CNIB's The i Factor Contest Draws Canadian Celebrity Line-up

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Musical competition for people with vision loss to feature emcee Mike Bullard and distinguished judges

TORONTO, July 29 /CNW/ - Hosted on August 7 by comedian Mike Bullard, CNIB's second-annual musical competition for people with vision loss - The i Factor - will feature three well-known judges: music promoter and popular Canadian Idol judge Farley Flex, singer and song-writer Shirley Eikhard, and musician Terry Kelly.

The i Factor gives Canadians the chance of a lifetime to showcase their talents. After an online audition process, the top 10 finalists have been selected. Next week these finalists will stay at the fully accessible recreational CNIB Lake Joseph Centre (Lake Joe) in Muskoka where they will receive musical and performance training from Canada's premiere music industry professionals.

The finale will take place at CNIB Lake Joe on Saturday, August 7, where the top 10 finalists will compete in two rounds of live performances with commentary from the celebrity judges. At the conclusion, only one performer will be crowned the winner of The i Factor as determined by live audience votes. The grand prize is the chance to open a performance for award-winning and Juno- nominated singer-songwriter Terry Kelly, plus round-trip transportation to the Canadian city where the concert is taking place.

"The i Factor is a signature event for CNIB that raises funds for our vital programs and services, but more importantly provides experiences and opportunities for people with vision loss to fully participate in life," says John M. Rafferty, CNIB President and CEO. "Contestants have an opportunity to learn and work with their peers -others who are blind, or partially sighted who are just as passionate about music - as well as people with vision loss who have succeeded in the music industry." All proceeds from this year's The i Factor will go directly to support programming at CNIB Lake Joe.

    Top 10 Finalists

The i Factor Top 10 finalists were selected from online audition reels posted to website. They were selected by an independent panel of judges. Congratulations to this year's top 10:

    Megan Nolin, Brandon, MB
    Bryce Lalonde, Fort Saskatchewan AB
    François Morin, Sherbrooke QC
    Gail Riddall, Penticton BC
    Ian White, Toronto, ON
    Jesse Martin, Winnipeg MB
    Karyn Kelpin, Salmo BC
    Lucas Haneman, Kanata ON
    Nathalie Chartier, Magog QC
    Philip McAlary, Vancouver BC

About CNIB Lake Joseph Centre

Located in the heart of Muskoka, two hours north of Toronto, Canada, CNIB Lake Joseph Centre is a world leader in providing life-changing experiences for people with vision loss. Lake Joe's innovative programming and partnerships excite and inspire children, youth, families and adults with vision loss as they meet new friends, experience new adventures and leave with memories that last a lifetime. For more information about the Lake Joe visit

About CNIB

CNIB provides community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills, and opportunities to fully participate in life. With 900 employees and 10,000 volunteers working out of offices across the country, CNIB serves thousands of Canadians of all ages. For more information, visit or call 1-800-563-2642.


For further information: For further information: or to speak to a local contestant in your area contact: Christine Henry, CNIB; Phone: (416) 486-2500 ext. 8355, E-mail:; Web:;;

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