Songwriting Contest Winner Announced!

Island Mountain Arts is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 BC Musician Magazine Songwriting Contest - Richard Garvey from Guelph, Ontario with his song "Abigail."

Second place (which was only 0.5 of a point behind) was a tie between “Move the Mess Around” by Jack Garton from Galiano Island and "Dear Eurydice” by Patrick Spencer from Vancouver. None of the judges chose the same song as number one, which just goes to show how fantastic all the top choices were.

It was tough competition this year with 65 entries from across the country. Our four judges, Ross Douglas, Karyn Ellis, Joey Only and Yael Wand had a hard job. The process included each four judges getting a equal share of the submitted songs and then they chose their top three or four from their pile. Then all those songs went to the judges for round two where they had to rate each song from 1 - 10. I then applied a point system to their choices: 1st choice - 10 points, 2nd choice - 5 points, 3rd choice - 2 points, 4th choice - 1 points, 5th choice - 0.5 points. 

The winner, Richard Garvey wins a scholarship to attend the 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. 

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).

Running concurrently with the Dan Bern Songwriting Workshop is 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 and a Developing a Creative Practice with TJ Dawe and Lindsay Robertson. All these artists will also be appearing at the 2016 ArtsWells Festival, July 29 - August 1.

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