46th annual DCMF: July 19-21, 2024!

Songwriter In Residence Alumni

Emmet Michael • 2023

Edmonton, AB     

Introspective and enthralling, with equal parts grit and grace, Emmet Michael is a musician who was built on his trials. Turning to music in his darkest times, he found solace in his ability to share his heart with others through his lyrics. There is a lifetime’s worth of honesty and vulnerability encapsulated in the Edmonton Music Prize winning album I Hope You’re Home, the debut full-length album released in summer 2021. With soulful melodies and heart wrenching lyrics, his music conveys a message that is both powerful and vulnerable. Entirely unique yet familiar, Emmet’s music is a bold, unflinching look at life as an outsider before undertaking a journey of self-discovery. 

Throughout his residency in Dawson City, Emmet will be drawing inspiration and writing new songs for his forthcoming album at the historic Macaulay House.

Photo by Sheena Zilinski

Cassia Hardy • 2022

amiskwaciy, Treaty 6 / Edmonton, AB     

Cassia Hardy is a loudish musician and songwriter from amiskwaciy, Treaty 6. As the singer/guitarist for the rock band Wares, she has performed at festivals and clubs across north Turtle Island, sharing the stage with Ezra Furman, US Girls, and Cloud Nothings, among others. Her music is voltage controlled, dreamy and deliberate, not raw but rather worked to a fine point.

Few albums combine raw vulnerability with shredding solos as seamlessly as Wares’ Survival. On her first release for Mint Records, Edmonton’s Cassia Hardy blazes through riff-wielding indie-rock symphonies for anyone striving to stay alive and create a brighter future. By sharing her own journey towards hope, she hopes to light a path for anyone lost in the dark. As Hardy explains in its liner notes, “this record is dedicated to decolonial activists, anti-fascist agitators, prairie queers fighting for community and a better life.”

Brigitte Jardins • 2021

Whitehorse, YT   

Originally from Quebec, Brigitte was involved full-time in the Montreal music scene as a drummer. She is now a renowned artist in the Yukon, actively performing with Ryan McNally, Claire Ness and many more for the past seven years. Brigitte has decided to focus her time, work & love on her country-folk project, finding inspiration in traditional country, old-time and Cajun repertoire. 

As a Queer bilingual woman, Brigitte incorporates into her work French and English stories that explore gender roles. She pays tribute to women roots singers who impacted the industry, such as Cléoma Breaux, the first Cajun women who recorded music in Louisiana; Gallant tu perds ton temps, the first traditional all-women band in Québec; and Barbara Dane, a political activist and folk-singer from Michigan.

Brigitte will spend the month of January working on a roster of new bilingual songs, refining existing songs, and exploring stage performance. Brigitte plans to connect and share with the community in various ways, including a workshop titled “The Place of a Drummer in a Band” and private one-on-one drum lessons for all ages.

Owen Steel • 2020


Owen Steel was raised between a farmhouse in rural Prince Edward Island and a rambling, seaside hostel in small town New Brunswick – the latter hosting an array of touring musicians who instilled within him an interest in song craft. He has written and released an assortment of idiosyncratic garage / folk material that runs the gamut from simple and coy, to ugly and bizarre.

Since 2008, he has toured sporadically in support of numerous independent releases (as well as with bands The Belle Comedians, Mike Trask & The Precious Memories, and Dana Sipos) from Newfoundland to the Yukon, Texas to Sweden, and points in between. From folk festivals to freak festivals; basement bars to revered soft seat theatres; by thumb, boat, band van and train; In the process making his way under the radar and into the ears of a small but mighty group of listeners.

Read an article by Grid City Magazine about his residency here!

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 Wallance • 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)!

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.

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.”


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.

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.

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.


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.

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


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.

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 Barrett

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.

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.

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.