One of the country's biggest country music festivals is giving small towns across Alberta the chance to host a big party
 
Big Valley Jamboree has brought back their 2017 Small Town Saturday Night contest. 
 
"What it really is a thank you to the rural communities that have supported the Big Valley Jamboree over the last 25 years. What we want to do for them is essentially provide a once in a lifetime concert experience for one of these communities that might not have a chance to experience a concert like this," outlined Chris Melnychuk, Director of Festival Operations and Marketing for Big Valley Jamboree. 
 
Voting has only been open for six days so far and there has been over 30,000 votes cast in this contest.
 
A few local communities that are part of this contest are Delia, Strathmore, Stettler and Didsbury. 
 
"There were about 200 eligible communities within Alberta and as of right now, I believe there is about 30 in the running for first round of voting to go to the top 10," mentioned Melnychuk. 
 
This contest has been made quite simple for the communities to enter as Melnychuk reported. 
 
"All they need to do is fill out a form indicating where the show would happen and indicate where any funds raised would go towards including the beneficiary. They send in the forms and we then enter their community into the online voting," stated Melnychuk. 
 
"All they need to vote is a valid email address and you can vote once per day leading up for February 15. At that point we'll select the top 10 communities and the contest takes a bit of a pause at that point. Then we'll deploy 10 video teams to the top communities to shoot a small story about them and why the contest should come there, where the funds are going, meet some people and to showcase the community."
 
The Small Town Saturday Night contest has been held twice previously. 
 
"We did it back in 2012 for our 20th anniversary and the community of Legal, Alberta was the winner of that contest; community of 1,200 people. I believe they raised approximately $93,000 dollars in the evening, which they used the funds to build a new playground in the community," Melnychuk explained. 
 
"Then we did it one year after that and the community of Bashaw won that won; they have approximately 800 people. I think they raised in the neighbourhood of $70,000 for their arts infusion program. We brought it back for our 25th anniversary and hopefully we have a similar story."
 
Country music legend Gord Bamford has graciously decided to be part of the contest and will be the headlining artist for April 29. 
 
If you're interested in knowing more about the Big Valley Jamboree and how to vote, go to bigvalleyjamboree.com for more information. 
 
 
 Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]
 

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