The Gordie Sampson Songcamp Turns 10

Updated: September 17, 2019

This November, Nova Scotia Music Week and the Cape Breton Music Cooperative are honoured to be presenting The 10th Anniversary Gordie Sampson Songcamp Show.

With Gordie Sampson as the host, he will shine the spotlight on eight of the incredible song camp participants from the last decade. The show will include performances by Cameron Nickerson, Carleton Stone, Dave Sampson, Kayleigh O’Connor, Makayla Lynn, Maura Whitman, and Willie Stratton, with Gordie Sampson also playing some of the songs he's best known for.

The 10th Anniversary Gordie Sampson Songcamp Show Presented by CBMIC take place on Saturday, November 9th at the First United Church in Truro, Nova Scotia - Doors at 1:30pm. Show at 2:00pm. This show is all-ages, and is a dry event.

Posted: April 11, 2019


You know we love Gordie Sampson. In addition to writing some of our favourite songs ever - case in point "Paris" (watch the video below) - the Cape Breton born Grammy winning singer/songwriter has been cranking out the hits for some of the music world's biggest stars - everyone from Keith Urban to Faith Hill, Backstreet Boys to Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley to Carrie Underwood (including her debut smash "Jesus Take the Wheel.")

We're massive fans of the man, and what makes our affinity even stronger is his willingness to help mentor future songwriters from his home province at The Gordie Sampson Songcamp.  You only need look at the crop of talent who emerge each year to know the Songcamp is a true success story. Cheers to 10 x 10 years more!!! SABS

For more SABS features on Gordie Sampson please check out SABS 7th Birthday Salute, Holidays in the Homeland, #FFF Friday Favourite Four, Makin' Must-Have Music, NYE Pre-Sound Check Chat (video), INsights IN 10 (video), and his Artist PLAY List (video)

For everything else visit and follow Gordie on Twitter @Gordie_Sampson  and on Instagram @gordiesampson

For more details visit the official site at

What follows is the official Songcamp 10th Birthday Release...

Halifax, NS (April 11, 2019)Ten years ago, the launch of The Gordie Sampson Songcamp, created a new and unique Nova Scotian songwriting experience – one that brought together exceptional and established songwriters from Canada and beyond, to work with Nova Scotia’s young and up-and-coming writers.

For the past 10 years, Grammy award winner Gordie Sampson has returned to Cape Breton each summer, to host and participate in a week long immersive songwriting camp, with the exclusive goal of helping young artists develop a strong voice and build skills that would allow them to contribute to the international songwriting industry.

With over 50 songwriters in attendance over the past decade, The Gordie Sampson Songcamp, with the support of SOCAN, the Province of Nova Scotia, FMAV, and Music Nova Scotia, has been able to fulfill its mandate of giving songwriters the opportunity to grow, build relationships with their peers, promote learning in pursuit of artistic excellence, and to discover more about who they are as artists and how they can contribute to their music communities through collaboration.

The success of The Gordie Sampson Songcamp, can be seen not only in the immeasurably strong and supportive community it has build, but the remarkable achievements of the camps alumni, which includes but is not limited to: JUNO nominee and SOCAN Songwriting Prize winner Mo Kenney,  international touring and chart topping band Port Cities, star of CTV’s “The Launch” T. Thomason, Cymba Music Publishing signee Reeny Smith, named “One to Watch” by Rolling Stone Magazine Makayla Lynn, Sonic Publishing inaugural signee Dave Sampson, Canadian Radio Music Award Winners Neon Dreams, and Canada’s rising rap star Quake Matthews.

 When asked about Songcamp, the inspiration, and evolution, Sampson had this to say:  

What inspired you to start song camp?

 “The idea was born as a way to expose young NS songwriters to collaborative songwriting…and as a way to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way to help foster a broader songwriting network within the province. The focus has always been to never “teach” one how to write a song, as I’ve never believed that to be an example of good mentorship, but rather create a peer environment, where the already rooted art form could flourish dramatically and quickly. My manager Sheri Jones and I started a discussion on board a plane ride one evening about it and the following summer we had our first humble camp of a small group of writers”

What has been your favourite part of being involved year after year?

“Undoubtedly it would be seeing the young writers get “hooked” on the process. There’s an obvious  summer spirit that happens during camp-time but when I hear that they are still collaborating in February because a “fire has been lit”, it’s the most rewarding for me personally. There are some very strong bonds between writers that are made in general and now that we have been doing this 10 years we are seeing those writers have used the connections in exponential ways over this period.”

What do you think the biggest changes have been over the last 10 years?

“Songwriting like any other facet of the profession is a moving target and we had to move with it as well. The last decade has seen a huge rise in the role of the “producer-writer” or sometimes called “track-writer” as production across all genres has become more dependent on programming and software. So the “producer-writers” that are invited to the camp have played an enormous role in shaping the process, particularly in the last five years of the camp.”

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