An Ontario Songwriter Challenge


The Canadian Songwriter Challenge in Northern Ontario, hosted by Music and Film in Motion (a Division of Cultural Industries Ontario North) was held over three days as part of the Northern Lights Festival Boréal in Bell Park Sudbury. The festival provided a vibrant, interactive environment that proved to be very stimulating for the participants.

With the help of mentors ShoShona Kish (Digging Roots), Fred Squire, and Serge Brideau of Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire, whose participation was sponsored by l’Association des professionnels de la chanson et de la musique (APCM), 10 songwriters from all over Norther Ontario were split into pairs and each composed a song to then be recorded.

The Near North Mobile Media Lab (N2M2L) from North Bay came on board to provide their Lab as the on-site demo recording venue. Andreas Rizek (SOCAN), Greg Johnston (Songwriters’ Association of Canada) and Mélanie Brulée (artist) joined the group for Friday’s “Business of Songwriting” seminar which kicked off the weekend’s activities.

Participants (2016)


  • Collin Clowes
  • David Dino White
  • Esther Pennell
  • Julian Cote
  • Jean-Paul De Roover
  • Tessa Gooden
  • Martine Fortin
  • Jimmy Breslin
  • Rachel Barber
  • Lindsay Sullivan


Gallery (2016)

Songs Recorded at Challenge (2016)

Feedback (2016)

“It was a great experience! The entire weekend was great, and I certainly loved being able to participate, especially with someone as talented as Tessa [Gooden]. Thanks for allowing Jimmy, Collin and I to represent Thunder Bay!”
– Jean-Paul De Roover, participant

SOCAN posted a great recap of the event on their blog.