Meg Contini, the 2010 Stampede Talent Search winner, will compete in this year's Canadian Youth Talent Competition

Every summer during the 10 days of Stampede, the Calgary Stampede hosts the Stampede Talent Search. Its purpose is to discover, develop, encourage and showcase young amateur entertainers throughout Southern Alberta. Paul Brandt, Heather Liscano, and many other entertainers from Calgary and the surrounding area have competed or debuted at this competition.

The Stampede Talent Search is a part of a bigger network of talent searches across the country at the local level, and they all culminate into the Canadian Youth Talent Competition (CYTC) being hosted tonight in the Boyce Theatre at Stampede Park.

The CYTC consists of amateur entertainers aged 13 – 21 who have progressed through competitions held at the local and provincial levels, and represent 13 different zones from all across Canada. Paul Brandt, Michael Bublé, Blake McGrath, various Canadian Idol participants, and many other successful Canadian entertainment professionals began their careers or have had national exposure after participating in this competition.

Last year’s 2009 Stampede Talent Search winner, Calum Graham from High River, won the national title last year as well by competing in the CYTC when it was held in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

This year, 2010 Stampede Talent Search winner Meg Contini hopes to do the same as Calum with her jazz-inspired vocals, and this time in her own backyard.

Here’s a clip of Meg shortly after she won the 2010 Stampede Talent Search courtesy of our Roving Reporter:

Last year’s winner Calum Graham will make a guest performance at this year’s CYTC, and a special panel of judges including Emmy-winning composer Dave Pierce and Alberta Ballet’s Jean Grand-Maître will be on-hand to cast their ballots for Canada’s next big star.

So come down and check out the Canadian Youth Talent Competition and cheer on our very own Meg Contini as she takes on the best-of-the-best that the rest of Canada has to offer! Tickets for the competition cost $25 and are limited. They can be had by calling the Stampede Ticket Office at 1.800.661.1767 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The competition starts at 7 p.m.

If you can’t make it down tonight, don’t worry as the competition will be broadcast on television as well! If you’re in the Calgary area, Shaw TV will be broadcasting the competition tonight at 9:30 p.m. and will re-broadcast the competition nationally on Sunday, November 28 at 5 p.m. MST. So make sure to tune in and see who will walk away as the national champion.

And to further whet your appetite, here’s a clip of Meg performing How High the Moon at the 2009 edition of the Stampede Talent Search where she placed as First Runner Up:

For more information, see here.