Island Mountain Arts, the ArtsWells Festival and BC Musician Magazine are pleased to announce a contest to win a scholarship to attend a four-day intensive Pre-Festival Songwriting Workshop, July 26th – 29th with the legendary, Dan Bern. Along with the scholarship (valued at $499), the winner will be given a solo set at the 13th Annual ArtsWells Festival Of All Things Art, July 29 – August 1, 2016 and will be featured both in BC Musician Magazine and in an interview on CBC Radio’s province wide arts and culture program, North by Northwest with Sheryl MacKay.

A remarkably prolific songsmith, Dan Bern has released some two dozen studio albums, EPs, and live recordings since his first acclaimed Sony-distributed CD in 1997, including the most recent 2015 releaseHoody. “Bern strums drop-dead gorgeous melodies…and expresses his love for humankind through scabrous, literary, skeptical rhymes,” writes the Washington Post. His songwriting has led to stints working on such projects as the Judd Apatow features Walk Hard—the Dewey Cox Story (starring John C. Reilly) and Get Him to the Greek (starring Russell Brand). Bern has also led many a workshop on songwriting and is looking forward to sharing his knowledge with other songwriters.

The contest is open to emerging and professional songwriters who submit entries. Entries will be judged on originality, melody, composition, and lyrics. Production/Recording quality and vocal ability are not criteria. This is an invaluable opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to nurture their songwriting on all levels while working with their peers and the mentorship of a senior songwriter.

Previous winners include, Winona Wilde – a.k.a. Noosa Al-Sarra (2015 with Stephen Fearing & Linda McRae), Dave Stanley Daoust (2014 with Bidiniband), Carolyn Anele (2013 with Fred Penner), Michelle Dumond (2012 with Bidiniband), Nathan Moes (2011 with Dave Bidini), Glenna Garramone (2010 with Ken Whiteley), James Lamb (2009 with David Francey & Craig Werth) and Brandon Scott of Yukon Blonde (2007 with Kevin Kane, Linda McRae & Cara Luft).

The deadline to apply is Friday, April 15, 2016 and the winner will be announced by Friday, May 6th, 2016. Applicants are also encouraged to apply to the “Songwriter Workshop Support Program,” offered through FACTOR (, which provides up to $750 towards attending a songwriting workshop, for those artists who have their songs registered with SOCAN.

Running concurrently with the Adult Songwriting Workshop are a Songwriting & Rhythm Day Camp for Ages 6 – 18 with Corwin Fox, Kia Kadiri, Coco Love Alcorn & Russ Klein, and Computer Music, Composition and Ableton Live with Rae Spoon & Alexandre Decoupigny and a Fingerstyle Guitar Workshop with Ken Hamm. All these artists will also be appearing at the 2016 ArtsWells Festival.

For more information about the contest or any of the programs offered, visit the Island Mountain Arts website at, call 1-800-442-2787, or email For more info on theArtsWells Festival Of All Things Art please visit




This contest is open to all aspiring or proficient songwriters – self-published or unpublished – who are looking for a chance to improve their song writing skills and further hone their craft.



Entries will be judged on originality, melody, composition, and lyrics. Production/Recording quality and vocal ability are not criteria.



Email 1 song (MP3 format), along with a typed lyric sheet, your name, address and telephone number to:
The song must be original



All entries must reach Island Mountain Arts no later than 5:00pm on Friday, April 15, 2016.

The winner will be announced by Friday, May 6th, 2016.



Full scholarship (value $499) to attend the four-day intensive Songwriting Workshop in Wells, British Columbia with Dan Bern.
A solo performance spot at the 2016 ArtsWells Festival (, which begins on the last day of the workshop (Friday, July 29) and runs until Monday, August 1, 2016 and includes an artist pass with camping.
A profile in BC Musician Magazine
An interview on CBC Radio’s North by Northwest with Sheryl MacKay