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Kiwi country storms island festival

News release tasman – 1
May 30, 2008

Kiwi country storms island festival

Kiwi artists have taken a trio of awards at a major trans-Tasman singing contest on Norfolk Island.

Auckland-based and Whangarei-born country singer Annette Hawkins has been named 2008 Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year competing against artists from both sides of the ‘ditch’.

Waimate’s Kaylee Bell has won the Most Promising Artist title at the event while Nadine Dempster from Tauranga took out the Norfolk Island Country Music Association Encouragement Award.

New Zealand musicians claimed three of the five awards on offer in the 15th year of the event which is part of the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival.

Kiwis have previously won the coveted country music title only four times in the event’s history while this year’s win is the second in a row following Aucklander Kylie Austin’s triumph in 2007.

A country girl at heart, Annette Hawkins was born and raised in Whangarei and grew up listening to country music. Annette is an accomplished singer-songwriter and a regular performer on the country circuit in New Zealand for many years.

Annette wins A$4,000 (NZ$4,895) and the Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year Trophy.

Nineteen-year-old Kaylee Bell is another who grew up singing country music. Kaylee is the 2007 Gold Guitar Senior Overall Winner and began song writing at the age of 14. She is currently studying for a degree in Performing Arts at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art in Christchurch.

Kaylee wins NZ$5,000 worth of recording time from New Zealand production company PVG Productions, sponsor of the Most Promising Artist Award.

Nadine Dempster is a former winner of the Golden Star Awards in Tauranga. She is an accomplished horse rider and a member of the New Zealand Under 21 and New Zealand Open Polocrosse sides.

Nadine is studying for a Bachelor of Communications degree in Auckland and receives A$1,000 cash for taking out the NICMA Encouragement Award.

The 2008 Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year Awards were announced this week (Tue. May 27) as part of the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival held annually on the island.

The festival is now in its 15th year and is a popular event for fans and performers alike as a showcase for country music in Australasia.

Other New Zealand entertainers appearing at the festival included The Darlings featuring Jackie Clarke and Callie Blood, Christchurch’s Jenny Blackadder and Kylie Austin.

Runner up to Annette Hawkins in the entertainer of the year category was Sera-Jane Moore from Queensland who also took out the Allen “Puds” Buffett Perpetual Trophy for the most original song.

About Norfolk Island: Discovered by Captain Cook in 1774, Norfolk Island was first settled as a British penal colony in 1788 through to 1856. On June 8, 1856, the island was re-inhabited by a community from Pitcairn Island, descendants of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian companions. Known today as Norfolk Islanders, they form a majority of the 1,800 resident population. Norfolk Island is renowned for its spectacular coastal scenery, colourful history, sporting and cultural activities, convict heritage and low tax shopping.

Air New Zealand flies to Norfolk Island on Sundays and Wednesdays.

For general information contact Norfolk Island Tourism. Phone 0800 359 4373, email or visit

Issued for Norfolk Island Tourism by Pead PR


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