Songwriting Contest Winner Announced!

Island Mountain Arts is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 BC Musician/ArtsWells Songwriting Contest – Genevieve Charbonneau from Duncan, BC with her song "Down, Down, Down."

Genevieve is a Cowichan Valley based singer-songwriter crafting tales of love, loss and rural living in between raising her three sons, harvesting veggies and hauling firewood. Though based in an old-time country tradition, Genevieve’s music focus’s on strong lyrics that speak to current politics and modern relationships. At the Vancouver Island Music Awards, Genevieve’s debut solo album “Updraft” garnered a 2014 Producer of the Year Award for Marc Atkinson, and her political food and farming song “Farmer Ain’t in the Dell” was nominated for Country Recording of the Year. Genevieve heads up two bands: Genevieve and the Wild Sundays and the Twisted Vine String Band and is a long-time member of the multi-award winning Balkan Babes.

Genevieve wins a scholarship to attend the four-day intensive Pre-Festival Songwriting Workshop, August 1 - 4 with Oh Susanna, Paul Linklater and Don Kerr. Along with the scholarship (valued at $499), the she receives a solo set at the 14th Annual ArtsWells Festival Of All Things Art, August 4 - 7, 2017 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.

Second place was a tie between Guelph’s Missy Bauman with her song “Two Sisters” and Vancouver’s Patrick Spencer of the band Coldwater Road with his song “Photographs.” Patrick was in second place in last year’s contest and in recognition of that has also been invited to the workshop and to perform at this summer’s ArtsWells Festival. 

It was tough competition this year with 67 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 an equal share of the submitted songs and then they chose their top three or four from their group. 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.

Previous winners include, Richard Garvey (2016 with Dan Bern), 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 Songwriting Workshop with Oh Susanna, Paul Linklater and Don Kerr is a Songwriting & Rhythm Day Camp for Ages 6 – 18 with Corwin Fox, Shawn Stephenson and Maiya Robbie, and Sing About It with Melisa Devost. All these artists will also be appearing at the 2017 ArtsWells Festival, August 4 – 7.

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