Langley Has Talent heads into semi-finals

Unique talent makes it through to next round of local talent competition that highlights need for arts centre.

Alex Skelly, a Grade 5 student, shows off his yo yo tricks in the Langley Has Talent competition. He made it to the semi finals.

Alex Skelly, a Grade 5 student, shows off his yo yo tricks in the Langley Has Talent competition. He made it to the semi finals.

 

Only a lucky few have made the cut past the first round of auditions, and now the top 25 semi finalists in the Langley Has Talent contest are preparing to bring their talents to the stage on April 21 to show the community that they have what it takes to put on an amazing show.

They have a variety of different talents — singing, dancing, acrobatics, opera and even yo-yoing — but the one thing in common is their ability to entertain and perform.

“It’s making the community aware and it’s true— Langley has talent,” said Peter Luongo, chair of the Langley Has Talent committee.

Presented by the four Rotary clubs of Langley and Aldergrove, the talent show was created one year ago as an opportunity for Langley residents of all ages to perform onstage in an effort to raise awareness for the need of a performing arts centre in Langley.

According to Luongo, Langley is the only community in the Lower Mainland without a proper theatre.

“The event is doing exactly what we hoped,” Luongo said.  “It’s making people aware that we need a theatre in this community. And there is talk about it now that was non-existent before.”

Participants are vying for $2,500 cash, industry prizes and the opportunity to perform at events in Langley such as the Canada Day celebrations and the International Festival.

There were 25 fewer auditions than in the inaugural season last year, however the quality of the acts was much higher, said Luongo.

“We were extremely impressed with the overall level of talent this year,” he said.

“The hope of the committee is to attract folks who are taking their talent that they’ve developed and put it onstage because they are ready to do so.

“That said, we have a variety of levels of experience from people hoping to make careers out of their talents to one person who is performing onstage for the first time at the semi-finals.”

There was more variety of talents, no dance groups and more young performers who tried out this year in comparison to auditions last year. There were also more pop numbers sung this year, whereas last year the singing genre was dominated by country music.

Some were even return acts from the year before, hoping their talents have improved enough over the past year to take them to the top.

“All along what we’ve hoped for is a variety show. Throw back in time to the old variety programs that we would watch on a Sunday night, such as the Ed Sullivan show, which are now being replicated under the names American Idol and America’s Got Talent.

“The reason we chose the Langley has talent model rather than the idol model is because we didn’t want to have just singers. We didn’t want it to be all vocalists, we want it to showcase a variety of talents,” Luongo said.

“We want to make the community aware for the need for a theatre. And the theatre won’t be just for singers. It will be for dance groups, for entertainers and for anyone with a talent to come out and show it off onstage.

“As Rotary continues to sponsor this event on an annual basis, we are still hopeful that we will get the ventriloquists, the acrobats and the comedians because that’s all talent.”

The semi-finals are being held Saturday, April 21, 7-9:30 p.m. and finals are Saturday May 5, 7 – 9:30 p.m. live at Christian Life Assembly, 21277 56 Ave. Tickets are $20 for semi-finals, $20 for finals or $35 for both shows.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.langleyhastalent.ca or at the Langley Times office, 20258 Fraser Hwy.