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YEAR IN REVIEW: At 7, Tyson took a major step on stage

Elias Tyson Venegas, age 7, of Port Moody, getting his check from Mike McDaniel, President and CEO of PNE, after winning the PNE Star Showdown.  - CRAIG HODGE/PNE
Elias Tyson Venegas, age 7, of Port Moody, getting his check from Mike McDaniel, President and CEO of PNE, after winning the PNE Star Showdown.
— image credit: CRAIG HODGE/PNE

The story

When seven-year-old Tyson Venegas stepped on to the stage at the PNE Star Showdown in August with his three-piece band, you knew something special was about to happen.

The music flowed through the body of the Aspenwood elementary student, his fingers snapping and his foot popping out just as he sang “I get my kicks on Route 66.”

Certainly, there were many in the audience to cheer him on, including his family, friends, music teacher, Canadian big band leader Dal Richards and Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay.

But it wasn’t until the very end — before the judges delivered the result — that Venegas’ biggest fan walked up to give him a high-five: his idol, Michael Bublé, who only a few years back had also won the PNE Star Showdown title.

Tyson took the $5,000 grand prize and the honour of being the youngest contestant ever to win the talent contest. Best of all, second place went to another Port Moody resident: Ben Freemantle, a ballet trainee in San Francisco.

 

 

The latest

Venegas’ mother, Iris, said her son used his winnings for music lessons in voice, jazz piano and trumpet; he also tucked some away for savings. And he has since been invited to perform at events such as the Canucks Place gala, the Surrey Music Marathon and fundraisers for Typhoon Haiyan.

“There’s also been some interest outside of Canada,” she hinted.

His future? A duet with Bublé, of course.

 

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