Another big success for this year's Country Music OpenWednesday, August 07, 2013 by: Jamie LyleThe August long weekend once again saw the Country Music Open, an event showcasing fantastic local and out of town talent, take place at Lee Park.
The musical competition featured competitors from four year olds to seniors vying for the top spot in ten categories.
“It was a fantastic weekend,” says Harley Renaud, organizer of the event, who has seen 25 years’ worth of “beautiful talent” put forth on the stage.
Renaud says while weather was a factor in determining who came out for the event, all in all, it was a great weekend for the Country Music Open.
The winner of the men's singing competition was John Fraser, a five time winner who hails from Guelph, who's been coming up to North Bay to compete since the early 90's.
Fraser says even while numerous singing competitions were going on around Ontario, this one has always been his pick, with an enthusiastic turnout that really gets into the music and camaraderie of the event.
Noting that the singing competition is run with a top notch organization, as well as being a free event, creates an open and inclusive country music singing competition.
“It's THE best, because everybody gets into it,” says Fraser.
Fraser explained he always uses the old adage “When you take the stage and you're not a little bit nervous, give it up, because it's just a job.”
“This contest brings out the nerves” says Fraser, who spoke of the courage needed to step up and sing in front of that many people.
North Bay local Lori Simeone won the Top Female Country singer Category.
Simeone, who practices her singing at local karaoke bars and has entered the competition four times, says she was dumbfounded by her first win.
“I love to sing,” was Simeone's response when asked why she entered the contest.
Simeone and Frasier both brought home some very large trophies and checks for $1500.
Top Female Singer Category: Lori Simeone, Top Male Singer Category: John Fraser, Female 12 & Under: Maggie Andersen, Female 50 & Over, Gisele Small, Male 50 & Over, Marvin Harris, Female 12 & Under Karaoke Class, Amy Wilkins, Male 12 & Under, Karaoke Class: Lawson Griffiths.