Campbell River in the running to be the Coors Banquet One Horse Town

The winner of the competition will host a country music concert on Sept. 16, 2016

Campbell River is vying to bring award-winning country music stars to the city.

Campbell River has been nominated for the Coors Banquet One Horse Town contest which brings a big city country concert to a small town.

Communities with less than 50,000 people are eligible to compete.

“We feel that small towns often get overlooked when it comes to big concerts due to their size,” wrote Christine Smith, Molson-Coors manager of sponsorship, in a letter to city council. “The reason for this letter is your town has been nominated on the contest page and we want to begin the conversation on the thought of hosting this great event in your town.”

One lucky community will host a concert, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 16, featuring award winning Canadian acts Dean Brody, Chad Brownlee and the River Town Saints.

Coun. Michele Babchuk said at Monday’s council meeting that it’s an opportunity the city should take advantage of.

“This is one of those things, I don’t know if it has to be totally set in stone but I would like to see us take a look at and see if we can’t secure that,” Babchuk said. “I’m certainly not going to go on record as a country music fan, to be truthful, but I believe this could be really good for the city and really, really fun.”

City Manager Deborah Sargent said Campbell River Economic Development Corporation staff are looking into the competition and will engage with Coors, who is working with CMT to deliver the contest.

This is the second year the two are partnering on One Horse Town which last year saw Lacombe, Alta. as the winner based on public votes.

This year, the winner will be chosen from a list of six finalist towns – one from each region of the country (B.C., Alberta, Manitoba/Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada). Finalists will be selected following the end of nominations and will move onto a final voting period. Communities were nominated by residents uploading a photo of their town to the contest page.

The winner – the community with the most votes – will have the honour of hosting the September country music concert.

Local residents over the legal drinking age will have access to the tickets free of charge, based on capacity.

Smith said Molson-Coors wants a community that will help spread the word and get the community behind the event and will provide its full support.

“This is a great opportunity to build community spirt, boost the local economy and obtain marketing for tourism as the finalist towns as the social media presence and CMT footage will see a lot of impression,” Smith wrote. “I’d like to know your level of interest in this event, if your town is in fact chosen and how we could work together to make this a safe and successful event.”

Judges are expected to selected the finalists for One Horse Town within the next couple of months.