kemp (Delhi)
5th place - Susan Chambers (Orangeville)

Male 50+
1st place - Jim Cormier (Mississauga)
2nd place - Keith Yearwood (Delhi)
3rd place - Eddy Lee (Woodstock)
4th place - Ray Tinning (Stratford)


Female 18 & Under
1st place - Karli Purcell (Listowell)
2nd place - Kayla Bulmer (Cambridge)
3rd place - Jessica Woodhouse (Stratford)
4th place - Melissa Ravenhill (Brampton)
5th place - Julie Boucher (Timmins)

Karaoke 12 & Under (only 4 entrees)
1st place - Naomi Bristow (Beeton)
2nd place - Jenna Brunt (Azilda)
3rd place - Kaitlynn French (Barrie

4th place - Karly Shoults(North Bay)

Female Open
1st place - Chantal Thorn (Kitchener)
2nd place - Donna Lee Guillemette (North Bay)
3rd place - Stacy Bulmer (Cambridge)
4th place - Ivory Higdon (Field)
5th place - Leslie-Anne McKee (Timmins)

Male Open
1st place - Dale Griffiths (Sprucedale)
2nd place - Asim Mainville (Val Caron)
3rd place - John Fraser (Guelph)
4th place - James Betts(North Bay)
5th place - Jules-Pierre Fourier (North Bay)

First place Steven Frost last years Male Open was a Judge this year along with Bryan McConnel, Jackie Hummel, Cathy Brooks, Tom Arens and Roselle Noordyk.

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