Steve Gosselin is looking for local songwriters to join the Okanagan Collaboration Challenge, to be showcased May 12. (David Ross Photography)

Okanagan Collaboration Challenge blindly pairs up songwriters

Applications sought from musicians who are up to the challenge

A new and unique was of bringing local talent together is amped up for the Okanagan.

The Okanagan Collaboration Challenge is accepting applications, but only until Saturday, April 20, for songwriters. The twist is that each applicant will be paired up with someone they have never collaborated with before. Participants will be paired April 27. Then, on May 12, the songs will be played at live recorded showcase.

“I wanted to come up with something new and unique with all the singer-songwriter competitions and battle of the bands going on,” said musician Steve Gosselin, who is organizing the challenge. “I figured a collaboration event seemed like a great way to bring people together, create unity within our music community and in turn strengthen it. Collaboration, in my opinion, is also the best way to grow as a musician. We are constantly learning and everyone has something unique to their style that we can learn from. What better way than by working together?”

So far, about half of the participants have signed up, including Natalie Ingram of the Okanagan Valley Big Band, Ernest Anyway, Kelowna’s Leila Neverland and local award winner singer/songwriter Tanya Lipscomb.

“We are looking for 10-12 new songs to be written by 10-12 new collaborations,” said Gosselin, who is also co-founder of the Freedom Arts program run by Angela Roy with Barefoot Caravan.

See: Barefoot Caravan to give workshop

To register, send an email to smgosselin80@gmail.com with your name, instrument(s) of choice, current/past musical projects (include links if possible) and what type of collaboration

you’d like to start up.

Manfred E. Harter has joined the fold as a host for the event.

“In addition we may be filming to have some footage featured on Manfred’s Guitar (Shaw Cable),” said Gosselin, founder of SMG Endeavours, which has brought a number of acts to perform locally. “The new duo’s may also have an opportunity to perform at the Shaw Studio for some future episodes as well.”

Details to be announced for the live recorded showcase on May 12.


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