Canadian Songwriter Challenge | Manitoba Music Grows Creative Connections with Co-writing Retreat

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Aaron Bartel
Brady Allard
Erika Fowler
Heather Longstaffe
Jason Petric
Josiah Rosen
Liam Duncan
Madeleine Roger
Nicole Haverda
Rhianna Rae Saj
Stefanie Johnson
Stephen Carroll

Manitoba Music is gearing up for the fifth edition in its songwriter development series with the help of a Bell Media national songwriting initiative. Slated for June 9-14, the Manitoba Music Summer Songwriter Retreat will combine co-writing opportunities with creative mentorship, connecting homegrown songwriting talent to strengthen their songwriting chops through collaboration.

Taking place in a tranquil and inspiring setting in the Whiteshell, the co-writing retreat will incorporate daily collaborative songwriting sessions leading to the creation of nine new songs, with workshops and discussions on the business of professional songwriting. Songwriters will spend a day in one-on-one meetings where they will work with mentors to strategically plan for a sustainable songwriting career.

This year’s session brings together performing songwriters spanning the genres of folk and roots, hip hop, indie rock, country, soul, and more. Participants include Aaron Bartel (Apollo Suns, Flat Land Soul Band, Last Chance Gang), Brady Allard (Warming), Erika Fowler, Jason Petric (Petric), Liam Duncan, Madeleine Roger, Nicole Haverda (HAVS), Rhianna Rae Saj, and Stefanie Johnson (Mise en Scene).

This year’s retreat will feature three mentors to guide the participants. Los Angeles-based Heather Longstaffe, a Manitoba expat known as MONROE, and Augustana’s Josiah Rosen will share their experience and expertise as professional songwriters. Stephen Carroll, manager of Manitoba Film & Music’s music programs, will join with a focus on the business fundamentals.

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.

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