Workshop Stage


Or does there need to be a line at all? In our current time of digital streaming, where a song seems to have a very short shelf-life, how can a song support social change and/or activism? And if it does, does it matter? Music is, in its essence, one of the most powerful forms of free speech available to us… Our artists will choose a song, play them and explain what the intended message behind the song was in their eyes. We’ll ask the audience what message they heard? And in a time of extreme sharing of music, are their listeners sharing songs for what our panel believes are the right reasons, or for other reasons all together? (ie. someone can just love a melody and not be affected at all by lyrics). And when a political campaign co-opts a song and uses it while flying in the face of the song’s original message, how does that make us feel?

Host: Stephen Stanley
Panelists: Adrian Sutherland, Caroline Marie Brooks (Good Lovelies), Carsie Blanton, Luke Wallace


How much does where you live affect your music? How much of your home surroundings end up in your songs? Are your songs a product of home or the road – which plays a bigger role in how you write. Panelists will select a song as an example of how their day-to-day life played a role in their narrative. Or maybe… Home is just a place to decompress – the songs are born elsewhere, either way, we want to discuss it. We’ll ask the audience if they hear the personal narrative in the chosen songs, or if the songs speak to them of something they are familiar with. How much of you goes into your music and how do you feel about letting that go when it’s done?

Host: Alannah Kemp

Panelists: Hillary Watson, Jitensha, Rebecca Hawker, Tennyson King


Bob Dylan walks on stage, sits down at his piano and runs through his nightly 16 song set, barely uttering a word to the audience or his band. Has he connected with his audience, are the songs alone enough to do this? Clearly, this can be argued from both sides of the equation, and that is the motivation behind this workshop. Each artist will play a song and in doing so, describe how they personally connect with their audience. Do the songs do it for you, or are there other elements they bring to their work that opens the door for the audience to come inside.

Host: Tamara Williamson
Panelists: Barbra Lica, Chris Madronich (Gravely), Melissa Payne,  Rory Taillon


When you sit down to write a song is it generally a solo effort or would you rather have trusted collaborators at your side. And if songwriting is only a solo endeavour for you, how does the community around you affect your songwriting. Is community important to you? Or are you mostly creating strictly via imagination. Where do you fit into your community as an artist and how does your community help shape your art. Basically, does community matter to you? Each artist will play a chosen song, and contextualize the song via the real or perceived community that surrounded it. And we’ll ask audience members to describe how music figures into their own personal communities and if that has changed at all in the past 5 years?

Host: Ben Kunder
Panelists: Conor Gains, Geoff Holt (Barn Cat), Marie Perry (Mip of the Mip Power Trio)