An Ontario Songwriter Challenge


The third annual Ontario edition of the Canadian Songwriter Challenge, in partnership with the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations (CCMIA) and Bell Media, took place over three days at Metalworks Institute and Studios in Mississauga, ON. The Challenge invited emerging songwriters from across Ontario to apply for consideration. Applications were reviewed by MusicOntario independent Talent Committee to determine which artist seven would go on to participate with three expert mentors. Metalworks provided professional sound engineers for each studio to ensure all technical needs were met.

During the three-day retreat, artists receive mentoring in songwriting and co-writing in a studio space, and had the opportunity to demo these newly co-written works. Lunch n’ Learn style panels provided a break from the creative grind to focus on professional development – in 2017’s edition, the topics covered were Marketing (digital, traditional, radio, etc.) and Agencies (booking, touring, promoting, building a team including an agent, etc.). Renan Yildizdogan from Gypsy Soul Records discussed the marketing and lifecycle of a record, campus radio tracking, and digital media. Stefanie Purificati from Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) spoke about booking, promoting, touring, and the process of signing with an agent.

Between 2015-2016, almost 300 Ontario-based artists applied to participate, and 2017 brought together another fantastic crop of Ontario songsmiths on the rise!

Participants (2017)


  • Adrian Eccleston
  • Bill Bell
  • Robyn Dell’Unto
  • Renan Yildizdogan
  • Stefanie Purificati


  • Anthony Johnson
  • Christina Gina
  • Holly Dodson
  • Jason Hopkins
  • Steph Copeland
  • Tam Duong
  • Tylers Simmons

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

Gallery (2017)

Playlist of Recorded Songs from Challenge (2017)