A Little History
The SongStudio songwriters’ workshop began as the Humber Summer Songwriters Workshop at Humber College of Music in Toronto, in July 2005. The program was initially designed by Rik Emmett (Triumph) and Blair Packham (The Jitters), and operated at Humber College until 2009, at which time the program was renamed SongStudio.
From 2009 through 2019, SongStudio continued to offer an intensive summer workshop for songwriters, hosted first at Ryerson University and later at the Royal Conservatory of Music, building upon the original program first designed by Rik and Blair, keeping the best parts and trying out new components.
Starting in 2020, with the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, SongStudio pivoted to operate online, and successfully continued providing a premiere experience for songwriters, this time beamed directly into the homes of songwriters in several countries, and with the participation of professional mentors from across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. This pivot additionally allowed us to begin offering events more frequently, especially to participants who are unable to travel to Toronto to participate in-person. We introduced our Deep Dive and SongBIZ events at this time to complement what we do at the full week-long workshop every summer.
We have enjoyed the enthusiastic contributions of a handful of staff over the years, and though they may not be with us now, we thank them for being part of SongStudio’s evolution.
Today, all SongStudio events are planned and operated by Blair Packham and Allister Bradley, with each event including a roster of industry professionals – songwriters, music publishers, music supervisors, publicists, studio producers and engineers, etc. – where applicable to the event.
SongStudio has always operated with the same fundamental principles:
- to provide songwriters direct access to professional mentors, to work on rewriting the participants’ own songs
- to provide a safe space for songwriters to share their works in progress, in a super-supportive educational environment
- to provide performance opportunities for our participants to be heard
- to connect participants with one another to build a growing community of songwriters, artists and mentors
At SongStudio, we are committed to equity in all our pursuits. We invite and encourage all songwriters, including members of Black and other racialized communities, 2SLGBTQ+ identified persons, persons with disabilities, and First Nations, Inuit and Metis individuals to consider allowing us to help with your artistic journey in songwriting.
Now, more than ever, we seek to staff our events with experienced, talented, creative mentors who represent a diversity of communities, with a concerted effort to offering greater representation and greater opportunity for communities who have historically been marginalized within our Music and Education industries.
We do not draw boundaries with respect to musical genres; we see music as a means for communication and community, and we hope to expand your abilities to communicate with your audience through your music.
It is our aim to provide a safe space in which to share your creative energies, pursue your artistic passion, and grow your collaborative community.