44th annual DCMF: July 22-24, 2023!

Songwriter in Residence Program

About the Residency

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

Like KIAC’s Artist in Residence Program, DCMF’s Songwriter in Residence Program aims to present an inspirational environment and culturally relevant context for creation and research.

Past DCMF Residents have gone on to be shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, be nominated for and win Juno Awards, and have gone on to perform at some of Canada’s premier venues such as Massey Hall and the National Arts Centre.

Goals of Residency

  • To provide professional songwriters/song creators with unrestricted time and space to research, develop and produce ongoing and/or new material, and work on related activities, e.g., readying PR for an album release, launching new music digitally, building a tour etc.

  • To introduce visiting artists to Northern Canada in a non-appropriative, respectful way

  • To provide an outreach activity such as a concert, workshop, or talk intended to promote interaction, foster an appreciation and understanding of songwriting, music, and the arts in general in our community

  • To provide opportunities for collaboration between visiting artists and both professional and developing Yukon songwriters and musicians

  • To provide Dawson City with exposure and access to a wide range of contemporary Canadian music

Residency Expectations

Expectations of the residency are flexible. Our main requirements are that the artist spends the month of January in Dawson City working on their craft, perform one public concert, and facilitate one outreach activity such as a talk or workshop intended to promote interaction, engagement, or professional development. The artist will structure their time based on their artistic goals.

Selections Process

A Selection Committee composed of DCMF staff, Board, peer advisors and other community members will assess each application based on the criteria listed in the Guidelines.

Application Information

This program is open to songwriters/song creators with a professional practice at any stage in their career (established, mid-career, and early).  Consideration will be given to all musical genres, and participation is not limited to traditional lyric-based songwriting.  


Please note: This application process includes preparing a brief proposal outlining what self-directed work you plan to pursue and how you would like to engage in community outreach.

We encourage applications from songwriters and song creators of all communities and backgrounds. We work to support the needs of our successful applicants, so please let us know of any accommodations you need during the application process or the residency itself that are not mentioned in the full guidelines.


The Macaulay House, constructed in 1901, is home to the residency program. This two-story furnished home is owned by Parks Canada as part of the Klondike National Historic Sites Complex and is centrally located at Princess Street and 7th Avenue.  There are two individual studio spaces (desk and chair provided) and bedrooms to choose from,  a living room, bathroom, fully equipped kitchen,  and laundry facilities. The house has high-speed wireless internet. 

Artists have access to DCMF audio equipment and facilities at KIAC, including video & sound equipment, art supplies, printing facilities, darkroom, and performance space. Please note that equipment may be limited or unavailable.

Accessibility: The house is situated on a dirt road*. A small ditch and uneven, rocky ground follow a step up to a boardwalk, leading to 6 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. The laundry, kitchen, living room and one studio are located on the main floor. Two bedrooms, a washroom (standard, step-over tub with showerhead) and a second studio space are located on the second floor, up a flight of stairs.  

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

Please get in touch with us at info@dcmf.com if you require further descriptions or photographs.


You can find current COVID-19 restrictions and information on the official Government of Yukon website

Due to the nature of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and shifting public health guidelines, public performance and community outreach delivery and format may be subject to change, and the residency may be subject to cancellation. 

Please take current restrictions and community safety into account when writing your proposal.