Quest for the Best returns to the stage Friday

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

Back by ever popular demand, the annual Quest for the Best singing competition will be hitting the stage under the big tent for the 2023 Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship (FFCBC).

Scheduled for Friday, July 21, 2023, the event will once more see 20 local performers take to the stage to sing their hearts out in hopes of taking home the grand prize.

This year’s Quest is once again being put on by the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce, and Chamber executive director Heather Johnson said that this year’s show will be another thrilling night for participants and audience alike among a jam-packed entertainment schedule for the FFCBC.

“Quest this year is Friday, July 21, under the big tent down at the Sorting Gap Marina,” she said.

“We are completely full with 20 performers, we do have three on the waitlist as well, so a really good response this year from people wanting to perform. We have a really good balance of performers coming back and some new ones that haven’t been there before. So it’s going to be great.”

Jaykob Ryll, left, and Adrian Indian sing Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” during Quest for the Best’s “Battle Song” on Friday, July 22, 2022. While Ryll was crowned the winner during last year’s competition, both he and Indian delivered thrilling performances of the classic song. – Ken Kellar photo

As has been the case for the past several years of Quest, the night’s performers will be split into two acts of 10 performers each, with several prizes to be awarded for each half before the top performer from each act face off in a final showdown song for the top prize. Each performer has been preparing their chosen song and the unannounced “Battle Song” with The Faculty, the long-time band for Quest for the Best. 93.1 The Border’s Jonathan Price will be the MC for the night and Jaykob Ryll, last year’s Quest winner, will also be a special guest performer for this year’s show. Johnson said part of the appeal of Quest, both in putting the event on and attending as an audience member, is the quality of talent that Fort Frances has.

“It’s just amazing to see the talent that we have in a small community when they’re allowed to, or able to get out there and show their stuff.” she said.

“I think it’s great that people get to exercise that artistic side of themselves.”

Johnson also noted The Window & Door Store have come on as major sponsors for the night, which means there will be a few surprises in store for the event, and she was quick to note people will have to show up for the event to see what those surprises will be.

“[The Window & Door Store] have been helping out immensely,” Johnson said.

“And so you’re going to see some different things at Quest this year. It’ll be really good and just give the audience a little bit more to do and things to see.”

Ticket sales have been strong, with most of the VIP tickets sold by the end of last week, though there is still plenty of room under the big tent for those who want to head down to the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship to take in some local talent this week. Johnson said the night promises to be a highlight of the tournament, as it has in the past, with something on offer for everyone.

“It’s going to be great,” she said.

“We have more decorations. We have more pizzazz, flair, music. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The 2023 Quest for the Best competition kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday under the big tent at the Sorting Gap Marina.