Rockin’ River Talent Search winner competed at Abbotsford venue

Kylene Shannon among nine singers from across B.C. who vied for top prize

Kylene Shannon

Kylene Shannon

A finalist selected from an Abbotsford venue has been named the winner of the first Road to Rockin’ River Talent Search.

Kylene Shannon of Maple Ridge was among nine singers selected over eight weeks of competition to compete in the finals, held July 28 and 29 during the Rockin’ River country music festival in Merritt.

She was announced as the winner, and her prize was to open for CMT Artist of the Year Sam Hunt on July 30. Shannon will also get to record a song in a local studio.

Rockin’ River president and founder Kenny Hess said the competition was tough.

“It was tremendous. We were shocked. We had a brutal time trying to pick a winner,” he said.

Hess said several of the finalists have been invited to perform at a special artists’ showcase at next year’s festival, running Aug. 3 to 6.

The talent search began in April at eight venues, including Finnegan’s Pub in Abbotsford.

Each week, an average of eight contestants competed at each venue, with a winner being selected by a panel of judges. The weekly winners from each venue then competed in the finals for that location, with one singer from each club selected to advance to Merritt for the overall final competition.

This resulted in eight finalists, with an additional wild card contestant selected by the judges.

Shannon was the wild card pick. She and another finalist – Camryn Scott of Mission – had both competed at Finnegan’s Pub.

The seven other finalists and the venues where they competed were :

– Derek Pitts from Vancouver, Roosters Cabaret in Pitt Meadows:

– Niki Watson from Coldstream, Off the Beat Lounge in Salmon Arm;

– Joel West from Burns Lake, Treasure Cove Casino in Prince George;

– Louie Bigras from Penticton, The Barley Mill in Penticton;

– Teigen Gayse from Kelowna, OK Corral in Kelowna;

– Tammylynn Filgate from 100 Mile House, Rockin’ Firken Pub in Kamloops; and

– Chelsea Charlton from Aldergrove, ANAVETS Legion Pub in Chilliwack.