Barnstormers holding a sing-off Feb. 10


By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

In the cold of February, a Canadian Idol-style singing contest is taking place at Fergie Jenkins Field in Chatham.

Eight finalists will compete on Feb. 10 to see who will be belting out O’ Canada when the Chatham-Kent Barnstormers play at home.

According to team owner Dom Dinelle, there are men, women and a 10-year-old girl currently vying for the honour of singing the national anthem.

“They are going to take the mic and we’ll see how they sound,” Dinelle told The Chatham Voice. “We aren’t going to pick just one person, as we want to have more than one available to sing the anthem.”

The outdoor contest is like a “second interview,” said Dinelle, for a group of singers chosen from a social media call asking locals to submit an acapella video to audition for the role.

The owner of the Intercounty Baseball League’s newest team said he was impressed by the talent.

“So far, it’s pretty decent,” he explained, adding he hopes the national anthem platform will help whoever is chosen to move on to bigger and better things, maybe even competing in a show such as Canada’s Got Talent.

The singing competition, to be held at 11:45 a.m., is but one of a number of exciting events taking place Feb. 10, Dinelle said. The team mascot will be unveiled at 10:30 a.m. inside the diamond’s field house, and mascot performer auditions will be held at 1 p.m.

Preparing for the upcoming season means there’s a lot going on and plenty of work behind the scenes for Dinelle, general manager Harry Muir and the rest of the executive team. Four players have been signed to date, including local Spencer Marcus, leaving 19 spots to fill.

Plus, the organization has named local radio personalities Mike Regnier and Chris McLeod as the pair who will call the play by play, with Ed Myers as analyst.

“It’s very busy and our plate is really full right now,” Dinelle said, adding he’s excited at the possibilities the season will bring.

He pointed out the community support has been overwhelming, with 102 corporate sponsors on board and 540 out of 600 season tickets already sold.

“The community is so supportive,” Dinelle said. “Everybody is pumped and so am I.”

A host of other activities are also on tap, with kid’s baseball clinics in the works, as well as ongoing workouts with prospective players each Saturday.

The C-K Barnstormers are the ninth team to join the IBL as it marks its 105th season. The Barnstormers’ first game takes place in Kitchener May 17, followed by the team’s inaugural home opener May 18.

“We can’t wait for that day,” Dinelle said.

Requests for information on the team can be sent by email to



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here