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Songwriter in Residence Program

About the Residency

Since 2006, the Dawson City Music Festival has proudly operated an annual Songwriter in Residence program with support from Klondike Institute of Art & Culture and North Klondyke Highway Music Society. The program brings a songwriter to Dawson City for a month-long stay (MONTH OF JANUARY) where the artist receives studio and living space at the centrally located and historic Macaulay House*.

Previous Songwriters in Residence have involved themselves deeply with the local community and have found it to be an enriching, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Whether mentoring local musicians, hosting experimental noise sessions, volunteering for Yukon Quest, performing at the local Continuing Care facility, or leading workshops at the Robert Service School, there are many opportunities to get involved around Dawson. Most songwriters find the relationship with the community to be mutually inspiring.

Expectations of the residency are flexible – our only requirements are that the artist spend the month of January in Dawson City working on their craft, perform one public concert (format subject to change due to COVID-19), and collaborate with the community by leading an outreach activity. Full details and requirements are found in the Guidelines document.

No stipend is provided to the songwriter; however, DCMF will provide studio space and accommodations, pay professional Artist fees for the public concert and cover travel expenses to and from Dawson City.

*Macaulay House Accessibility

The Macaulay house is situated on a dirt road**. A small ditch and rocky ground is followed by a step up to a boardwalk, followed by six steps up to the front door. The front door has a one-inch wooden lip on the bottom of the door frame.  Inside, there is a small porch with a doorway (no door) entering the main house. Laundry, kitchen, living room and one studio are located on the main floor. Two bedrooms, washroom (standard, step-over tub) and a second studio space are located on the second floor, up a flight of stairs.  Please contact us at assistant@dcmf.com or info@dcmf.com if you have questions, require further descriptions or photographs.

**All but one road in Dawson is dirt, and sidewalks are elevated, uneven boardwalks with no cuts.

Goals of Residency

  1. To provide songwriters with unrestricted time and space to research, develop, and produce ongoing and/or new material.
  2. To introduce visiting artists to northern people, cultures, and landscapes.
  3. To provide outreach activities such as concerts, workshops, and talks intended to promote interaction and foster a greater appreciation and understanding of songwriting, music, and the arts in general in our community.
  4. To provide opportunities for collaboration between visiting artists and both professional and developing Yukon songwriters and musicians.

Artist Selections

WE ACCEPT APPLICATIONS BETWEEN EARLY-SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 31 ANNUALLY. PLEASE READ OUR RESIDENCY GUIDELINES AND REQUIREMENTS  FOUND HERE BEFORE APPLYING.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, only Artists residing in Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and British Columbia may apply. As the situation evolves, we may accept applicants from elsewhere, and we will announce in advance of the deadline.

Due to a high volume of applications, only shortlisted artists will be contacted.

Please include the following in your application:

  • A brief description of your background and performance history (500 words or less).
  • A short proposal outlining how you would engage in community outreach – see section 5 Guidelines (500 words or less).
  • A digital sample of your music, a live performance video, and links to your online content.

Send complete applications in PDF format to: assistant@dcmf.com with the subject line RESIDENCY APPLICATION [CURRENT YEAR].
DEADLINE: October 31, 2020, 11:59 pm PST
NOTE: Digital applications only.

Application requirements may be flexible, and we encourage any artists who feel they could benefit from this program to apply. If there are any barriers to applying, comments or questions, please email us at assistant@dcmf.com, and we will help you proceed with your application.

A selections committee comprised of DCMF staff, Board members and peer advisors will assess applications according to the selection criteria listed in the Guidelines. If you are a community member interested in joining the committee, please see here for more details and application.


PAST SONGWRITERS IN RESIDENCE

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Sam I Am Montolla, 2019

Montreal, QC

Sam I Am Montolla is a singer, songwriter, and dancer from Montreal, Quebec, whose sound is as diverse as the city she lives in. Sam I Am writes and performs in a range of genres, including RnB, Hip Hop, Soul, Funk, and Gospel –  all permeating with African rhythms.

Sam I Am is a former member of the notable Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir, has performed with the Gospel Trio Revelation III and Black Theatre Workshop’s Youthworks program, and is a frequent collaborator in Montreal, working with many artists from around the city from the likes of Monk-e, Narcy, Waahli, Shash’U, and Jai Nitai Lotus. Currently, Sam is an active member of Kalmunity, Canada’s largest and longest running black arts & improv collective.

Skye Wallace

Skye Wallace, 2018

Toronto, ON

Skye Wallace is what happens when a classically trained singer discovers punk rock in their youth.  Hailed coast to coast as a “national treasure” (Sad Mag), Skye Wallace is based out of Toronto, Ontario. Her voice and sound is a force to be reckoned with. Her most recent album Something Wicked, produced by Jim Bryson, was listed as one of Vancouver Weekly’s Best Albums of 2016 and CBC’s Top 8 Albums You Need To Hear This Month. Dubbed by CBC’s Stephen Quinn a “kick ass record”, Something Wicked will “burn you to the ground” (Vice/Noisey)!

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Steve Maloney, 2017

St. John’s, NL

Steve Maloney is a trained vocalist and songwriter from the edge of Eastern Canada. Known for his “velvet voice”, Steve offers powerful and textured tones that can’t be contained by one genre. His ability to ebb and flow between folk, classical and pop music is seamless.

Steve spent his time in Dawson writing and readying PR for the release of his sophomore album The Memory Game. In addition to his own work, Steve performed a breathtaking set of old ballads for residents of the MacDonald Lodge Continuing Care Facility and worked closely with senior music students at Robert Service School through songwriting and music business workshops. During Steve’s performance at the end of his residency, students joined him on stage to perform a song they wrote during one of the workshops.

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Louise Burns, 2016

Vancouver, BC

“To say Vancouver singer-songwriter Louise Burns’ latest tour stop is off the beaten path is an understatement. She is spending the month of January in Dawson City, Yukon, to be songwriter-in-residence at the Dawson City Music Festival.”

“The whole point of the program is to have an artist come up for the month of January and just work on music,” she told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn. “Integrate into the local arts community, which is an incredibly easy thing to do because everybody here is an artist, maybe hold some songwriting workshops, hold some shows.”

– READ MORE AT CBC

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Khari McClelland, 2015

Vancouver, BC

Khari spent his time in Dawson leading an all-ages, no-experience-necessary choir workshop with practices twice a week for the duration of his stay. The choir joined Khari at his performance at the KIAC Oddfellow’s Hall which was fun and dynamic. He engaged the entire audience, seated in a giant circle, by inviting everyone to do the vocal warmups done by the choir group, sing along to many of his songs, and generally “let loose” and have a chance to be both an audience-member and performer at the same time.

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Nick Ferrio, 2014

Peterborough, ON

Nick Ferrio offers catchy and sophisticated songs that examine the ferociousness of love. Taking a cue from Kurt Vile and Nick Lowe, Nick Ferrio has come into his own with his sophomore album Amongst the Coyotes and Birdsongs. Featuring collaborations with Julie Doiron and members of Constantines, and the Weather Station, with Amongst the Coyotes and Birdsongs, Nick Ferrio is claiming his place as one of Canada’s best kept secrets.

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Digits, 2013

Toronto, ON

When Alt Altman, aka Digits, had the chance to participate in the Dawson City’s Songwriter in Residence program in February, he jumped at the opportunity. “I knew someone who had already done it and they said to absolutely do it, I heard lots of good things about Dawson. It seemed like a once in a lifetime chance.” While in Dawson, Altman had been developing new material, sharing his skills and hosting music production classes for youth.

READ MORE HERE (WHAT’S UP YUKON)

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Colin Huebert, 2012

Vancouver, BC

Colin returns to Dawson City after having visited with the Great Lake Swimmers in 2007. Colin has since absconded from the band to focus on his own project, Siskiyou, his collaboration with Great Lake Swimmers compatriot Erik Arnesen. Colin will spend the month of February in the historic Macaulay Residency where he will be recording new material and developing work for Siskiyou. In addition to his own work, Colin will also be hosting a songwriter’s circle and sharing his talents with some of the students of our local Robert Service School. SOURCE

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Christine Fellows & John K Samson, 2011

Winnipeg, MB

“Along with her husband, John K. Samson of the Weakerthans, Fellows found herself doing a February 2011 stint as songwriter in residence at the Dawson City Music Festival. Major inspirations while in town would include London, whose writings eventually coloured her sixth and latest album, Burning Daylight, and her first collection of poetry of the same name.” – The Georgia Straight

READ MORE FROM THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT

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Colin Skrapek, 2010

Saskatoon, SK

Colin Skrapek (Maybe Smith) says: “I am concerned about the lack of daily sunshine, being that it’s in February. I mean, I was told I should bring snowshoes but I don’t have any.” – The best snippet of a great article on Colin’s hopes and plans for his residency.

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Laura Barrett, 2009

Toronto, ON

“For the month of February, I’m living in Dawson City, Yukon as the DCMF Songwriter-in-Residence. Dawson’s winter population is even smaller than the 1300 listed in the census, so it’s a bit of a change for city-girl me! It’s also been going hitting -40 Celsius, meaning up to 20 minutes of layering before going outside. While I’m here, I’ll be playing a couple of concerts, and working with grade schoolers at Robert Service School. If I have any free time, I plan to volunteer with the Yukon Quest dog sled race. Let’s see how much I can get done in 7 hours of daily light!” – Laura Barrettz

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Brooke Gallupe, 2008

Victoria, BC

Brooke Gallupe is the leader of the Canadian indie rock bands Immaculate Machine and Rugged Uncle.In addition to playing rock music, Gallupe has trained as an opera singer and has played with the Victoria Symphony.

Gallupe is also a comic artist. Published in Tofu Magazine, Chart Magazine, Lickity Split and the Mint Records Zine, his autobiographic comics often revolve around his band Immaculate Machine.

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Dan Bejar, 2007

Vancouver, BC

Daniel Bejar is an independent singer-songwriter from Vancouver, Canada. Bejar has gained widespread popularity through his musical collaborations with Vancouver indie-rock band The New Pornographers, but has released far more material as the frontman of his band Destroyer. He is renowned for his poetic and often cryptic lyrics as well as his unorthodox vocals. In 2006, he joined with Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes and Spencer Krug of Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade as part of another indie supergroup, Swan Lake. He has also collaborated with his girlfriend Sydney Hermant as the duo Hello, Blue Roses, whose debut album was released in 2008.

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Leela Gilday, 2006

Yellowknife, NWT

Thanks to the first-ever songwriter retreat supported by the Dawson City Music Festival and the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Gilday will take a leave from “gigging” across Canada and spend some time writing and kicking back in the Klondike for a month. “It’s the first time I’ve had in almost four years to just dedicate to writing; it’s a really nice place to be in,” she said, referring to the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture residency at Seventh and Princess.

READ MORE HERE (YUKON NEWS)