Four Songcamp acts make the CBC Searchlight Regional Top 10!

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Congratulations to The Brood, Dave Sampson, Port Cities and Laura Roy for making the Top 10 Regional Finals for Nova Scotia in the 2016 CBC Searchlight Competition! Fans can vote at the links below daily until Friday, April 29:
Dave Sampson:
Laura Roy:
Port Cities:
The Brood:

Natalie Lynn wins the 2016 Take It To The Tiki Competition!

Congratulations to our very own Natalie Lynn on winning this year’s “Take It To The Tiki” Competition! After four weeks of competition with 11 other acts, Natalie took the final prize – winning a slot at Canadian Music Week at the Rivoli on the “Tiki Stage”, as well as $2,000 towards travel and free accommodations for the night of the show. Nice work, Natalie!


2016 Gordie Sampson Songcamp now accepting submissions

We are now accepting submissions for songwriters to attend the Gordie Sampson Songcamp, which takes place in Ingonish, Cape Breton on July 10 – 15, 2016.

At the Gordie Sampson Songcamp, emerging writers come from all over the province of Nova Scotia to collaborate and co-write songs with their peers, mentor with award-winning artists, and learn from music industry leaders.

To be eligible to apply, you must:
– currently live in Nova Scotia
– be between the age of 18-24
– have links online to where we can listen to 3 songs you’ve written (on your artist website, YouTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, are most common) OR email us MP3 recordings/demos

There is no fee to attend the Gordie Sampson Songcamp. Accommodations and meals are provided at no cost to the songwriters. A maximum of 5 new songwriters will be selected to attend. Only successful candidates will be notified.

To apply, please send an email to [email protected] with the following information:
– Your first and last name
– City/town where you currently live
– Links online to where we can listen to 3 songs you’ve written (on your artist website, YouTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, are most common) OR email MP3 recordings/demos
– Lyrics for the 3 songs you are submitting, in a Word document
– 1 to 2 paragraphs explaining your musical background

You can include 3 additional websites like your Facebook fan page, Twitter, and links to videos and press online.

Deadline for submissions is: March 15, 2016

The Gordie Sampson Songcamp Song is an annual event, conceived by Gordie Sampson, a multiple-award winning Canadian songwriter and artist, as a way to “give back” to the community that has supported him. The intent is to nurture young songwriters, give them access to knowledge, and to help them develop tools that will benefit their writing careers.

Past songwriters include Dylan Guthro, Carleton Stone, Mo Kenney, Evan Meisner, Breagh MacKinnon, Barbara Cameron, Brandon Johnson, Elijah Wohlmuth, Jenny MacDonald, Natalie Lynn, Dave Sampson, Dana Beeler, Seamus Erskine, Willie Stratton, Laura Roy, Nicole Ariana, Kyle Mischiek, T Thomason, Reeny Smith, and Jahmal Wellington AKA Frank Kadillac.

Thank you to our sponsors and partners for your generous support: Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage; Music Nova Scotia; The Ceilidh Cup; SOCAN; and the SOCAN Foundation and Bell Media Canadian Songwriter Challenge.

Songcamp Alumnus Christopher Brown Releases new album!

12348147_1653770584897279_8625941639719263022_nCongratulations to Christopher Brown on the recent release of his self-titled album, released December 1st. An alumnus from 2013-2014, two songs on the record were co-penned in Ingonish at Songcamp! Follow Christopher on Facebook and get the album on iTunes here!

6th Annual Songcamp a great success!

We had the best time ever in Ingonish this past week. We made new friends – five new writers to Songcamp and two special guests from Nashville – and together we wrote over 40 songs! Thank you to everyone involved and everyone who helps to make Songcamp a possibility!


Congrats to new Songcamper Reeny Smith for winning the second annual Casino NS AiR Program!

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 3.32.18 PMCongrats to Reeny Smith for winning the title of Casino Nova Scotia’s Artist in Residence and $20,000 in funding for career development! Music Nova Scotia received over 35 applications from artists around the province and judges narrowed it down to ten for interviews, six for the performance and one for the residency.

“I was the first performer that night – I guess I was lucky number one,” stated Smith. This was an incredible experience. I am happy that I made the decision to pursue what I am truly passionate about.”

Read more…

A warm welcome to our special guest writers

The Gordie Sampson Songcamp is very pleased to announce that Caitlyn Smith and Rollie Gaalswyk will be attending Songcamp this year.

Chances are you’ve heard songs by Caitlyn Smith and just didn’t realize it. The country artist has been a welcome addition to the music scene with her powerhouse vocals and fresh songwriting. She co-wrote every song on her latest project, Everything to You, which released last year and includes the hit radio single, “Wasting All These Tears,” (single of Cassadee Pope). The release continues to gain momentum, with national media attention from Rolling Stone Country,, SIRIUS XM and Country Weekly, to name a few.

Caitlyn has toured alongside iconic artists like Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson. Her repertoire as a songwriter includes a long list of songs she has penned for her peers like multi-platinum artist Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, Garth Brooks and Meghan Trainor.

Minnesota native Rollie Gaalswyk has already made quite the mark in Music City. He started taking trips back and forth every month from Minneapolis to Nashville to write and network, while continuing to play in bands and write/produce for various singer/songwriters back home. Eventually, like the story so often goes, he packed it all up and made the move south in 2013. Shortly after, he garnered his first top 10, platinum-selling hit, “Wasting All These Tears” for Cassadee Pope. As well as songwriting, Gaalswyk has produced for a good handful of upcoming artists (Caitlyn Smith, Laura Nicholson, Jeremy Lardani) and works out of his studio just south of Nashville.

Cape Breton Post: Songcamper Kyle Mischiek among finalists for Casino Nova Scotia artist in residence

kylemBy Cape Breton Post

Cape Breton musician Kyle Mischiek is among the finalists for Casino Nova Scotia’s artist in residence 2015.

Jurors made the selection following interviews last week. There are five candidates, plus a wild card pick, moving onto the performance round of the selection process June 12.

Music lovers and fans will have their chance to vote from June 1 – June 5 during the online voting, which counts towards the selection of the finalist. Go to to vote. The public is welcome to come to the Showcase on June 12 at Casino Nova Scotia. Free admission.

Read more…

Tickets available now for the 6th annual gordie sampson songcamp circle!

We are very excited to announce our 6th annual Gordie Sampson Songcamp Circle in Ingonish, Cape Breton at the Keltic Lodge on June 26th! Get your advance tickets at Doucette’s Rite Stop and Ingonish Home Hardware Building Centre!

Keep up with Songcamp on Facebook and Twitter for more updates, and get your tickets here:

Doucette’s Rite Stop
37867 Cabot Trail
Ingonish, Nova Scotia
(902) 285-2861

Ingonish Home Hardware
37692 Cabot Trail
Ingonish, Nova Scotia
Open Mon – Sat: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
(902) 285-2323


2015 Gordie Sampson Songcampers!


We’ve just returned from Nashville where we listened to all of the Songcamp Submissions for this year. We’d like to thank you all for taking the time to submit.

We heard some great songs and a whole lot of potential, but we only have spots open for 5 new writers so, sadly, we can’t include everyone.

If you were not invited to Songcamp this year, please do not be discouraged. Part of our challenge is finding the right balance of styles. Not being included on the list below does not mean that you didn’t rate well in the submissions.

We encourage you all to keep writing and to submit again next year!

NEW 2015 Writers:
Reeny Smith
Jahmal Wellington aka Frank Kadillac
Eric Stephen Martin
Jodi Guthro
Brandon Miller Davis

Returning Writers:
Nicole Ariana
Laura Roy
Kyle Mischiek
Dave Sampson

Gordie Sampson
Steven MacDougall
Carleton Stone
Dylan Guthro
Breagh Mackinnon

Due in part to the increasing number of submissions we receive, we have raised the minimum age to 18.