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Central Albertan to compete at World Championships of Performing Arts

Zuri Ayuno will head to California for the competition from June 28 to July 6
Zuri Ayuno, of Ponoka, will compete at the World Championship of Performing Arts this summer. (Contributed photo)

A 12-year-old Central Alberta girl will represent Canada at the World Championships of Performing Arts this summer.

Zuri Ayuno and her parents filled out an application to compete in the international competition – that application featured a video of her singing a musical theatre song. Shortly after, the Ponoka family was informed that she had qualified.

“I came home school and my parents were like, ‘Zuri you’re going to the world championships.’ I was very shocked. I was very happy,” said Ayuno.

The World Championships of Performing Arts will happen in California from June 28 to July 6 and will feature singers, dancers, instrumentalists, actors, models and variety artists from more than 70 countries. Ayuno will be part of the singing competition.

“I’m nervous, but I’m also excited. I’m going to be up against a lot of other countries. I’m so proud to be representing Canada,” she said.

“It’s stressful to know you’re representing a whole country. But I know I’m going to do my best on the stage.”

Arnel Ayuno, Zuri’s father, said the whole family is “very excited” for her.

“She’s worked hard and she’s been singing since she was four years old. She’s gone to lessons weekly and I know she enjoys it so much,” said Arnel Ayuno.

“Knowing she’s going to the world stage, it brings me great joy and pride. She’s only 12 and she’s already representing Canada. It’s something we never imagined this early in her singing career.”

Zuri Ayuno will need to raise $5,000 to compete at the 10-day event. She is currently doing a bottle drive in Ponoka until March 31 at the Ponoka Bottle Depot.

“People can drop off their bottles their and just mention her name,” said Arnel Ayuno.

Anyone interested in donating to Zuri Ayuno can E-transfer money to

“Most of all we’re asking for cheers and good vibes sent her way. She’s very excited to represent Alberta and Canada on the world stage,” he said.

For more information on the competition, visit Zuir Ayuno has a Facebook page with videos of her performing at

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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