'Singing Stars of Tomorrow'

'Singing Stars of Tomorrow'. National voice competition initiated, organized, and broadcast 1943-56 by the CBC, and sponsored by York Knitting Mills and, later, by Canadian Industries, Ltd.

'Singing Stars of Tomorrow'

'Singing Stars of Tomorrow'. National voice competition initiated, organized, and broadcast 1943-56 by the CBC, and sponsored by York Knitting Mills and, later, by Canadian Industries, Ltd. Each season some 46 young singers, chosen at regional auditions, were heard with an orchestra conducted by Rex Battle in national radio broadcasts on Sunday afternoons over a 23-week period. On the basis of their performances of art songs and operatic or oratorio arias, semi-finalists and finalists were heard again in three additional broadcasts, during the last of which the winners were named.

Because the contest began during World War II, only female singers participated during the first years, and awards were limited to single prizes of $1000, $500, and $250 respectively. In 1947 male singers began to compete and a grand award of $1000 went to the contestant with the highest marks, $750 went to the contestant of the other sex nearest in marks to the winner, and second awards of $500 each went to the male and female runners-up. In the case of ties for second awards between two men or two women, additional second awards were made. By 1953 the grand award had been increased to $2000, and the top award to a singer of the opposite sex had grown to $1000. The two second awards remained at $500 each, but four honourable mentions of $100 each had been added.

Among the judges over the years were A.A. Alldrick, Thomas Archer, Rex Battle, Hector Charlesworth, Jean Dufresne (Marcel Valois), Rhynd Jamieson, Bernard Naylor, and Healey Willan. John Adaskin was the producer of the broadcasts.

The following list gives the names of prize winners:

1943-4 Claire Gagnier, Trois-Rivières, Que; Evelyn Gould, Toronto; Jane Harkness, Toronto

1944-5 Evelyn Gould, Toronto; Jane Harkness, Toronto; Simone Flibotte, Montreal, and Gwendolyn Smart, Ottawa

1945-6 Simone Flibotte, Montreal; Audrey Farnell, Amherst, NS; Marie-José Forgues, Montreal

1946-7 Marie-José Forgues, Montreal; Victoria Douglas, Toronto, and Louise Roy, St Boniface, Man; Elizabeth McCaskill, Edmonton

1947-8 Gilles Lamontagne, Quebec City; Elizabeth Benson Guy, Bridgewater, NS; Ernest Adams, Vancouver; Yolande Lagrenade, Montreal

1948-9 Louise Roy, St Boniface, Man; Morley Margolis (Meredith), Winnipeg; Lois Marshall, Toronto; Ernest Adams, Vancouver

1949-50 Lois Marshall, Toronto; Abramo Carfagnini, Montreal; Doreen Hulme (Hume), Sault Ste Marie, Ont, and Andrée Lescot, Montreal; Pierre Boutet, Quebec City

1950-1 June Kowalchuk, Regina; Pierre Boutet, Quebec City; Marguerite Gignac, Windsor, Ont; Robert Savoie, Montreal

1951-2 Marguerite Gignac, Windsor, Ont; Robert Savoie, Montreal; Joan Hall, Winnipeg; John Dunbar, Victoria

1952-3 Don Garrard, Vancouver; Joan Hall, Winnipeg; James Milligan, Huntsville, Ont; Irene Salemka, Weyburn, Sask

1953-4 James Milligan, Huntsville, Ont; Gladys Kriese, Winnipeg; Norman Mittelmann, Winnipeg; Roma Butler, St John's, Nfld

1954-5 Lesia Zubrack, Prince Albert, Sask; Bernard Turgeon, Edmonton; Emilia Cundari, Windsor, Ont; Gaston Harnois, Shawinigan Falls

1955-6 Marguerite Lavergne, Montreal; James Whicher, Wiarton, Ont; Joan Maxwell, Winnipeg; (Pieter) Peter van Ginkel, Winnipeg