Not Just Another Battle of the Bands

The Great Canadian Song Search (TGCSS) is well underway and on-route for its last stop in Vancouver, before the National finals in Toronto.  Setting up shop at the Biltmore from May 13th to June 1st , the search will consist of five nights of qualifying shows and a night of finals.

TGCSS is offering a great opportunity for local artists to showcase their skills and get some exposure. In the end, two Vancouver songwriters will be heading off to Toronto to compete in the National Finals on July 13th at the Hard Rock Cafe. The prize, a Record and Marketing deal with TGCSS and a National Radio Campaign through Indie promoter plug (Music) Inc.

Where are all the songwriters?

-Daniel Weaver

The Great Canadian Song Search started after an Open-Mic Night in Montreal.  While enjoying a beer and casually watching one of the network television talent shows, Daniel Weaver said to himself  “where are all the songwriters?”

Any potent idea comes from emotion, and from me it was anger.

-Daniel Weaver

Angry at what he thought was a lack of original talent on these network talent shows, Weaver set off to do something fun and local for the Montreal songwriting community. First prize was originally a week stay at a condo on Mont Blanc.  But as great ideas have a tendency to be infectious and take on a life of their own, the search for a Canadian songwriter began to grow.  With stops this year in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and finally Vancouver, the first Great Canadian Song Search is offering an opportunity for homegrown Canadian talent to get some exposure and much deserved recognition.

The current support, and unexpected and organic growth of this event has allowed Daniel the opportunity to begin booking venues for next year. Part of the plan is to get some exposure for cities that were not included the first time around. TGCSS is not intended to be just another battle of the bands, but is meant to showcase songwriters. Though audience applause and enjoyment are most definitely taken into consideration, there will also be a panel of judges that ensures that all the contestants have a shot of advancing, and not just the bands with the largest following in attendance.

Having been involved in a variety of music events, Weaver felt that songwriting contests came off as being “very intellectual, clinical and boring” .

But he believes he has come up with the perfect formula, blending audience appreciation and judges from the local music scene.

One of main reasons for having judges, was that a lot of contests are done by internet voting and the bands that have a good following or a lot of friends seem to collect the most votes.  In TGCSS the two finalists in each of the qualifying rounds are chosen two ways: one is chosen by the loudest applause, and the judges choose the other.  This allows unknowns or songwriters that are not performers an equal chance of making it through.

“The idea of the search is that they are not looking for the most polished band, but creative and original songwriters,“ says Weaver. Performers are limited to a maximum of three people on stage to ensure that things move quickly and to keep the music flowing.

TGCSS is offering a legitimate opportunity for exposure and has seen record deals materialize for songwriters that did not even make it to the National final. So if you have some songs and you want to find out how your chops measure up. Check out and start polishing up your delivery.