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2017 Music EI Canadian Songwriter Challenge participants announced

May 5, 2017 | Charlottetown, PEI Ė Music PEI is very proud to announce the third annual Canadian Songwriter Challenge as part of the Bell Aliant Canadian Song Conference which takes place in Charlottetown from May 10 to the 13.

The Canadian Songwriter Challenge is an initiative supported by Bell Media and the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations. Each provincial music industry association has their own version and Music PEI has chosen to include not only PEI artists but also artists from across Canada allowing them to collaborate. The collaboration for 2017 includes a partnership with SaskMusic, Music Ontario and Music Nova Scotia.

The previous two editions have included a whoís who of Canadian songwriters including Donovan Woods, Dan Mangan, Jay Semko (Northern Pikes), Carleton Stone (Port Cities) and many more. They have been paired with some of PEIís top artists including Tim Chaisson, Dennis Ellsworth, KINLEY and Dylan Menzie to name a few.

This year the PEI artists selected to participate include Rachel Beck (The Beck Sisters), Andrew Waite (Andrew Waite and the Firm), Dennis Ellsworth and Meaghan Blanchard. They have been paired with Jordan Alexander (Ontario) and Beck, Tyler Gilbert (Saskatchewan) with Ellsworth, Gabrielle Papillon (Nova Scotia) with Blanchard and Ross Neilsen (Saskatchewan) with Waite.

The 4 pairs of artists write together for 2 days and record demos. On Friday May 12, they present the demos in a unique listening session to the delegates attending the Canadian Song Conference. The delegates include music supervisors, publishers, labels, broadcasters and more from across Canada, the UK and the US.

These listening sessions have been a highlight of the conference the past two years and have resulted in licensing for film and TV, have been recorded by some of the artists and used for other projects. In addition, the co-writing often results in longer term relationships between the artists including touring and more co-writing.

An example of some of the previous co-writes can be found here.

The 8 artists also have the opportunity to perform together Friday night, the 12th in concert during May Run Music Festival in the Songsmith Sessions at St. Paulís Church . Hosted by Music PEI, May Run Music Festival is the largest annual celebration of the Islandís musical talent and diversity. A complete schedule of events for the May Run Music Festival can be found at
The Canadian Song Conference details are online at
For additional information contact:
Rob Oakie
Executive Director
Music PEI

Artist websites
Andrew Waite
Dennis Ellsworth
Meaghan Blanchard
Rachel Beck

Gabrielle Papillon (NS)
Jordan Alexander (ON)
Ross Neilsen (SK)
Tyler Gilbert (SK)

Music PEI is the music industry association for Prince Edward Island with a mandate to assist artists and industry professionals on PEI to develop careers.