A once in a lifetime opportunity has opened the application process for Canadian songwriters, producers and artists.

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) is working with the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame to bring back the second annual Indigenous Song Camp.

While the camp is set to take place in October, the application process is open from July 10 until August 5.

The camp, sponsored by Amazon Music, aims to broaden the horizons of those in the Canadian music scene.

“From the 23 to the 26 of October, 15 Indigenous and non-Indigenous songwriters, artists, and producers will come together to explore new writing styles, develop new collaborative relationships, and create a community experience,” reads the SOCAN Foundation website.

The website continues to say the camp hopes to offer a big leap forward in the careers of the applicants.

“The camp aims to allow participants to expand their networks, while creating new songs in an inspiring setting, and presenting their work at an industry listening session.”

The first annual rendition of the camp took place last September, though that was already years after the original plan was set to be in motion.

The initial idea was for the event to occur during the COVID pandemic, but that had to be abandoned, according to SOCAN Magazine.

John Murphy, the head of Amazon Music and Podcasts in Canada, says this event creates an environment ripe for creativity.

“The Camp is the perfect setting for collaboration and conversation, and we can’t wait to see this come to life in October,” said Murphy in a media statement.

Alan Greyeyes, director for the sākihiwē Festival, is the organizer of this annual Indigenous Camp and he says the business part of the music industry is important but the actual songs are the star.

“We recognize that there are many conferences, panel discussions, and programs dedicated to teaching recording artists about the business side of the music industry in Canada, which are all valuable; but, I’m often reminded that songs are actually the most important part of everything we do,” said Greyeyes in the same media statement.

He says he is glad his festival can support this upcoming event in October.

“I’m super happy that the sākihiwē festival is able to support this incredible opportunity for Indigenous songwriters in Canada,” said Greyeyes. 

SOCAN released a media statement saying the first Indigenous camp was a success, with previous similar camps opening pathways for various artists.

“SOCAN’s songwriting camps have fostered the careers of artists including Ria Mae, Savannah Ré, and Charlotte Cardin to name a few.  Last year, in partnership with CSHF, the inaugural Indigenous Song Camp was established as a pilot project to overwhelmingly positive response.  Participants of the 2022 Indigenous Song Camp included hip hop producer (Drake’s “In The Bible”) Eli Brown, JUNO-nominated artist Ruby Waters, 2023 JUNO nominee Aysanabee, and emerging songwriter Ila Barker,” read the media statement.

Ila Barker, a participant from the camp last year, says the overall experience was well worth it.

“Attending the Indigenous Song Camp was such an uplifting experience. I genuinely felt like I left that camp a different person, a different artist. It pushed me outside of my comfort zone as a writer, taught me a lot about my abilities, and helped me set new goals. I’m leaving the experience feeling super-crystal-clear on the direction I’ll be taking my art in the future, with a few more songs in my catalogue and with many lifelong friendships,” said Barker in a media statement.

This year, the event will take place at the Kilometre House in Toronto from October 23-26.

For more information or to apply, visit socanfoundation.ca.

By Justin Sibbet, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 07, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Lethbridge Herald    Lethbridge, Alberta

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