Gordie Sampson Songcamp was conceived by Gordie Sampson, a multiple-award winning Canadian songwriter and artist, as a way to nurture young songwriters from across Nova Scotia, give them access to knowledge, and help them develop tools that will benefit their writing careers.
The first Songcamp took place at the Glenghorm Resort in Ingonish, Cape Breton from August 9 – 12, 2010. Seven writers between the ages of 15 and 24 co-wrote in excess of 10 songs over three days during sessions facilitated by Gordie and Steve MacDougall (Slowcoaster). The camp culminated in a sold-out Songwriter Circle, where each of the writers showcased their original material and songs that they co-wrote together during the camp.
In 2011, Songcamp returned to the Glenghorm Resort and welcomed back six first-year songwriters and six new writers. From July 30 – August 5, they co-wrote over 30 songs, demoed 14 songs and gave another outstanding live performance during the Songwriter Circle. Songcamp grew again in 2012; Carleton Stone became our third leader (alongside Gordie and Steve), we added six new writers and invited songwriters from the previous two years – for a total of 25 songwriters, leaders, and volunteers at Songcamp. We changed our location to the beautiful Keltic Lodge Resort the same year and hosted the Songwriter Circle at Ceilidh Hall to enthusiastic crowds. We welcomed four new writers in 2013, including singer-songwriter Carmen Townsend, and 12 returning writers. Gordie, Steve, and Carleton lead the songwriting sessions, and mentored Dylan Guthro for a leadership role at Songcamp in 2014. Having artists from all genres – rock, rap, country, folk, and R&B – made for an exciting Songwriter Circle at Keltic Lodge, for the performers and the community.
Songcamp gives songwriters the opportunity to develop artists skills and build relationships with their peers, making our province a more vibrant and sustainable place for youth in the music business. Our vision for Songcamp is to promote learning in pursuit of artistic excellence and for songwriters to discover more about who they are as artists and how they can contribute to their music communities through collaboration.
The Gordie Sampson Songcamp is made possible by the generous support from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage; Music Nova Scotia; The Ceilidh Cup, and the Bell Media Canadian Songwriting Challenge.