Lacombe’s Got Talent had to adapt the 2020 show to adhere to COVID-19 public health guidelines. Judges are protected by plexiglass barriers. Photo courtesy Rosanna Kerekes.

Lacombe’s Got Talent had to adapt the 2020 show to adhere to COVID-19 public health guidelines. Judges are protected by plexiglass barriers. Photo courtesy Rosanna Kerekes.

Lacombe’s Got Talent back for the first time in 7 years

The talent show is now available online for viewers to watch and vote for their favouite performance

Lacombe’s Got Talent wrapped up auditions on Sunday and there was no shortage of great acts taking the stage. The event, presented by Lacombe Performing Arts Centre (LPAC), is back after its last show in 2013 and this year there will be a $500 award for the winner and $200 for the runner-up.

According to LPAC Executive Director Rosanna Kerekes, contestants vary in ages from 10 to 88 and bring a wide variety of talent.

“This year we have 17 contestants. They range from singers, freehand artists, and we even have a sign language acrobatic group,” Kerekes said.

Auditions began on Oct. 4 and were open to local Lacombe city and county residents only.

To keep within public health guidelines, acts performed in front of a maximum of 20 people from their COVID-19 cohort and a panel of three judges — who were sectioned off from the stage. All performances were recorded and are now available for viewing on the LPAC website as well as their YouTube page. This allows Lacombe residents to watch and vote on their favourite act to win the People’s Choice award.

This award is completely independent of the judge’s opinions and based on public voting only. It allows the community to be involved in the talent show even if they can’t watch it in person this year.

The judges will choose the top five acts who will continue to compete in the finale. The finale will be uploaded for online viewing the evening of Oct. 25 and the winner will be announced the same night.

“There could be five, potentially six finalists, depending on if the people’s choice is different,” Kerekes said.

If the People’s Choice is different from the judges’ top five, the performer will be allowed to come back and compete in the finale.

The show was resurrected to be a part of the Culture and Harvest Festival and the finale coincides with the last day of Canada’s Culture Days. The original plan was to find local musicians to perform virtual concerts for the festival but instead, Kerekes and her team decided to bring back the local talent show.

“Instead of doing the same thing as everybody else these days, we wanted to try and change things up and that’s where Lacombe’s Got Talent came back into play,” she said.

The performances will bring awareness to Lacombe’s art scene while also allowing LPAC to work with community members to provide entertainment for locals, Kerekes added.

Lacombe Regional Tourism is also enthusiastic about the partnership and the new addition of the online viewing option.

“We are excited to see the diverse talents of the community showcased on an online platform for everyone to enjoy and vote for their favourites,” said Angelique Hand, executive director of Lacombe Regional Tourism.

Voting for People’s Choice opens on Oct. 20 at 8 a.m. and closes on Oct. 22 at midnight. Finalists for People’s Choice as well as the top five will be announced on Oct. 23. People can vote online on the LPAC website.