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A YACOS EXCLUSIVE
Interview with American Idol Top 20 Winner
By Paul R Thompson | An exclusive interview with power-vocalist, 16 year old, Nanaimo BC resident and 2020 American Idol Top 20 finalists, Lauren Spencer-Smith. Lauren was the first Canadian singer to break into the Top 20 and has offered to share her experiences, insights and advice with the Arts Council of Surrey and YACOS [Youth Arts Council of Surrey] on her journey across one of the world’s most important stages for young singers.
From Let’s Do It!….to Just Do IT!
WHAT MADE YOU AUDITION IN THE FIRST PLACE?
An American Idol [AI] agent reached out to me online and told me that Canadian singers could now audition. Initially, it wasn’t my plan for the year but I discussed it with my family and we agreed, “Let’s do it!”
HOW DID AN AI AGENT FIND YOU TO ASK YOU TO AUDITION?
AI agents search the internet/social media for singers and they found me on my social media platforms.
HOW IMPORTANT IS SOCIAL MEDIA TO A YOUNG PERFORMER?
Social media played a large role in my being discovered by AI. Social media platforms can play the biggest role in your career. You have no idea who is watching, so put your music out there and always post new stuff so people can discover you.
WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS DO YOU PREFER OR HAS THE MOST IMPACT?
Hard to say. It depends on what type of artist you are. Personally, I have more followers on Facebook [fb: 422k followers] but Instagram [157k followers] is my preferred choice. I am seen more on fb because I have more followers but I am heard more on Instagram.
ANY TIPS FOR YOUNG SINGERS WHO ARE THINKING OF AUDITIONING?
Song choice is the big thing! If you do a song that is overdone or not well known, it can go badly for you…so choice is important. While most of the other competitors had a month or more to select their song, I only had a matter of a few weeks. I picked a song that I felt would connect emotionally with the judges and audience.
HOW DID YOU SELECT YOUR SONG CHOICES?
AI provided a large list of songs that have been ‘cleared’ for copyrights, meaning they have permission to use on the show. Pretty much you can sing any song. If it is not on the list, AI staff will work to get it approved for the show.
WHAT WAS THE ATMOSPHERE LIKE ON SET OF AI?
My fellow contestants were tremendous and we were all very close. We were very supportive of each other. Even the AI staff was great and did what they could to make my experience a great one. Over all the experience was nothing but positive. I was very happy to see Just Sam win.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG PERFORMERS/SINGERS WHO SEEK A CAREER IN MUSIC?
You can’t just ‘want’ to be a singer, you need to really work at ‘being’ a singer. It is all about your mind-set and work ethic. If you really want it, you will go out each day to better yourself. Remember, if you want it – you can achieve it!
DO YOU HAVE ANY WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH ANY OF THE JUDGES AFTER YOU LEFT THE SHOW?
Personally, I do not have any further relationship with the judges. I don’t think many contestants do, but that would be totally up to the judges to pursue.
HAS AMERICAN IDOL CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
Yes! American idol definitely changed my life by creating more friendships and relationships personal and business. I have made many friendships with people I shall continue to work with in the music industry. The show changed my life by bringing more media attention and helping more people see me and my music!
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A CANADIAN INSPIRATION TO SO MANY YOUNG SINGERS?
I am so pleased that anyone is looking up to me because of my experience and exposure on AI. I never had the type of people in my ‘music’ circle to look up to, so I am pleased to be an inspiration to young artists here and across Canada. I encourage young performers (any performer) to just take a chance on any real opportunity that presents itself and open yourself to the journey.
Just do it ….
Catch up with Lauren at: facebook.com/LaurenSpencerSmith | instagram.com/LaurenSpencerSmith/ | Merchandise: linktr.ee/laurenspencersmith
BE LIKE LAUREN
Audition for Americal Idol 2021 Season
COV_ART: Show us what you have been doing while isolating…we are always looking for submissions so send us your art or short video ( 3-5min please) today!
by Youth Artist SANJANA KARTHIK
by Youth Artist SANJANA KARTHIK
You Could Be Where Roberta Is…The Power Is Yours To Take!
10 Year Old Canadian Takes AGT By Storm
Ontario’s 10-year-old Roberta Battaglia WOWS judges on ‘America’s Got Talent’
Adult Writing Contest
Submit your Entries until Midnight on August 12
Surrey Libraries annual Young Adult Writing Contest is here and young writers can submit once to each of four categories: short stories, poems, comics, and the random category. Entry is free, be sure to read all the contest details and rules before submitting.
Online Youth Nights
Enjoy fun-filled evenings with your friends while maintaining physical distancing. Participate in online youth nights where every week you get to try something new like skateboarding with Andy Anderson, a youth-curated art show tour, and a dance party with DJ Freshleecut. Read more to see what’s upcoming this week
YACOS 2019: A Year In Review
YACOS continues to participate in visual, performance and literary arts in our community. We are always appreciative of the continued support of the Arts Council of Surrey and their mentorship of youth aged 13-21 living and/or attending school in Surrey.
ACS Creative Showcase: On September 21 – the last date for the Cloverdale Market – , YACOS offered hands on, collaborative arts activities for the whole family. It was a great opportunity to engage with the public and let them know about the Youth Arts Council.
Artist Garage Sale:
ACOS hosted the third annual fund raiser in the Newton Cultural Centre’s theatre space for new or gently used arts-specific items. Tables were rented for $10 to vendors who could keep the monies from their sale; the rental was their donation. The other option was donating items for YACOS to sell. The event was a great success and it was decided that we continue this each year in January, with plans to hold a second event in the summer of 2020.
Write on Workshop:
2019 saw the third annual literary workshop. Generously supported by a City of Surrey Cultural Grant and the Arts Council of Surrey, four literary mentors presented sessions on different aspects of writing in this free workshop setting. Many thanks to Sylvia Taylor, Barbie Warwick and Daniel Tibbits for sharing their literary gifts with our youth! We had thirteen enthusiastic participants in 2019 for this free event.
‘Home’ Art Exhibition was featured at the ACS Gallery during the Christmas Card Art & Words exhibition at the Newton Cultural Centre in December, YACOS chose the theme ‘Home” and three youth artists brought in work pertaining to what home meant to them. There was a great turnout for this multi-disciplined exhibit and the opening reception included much support from families and friends.
Looking Ahead to 2020: YACOS is looking to add to their existing programs and plan more visits to arts facilities, such as a day trip to the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. There is also discussion of starting a local film festival.
Opportunities such as continuing auditions or Calls To Artist that have no deadline.
WHAT IS YACOS?WHAT IS YACOS?
We are the Youth Arts Council of Surrey (YACOS)! We are a volunteer arts group run by youth for youth, and it’s our goal to create opportunities for young people in the arts. We provide these opportunities throughout the year through large-scale events such as talents shows, play-writing competitions, film festivals and fashion shows.
All of our members and participants are 13-21 years old, and either live or go to school in school in Surrey, BC. The Arts Council of Surrey (ACS) is our parent organization who provides us with a safe meeting space at the Newton Cultural Centre. The ACS provides us with a mentorship program and services to support our artistic endeavours.
We work on many annual projects such as a playwriting competition [Write On!], City-wide talent show [Surrey Shines!] a talent showcase [Canvas Coffee House], and a fashion show [Y.E.S. Runway]
By working on the youth council, we have the chance to discover who we are, to meet people from other backgrounds and to learn exciting new skills. At the same time, the events we organize are the perfect opportunities for Surrey youth to show off their talents to the community.
YACOS is currently working to provide opportunities for young people to become actively involved in the local Surrey Arts community. Our Youth Coordinator, an experienced Mentor from the Arts community, works with us to develop programs by and for youth. In 2004 the major community theatre project “Let Me Sing” raised enough money to help get us started.
The way we work is: Surrey’s youth provide the ideas and proposals, and then we get together with mentors in the community to make it all work.
OUR EXECUTIVE & MEMBERS:
Shubi, Vice Chair
MEMBERS: Wendy, Himadri, Fareed, Bakhtiar, Min Jy, Linda, Gurmehak, Tina, Pam, Simmie and Maro
Click button to access
PRINTABLE PDF MEMBERSHIP FORM
We welcome all questions you may have about the many benefits of becoming a YACOS member. Please call us at 604-594-2700 or email us at email@example.com.
Please fill out form and send to:
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Mail: 13530 72nd Avenue, Surrey, BC, V3W 2P1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/youth arts council of surrey
When the Arts Council of Surrey established YACOS they knew that ‘experience is a great teacher’ when it comes to the Arts and the business of the Arts. To this end, the ACS set up a Mentorship program that young artists can tap into when creating work or producing events and fund raisers. Today YACOS enjoys an incredible synergy with a number of leaders in the business, municipal and arts communities.
Petra Barker [Guildford Town Centre]
Beth Barlow [Chief Librarian, City of Surrey]
Catherine Bayley [School District #36]
Glen Chua and Tim Reyes [MOONLiTE Productions]
KC Gilroy [Former Coordinator]
Barb Gould [Writer]
Jarnail Singh [Artist]
Chris Thornley [Thornley Hayne Creative Communications]
Barb Wolfe [Surrey Arts Centre]
‘YACOS PAST MEMBER’ MENTORS
Paula Cooper,Kiran Dhillon, Trisha Dulku, Jaspreet Kalsi, Gurinder Kalsi, Winnie Liu, Lynn Vo, Isuru Withanage, Tina Yang and Tony Yang