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A Quest for Our Next Big Star

Star Search Logo with MCF Sponsor

The City of Markham searched for its next big star this spring. Markham’s Star Search competition was a Canada 150 initiative allowing community members to celebrate their neighbours,and show their local and national pride while embracing the arts.

The City of Markham is the nation’s most diverse city, and the talent that was revealed through this competition was just as diverse. Over 150 residents submitted YouTube or Vimeo videos to be considered for the competition, in four categories: vocal, dance, band and variety. Fifteen talented finalists from the Star Search Markham online auditions were selected to make it to the next level of the competition: the live auditions.

Top 15 Finalists


Live auditions of the fifteen finalists were judged in front of a panel of judges and a live audience on Friday, June 16, 2017 at the Cornell Community Centre and Library’s Rehearsal Hall. At the end of the evening, after great performances, only one could be the winner.

Julia Gartha, singer and songwriter, took home the title of Markham’s Star Search Winner, and received, along with a $1,500 cash grand prize, the chance to sing on stage at Markham’s biggest Canada Day celebration on July 1 at Milne Dam Conservation Park, in celebration of Canada 150. Second place went to Jonathan Michael, receiving $800 cash prize; third place was won by Michelle White, receiving $800 cash prize. All three will be on stage playing at Markham’s signature Canada 150 event: Markham Expo 150 on Sunday, September 10, 2017, at the Markham Civic Centre. Come out and experience Markham’s amazing talent!

Akash Rajan

Akash Rajan
Vocal
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Alina Jiang

Alina Jiang
Vocal
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Clayton Narathan

Clayton Narathan
Vocal & Dance
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Daniela Di

Daniela Di
Electric Violin
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Jessica Leung

Jessica Leung
Vocal
View audition

Jonathan Michael

Jonathan Michael
Vocal
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Julia Gartha

Julia Gartha
Vocal & Piano
View audition

Melissa Chow

Melissa Chow
Dance
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Michelle White

Michelle White
Vocal
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Nikki Noriega

Nikki Noriega
Vocal & Piano
View audition

Samantha Hudson

Samantha Hudson
Vocal
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Sara Hyon

Sara Hyon
Vocal
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Senaida Ng

Senaida Ng
Piano
View audition

Six at Best

Six at Best
Band
View audition

Walkwaves
Walkwaves 
Band 
View audition

Live auditions of the fifteen finalists were judged in front of a panel of judges and a live audience on Friday, June 16, 2017 at the Cornell Community Centre and Library’s Rehearsal Hall. At the end of the evening, after great performances, only one could be the winner.

Julia Gartha, singer and songwriter, took home the title of Markham’s Star Search Winner, and received, along with a $1,500 cash grand prize, the chance to sing on stage at Markham’sbiggest Canada Day celebration on July 1 at Milne Dam Conservation Park, in celebration of Canada 150. Second place went to Jonathan Michael, receiving $800 cash prize; third place was won by Michelle White, receiving $800 cash prize. All three will be on stage playing at Markham’s signature Canada 150 event: Markham Expo 150 on Sunday, September 10, 2017, at the Markham Civic Centre. Come out and experience Markham’s amazing talent!


Star Search Markham Winner

Julia Gartha Julia Gartha

Julia Gartha is a singer/songwriter studying at the Berklee College of Music. She has released her first original music video “The Wall” in December 2016, which has reached over 14,000 views on Facebook. Julia has also sung the Canadian and American National Anthem at several Blue Jays games at the Rogers Centre. Julia just released abrand new album on iTunes and Spotify called “Complexion” with her award winning Acappella group Pitch slapped, and she is currently recording her debut EP that will be released in 2018. Congratulations Julia!



2nd Place Winner

Jonathan MichaelJonathan Michael

Jonathan began singing at the age of 7 when his parents enrolled him into the world renowned St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto. His musical background was nurtured there over the next 11 years, receiving the same training as some internationally recognized musicians such as John McDermott, Michael Burgess, Jazz crooner Matt Dusk and Kevin Hearn of The Barenaked Ladies. In 2004, Jonathan discovered Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli, and he decided to plunge into crossover music himself. Jonathan immediately made an impact across Canada, the United States, and even the Caribbean, performing gigs for dignitaries from Stephenson King, the former Prime Minister of St.Lucia, all the way to a young Justin Trudeau.



 3rd Place Winner

 Michelle WhiteMichelle White

Singer, songwriter and musician, Michelle is a classically trained pianist who started her musical journey at the age of five. A self-proclaimed music nerd whose biggest inspiration is Prince, you’ll find this Markham native working with York Region’s special needs youth, singing in community choirs and leading the worship music at Cornerstone Christian Community Church. At night, Michelle can be found rocking her big hair, putting hot sauce on EVERYTHING and making musical chemistry with her husband, Kevin, on their YouTube channel WhiteNoiseandWisdom.



Check out posts from the event using #StarSearchMarkham or view the official photos from the live audition.

Presented by:

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