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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.