Alberta teen wins Walk of Fame song contest
Canada's Walk of Fame has named Calum Graham of High River, Alta., the winner of its Song For Canada competition.
The 19-year-old beat out over 600 hopefuls to secure a $25,000 prize as well as $10,000 worth of studio recording time. He will also be collaborating with acclaimed Canadian musical artists Chantal Kreviazuk, Stephan Moccio, and Raine Maida, lead vocalist for Our Lady Peace.
"I WON THE SONG FOR CANADA COMPETITION!! NO WAY!!!!!! I am extremely humbled and very, very proud to be Canadian," Graham tweeted on Thursday.
The nationwide competition called for lyrical prose that captured the Canadian spirit, and Graham responded with a vision of an inclusive and diverse nation.
"No matter who you are, what you do, or where you’re from — everyone is someone," writes Graham in the refrain that won the judges’ hearts.
Graham’s song pays tribute to everyone from the "the busker who plays his heart out on the corner of the street" to "the old, retired veteran who pauses for a moment of silence." His depiction of Canada includes a throat singer in Nunavut, a fisherman in the Maritimes, a trucker on the highway and a child who speaks out against racism and violence.
No matter who you are, what you do, or where you're from -- everyone is someone.
The teen began playing guitar when he was 13-years-old, and is no stranger to recognition. He won the Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Championship in 2010, as well as the Calgary Stampede Talent Search and the Canadian Youth Talent competition, both in 2009.
Composer Stephan Moccio, who has written songs for stars like Céline Dion and Josh Groban, will incorporate at least one line from Graham’s submission into an original score. The new song will be unveiled at the 2011 Canada’s Walk of Fame award show in October.
"His poem celebrates the cultural mosaic that is Canada," Moccio said in a statement. "He has captured the diversity of this country — something that we as a nation are renowned for and proud of."
Graham was not the only young talent at the top of the song-writing competition. The runner-up, Catherine Brenan of Oakville, Ont., is only 10-years-old. She and the third place winner, Vince Dixon of Sydney, N.S., will be awarded $25,000 and $1,000 respectively.