Winner to be decided by community-wide online vote.

ST. ALBERT, AB – On Thursday, September 24th, United Way in partnership with Hot 107FM and PlanIt Sound, launched the 2nd edition of My United Voice, a Capital Region-wide contest to find the next voice against poverty.

“We came up with the idea of a contest and launched the first one in September 2014, because we really wanted to do something different to engage more people in United Way’s campaign,” stated R.J. Cui, CEO of PlanIt Sound. “We were blown away by the response we got from our community and their willingness to use their style and genre on the topic of poverty.”

Building off the success of the inaugural year, United Way decided to bring the contest back again, and give more people an opportunity to share their voice against poverty.

Entries will be accepted from September 24th through October 30th, 2015. Singers, rappers and spoken word artists are invited to take a stand against poverty by uploading a YouTube video of their submission, for a chance to win a fully-sponsored prize package valued at $10,000, including:

  • Professionally recorded demo and performance coaching with PlanIt Sound
  • $2,500 cash prize* from AltaPro Electric
  • Top ten showcase on HMV stage at West Edmonton Mall
  • Top 3 performance and winner announcement at United Way’s Red Tie Gala
  • Artist highlight video
  • Red carpet-ready treatment with clothing, jewelry, hair & make up provided by Mr. Derk, Who Cares Wear, Hunt Amor and Pose Salon

* Cash prize must go towards items that will help enhance the artist's career (i.e. music equipment, lessons or schooling, performance attire, etc.)

“When we launched the contest last year we had no idea what to expect,” said Mike Kluttig, Vice President of Community Engagement at United Way. “It was so inspiring in the number of submissions that came in, the number of stories we heard. We got everything we hoped for, and more, but knew it was only the beginning.”

Last year’s winner, Bill LeBlanc a.k.a.“Rellik,” was chosen in a community-wide vote, after the top five videos were selected by a panel of judges, from nearly 40 submissions. Rellik shared his own personal story of poverty through a song called “My Voice.”

“I remember growing up in a low-income household, we struggled to get by. I knew people that were living in shelters or on the streets,” recalls Rellik, 2014 My United Way Voice winner. “I think poverty gets swept under the rug by a lot of people. The contest is so important because it brings light to an important issue.”

For more information on the My United Way Voice contest, please visit
Download a press kit

About United Way
United Way brings community members together to create pathways out of poverty and make
the greatest impact possible on the most pressing social challenges in our community.

For more information or to coordinate interviews, please contact:
Nancy Critchley
Director, Communications
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
p. 780-443-8381 c. 780-909-1794