Small Town Saturday Night back for Year 2

Alberta has partnered with Big Valley Jamboree for a second year offering communities a chance to win a daylong country music celebration

Alberta has partnered with Big Valley Jamboree for a second year to celebrate Alberta’s rural stories by offering communities a chance to win a daylong country music celebration April 27 in their hometown.

The contest is called Small Town Saturday Night. Stettler was a top-10 finalist last year, while nearby Bashaw placed fourth in that inaugural competition.

The grand prize this year includes a concert headlined by Canadian country music artist Chad Brownlee and a songwriters’ circle hosted by Alberta’s own Clayton Bellamy and featuring Alee, Bobby Wills and Tenille.

Big Valley’s master of ceremonies, Danny Hooper, will emcee the event. Along with the excitement that comes with hosting “this once-in-a-lifetime concert experience,” the winning community can use the event as a fundraiser to support a local charity or municipal initiative of their choice, organizers said in a news release. The 2012 event resulted in the Town of Legal raising $93,000 for The Friends of Legal School Society to build a new playground for the community.

“Our rural towns are filled with the spirit of hospitality and co-operation — welcoming places where neighbours help each other get the job done,” said Christine Cusanelli, the minister of Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation.

“We’re asking for communities to come together once again to show off their talent and creativity for the chance to host the 2013 Small Town Saturday Night celebration. After the tremendous response from across Alberta last year, I’m excited to see how communities pull out all the stops to share their hometown pride with the rest of our province.”

Entering the contest is considered a straightforward process:

— Choose a venue within the community where the event will be hosted. — Connect with a group of passionate people from your community.

— Create a two-minute video showcasing what makes your community a great place to visit.

— Upload your video to YouTube and submit your official entry form.

— Invite friends, neighbours and an entire community to vote for your video online.

— The deadline for entries is Feb. 28. A panel of experts will narrow down the eligible entries, choosing the top-10 submissions based on their depiction of community spirit and involvement, passion for local tourism experiences and events, local characters and creativity.

The top 10 will be announced to the public March 5. That will be followed by a public vote for the grand-prize winner, ending March 25. The winning community will be announced March 28, and the grandprize concert will take place April 27. More than 200 communities in Alberta qualify for the contest, which is open to communities of 20,000 people or less. For rules and regulations and to download the info package and entry form, visit bigvalleyjamboree. com/STSN.