PRAIRIE WINTER SONGWRITER RETREAT: Manitoba Music Brings Nine Songwriters from Across the Prairies Together for Co-Writing Session at FortWhyte Alive

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Bobby Desjarlais, Quinton Blair, and Adrian Dyer at the 2015 Songwriter Retreat (Photo: Samanta Katz)

Manitoba Music is teaming up with its prairie counterparts for the latest edition in its songwriter development series. The Prairie Winter Songwriter Retreat will offer nine performing songwriters from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta an opportunity to strengthen their songwriting chops through collaboration.

Taking place at the secluded lakeside field station and architecturally unique cabins at FortWhyte Alive, February 28 through March 2, the co-writing retreat is a joint effort with Sask Music and Alberta Music, supported by Pitblado Law.

The four-day session features a diverse group of performing songwriters spanning several genres, including Manitoba's Micah Erenberg, Grant Davidson (Slow Leaves), and Sheena Rattai (Red Moon Road). Artists making their way from other prairie provinces include Saskatchewan's Val Halla, Jay Semko, and Jason Plumb, and Alberta's Rebecca Lappa, Mariel Buckley, and Tanner James

While the three provincial music industry associations have worked together before on market development international initiatives, this is the first time they've directly collaborated on songwriter development initiatives. 

“We’re excited to create this opportunity to connect an inspiring group of songwriters from across our three provinces,” says Sean McManus, Manitoba Music’s executive director. “These retreats are all about collaboration and extending that spirit of collaboration beyond our borders will add value, not only to the creation of new songs but to the artists’ career development.”

Manitoba Music has held a number of songwriter-focused events, including a series of collaborative writing retreats, mentoring sessions, and business of songwriting workshops. A mini doc series about the Manitoba edition of the national, Bell Media-supported Canadian Songwriter Challenge can be watched here...

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