CANADIAN SONGWRITER CHALLENGE: Manitoba Music Connects Heavy-Hitters with Local Artists for Summer Songwriter Retreat

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From top left: Bobby Desjarlais, Cassidy Mann, Chantel Emond, Dylan MacDonald, Grant Davidson, Katlin Mathison, Natalie Bohrn, and Tyler Del Pino

Manitoba Music is gearing up for the latest edition in its songwriter development series with the help of a Bell Media national songwriting initiative. Slated for July 5-8, the Manitoba Music Summer Songwriter Retreat will combine co-writing opportunities with creative and business mentorship, connecting industry heavy-hitters with emerging Manitoba talent to strengthen their songwriting chops through collaboration.  
Taking place in a tranquil cabin setting in the Whiteshell, the three-day co-writing retreat will incorporate co-writing, songwriting mentorship, demo recording, and discussions on the business of professional songwriting. Mentors making the trip include Los Angeles-based songwriter Andy Stochansky, Anthem Entertainment/SRO Management's Tyler Tasson, Instinct Entertainment's Dondrea Erauw, and the general manager of SOCAN Los Angeles, Chad Richardson. As well as songwriting, the mentors also bring connections and experience with different parts of the songwriting industry including publishing, sync licensing, co-writing, and artist development.

The four-day session features a diverse group of performing songwriters spanning several genres, including Bobby Desjarlais (Attica Riots), Cassidy Mann, Chantel Emond (French Press), Dylan MacDonald (Until Red), Grant Davidson (Slow Leaves), Katlin Mathison (Okay Mann), Natalie Bohrn (Slow Spirit), and Tyler Del Pino.

Manitoba Music has a long history of songwriter development initiatives, including a series of Songwriter in Residence events with the likes of Hawksley Workman and Tom Wilson, producing local versions of the Songwriters Association of Canada's SongWorks, and the most recent Winter Songwriter Retreat partnership with FortWhyte Alive.
This iteration of Summer Songwriter Retreat is part of a national project, dubbed the Canadian Songwriter Challenge. A multi-year partnership between the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA) and Bell Media, CCMIA's member music industry associations will be organizing songwriter-focused events across the country this summer.

After the retreat, participants will head into the studio at Paintbox Recording to record their collaborations with producer/engineer Mike Falk.

Previous co-writing sessions have yielded stellar results. Ruth Moody’s collaboration with Royal Canoe's Matt Peters and producer Derek Norton, "We Can Only Listen, was featured on her JUNO Award-nominated album, The Garden. Western Canadian Music Award-winning producer Arun Chaturvedi and Sony/ATV Music Publishing artists Phil Deschambault and Heather Longstaffe, have all received multiple placements in film, television, and commercials based on music conceived at the retreat.

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