MNB Blog

fourth annual Canadian Songwriter Challenge

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The Canadian Songwriter Challenge is an initiative supported by Bell Media and the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations. Each provincial music industry association has their own version of the challenge and Music PEI has chosen to include not only PEI artists but also artists from across Canada allowing them to collaborate. The collaboration for 2018 includes partnerships with SaskMusic, Music Ontario, Music Nova Scotia, Music New Brunswick, Music BC, and Music Newfoundland.

The previous three editions have included a who’s who of Canadian songwriters including Donovan Woods, Dan Mangan, Gabrielle Papillon, Carleton Stone (Port Cities) and many more. They have been paired with some of PEI’s top artists including Tim Chaisson, Dennis Ellsworth, KINLEY, Meaghan Blanchard, Rachel Beck and Dylan Menzie to name a few.

This year the PEI artists selected to participate include Catherine MacLellan, Josh Carter (Calm Baretta), Alicia Toner, Russell Louder, Danny Drouin and The Amanda Jackson Trio. Their pairings are Reeny Smith (Nova Scotia) with Catherine, Shaun LeBlanc (New Brunswick) with Josh, Sean Panting (Newfoundland) with Alicia, Steph Copeland (Ontario) with Russell, Shantaia Poulin (Saskatchewan) with Danny, and Alexandria Mailot (British Columbia) with The Amanda Jackson Trio.

The 6 pairs of artists write together for 2 days and record demos. On Friday, May 25th, they present the demos in a unique listening session to the delegates attending the Canadian Song Conference. The delegates include music supervisors, publishers, labels, broadcasters both domestic and international.

These listening sessions have been a highlight of the conference the past three years and have resulted in licensing for film and TV, have been recorded by some of the artists and used for other projects. In addition, the co-writing often results in longer-term relationships between the artists including touring and more co-writing.

An example of some of the previous co-writes can be found here.

The 12 artists also have the opportunity to perform together Friday night, May 25th in concert during the Canadian Song Conference in a songwriter's circle at Trinity United Church.