Alberta bands given a chance to shine
Peak Performance Project challenges local music hopefuls
For the first time, The Peak Performance Project, a $4.9 million-dollar competition in which 12 artists compete for $100,000, has branched out from British Columbia and has started up in Calgary.
Hosted by The Peak 95.3, Calgary’s newest alternative rock radio station, the project is a one-of-a-kind competition made up of multiple sections including: a boot camp (a full week of musical instruction and recording), local performances and different showcases.
“We realized that pretty much every band we look up to in the indie, folk-rock scene from B.C. has come through this program,” explains Trevor Mann, competitor and lead vocalist of Scenic Route to Alaska.
His band, along with The Royal Foundry and SAVK, performed on Sept. 25 at The Republik nightclub as part of the project. These showcases, running from late September through October, are judged by a group of music industry professionals. Their verdicts, combined with the score of other challenges and public voting, will determine the top three bands. The winner will be chosen from those three and awarded the $100,000.
“Because we’re such a new band, touring is something we have very little experience in. So being able to fortify an entire tour would just be awesome. There are so many things I’d love to do if we won,” explains Bethany Salte of The Royal Foundry.
“Another cool thing about this is that it’s not just like, blow it on whatever you want. They have strict guidelines as to what you can use the money for.”
This, among many other rules and guidelines is The Peak’s way of ensuring that this is not only a competition, but a way for musicians to grow.
When asked what the highlight of the project has been so far, most said it was the boot camp.
“Just being able to connect with bands at boot camp and talk tours with other bands who have been around so much longer than we have has been great.” says Salte, “It’s really sweet the kinds of lasting connections we were able to make there.”
According to Scenic Route to Alaska, “It was like Hogwarts, for music.” The boot camp was a major part of this project, mainly because it inspired so much growth and will help determine the winner, once the last six bands perform at their showcases.
The next two Peak Performance showcases will be at The Republik on Oct. 9 and Oct. 16. Judging from the performances of SAVK, Scenic Route to Alaska and The Royal Foundry, competition for the prize will be fierce.