Southland entertainment's gala night

GWYNETH HYNDMAN
Last updated 12:51 22/02/2013

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It's an event that rocked Invercargill in 1967, was revived in the late 80s and expanded to the Civic Theatre in 2008, but the core of the Westpac Southland Entertainment Awards on March 20 still has the same solid goal: To recognise the music that is putting the region on the map.

Tokanui girl Annah Mac will be headlining the event, which will feature performances by Rhythmonyx, 2011 Kelvin Hotel Entertainer of the Year Saelyn Guyton, the ILT City of Invercargill Pipe Band, MC Nick Tansley, the Invercargill Musical Theatre, and the Ascot Park Hotel Brass Band, among other talent.

Co-ordinator Chris Chilton said it was an event that was growing every year in numbers and variety - this year there were about 80 entertainers involved.

Although the modern awards show had started at the Southland Musicians Club, the event had branched out, refocused and changed its image, he said, with a style that was similar to the New Zealand Music Awards.

Last year about 300 to 400 people had attended the awards. This year he expected the theatre to be even more packed with an audience keen to vote for the entertainer of the year.

As well, awards in 22 other categories will be made, including album of the year, chosen by APRA, and the Frank Prattley Award for most promising act.

After the five entertainer of the year finalists perform during the first half of the show, the audience vote will be counted at intermission, and this will count towards 40 per cent of the overall vote. (One year the vote was so close there were three recounts backstage, Chilton said).

Sixty per cent of the vote comes from the celebrity judging panel of Craig Scott, Dave Kennedy and Dr Jason Thornton, who interview the finalists earlier in the day.

While the night might be nerve- racking for nominated musicians, the award show was pure entertainment for the audience, Chilton said.

Besides the usual followers of Southland bands and variety shows, corporate and community funding support made the awards a big night out for a wider range of people. "The support we get is really amazing - it's how we are able to do this."

NOMINEES

Westpac Southland Entertainment Awards 2013 nominees:

Kelvin Hotel Entertainer of the Year: Liv McBride, Rob Carson, Alice Fraser, Campbell McKellar, Steven Russell.

Tillermans Music Lounge Band of the Year: Rythmonyx, Soul Manor, Phoney Dog, The East.

Vocalist of the Year: Jahmaine Cummings, Jack Fraser, Jono Leask.

Keyboards Player of the Year: Ben Willmot, Daniel Monteath, Hertog Burger.

Guitarist of the Year: Simon Thompson, Harry Mahia, Ross Ogilvy

Drummer of the Year: Dale Hodges, William Powell, Richard Hogan.

Bass Player of the Year: Mike Smith, Geoff Peterson, Rhys White.

Frank Prattley Award for most promising act: Dust, Michelle Beck, Formed on Wednesday.

APRA Album of the Year:

Osmium: The Misery Harvest

Trevor Daley MusicWorks Southland Soundquest

(2 albums)

Katrina Bristow: Home

The Heartleys: Talk to Me

Raveneye: Paradox. Trophies will also be awarded by:

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Invercargill Musical Theatre

Ascot Park Hotel Brass Band

Southland Piping and Drumming Trust.

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BE THERE

The Southland Entertainment Awards will be held at the Civic Theatre in Invercargill on Wednesday, March 20, at 7.30pm.

Tickets are $20; senior citizens and students are $15; children under 12 are free. Tickets available from Ticket Direct and the ICC Booking office on 03 211 1692.

- The Southland Times

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