For four decades now, the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival has been bringing together generations of music fans for a weekend of some of the best folk and traditional tunes from here in the province and beyond. Organized by the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society (NLFAS), the festival (August 4-6) has become one of the most highly anticipated events of the summer in St. John’s, featuring not only seasoned performers of national and international acclaim, but also up and coming musicians.
Featuring song and dance, recitations, song circles and more, the festival falls in line with the NLFAS mandate to preserve and promote the province’s traditional folk arts. And by shining the spotlight on young, rising stars within the Newfoundland and Labrador folk and trad scene, they are helping ensure the music plays on for many years to come.
Over the last four years, the Statoil MusicNL Newfound Talent Contest has become an important part of the festival’s youth programming. The contest gives musicians aged 19 and under the opportunity to gain performance experience, and a shot at winning one of three professional development prize bundles (valued at over $6,000) to help them take their musical skills to the next level.
“Statoil is proud to present the Statoil MusicNL Newfound Talent Contest again this year as part of a longstanding partnership with MusicNL,” says Gisle Stjern, VP, Offshore Newfoundland for Statoil Canada.
“Young musicians in Newfoundland and Labrador demonstrate remarkable talents, and we are delighted to showcase those talents at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival.”
On August 5, the young musicians will strut their stuff for an audience and panel of judges at the TD Neil Murray Stage for youth performers. This year, to celebrate their 25th anniversary, MusicNL have partnered with Statoil to showcase the 2016 winners of the Statoil MusicNL Newfound Talent Contest. This portion will include performances by Rachel Cousins, Bailey Jordan-Neil, Bridget and Dahlia, and Paige Penney & The Old Souls on the TD Main Stage on Saturday afternoon. The first place winner of the 2017 contest will also perform on the TD Main Stage on Sunday evening, August 6.
“The Statoil MusicNL Newfound Talent Contest has been kick-starting the musical careers of young Newfoundlanders and Labradorians through expert mentorship and performance exposure for years,” says Glenda Tulk, Executive Director of MusicNL.
“It is one of our most important all-ages initiatives.”
John Drover, President of the NLFAS, says the society is thrilled to see the contest for the fourth consecutive year – something which has become one of the festival’s highlights.
“Statoil and MusicNL, the coordinators of this initiative, are integral to supporting youth programming at the festival. The contest is an amazing opportunity for emerging musicians to hone their craft and to present their work in a professional entertainment environment,” he says.
“Each year we are completely blown away with the diversity of young talent that walks onto the stage, and this year we anticipate to see great results again!”