A 21-year-old with only one live show under his belt will play Folk on the Rocks’ main stage this summer after winning a Yellowknife talent show.
Northwyne Remigio, who was born and raised in the city, took the top prize at the festival’s Main Stage Showdown contest at Top Knight on Saturday.
The show served as a fundraiser for Folk on the Rocks’ bid to renovate its main stage, built more than two decades ago.
With a Jack Johnson-esque acoustic performance, Remigio fended off competition from five other acts – including a magician, a juggler, and The Housemen, a band comprising three Yellowknife stay-at-home dads.
Remigio’s prize includes both a slot on the main stage at this year’s festival and $500 in cash.
“$500 is a lot of money for a student like me,” he told Cabin Radio. (Full disclosure: the author was one of four judges evaluating the six acts.)
“I wanted to get a feel for performing on-stage. I’m kind-of new to it, I’ve only performed once,” he said.
“I’ll have the opportunity to perform for hundreds of people at Folk on the Rocks now, and that’s a dream come true.
“This is giving me more drive to pursue music. I was always on the fence, but now I want to do it more seriously, maybe do more events, and who knows? I could be famous one day.”
The Housemen and magician Matthew Curtis shared an audience-choice award for the most likable act of the night.
Meanwhile, Folk on the Rocks announced its lineup for the annual Warm the Rocks Friday night festival opener at the Folk site near the city’s airport.
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, a band featuring members with Asian-Canadian and Indigenous heritage, will play Warm the Rocks alongside local favourites and Tim Hortons-esque apostrophe eschewers Welders Daughter.
“Within the exploration of their various sounds, the group demonstrates how humanity continues to succumb to its worst impulses: madness, hubris and greed,” said festival organizers of Yamantaka // Sonic Titan in a news release.