In her final year of competition, 18-year-old Relan Meeks won the Singer-Songwriter award at this year’s Search for the Stars show at the EA Rawlinson Center.
It was Meeks’ second straight win for an original song. She also won in the online version last year.
“It’s an amazing feeling knowing this is my last year,” Meeks said. “Winning is an incredible feeling. I feel so accomplished.
Meeks grabbed the hand of senior winner Rebecca Strong as judges Allyson Reigh and LJ Tyson announced the winner of the competition.
“Yeah, there was a tight grip there,” she laughed.
Its other competitors in the category were alternative rock band Subpar. She said they were two very different but comparable talents.
“Subpar did really well, it was a good competition. I felt like we had an even chance to win,” Meeks said.
Meeks’ winning song was titled “Heartbreaker” and she drew heavily on her life experiences to write it.
“I was basically in a relationship and it didn’t go as planned,” she explained. “I felt a lot of emotion and I didn’t know how to feel that emotion. I decided that writing a song might be a good outlet for me to release all those feelings.
“It was super therapeutic for me to write it all down,” she added. “I played a few chords and found a great melody and thought, ‘this is going to be a really good song.'”
It was the end of an era for Meeks, who entered his seventh and final competition. She said the experience was meaningful.
“I’m so sad that I can’t do it next year,” she said.
Meeks is currently a student at the University of Saskatchewan campus in Prince Albert. She has been singing since the age of 7 and playing the piano since the age of about 10.
The featured singer-songwriter award was $1,000. “Heartbreaker” gave Meeks her second straight win, but it was actually the third song she wrote for the competition.
“People who have a dream or something they think they can’t do should do it anyway, no matter what anyone says,” she said.
Search for the Stars kicked off on Saturday, with the final show taking place on Sunday afternoon.
Unlike last year, the public was allowed inside the Rawlinson to view this year’s competition.
Canadian Tire’s Malcolm Jenkins was on stage to present the award as event sponsor.
Search for the Stars has been divided into several categories, each winning prizes.
Berkley Derenewski won Junior Star (8-10), Morgan Mihliewicz won Intermediate Star (11-14), Rebecca Strong won Senior Star (8-15) and Rijja Mansoor was the most improved star (any age group).
In addition to performing in front of the judges and the public, the candidates were also able to participate in workshops led by the judges.
Judges Reigh and Tyson were at the event in person and presented awards, while judge Jordy Balicki had to provide commentary and judge Zoom at home.