Music PEI Announces Programming for the Online Canadian Song Conference

Music PEI has announced programming for the 2020 Canadian Song Conference (Online), a two-part initiative that aims to support musicians in developing diverse and multiple revenue streams while fostering collaboration between PEI and Canadian songwriters.

As a result of Covid-19, this year’s CSC will happen exclusively online, taking advantage of digital platforms to offer virtual panels, workshops, and listening sessions. Among this year’s delegates are renowned producers and music supervisors, such as the legendary Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed) and Canadian Music Supervisor Michael Perlmutter (Instinct Entertainment).

The CSC includes a unique program called the Canadian Songwriter Challenge, which gives songwriters from partnering provincial music industry associations the opportunity to collaborate with PEI artists by co-writing and recording brand new music. This year, these collaborations will happen online, respecting current health and safety restrictions.

Artists will use virtual platforms to write, communicate, and record from their respective homes. Each pair of artists will be paired with a producer. Confirmed producers include Gavin Brown, Hill Kourkoutis, Jason Barry, Daniel Ledwell, Erin Costello, Colin Buchanan, and Dajaun.

After co-writing and recording, artists will present their songs to participating CSC delegates (music supervisors, publishers, labels, broadcasters and more) in online listening sessions.

This year, 14 songwriters from across Canada are participating in the Songwriter Challenge. The selected artists are:

  • Hilary Ladd (Music NB)
  • James Wilson (Music Ontario)
  • Valerie Raye MacLeod (Sask Music)
  • Peter Stone (Alberta Music)
  • Desiree Dawson (Music BC)
  • Sophie Noel (Music Yukon)
  • Brielle Ansems (Music PEI)
  • Dylan Menzie Music PEI (Music PEI)
  • Mathew Hannah (Music PEI)
  • Logan Richard (Music PEI)
  • Nikkie Gallant (Music PEI)
  • Vince the Messenger (Music PEI)
  • Karen Penton (Music PEI)
  • Manitoba Music TBD

The Canadian Songwriter Challenge has had a positive impact on songwriters’ careers since its inception in 2015. “The Canadian Songwriter Challenge not only provided a unique lesson in collaboration, it left me with a new single that is now being played across Canada. It was an invaluable experience,” says Alicia Toner, referring to her latest single, "Dangerous Home," which she co-wrote with Newfoundland’s Sean Panting during the 2018 CSC.

Alongside writing new music and forging artistic partnerships, participating registrants also gain valuable business connections and music placement opportunities. For example, 2018 participant Russell Louder was signed to Montreal’s Lisbon Lux Records as a result of the CSC, adding management and booking representation to their team.

To hear music created by past Canadian Songwriter Challenge participants, visit Music PEI’s playlists on Soundcloud.

This program is supported by Bell Media, the Province of PEI, ACOA and FACTOR through the Canadian Public Radio Broadcasters and the Government of Canada.

The music industry association partners in this project are Music/Musique NB, Music Ontario, Manitoba Music, SaskMusic, Alberta Music, Music BC and Music Yukon.

The 2020 Canadian Song Conference (Online) will take place May 20-22 and May 25/26. The CSC will include panels that explore pitching to Music Supervisors and developing multiple revenue streams and marketing strategies. There will also be a unique sync demonstration and a Q&A with iconic producer Bob Ezrin. Bob will be fielding questions from conference participants in a session called Ask Bob Anything!

The Canadian Song Conference is free for Prince Edward Island artists and music
industry professionals. To register go to

For a full schedule, visit

Author image
Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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