An Ontario Songwriter Challenge


For the second year in a row, the Canadian Songwriter Challenge in Northern Ontario was held over three days within the context of the Northern Lights Festival Boréal (NLFB) in Sudbury. With the help of award-winning mentors Jonathan Byrd and Rae Spoon, 10 songwriters were split into pairs and each composed a song to then be recorded. A “Business of Songwriting” seminar kicked off the weekend’s activities.

Thanks to NLFB, participants also got the opportunity to showcase their new creations on the festival’s workshop stage on Sunday afternoon. This added a great live performance component to the program as well as exposure to new audiences.

Participants (2017)


  • Emma McDaniel (Sudbury)
  • Ryan McIntosh (Sudbury)
  • Tanner Reinhardt (Blind River)
  • Jayden Daoust (Sudbury)
  • Steph Gagnon (Sudbury)
  • Lisa Marie Naponse (Atikameksheng)
  • Oli Palkovitz (Sudbury)
  • Nick Cangiano (North Bay)
  • Thea May Naponse (Sudbury)
  • Mike McCleary (Sault Ste. Marie)


  • Jonathan Byrd
  • Rae Spoon

CLICK HERE for the 2016 edition of the Canadian Songwriting Challenge!

Gallery (2017)

Songs Recorded at Challenge (2017)