Speed skater chooses Arctic Winter Games over “Canadian Idol” TV show

Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2006


  Bracken Burns with her mind made up for Alaska and the Arctic Winter Games instead of the "Canadian Idol" TV show. Photo By Charlotte Nicolet

Bracken Burns with her mind made up for Alaska and the Arctic Winter Games instead of the "Canadian Idol" TV show.

Photo By Charlotte Nicolet

Multitalented Bracken Burns, speed-skater of Northern Alberta, had to make a choice between skating with the Northern Alberta team at the Arctic Winter Games, or singing for the televised talent show “Canadian Idol.” Much like “American Idol,” if you’re chosen to perform on “Canadian Idol,” you have a chance for fame and fortune in the music industry. Burns chose Alaska, and the Arctic Winter Games.

When asked what swayed her decision, “I tried out for ‘Canadian Idol,’” said Burns. “I sang; they said I had a wonderful voice and that I could go on. It was pretty much my choice,” she said.

She said she was undecided about going further than the regionals. “Then I found out that I had the games, and I wondered if I should give up the games for “Canadian Idol” or not. No thank you!” exclaimed Burns.

“I really like it here. I’m glad that I didn’t keep going through with “Canadian Idol,” because I would have had everything to do and I would not have been able to come to Alaska. I love Alaska,” she said.

The next round of the “Canadian Idol” competition will be held in Toronto this week. And not knowing what might have happened from the next round on, Burns made her decision to represent her home and country in the Games. But the biggest determining factor for Burns was the chance to come to Alaska. “I saw a mountain across the bay; it was really pretty, and I tried to take a picture of it,” she said.

When asked if she has mountains at home, “Not unless you go into Jasper. Where I live is in the valley; it’s all hills. There’s mountains in Jasper, but these are just huge. I think it’s nice up here,” she said.

Burns is 15-years-old and has been skating since she was 10. When asked what she liked most about skating she said, “There are two things actually: There’s the adrenalin you get when you’re like already to get out there; then there’s the combination of everyone else’s adrenalin,” she explained.

“And the whole group idea that we’re all thinking on the same path and everyone is encouraging everyone else. Everyone’s going for the same thing, but everyone wants everyone else to do just as good as him,” she said.

When asked about the atmosphere surrounding speed skating, Burns said, “It’s just friendly. Everyone’s so nice. It doesn’t matter if you get first or second. Or if you’re drafting off someone: like if you go behind them you’re both working together so all the contingents work together; especially long distances, you do a lot of switching,” she explained.

Burns says that speed skating isn’t planned; it just happens. “It’s amazingly fun, even the way they use the gun at the start up, and the corners; you’re so close to the mat sometimes when you pass someone. Wow!” she exclaimed.

Burns will try out for “Canadian Idol” again.

“Next year for sure; I’m going all the way,” said Burns. “It would be so cool to win. I’ve been singing a lot, like on the bus. And lately people are recognizing me and starting to ask me to sing for them,” she said.

Burns started taking piano lessons when she was eight and started singing along with her piano by age11. Now, she takes lessons from two music teachers. Burns follows her heart where it leads her and has captured many hearts in the process at home and from the circumpolar north.

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