© Stephen Harris photo
Premier Robert Ghiz, left, joined P.E.I. Song Search winners Mike Ross and Nicole Bellamy; along with entertainer Lennie Gallant and John Horrelt, chairman of P.E.I. 2014 Community Advisory Committee Monday at the official release and performance of Ross and Bellamy’s song, Forever Strong.
CHARLOTTETOWN – The theme song for the P.E.I. 2014 celebrations was revealed for the first time today.
Forever Strong, written by Mike Ross and Nicole Bellamy, was selected as the winner of the P.E.I. 2014 Song Search.
“I’m very excited about Forever Strong,” said Premier Robert Ghiz, at the release and performance Monday at The Mack in downtown Charlottetown. “This is a tremendous song that really captures the spirit of the 2014 celebrations and instills pride in us as Islanders and Canadians.”
Forever Strong was selected out of 79 submissions. A judging panel consisting of local and national music industry professionals and P.E.I. 2014 Community Advisory Committee members narrowed the songs down to 10 finalists.
The winner was selected by celebrity judges Raine Maida, lead singer of the band Our Lady Peace, singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, and P.E.I.’s own Lennie Gallant.
“It was tough to choose a winner as there were entries that were very strong and on-topic lyrically, and some that were just wonderful songs but perhaps not quite celebratory enough for a theme song,” said Gallant. “Forever Strong has the musical hook, a singable chorus, and also pays tribute to the history of the Charlottetown Conference, and that's what we were looking for in a great theme song.”
Ross and Bellamy are a married couple from Charlottetown now residing in Toronto.
Ross is best known to Islanders as the lead singer of the ECMA award-winning band the Jive Kings, and also from his many starring roles on stage in The Charlottetown Festival.
Bellamy is an accomplished concert pianist, vocal coach, and music director who studied music at UPEI. Both continue to work full time in the theatre and music industries.
“Nicole and I are thrilled,” said Ross. “So many fantastic artists submitted songs that it really is an honour to have been selected. We hope Islanders will enjoy the song as much as we enjoyed writing it.”
Over the coming weeks Forever Strong will be professionally produced and recorded. The song will then be released to the public and will be performed at various P.E.I. 2014 events in the coming year.
In 2014, Canadians will mark the 150th anniversary of the historic 1864 Charlottetown Conference, which paved the way to Confederation.