Fundraiser planned to support local singer

Kayla Lauzon’s dreams of becoming a country singer are taking her to Nashville, Tenn. next month—and her home town of Barwick is helping her get there.
The 12-year-old singing sensation will be attending the “Talent Symposium” in Nashville with hopes of impressing one of the talent scouts in the audience.
“I’ll be performing in front of producers and publishers, and record executives and talent scouts,” she enthused Friday.
To help pay for the trip and other competitions she might attend in the near future, volunteers are holding a fundraiser supper and concert this Saturday at the Barwick Hall.
Dubbed “A Night at the Bashville Opry,” the event will include a buffet meal and then an evening of entertainment.
“People [are asked to] dress up like their favourite star,” Lauzon remarked.
Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children aged seven to 12, with those six and under free.
Tickets are available at Northwoods Gallery and Gifts and Sight and Sound in Fort Frances, Dalseg’s Food Town in Nestor Falls, Tompkins Hardware and the Corner Closet in Emo, and the Roseberry Runway in Barwick.
Lauzon, who will perform in Nashville—and elsewhere—under the stage name “Kayla Mae,” began her singing career when she was asked to sing at her uncle’s wedding.
Her mom, Kim, said she can’t remember when her daughter didn’t sing.
“She’s been singing all her life around the house but we didn’t know she could sing in public,” she said. “It seems like the more lights and crowd, the better she does.”
“I like to sing because it feels like it’s coming out of me and I don’t have to try,” the youngster added.
The budding songstress also has garnered a number of awards, including runner-up at “Countryfest” in Manitoba, and has appeared at local events such as the “Relay for Life” last month.
She will take the next step Aug. 24 by performing three songs at the “Talent Symposium,” including one written by her manager, Gene Andrusco, called “The Little Girl.”
“I heard her sing in church one Sunday and I thought she had a lot of talent,” Andrusco said Monday. “When I heard her sing some more, I thought she had great potential for the future.”
Andrusco said he was impressed by the range of her two-octave voice.
“The power behind the voice. I was caught by how much power she has,” he remarked.
At the show in Nashville, Andrusco said Lauzon has the opportunity to impress the artist and repertoire agents who act as representatives of major record labels.
“If an A and R likes Kayla, she could be signed to a record contract immediately,” he noted.
But Lauzon said she isn’t focusing too much on record contracts or talent agents.
“I feel like I am going to do a good job,” she said. “I’m really excited to go and if I don’t take it, then we will go to other places.”