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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Two local musical acts are in the running for CBC’s Searchlight contest.

Airik Clark and Twin Peaks, both acts from Fort St. John, are up against over 2,000 other applicants.

Clark, entering the contest for the first time, submitted a song called ‘Perfect Strangers’ for the contest.

“I saw some of my friends last year get into it, and it was a big deal last year, so I thought, why not throw my hat in the ring?” he said in an interview. He added that the prize money this contest offers helps greatly with the marketing expenses that come with distributing music.

Twin Peaks, a folk duo featuring Naomi Shore and Lindsay Pratt, entered ‘Trouble’ in to the contest.

Shore said the duo made it to the top-24 the first year they entered, and got into the top picks for the region, which is interior and northern B.C. She remarked that the rules have changed since they first entered the contest and shifted away from choosing a winner solely based on votes — a move that she feels is a good one.

“It’s nice to know that its judges that will level the playing field,” she told Energeticcity.ca. “It’s hard for us in a rural, isolated community, to compete with bands in Vancouver who maybe have 10,000 Facebook followers when there’s only 10,000 people in Fort St. John who even know who we are.”

Voting closes on April 20, 2016. Ten finalists from each region will move on to the next round. One of those will be based purely on votes, and the other nine will be based on scores by CBC Music judges.

During Round 2, an industry panel of judges will select the regional finalists, plus one artist with the most votes nationally will move on.

The winner will receive $50,000 in prize money, plus exposure on national TV and radio.

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