Haida GwaiIdol 2020 contestant S’ya, who is a mindful belly dancer based in Masset, is pictured in this submitted photo. (shayne gray | photography)

Meet some of the Haida GwaiIdol contestants of 2020

Ailish Bouwman and S’ya among the GwaiIdol contestants set to show their talent on Aug. 20

Haida GwaiIdol’s online premiere is set to broadcast live at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, Aug. 20) via the Village of Queen Charlotte Facebook page.

The “all talents, all ages, all communities” event will see acts from across the islands vie for first, second and third place prizes, as decided by an online poll of audience members.

Here’s a little background on contestants who responded to our media request.

Ailish Bouwman

Haida GwaiIdol 2020 contestant Ailish Bouwman is pictured in this submitted photo. (Ailish Bouwman/Submitted photo)

Twelve-year-old Ailish Bouwman of Sandspit is set to sing and play the ukulele for her Haida GwaiIdol performance, and the song is one that she wrote herself.

Bouwman told the Observer she wrote the untitled original tune in February for a friend.

“It’s about my best friend,” she said. “She’s going to high school this year and I just wrote about how I’m going to miss her.”

Bouwman has been singing for about five years, at Agnes L. Mathers Elementary School as well as the Community Christmas Concert. She started playing ukulele this past summer, one of many instruments now included in her repertoire.


Mindful Masset-based belly dancer S’ya is pictured in this submitted photo. (shayne gray | photography)

S’ya (based on the Arabic name Assiya) is a mindful belly dancer based in Masset. She will be performing a slow-paced, silk veil improvisation set to a Celtic harp cover of Loreena McKennitt’s “The Emigration Tunes” by Oscar Jacobsson.

“It’s very beautiful and very calming for the person doing [the dance]. It’s really meditative,” S’ya told the Observer. “The veil is like a feather or a cloud, or something airy. Even if you’re not looking at yourself in the mirror, you really have this floating sensation.”

She said her song choice is appropriate because she is a recent transplant from Toronto, where she took a holistic approach to belly dance for several years, in a variety of settings. She added that she uses dance as healing modality and hopes to start teaching classes on Haida Gwaii very soon.

ALSO READ: Haida GwaiIdol premiere may include special guest performance

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