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Promoter helps launch local talent

Local music promoter George Thorne sending three of his signed artists, including AKINA Slusan (pictured), to Nashville, Tenn., for a singer-songwriter workshop. Photo Submitted/For Rocky View Publishing

A sign at the June 23 My Time to Shine singer-songwriter competition held at Tap & Vine read ‘Making Dreams Happen’ – and that’s what local promoter George Thorne has set out to do. Earlier this year, Thorne launched My Time Promotions in an effort to help local artists reach new audiences.

“It’s a shame that these undiscovered artists don’t get a chance to do their job – to get out there and get noticed,” he said. “There’s so much talent out there that doesn’t have an opportunity to do so, and I decided I’m going to try to change that, if I can get the people behind me.”

Thorne said My Time is funded through sponsorships and various partnerships to promote artists free of charge.

“It’s not about the money. I’m not in it for the money, I’m just in it for the artist,” he said.

Many promotion companies, Thorne said, have artists pay registration fees and percentages of expenses, such as costs for posters and advertising, but his company does not.

“It’s just the satisfaction for me to watch the families of these young artists, and watch the look and the smile on their faces when they’re actually seeing their son or daughter performing on stage for the public for the first time,” Thorne said.

The My Time to Shine competition saw artists win cash prizes and studio time. The top 3 winners – AKINA Slusan, Miles Tornberg and Jiane Choo, respectively – won the opportunity to record their songs with sessions courtesy of House of Boom in Calgary.

Artists Joannie Bouchard and Gabe Morris were surprised at the event with an all-paid trip to a singer-songwriter workshop in Nashville, Tenn. Thorne said the two have been with My Time since the beginning.

“It’s just for me to say, ‘I appreciate you hanging in there. You guys put in the work and this is how I want to reward you.’ And they were shocked,” he said.

He later announced he would be sending Slusan to the workshop, as well.

Thorne said he doesn’t do this for the attention – he just enjoys discovering new talent, watching these artists grow and seeing the reaction from the audience when the musicians perform. He said that makes all the effort worth it.

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