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"In a song, you've got a tempo. You've got something that is moving swiftly. You can't stop it, you know? And it's designed to move swiftly from mouth to mouth, heart to heart...."

- Leonard Cohen

Ninth Glenn Gould Prize Laureate, Leonard Cohen is renowned for his music and songwriting. For over four decades, his lyrics have expressed our shared stories and emotions in a way that has touched our common humanity. In the spirit of this legacy, The Glenn Gould Foundation partnered with some of the most talented Canadians in the songwriting industry to help local youth find their own voice and expression in song.

Called Make This Waltz, sixteen young asipring songwriters from Toronto's community and music programs at Dixon Hall Music School and SKETCH participated in a special workshop called WritersConnect with professional singer-songwriting mentors, Carole Pope, Ayah, Deborah Alexander and Blair Packham from the Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.)

performanceThis collaborative workshop brought together the expertise of the pros with beginning and novice young songwriters to not only provide feedback and new ideas on works in progress, but also have participants leave with an idea of how to develop a song further.

Following the workshop, a community concert was held for SKETCH and Dixon Hall Music School students, staff and families. Presented by the Songwriters Association of Canada as a gift for youth during the Leonard Cohen Glenn Gould Prize celebrations, Bluebird North is the one of the organization's trademark concert showcases. Featuring Julie Crochetière, Lauren Campbell and Theo Tams (Canadian Idol).

Bluebird North is an intimate, interactive musical showcase hosted by the S.A.C. that brings together some of Canada’s most inspiring songwriters to share their songs and stories. During this acoustic, informal evening, each featured songwriter performs their songs and shares the ‘back story’ and inspiration about how each song was written.

Bluebird North is based on Nashville's famed Bluebird Café, which opened in 1982. The venue is well known for helping launch the careers of Garth Brooks, Ashley Cleveland and Pam Tillis. Bluebird North is endorsed by the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

View photos from this event here.

WritersConnect - The Workshop Mentors

carolepope_web_largeCarole Pope has three Junos (Canadian Grammys) 4 gold, 1 platinum and 1 double platinum Album. She had contributed music to The L Word , General Idea Art AIDs and the fin de siecle, The Trailer Park Boys Movie, Queer As Folk, This Revolution, Miami Vice, countless MTV and VH1 shows and the (love it or hate it) cult classic Cruising which was just released on DVD. She wrote an auto biography entitled Anti Diva published by Random House. The film rights where optioned last year. She is currently working on her new album!



Debra_webDebra Alexander is the creative director of Word Maven Music, and promotes appreciation and awareness for the art of songwriting. As a songwriter, publisher, teacher, coach, & collaborator, she works with wordsmiths and musicians to craft memorable songs. A veteran of the Nashville, New York, Austin, and Toronto music scenes, Debra registered Word Maven Music with ASCAP in 1996, and SOCAN in 2011. As a singer-songwrter, Debra has been featured in prestigious songwriting events and venues, including NXNE, Tin Pan North, Club Passim, The Bluebird, The Cactus Café, and the Free Times Café.



ayahnewwebA multitalented & self-taught singer / songwriter / composer who possesses an enchanting voice, Ayah has experienced a fairly nomadic life & found her growing world indelibly touched by a vast array of musical genres and cultures. Ayah has appeared on projects with artists like Freeway, Kardinal Offishall, and Elzhi. She has also received front page coverage on the likes of and her video “Forgive Me Love” recently debuted on VH1Soul. Today, Ayah is working with Dj Jazzy Jeff & James Poyser (The Roots) on their second collaboration album, "This Way", set for release in 2012.



BPackhamBlair Packham is perhaps best known as the former lead singer of The Jitters, a Toronto-based pop band that enjoyed chart success in the late 1980s/early 1990s with “Last of the Red Hot Fools”, “Closer Every Day”, “The Bridge Is Burning” and “’Til the Fever Breaks”. After the band folded, Blair launched an ongoing career composing music for film and television. Past clients include Global CanWest Television, CTV, Discovery Channel and more. Blair continues to write and record his own songs, and has released two post-Jitters CDs. As a producer, Blair and Ron Sexsmith co-produced “What Ever Happened to Christmas” for legendary singer Andy Kim, as well as “Highway of Heroes” a song by radio pundit Bob Reid that hit Number One in 2009. Blair and Reid co-host NewsTalk 1010’s “In the Studio." or



Bluebird North Performers

pJulie Crochetière was recruited to be a part of the band Sugar Jones in 2000, signed to Universal Music. In 2003, Julie wrote and independently released her first EP, Café. Julie began to build a name for herself as a musician and singer/songwriter by performing at some of the most renowned live music venues in Toronto, Montreal and New York. Later she teamed up with drummer/ producer Tony Albino to produce "A Better Place" her first full-length record.

lcHere we have Lauren Campbell: a spirited young musician out of Orilia, Ontario who is captivating audiences with her intimate blend of folk-rock and pop (ala Joel Plaskett and Sarah Harmer). Backed by her band,The Dusty Figurines, Lauren Campbell breathes a rustic and heart felt personality into life and music. Lauren will be releasing a self-titled EP, produced by Moe Berg (Pursuit of Happiness, The Cliks), which presents 2 of her fan favourites and one new song. Folk has a new player who is out capturing hearts with her raw musical expression.



Theo TamsTheo Tams (beyond the mountain) - Raised in Coaldale, Alberta, self-taught pianist Theo Tams received nationwide acclaim during his run on Canadian Idol. His quirky and charming personality won over audiences, while his commanding vocal talents gained praise from judges hailing him as “the best male vocalist [ever] on the show.” Following his win, Theo was given the unique opportunity to become involved with the production of his debut album, Give it All Away, and he helped pen seven of the songs that would end up on the album—a record for any Idol. While collaborating with Canadian icons including Hawksley Workmen and Sarah Slean on his debut, Theo has embarked on numerous cross-Canada tours and international songwriting projects in Australia.


About our Partners

Songwriters Association of Canada

SAC_LogoThe Songwriters Association of Canada exists to nurture, develop and protect the creative, business, and legal environments of songwriters in Canada and around the world. The S.A.C. does this to promote universal recognition of the inspirational, societal and economic values of music & song.

To learn more about the S.A.C., visit


Dixon Hall Music School

MS logo colourFor over 34 years, Dixon Hall Music School has provided music lessons to thousands of children from the Regent Park area of Toronto. The Music School is located near Regent Park, where 68% live below Statistics Canada’s poverty line. Against this backdrop, Dixon Hall Music School is a lifeline, providing:

* Half-hour private lessons for $3 per lesson
* Instruments for $3 per month
* Free tickets to the symphony, ballet and opera
* Extensive summer music programs
* Dedicated teachers in a friendly environment

To learn more, visit


SKETCH logo jpegSKETCH is a community arts development initiative for young people homeless and on the margins, ages 15-29. Although based in Toronto, this initiative engages youth from all over Canada. SKETCH creates equitable opportunities for diverse young people to experience the transformative power of the arts, to develop their leadership and self-sufficiency, and to cultivate social and environmental change through the arts. SKETCH celebrates and proliferates its community-arts practice with partners in various Canadian towns and cities to build a movement where young people, free from barriers, are celebrated and engaged as culture-makers, perception changers and collaborators in building a creative community.

To learn more, visit


The Ninth Glenn Gould Prize Celebrations

The Glenn Gould Foundation programmed a series of free events in celebration of iconic singer, songwriter, poet, artist and novelist Leonard Cohen, the Ninth Laureate of The Glenn Gould Prize.

The Ninth Glenn Gould Prize Events were presented by

Ninth Prize Event Sponsors


The Glenn Gould Foundation also thanks Yamaha for generously providing instruments for this event.

Yamaha jpeg