Country singer Todd Richard receives a hug from a friend after a screening of the series premiere of CMT's show Big in a Small Town. Fans can vote online for the Harrison Hot Springs singer/songwriter

Todd Richard’s fans and friends watch series premiere together

Time to vote for Harrison Hot Springs country singer competing on CMT television series

Todd Richard choked back tears a few times on Thursday night, as he described his journey in the country music scene and his reasons for being there.

He and his family, friends and fans had gathered in a conference room at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa to watch the series premiere of CMT’s show Big in a Small Town. Richard is a contestant in the country music based reality series. He’s competing against 30 other contestants from across Canada for a recording contract, cash prize and a touring opportunity sponsored by the broadcaster.

It’s a chance of a lifetime, and watching the premiere for the first time with his supporters brought out strong emotions.

In the show, he told producers how he made a promise to his father that he would follow his musical dreams. His father died about five years ago, and he’s been true to his word.

He sold his plumbing company, his house and some of the expensive toys he and his wife had bought over the years. They moved into a 600 square foot home, and he took a job with the school district as a maintenance man.

Richard then said if his wife asked him to give up his dream, so she could have her life back, he would.

That’s not likely to happen anytime soon. His wife Sylvia has been one of Richard’s biggest supporters through the years.

On the show, Richard sang Life’s About People, a song he wrote with Rick Tippe. The judges seemed to love him as much as the crowd gathered at the hotel.

Viewers can “like” their favourite on the show’s website until Wednesday, August 29.

Richard has already realized some success over the past few years, including performing at the BCCMAs, working in Nashville, and earning accolades for his album Journey On.