We want you to write a song for us!
Deep Cove Folk is asking people from the Saanich Peninsula to write songs about life here. We’re on the hunt for songs that celebrate our region—works that convey a sense of what it’s like to live here or, perhaps, what it used to be like—a celebration of our special place and the community that has grown up in it.
Songs About the Saanich Peninsula
We’re on the hunt for songs that are clearly situated on the Saanich Peninsula, perhaps mentioning names of places, people or events or telling of historical events. There will be separate submissions for students, First Nations, as well as an “open” category.
In addition to a song, contributors will also be asked to submit a short essay which includes the inspiration for writing it, the author’s perception of how it fits in to life on the Peninsula etc.—kind of like the introduction one might give prior to singing it.
Cash prizes will be offered for the submissions that best fit our mandate. Selected entries will be published on the DCF website (www.deepcovefolk.ca ). Contributors of selected entries will also be given the opportunity to premiere their song to a live audience at the Deep Cove Folk Club. For young contributors, we will also offer one-on-one mentorships with some of the accomplished songwriters in our community.
The eventual collection of songs about our place (which could be published as a book and/or CD) will end up being a useful resource for many different segments of the community and be a vibrant celebration of our community in song.
Answers to a Few Frequently Asked Questions
We’re hoping that you’ll help us to develop a collection of songs that celebrate all aspects of our community—a kind of social chronicle of life on the Saanich Peninsula. Our goal is to develop a collection of songs about what it’s like to live here today as well as some that tell of its rich historical past.
We want the work you create to have clear reference to specific places, people, issues or events in our region. While we’re interested in universal themes, we’re looking for work that is clearly situated on the Saanich Peninsula.
More Than a Song
In addition to your song, we’re asking you to submit a short (max 1000 word) essay that tells us what inspired your contribution and how it relates to the life in our community.
This essay will be part of your piece and published along with it to give you a chance to show how your work reflects our community life.
Almost anywhere you walk on the Saanich Peninsula is song-worthy. Here are a few ideas:
Current social issues or life experiences:
We all encounter situations in our lives that are worth singing about—losses, achievements, life lessons, social causes—and these are clearly song-worthy. A few ideas:
The impacts of climate change, such as how the predicted rise in ocean levels could have devastating impact on our peaceful world, offer definite possibilities for a song or two.
Is there an injustice you’ve seen in our community that should be brought to folks’ attention—an excluded group, something really unfair? If yes, a good song is a great way to get it heard.
Has the loss of a special place in our community affected you? There could be a song in it.
Is there a cause that you feel passionate about—e.g., the future of the wharf in Sidney, pollution on our beaches, dwindling public access to the waterfront, over-development? You never know, there could be a song that will help to get the word out.
Perhaps you’ve come from away and are experiencing some difficulties fitting in to your new home. A song expressing this could be very powerful.
The possibilities are almost endless.
Remember though that we want songs that are clearly situated on the Saanich Peninsula.
Special places and that elusive “sense of home”.
Defining “a sense of home” is difficult at the best of times. Song is one of the most powerful ways to do it, often making it possible to say things that don’t really work with words alone.
There’s a tradition of song writing that praises specific places such as odes to beautiful, breath-taking locations and scenes—we’ve got plenty of those.
Consider your favourite beach and how beautiful it can be at sunset…
Maybe you’ve been away and felt that unquenchable pang of homesickness for our lovely home place—definitely a song there…
All of these, and much, much more, will work, as long as the reference to North Saanich is clear.
We have an intriguing history that could be fodder for many the good song. Several examples:
Walking through the Aviation Museum, the Saanich Pioneer Museum, Heritage Acres or any of our local historical displays can’t help but give you all kinds of ideas for possible songs. Just a glimpse at the Sidney Museum website is enough to get you going, let alone a visit there (https://sidneymuseum.ca ).
One example: There was a factory manufacturing ammunition for the war on James Island—can’t help but think there’d be interesting ideas for songs about how this beautiful place contributed to such ugly devastation…imagine if you had worked there…
There’s a long history of railroads here that could be fruitful—nothing better than a good railroad song!
The opportunities for songs based on our rich past are almost endless. Consultation with teachers, museum and archive staff, older folk, and local libraries will give you more ideas than you can possibly use.
And these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg—there are oodles of other possibilities—just let your creativity go and see what you can come up with.
Not necessarily. Putting new words to borrowed tunes is an age-old community music practice. The clever recycling of an old tune can be quite effective in this kind of song writing because a well-known melody brings a sense of familiarity to the listener. There’ll be no penalty if you use an existing tune—but be sure you credit it.
If you are so inclined, we’d also love to hear newly-created tunes for your songs—but it’s not a prerequisite.
Submissions will close on March 31, 2024.
Yes, there are cash prizes ranging from $200 to $1000.
You will also have the opportunity to premiere your work (or if you’re a bit stage-shy, have someone else perform it) to a live audience of interested folk.
Selected work will be posted on Deep Cove Folk’s website where it can be seen by the whole world.
Younger winners will also have access to one-on-one mentoring sessions with local artists who are currently making their living as a singer-songwriters or authors. This will help you to “learn the ropes” of this tricky business and get to know some of the amazing talent that lives here.
We will be making the songs available to various performers and singing groups, such as the many local choirs, with the possibility that they could add your song to their repertoire.
Not necessarily. We will have a panel of judges determine the suitability of each song and accompanying essay. They will decide upon the prize winners from among those selected to appear on the website.
These judges will be active artists and folks involved in local musical and literary communities, so you can be sure that experienced eyes will have a good look at your work.
There are three categories of submission:
Currently enrolled students in local schools.
Members of local First Nations.
These categories will be judged separately.
Volunteers who work with Deep Cove Folk are not eligible.
There will be a user-friendly submission portal for submission of your songs and essays accessible from our website (www.deepcovefolk.ca ).
Snail mail packages will also be accepted (details to follow).
Yes. We’ll accept up to three songs from one submitter.
Each song will have to be submitted on its own unique submission form or as a separate snail mail package.
Yes, as long as the membership of the group or team is clearly indicated in the submission.
They’ll be permanently displayed on the Deep Cove website (www.deepcovefolk.ca ) available for all to enjoy.
They can be premiered live at Deep Cove Folk for our passionate and caring audience.
We will make them available to current performing artists who may want to pick them up and perform them.
We will do our best to make them available to local choir directors to complement their performance repertoires. We have folks who will write vocal and piano arrangements of selected songs so they can readily be picked up by local singing groups.
We will work to make them available to local teachers to complement their curricula etc.
We envision the eventual accumulation of a fine collection that would augment current library and archive holdings—giving them a life that only music can.
The collection could be worthy of publication as a book and/or release as a CD. Any such undertakings would be on a complete profit-sharing basis with contributors and not likely to occur until the Project has been ongoing for several years.
And we’re open to any other possibilities this collection might have for helping to develop and encourage local arts and culture as well as to foster a sense of community in the Peninsula. We’d love to hear from you if you have any suggestions (email@example.com ).
Winners will be announced at the May 10 Deep Cove Folk concert. Opportunities to perform selected songs will be offered for the June 14 Deep Cove Folk concert and at the Folk ’n’ Fiddle Festival.
You retain complete copyright of your submitted material—you’re not “giving” it to us . What you are giving us is the right to reproduce it on our website. Your permission will be requested if we decide to use it in any other way.
Email us here – firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.