On June 2, local youth sang their hearts out at the 11th annual Markham Idol singing competition. They would have made Simon Cowell proud.

Young singers lit up the stage as they showcased their talents at the Rouge River Community Centre. This year, over 30 acts auditioned, but only seven performers from each age category were selected to compete in the final show.

In addition to the singing competition, there were guest performances from the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Acoustic Music Club, and singers and dancers from the Unionville Youth Council (UYC).  The night, however, concluded with the naming of the 2017 Markham Idol winners.

The competition was split into two categories, with one grouped of singers aged nine to 12. In first place was Lily Hart, second place was Riley Moynes and third place was Siya Badalera.

“I was shocked when they called my name,” said first-place-winner Lily. “This is my first year doing this and singing in front of a big crowd, and it was just really fun. I really like Markham Idol.”

In the senior category were singers aged 13-16. The first runner-up was Rachel Chew and the second runner-up were partners Richard-David Sison and Alyssa Noriega. In first place was Zoe Michalos, marking this as her third consecutive Markham Idol win.

“It was a rush of adrenaline when I went up on stage to get my award,” said Zoe. “I don’t ever want to stop singing and I’d like to continue it in my future. Singing is something that I’m really passionate about and I really enjoy doing it.”

This year, the event was coordinated by council members Natasha Trehan and Abbira Nadarajah, active members of the Unionville Youth Council. The council is made up of youth who strive to improve the global community through their volunteerism at local events and hosting of social activities. With Markham Idol being one of their largest events, members have decided this year to donate all proceeds earned from the competition to support mental health research at Humber River Hospital.

With the success of the event, UYC supervisor Don Roe said, “It really is incredible how much hard work the council has put into this event. It gets better and better each year. They’re always improving.”

For information on the council’s future events visit the Unionville Youth Council Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Unionville.Youth.Council/.