The British Columbia Songwriter Challenge


The second annual Vancouver Songwriting Workshop & Canadian Songwriter Challenge took place from April 28 to May 1, 2016. This 5-day event included a kickoff gathering, song critiquing, co-writing, mentoring, professional development activities, demoing in a professional studio environment, and live performances. 25 registered songwriters took part in the workshop, which was led by four well-known professional songwriters/producers.

This Music BC event took place in various locations in Vancouver: primarily at Nimbus School of Recording & Media, then The Farm Studios, The Belmont Bar, The Portside Pub, and Studio Records.

Building on the success of last year’s songshop, a few differences were implemented in response to the feedback received. There was also an introduction of a scholarship fund, where three of the places to the songwriting workshop were fully funded by the Wayne Ferguson Scholarship Fund.

Visit the YVR Songshop and Challenge page for more information and a highlight video.


“Invaluable, learned an astonishing amount of information that WILL benefit my songwriting and my music career.”
– Participant

“Because it really helped me get the fire going again and the knowledge is very helpful to anyone who is looking to further their writing abilities”
– Participant

Participants (2016)


  • Jelayna Murdoch
  • Jeff Arsenault
  • Shylo Sharity
  • Damon Hanly
  • Bernadette Saquibal
  • Channing Hseih
  • Ian House
  • Morgan Lily
  • Donald Delano
  • Sean Sawatzky
  • Chloe Anne Lloyd
  • Chris Lok
  • Clayton Brown
  • James Priestner
  • Brian Sterling
  • Wynona Hulipas
  • Meshe
  • Krishan Deo
  • Mike Carter
  • Ryan Sloan
  • Taryn Laronge
  • Andre Chrys
  • Grant Elgaard
  • Taylor Reid
  • Chelsea Charlton
  • Susan Anderson


  • Blair Packham: Song Studio, singer/songwriter, TV & film composer, recording engineer/producer, educator (Toronto)
  • Kinnie Starr: poet, pundit, speaker, songwriter/producer, beat maker (Toronto and Los Angles)
  • Shaun Verreault: Wide Mouth Mason, singer, guitarist, songwriter (Vancouver)
  • Dave “The Song Doctor” Genn: 54-40, Matthew Good Band, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, performer (Vancouver)

Songs Recorded at Challenge (2016)

Gallery (2016)