Barkerville Cowboy and Drover Jubilee a great success

Newlywed Prince George teacher a new northern star at Barkerville event

Capturing the cattle drive culture

Eight would-be country superstars battled it out at Barkerville’s House Hotel Saloon Sept. 8, in the preliminary rounds of the 2nd annual Northern Star Amateur Singing Competition that took place during Barkerville’s 2012 Cowboy and Drover Jubilee.

Four finalists emerged from a spectacular talent pool to compete at the Methodist Church stage later that afternoon, in front of a panel of “celebrity” judges including professional cowboy troubadour Allen Christie and 2011 Northern Star winner Terry Wozney.

The quartet of qualifiers, made up of Sechelt resident Ron LeClerc as well as Prince George locals Judy Wong, Peter Dumoulon and 2011 Northern Star runner-up Lloyd Elson, were a combined vocal force to be reckoned with. In the end, however, there could be only one and this year the “one” was Judy Wong.

“My friends signed me up for the competition without telling me,” Wong, who was celebrating her two week wedding anniversary with a weekend trip to Barkerville, admitted.

“I am so glad they did; I can’t believe I actually won!”

Wong, a public school teacher from Prince George, brought tears to the eyes of the audience’s toughest cowboys with her a cappella rendition of “Amazing Grace,” which the judges agreed was a perfect choice for the acoustically-outstanding Methodist Church.

“Honestly, I think you have the most beautiful singing voice I have ever had the privilege of being this close to,” Terry Wozney, Barkerville’s 2011 Northern Star winner, said.

“Thank you so much for sharing it with us here today.”

As part of her first place prize package, Wong won $100 cash, one night’s accommodation for two at one of Barkerville’s elegant bed and breakfasts (The King House, Kelly House, or St. George Hotel), two adult heritage package admissions for Barkerville’s 2013 season (which include admission to Barkerville, tickets to the Theatre Royal, a souvenir Theatre Royal program, stagecoach rides and gold panning lessons) and four hours of professional recording time courtesy of Vinyl Deck Studios, Prince George. She was also invited to sit at the judge’s table for next year’s Northern Star event.

The 2nd annual Northern Star amateur singing competition was made possible by Radio Sponsor 97fm The Wolf (Prince George), as well as 2012 Cowboy and Drover Jubilee community supporters Barkerville Gold Mines Limited and Sandman Hotels (Quesnel).

For more information about the Northern Star competition, Barkerville’s Cowboy and Drover Jubilee, or any of Barkerville’s 150th anniversary events, visit www.barkerville.ca/special_events.htm.

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