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Young and talented

Amy-04 thumb.jpgThis week we've got the talented young country singer Amy Nelson, plus, as an encouragement and reminder to those thinking of entering this year's Youth Write for Radio--we've got last year's winners. And an Arts Spot!

About Amy Nelson

Amy Nelson is not your average high school music teacher!



This rising star in the Canadian music scene doesn't have a lot of time to spend in the classroom these days due to her busy schedule of songwriting, recording and performing. Well, other than substitute teaching, providing private lessons, and starting four singing groups for young people!!!

Amy didn't touch a guitar until she was 19, didn't write a song until she was 20 and had never played with a band until she was 21. But music was always a large part of Amy's life. As a young girl, she enjoyed piano and voice lessons, sang in school productions and performed with a musical theatre group.

After Amy earned a degree in Music Education at the University of Regina, she went on a trip with her band members to Australia. Upon returning to Canada, the Canadian Country Music Awards was taking place in her hometown of Regina. She attended a songwriter café at this event, and immediately knew that country music was exactly what she wanted to pursue!

Amy spent the next year training with a vocal coach in Edmonton, developing her brand, applying for funding and booking and performing shows. All this hard work paid off as Amy was quickly welcomed into the Saskatchewan music industry and nominated for "Female Vocalist of the Year" and "All Star Band - Keys" awards at the 2009 Saskatchewan Country Music Awards.

Funding from SaskMusic assisted in creating Amy's self-titled debut CD, released in April 2009. Produced by Brad Prosko of B-rad Studio, the songs feature talented musicians such as Murray Pulver (Doc Walker), Travis Switzer (Deric Ruttan), and Jayson Brinkworth (Aaron Pritchett).

Since then, her performance highlights have included playing shows in Mazatlan, Mexico and opening for top Canadian artists such as Terri Clark, Aaron Pritchett, Deric Ruttan and George Canyon. She also performed at the Canada Day Celebrations at Trafalgar Square in London, England.

Amy has had many achievements in the short time she has been building a career in the music industry. She was recognized in the industry with multiple nominations at the 2010 and 2011 Saskatchewan Country Music Awards. She even established her own booking agency, Fialova Entertainment, to book her shows.

Amy spent the past year writing and recording with her mentor and producer, Jesse Farrell. In early 2012, Amy started releasing this new original material to national commercial radio.



Youth-Write 2012:


March 19, 2012

is the next deadline for the CBC Youth Write for Radio Competition

and the category this year is Short Story.

Any subject, 1000 words or less.

The prize is over $700 in writer's fees, a full professional production and broadcast of your work on SoundXchange.

Entrants must be age Saskatchewan residents, age 12 to 18, not yet in post-secondary school.

The winners will receive not only Writer's Guild of Canada fee - $700.00

and a produced version of their story broadcast on CBC Radio in Saskatchewan


Support materials for teachers re: short story writing for radio (unit plan and sound samples) are available on request.

To submit your work or for FMI contact CBC Youth Write producer Kelley Jo Burke.

Or post your entry to:


c/o Kelley Jo Burke, CBC Regin

Box 540

Regina, Saskatchewan

S4P 4A1



About our featured Youth-Write Winner from 2011:

Elliece Ramsey of Regina for her poem "Summer Sounds"


Kiera Mitchell of Lumsden for her poem "Cold"


CBC Radio's Youth-Write for Radio competition in 2011 was another grand success. Last year the genre was POETRY and students from across the province sent in their poems. 259 poems were received from 116 students aged 12 to 18 years and attending secondary school in Saskatchewan. From Pinehouse Lake to Humboldt, Young to MacNutt, students from all walks of life wrote poems about a wide variety of topics: summer, winter, a father's chair and of course, love won and lost.


Our judges were Saskatchewan poets Taylor Leedhal and Tracy Hamon. Here are the judges comments on the top four poems:


"Summer Sounds" by Elliece Ramsey

Tracy: With a mature and deft style, this poem uses the sounds and imagery of summer to take the reader on a walk down the road. The delightful attention to detail from "skirts with flicking hems" to "kiss-me-cool lip gloss" grabs the reader's attention and hikes you along from beginning to end.

Taylor: "Summer Sounds" is a pleasing decrescendo from throngs of young women in popular summer fashions, like the beaded skirts that "leave red marks on ... legs," to a watchful girl who wears "materials that sweat" and retches at the sight and sound of welcomed catcalls from car windows. From the "inside" to the "out," this piece nimbly switches its attitude.

"Cold" by Kiera Mitchell

Tracy: While the "cold" in this poem is shown through harsh images such as the "cruel/glare of nature" and how the cold is "relative," images of winter combined with a sharp attention to form, with the words hanging down along the page much like an icicle that hangs from any structure, provide the reader with an engaging and imaginative read.

Taylor: "Cold" is a clever poem that captures some of the complexities of subjectivity -- individual sensation and economic status enter this response to a Saskatchewan winter. This kind of thinking is refreshing to see in the work of a young writer.

Honourable mentions went to Graham Coulter of Saskatoon and Jessica Zaryski of Regina. .

"Father's Chair" - Graham Coulter

Tracy: An innovative and imaginative poem that looks at the world of aging, disease, and death with a slightly abstract, yet compelling approach. If "[d]inner cannot save a man lost at sea" then I'm not sure any of us will recover from the sensation of reading this haunting poem!

Taylor: The uncanny imagery is exceptional in "Father's Chair." The "weary son of a bitch/with an uneven moustache" surprises us when he hides in a drawer with a game of "sudoku and half a pack of cigarettes;" and the lonely abandon of retirement-home living is deliriously evoked in the "lingering laminate floors."

"Sherwood" - Jessica Zaryski

Tracy: The facets of the beach, such as "pebbles and rocks" and "prickly grass" along with the fact that the swimming spot was more "of a slough/[t]han a spa" work to recreate a snapshot of time in this undemanding and agreeable poem.

Taylor: "Sherwood" is a poem ripe with sensory detail; the sounds of squirrels running across a trailer top,the "stabbing and stinging" of prickly grass, and the ill-fated event of sunscreen up the nose succeed in bringing back those "short and sharp" trips when "fire friends" are made for just a night.

ShellbrookePhotos Glassman015.jpgAnd just to show you don't have to under 30 to make it to our airwaves--we've got an Arts Spot feature with glassblower Ron Anderson of Shellbrook.

Ron is only one of four glass blowing artist in Saskatchewan.  He works not only with blown but fused glass design.  Ron is a student of glassblowing, who has built most of own his hot-shop equipment and is currently working to further master the craft of glassblowing.
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