FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John product and country musician Kyle McKearney placed second in a music competition last weekend, and the Energetic City is partially to thank for that.

“My Fort St. John crew has been super supportive, and they’ve been great and kind of helped me win these things, especially when it comes to voting,” said McKearney.

He competed in a contest known as Project Wild last weekend that was organized by a Calgary radio station and Alberta Music.

Through the incubator program, 12 Alberta artists had to go through a series of challenges to earn a shot at some big money to help further their music careers. The challenges included partnering with a non-profit to raise funds and collaborating with someone outside the project for a song or music video.

On top of the variety of challenges, McKearney says the participants had to turn in a report on completing the tasks before a live performance that made up the majority of their grade.

One of the challenges during the competition involved votes from the public, and McKearney said no one shares what he has going on in his career more than people from Fort St. John.

” I saw lots of love and lots of votes come through for me,” notes McKearney.

Despite now calling Airdrie home, the 37-year-old North Peace Secondary graduate hasn’t forgotten his Fort St. John roots, especially when it comes to his music.

“The stuff I’m doing right now. It’s all about living a family life, working every day, and having rugged roots. And, I think that falls into coming from [Fort St. John], and it’s all a part of who I am,” said McKearney.

With the competition over and $75,000 to his name, McKearney now has to figure out how he will spend that money on his career.

“We’ll have the ability to do that a lot more. This time, promote shows and tours. And just make some beautiful video pieces for people to enjoy and things that I’ve wanted to do that I haven’t got to yet.”

McKearney also mentions being able to throw some money behind the promotion of music he puts out in the near future.

With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, McKearney says his summer schedule is filling up quickly, with festival season around the corner.

He notes that he will be in the Peace for the Halfway Rodeo in August.