“It’s not goodbye – it’s see you later..”

“It’s not goodbye – it’s see you later..”


Where do I start.. Last night was the icing on the cake! Listening to the songs we created with our amazing Producers ( while wearing ridiculous attire) was a definite highlight for me.

The bond that is created when you write with another human being is very special and incomparable. It is fascinating to see something so beautiful come from nothing. Thoughts put into words, words put into music…I am so humbled to be a part of this group of people. I absolutely loved the mason jars full of lovely notes from my new friends. To top off a wonderful day of reflection – we sang with Mike Plume around a camp fire..What a treat!

I can truly say that I got everything I wanted out of Bootcamp, the most important to me – building friendships. I knew that when I said goodbye this morning it wasn’t really goodbye – it was see you later 🙂

Straight Outta Comping

Straight Outta Comping

The final touches are being added to the two songs Sykamore and I recorded with members of my band and the awesome house band. Liam and Scott have done us proud with their efforts and dedication to this as they work behind the scenes during our classes. All of the music that is coming out of the studios is bang on! The Listening party on the last day will be a real treat.

Mike Plume is someone I want to get to know better. I’ve never been moved by someone who reads their message from a computer…until now. He delivered 45 minutes of raw truth. No BS with this guy. The saying about treating your show like its the first time someone ever saw you, I’ve heard before but he added that you should also treat it like it could be someones last time they see you perform. That was one of a few darts that hit me.  I look forward to writing with him down the road for sure.

The sessions continue to be informing and productive. Tamara, Bob, Kate, Glen, Scott, Julia Thank you. 

I’ve pinched myself everyday I wake up as I ask myself…Who gets this kind of treatment? Everywhere we go everyone here is literally working and doing something for me, for us. The 12 of us finalists are ALL winners just being here.

Short and sweet today…Talk soon.



WILD Reflections

WILD Reflections

Bootcamp has been an unbelievable experience that I don’t think any of us artists will ever forget. The comradery between everyone is something I don’t think any of us would have ever imagined could be this strong. I predict that all 12 Project WILD artists will be friends for many many years to come.

As some of you probably already know, I am a big Bryan Adams fan and grew up listening to his music. Monday evening, I had an absolutely unforgettable experience. I had the opportunity to perform with the legendary drummer Pat Steward who played on his album “Reckless”. For my showcase, I played a few of my original tunes, and then we broke into the iconic hit song “Summer of 69”! The energy throughout the room was unbelievable – from the moment the first chord was strummed to the last note. What we all experienced is something I will cherish forever. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity.

Music is such a strange beast; it can take us down some of the most unexpected but most rewarding paths in our lives. People often ask, why would you choose to go into a profession with no certainty of your next pay cheque or no guarantee you’ll ever “make it”? Well, lets stop there. Sure, these are scary thoughts, but have you ever realized that if you didn’t give something a shot, you’d never know your true potential? If we don’t take chances and follow our dreams we’ll never truly know what we could have been.

Sure, musicians are different and, of course, a little crazy at times, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it! It’s a part of who we are!

I believe Project WILD Bootcamp has helped so many of us artists see where we want to take our careers and has provided the resources and knowledge to reach our goals. The road is long, so I think we best sit back and enjoy the ride.

One of my favourite quotes from this week was “outside of your comfort zone is where the blessings lie”. It couldn’t be any more true. More often than not, taking chances is far more rewarding then playing it safe. I believe Project WILD is a great example of this, and I am so excited what opportunities we gain from being involved in a program like this.

And that’s a wrap….

And that’s a wrap….

How has a week gone by so quickly? But, it has.

Last night was our showcase. We got to share the stage with Sykamore, The Dungarees, and Ken Stead.

We felt great, Luanne had some butterflies, but we went on stage, feeling like we belonged. 20 mins to shine….. and we sure did…..

The talent on this stage this week, has been mind blowing.  Cole Bradley, Dani Lynn, Jamie Woodfin, Amy Metcalfe, Brad Saunders, Trevor Panczak, Sykamore, The Dungarees, Ken Stead, Shantelle Davidson, and Midnight Lights. Each act brought to the table, their originality, and their talent, and their passion. We have become fans of each and everyone one of them, and we highly recommend you do too.

Head on over to iTunes, and grab their music, you won’t be disappointed. We sure aren’t. Tell them we sent you 😉

That’s what this week has been to us. Learning, developing and becoming fans of some of the best talent, Alberta has to offer.

We also have made some amazing new friends. Friendships, and memories that will stay with us forever.

Thank you to Carly and Jess, and all the Alberta Music Staff, you all went above and beyond for all of us. Thank you.

The staff at RockRidge Canyon resort, you took great care of us.

To the kids from NIMBUS recording school… keep on dreaming, and keep up the great work. You all are so talented, and wonderful. Sandy, our recording intern, you are a very special young man. You have a great future ahead of you! All the best to you.

John Ellis – thank you for working with us and sharing your talent with us, and your visions. You are a kind, genuine soul, and we are grateful for having crossed paths with you.

We will miss this place. We will miss our new friends.

But we know……………… we WILL see you again.

XXoo – DOMINO  ~ Kent, Luanne, Russ and Scott

“We’re so glad we’ve had this time together, just to have a laugh and sing a song…………Seems like we just got started and before you know it, it’s the time we have to say so long”


And that’s a wrap….


Hi Five!!

Hi Five!!

Day 5 is in the books and the killer week continues!  Where to even start…..

The day started with some invaluable coaching from Social Media Swami Glen Erickson, and Publicist Aimee Hill. The devil is in the details, as they say, and Glen and Aimee did an outstanding job laying it all out for us.  There’s so much to learn, know, remember and put into practice with how we deliver ourselves to the public.  Project Wild has been pretty thorough in providing that help.  Full marks!!

The afternoon had us working with Warner’s Scott Johnson, and what we expected to be a fairly straight forward session turned out to be a pretty hard hitting, reflective and emotional experience.  Scott had us illustrate (literally) who we are as as band, and what we stand for.  His question to us was whether that answer comes across in how we deliver ourselves, and our brand.  The introspection and reflection was pretty moving.  I can say that the experience only further galvanized who the 5 of us are.  We’re 1.  And it feels great.

The afternoon was a quick soundcheck, a nap, some swimming and then preparing for our showcase.  Normally, nerves aren’t a pre-show issue.  Last night was a huge exception.  And only further exacerbated by amazing sets by Sykamore, Domino and Ken Stead.  Great performances should be motivating; encouraging.  Those 3 nailed it so solidly that the idea of packing up and heading home seemed to make good sense.  In the end, staying was the wise choice; things went well for us and we were very happy with how we played.  The judges were good to us, save for performance coach Tamara Beatty having some fun with one of us in front of the entire camp.  It was all in good fun…

The absolute high light for us was being asked to back-up song smith Mike Plume in the closing set of the night. Plume, a legendary road warrior in our circle, has long been a mentor, supporter and friend of the band.  As one of the finest songwriters our country has seen, sharing the stage with Mike was a great honour.  Much like being a part of this project.  


Friends Family and Falsetto

Friends Family and Falsetto

The last day….A day that at first felt distant. I find myself reflecting on all that I’ve learnt but also thinking of those that I’ve met. Its amazing to me how fast you can get to know people in a situation like this, it makes you wonder why in the “Real World” it takes us so long to become connected to new people. 

Last night was a great night, we all got together and played board games, such as chess and backgammon. So fun to challenge ourselves mentally after a long day of lessons and seminars. … some of the last couple sentences might be a lie. 

After a nice long 10 hour drive home, and maybe a couple of naps I am looking forward to putting all I’ve learnt to work.

I’m curious to know how many people are reading my blogs.. I”m sorry that this one is really meh, I’m running an hour of sleep. If you read this please comment on the post with your favourite vegetable. 


Amy Out!


Mike Check

Mike Check



Mike Plume, Mike Plume, Mike Plume…I can not say enough about this man.  Mike has given me so much motivation to write.  New ways to write, better ways to write and new ways to be inspired.  Mike did his entire session in the most poetic and honest way.  He had everyone in the room in tears.  Bringing all of this industry information right back down to the very core of why we are doing what we are doing.  The picture I posted is just a small amount of nuggets i took from it. 


Mike reaches the heart.  Mike Plume Mike Plume Mike Plume

The “Gut Feeling”…

The “Gut Feeling”…

Something that really resonated with me today was during Aimee Hill’s presentation. As an Artist Branding is very important. How do I want to present myself? What will my brand look like? How do I want to be perceived? What really cleared the air for me was when Aimee’s presentation explained the “Gut Feeling”. When you look at the Apple symbol on your Mac Book – what do you think about? For me it’s a world of possibility, innovation and creativity. Also, the “apple a day keeps the doctor away” thing.. I think about being in elementary school and the old Apple computer my Mom had. I have never thought of my brand in this way before.. How important and powerful it can be! So – my mission is to give my audience an amazing “gut feeling” every show and every time someone buys my cd or merchandise. Thank you Aimee Hill!

(photo Unfolding Creative Photo)

You Can’t Predict The Weather… or Snoring

You Can’t Predict The Weather… or Snoring

“Its better to aim for the stars and land on the roof, than to aim for the roof and land in the basement” – Mike Plume

Man, since my last blog so much has happened here at Rocky Ridge Canyon. The Dungarees and I are almost finished with our producer Winston and we have two solid tracks that are sounding killer. It’s been a pleasure working with these dudes. I love their vision; their work ethic and they are beauties! They also like to chirp me, and I appreciate their attempt. James Murdoch is about to go on stage with the boys and I’m sure he is feeling the heat after my threat about stealing his bass duties. I am sure he will be expecting my critique after the show. 😉

Some of these seminars have been unforgettable. Listening to Clayton Bellamy was enchanting. So interesting to hear someone’s take on the industry after being a performer in this business for so many years. This dude has been through everything and it was a pleasure listening to his story. I thoroughly have enjoyed the seminars throughout the week including Mike Shannon’s on being a program director and the challenges that come with radio.

My favorite seminar of boot camp has been listening to Mike Plume and his songwriting story. This guy is engaging, hilarious and intriguing. His story about “the songwriter” captivated us all in the room and made me realize how this business can be such a grind and totally amazing all at the same time. Mike has been in the songwriting industry for over 30+ years and is still looking for “that song.” He believes he can still do it and his passion is truly inspiring. I had a great chat with Mike earlier in the week and I was lucky enough to get a few pointers on how to survive my new move to Tennessee.

“Your gut is never wrong, trust it. Releasing a single to radio is like predicting the weather. You just don’t know how it’s going to go.”

I truly wont forget about this incredible experience for years to come. The showcases, the pool parties and the seminars are all unforgettable. Along with Jamie Woodfin’s snoring.


Project Freakin WILD

Project Freakin WILD


I knew project wild boot camp was going to be incredible but it has exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I feel that we are getting so many great tools to help advance our music careers.


Now that we have been here for a few days we are getting to know each other. It’s been great to see all of us cheering each other on.


We have been assigned a producer to record one original and one cover song. Our producer is Carly Mckillip and let me tell you. Carly is a fantastic producer with real passion, and undeniable drive to make create great music.


The showcases have been absolutely incredible! Every artist is knocking it out of the park. Their have been so many memeriable moments in the performances.

So there was that…

So there was that…

 What an incredibly mind boggling experience this has been thus far! We are definitely not suffering waking up in the beautiful mountains, with a group of inspiring and like-minded individuals. From the showcases to just simply socializing with the other artists and faculty during meals, every moment is like no other and will definitely be a journey we will remember for our entire careers!

A20160830_145239side from taking in all of the info packed sessions and recording with some of the best producers our area has to offer, we have done our best to take in some of the beautiful scenery on our down time, from morning runs, to zip lining, to hiking, we have certainly taken in some fresh mountain air!

One moment that I didn’t anticipate taking part in our week of development also occurred today. While taking in the breathtaking view on our hike, there was a rustling in the bushes a few yard ahead. I’m sure you have already guessed at this point that it was a bear.. and no less, a grizzly bear, narrowly crossing our path.

FB_IMG_1472614699376Obviously we lived, thanks to a very level head (not mine) and bravery (also not mine). Just to clarify, my whole body was vibrating and I nearly peed my pants, Dustyn was my hero!

Then we quickly ran from the path to the studio and cut vocals.. so there was that…

Signing off in a bear free studio tonight!


Learning to Trust

Learning to Trust

We would be lying if we said that we didn’t want to the win this thing, but the further we go along with Project Wild, the more we are learning this is so much bigger than that.

Everyday we’re learning something new and gaining endless amounts of wisdom and encouragement from everyone here from faculty to the artists. Katie and I had a great talk with a few key people that both inspired us and helped bring us back around to why we do what we do. Musician and gifted songwriter Mike Plume has been the greatest inspiration – reminding us that it’s easy to get caught up in all the hype around the crazy and exciting world of the music industry, but in the end, it’s all about the music. That’s how it is, and how it needs to stay. Always.

– Midnight Lights (Jason & Katie)

P.S. We’re listening to Ken Stead and his band rehearse for their big showcase tomorrow… and you NEED to check them out. So amazing.

Tears, Teams and Tired Eyes

Tears, Teams and Tired Eyes

The last few days are almost hard to put into words.

But, this is a blog, so we will do our best.  We have been taught, mentored and have made some amazing friendships.

The lack of sleep seems to not be affecting us as much as we thought it would. Maybe it’s the mountain air. Maybe it’s the people we  are surrounded by…. maybe it’s something in the water. But maybe, just maybe it is because we  are immersed in our passion. What makes our blood flow. What we were born to do. Surrounded by others with the same demons that haunt them late at night, just like us. To create. To have a voice. To do …. something… to share.

While we sit in this glorious place, and look around, and take in all that is to take in, we are grateful. We are thankful, and know this will remain with us forever.

As we sat this morning and listened to Mike Plume talk, recite quotes, talk about the trials and trepidations of the music business, we were reminded… why… just why, we were, and are, on this journey. Because it’s who we are. Not what we do. As we all teared up listening to him speak, it inspired us. We breathed in his inspiration. We felt the compassion and the message he wanted to pass on to  all of us. Whether we were just starting out, or if we have been at this for a number of years. Remember the passion. Remember why we started.

“Remember that each show, there will be someone there who is seeing you for the first time, and someone seeing you for the last time.  Don’t phone it in. Be there.”

So while there have been tears, and tired eyes, we have become a team. A family if you will.

Man we are sappy hey?

But today, we are filled with emotion, and that’s ok.

So! Tonight we rehearse and watch more of the amazing artists showcase, as we did last night. Can you say talent? Wow!! Tomorrow night is our showcase, and we can’t wait!

So until tomorrow, DomiNation… have a great day 🙂


“I get to”

“I get to”

I once listened to a speaker talk about changing your mindset from ” I have to” to “I get to”.

And I couldn’t think of a better statement to apply to this experience. I haven’t once thought “I have to go to a seminar about the business side of music by Bob D’eith”

It’s “I get to go to a seminar about the business side of music by Bob D’eith”

We are all soo soo fortunate to be apart of this, and every single one of the 12 acts here all portrays that attitude as well.

The energy and love that fills these beautiful wooden walls is enough to fill my cold dead heart for a while. hhahaha… that was just to throw you off because I was becoming too sentimental DEFLECT! But seriously the energy here has taken me by complete surprise, a beautiful surprise.

I really didn’t update you on anything thats going on here did I? Is that the point of a blog ? Yes. hmm okay 

Here are a few quick updates: 

  • Food is great
  • I won a high kicking contest, so even if I don’t end up placing in this competition I will still feel like a winner. I don’t have an official height but I think that it was about 6 foot 5 ish. 
  • My roomates are Sykamore and Shantelle Davidson and they are awesome “my gurllllssss.”
  • Yesterday I went down a hill in a stroller I got one injury to my heel, but I’m already recovered. 
  • When its windy the lake water moves in the direction of the wind 

And thats a pretty good update for now. I have my first showcase tonight, I will let you know how that goes tomorrow.


In the presence of royalty

In the presence of royalty

I was delighted to see that Clayton Bellamy would be a keynote speaker this morning. He truly is a Road Hammer. A through the trenches artist that has never given up and believed that he had a message to deliver. He still does and it was awesome for all of us to hear him speak. The food stays consistently good and healthy and there’s plenty of it.  

Mike Shannon kept us captivated about the ins and outs of radio. He is an excellent speaker and interviewer. He ran the Clayton Bellamy session in a “Between two Ferns” kind of way…Very cool.

Jay Buetnner from the house band paid me a solid, when he expressed to me how well I handled myself in the studio with giving direction to the players and kept the ball rolling. It made my whole day to hear that from such a respected musician. 

trevor panczakI’m really looking forward to working with Kate Matthews for our style portion of boot camp tomorrow. She was a treat to hang around at lunch. 

One of the things that got hit home yesterday was for us to make sure we know and express our appreciation for not only the Project WILD but the organizers within it. I couldn’t help but think to myself that that goes without saying. We are so indebted and heart-warmed and inspired to have this insane opportunity…i see it channeling to the right places everywhere i go around here. Consider: 12 artists and our mates are here and every step we take on this property is tailored for US. Its quite humbling. Its country man.

We hit the studio after 4 awesome showcases. It would take to long to gather the words as to how friggin awe inspiring the showcase / house band / Leeroy Stagger / Clayton Bellamy portion of the evening went. Go to Project WILD’s page and see you for yourself. EMBED here Glen(if you like)

Then we hit the studio til 2 am and Doc and I agreed that we could listen to Sykamore sing all dam night long. 

ray banI can’t believe i’ve left this til the end but I had a surprise visitor fly in via helicopter. I don’t know how she pulled the string to get here but Queen Elizabeth came and ever since I met her at the Calgary Stampede we’ve been fast friends. She said she missed me and that boys in the band and she promised she wouldn’t try to take the microphone away from me this time to address the masses. What could I do? I welcomed her to camp and it looks like we have ourselves a new bunk buddy.

 Speaking of royalty Rod Schween the president of Jim Pattison broadcasting came to take in some boot camp with his wife Patty. It was great to catch up with him.

I leave you with a couple of candids from the queen along with the one from our initial meeting at Stampede. I sure hope she behaves this time. Time will tell…I don’t even know when she plans to leave. 

Talk to you all tomorrow.


Be like Jesus…Love ’em all!-Sunday funday

Be like Jesus…Love ’em all!-Sunday funday

Another great day of classes in the morning and how can you beat bacon and eggs for breakfast? The eggs were so fresh! If they were any fresher they’d still be in the chicken. Being that it was Sunday I consciously wore the shirt with the quote “Be like Jesus…Love ’em all” that I had custom made after my grandma Lola passed away. It was something she always used to say and it stuck with me. I got lots of compliments and every time I did i thought about my sweet Grandma whom I miss so dearly. A day of reflection happened as I awaited the boys in my band to arrive from Lethbridge.  I am so grateful to Ed, Ray and Doc for the sacrifice they made to get out here to help with the recording and showcasing portion of the boot camp. They made it just in time for supper and they were a sight for sore eyes. We ran over the arrangements for the two recorded tunes in the Studio with Scott and Liam, our producer and production assistant as well as with Sykamore. Even though he seemed to be the most tuckered out, our good doctor was chomping at the bit to play in the recording room at midnight. Unfortunately it seemed more efficient to have him begin on overdub day Monday. He like a few others that didn’t have to be there stayed to the bitter end with the House recording band. WHAT AN ALL STAR LINEUP. Patrick Steward, Mike Little, and Jay Beuttner (so good to see him again, it had been way too long) accompanied Ray Banman and Ed Johnson in the session.  Sykamore and I basically sat back and watched the magic unfold with a front row seat. The whole session felt good but who knows if we made the right technical decisions being as fatigued as we all were. We tried our best… Many thanks again to those A list players for being so committed to it right to the final take. The Nimbus students were in for a lot of work after and i felt bad for them that they had to wait til we were done, then tear down until they could go to bed. Although it was arduous for them I would pop over to where they were sitting in the corner and share a few laughs with them. They are neat to watch and be around….so much light and energy in their eyes. Makes me hope I exude the same hunger with the more worldly eyes I look through. 

Talk tomorrow



Canoe Tell Me How You Got There?

Canoe Tell Me How You Got There?


We are the Canoe race champions first of all.  Not by much though.  Jessica Marsh and Geoff O’Brian had challenged myself and Erin to a canoe/kayak race.    With sweat pouring down our faces after the monumental effort we realized that we went every which direction but the one we were supposed to be going.  We had crossed the lake perpendicular, made 90 degree turns, corrected, crashed into our competitors but in the end made it to the finish line.  It didn’t even matter who won the race but more so that we got to the end without dying. 

Sometimes I feel this is the way of an independent musician.  My career already has been taking crazy turns, crashes, and 90 degree turns.  But as we spend more and more time here at Project Wild I’m realizing that this way of a music career is not uncommon.  Every seminar that we’re going to though here is another tool, another way of doing things that can point us in the  right direction. 

We got to hear from an amazing artist today Clayton Bellamy whos career had taken him all over the place in the most unexpected ways but always seemed to keep going and the perseverance has paid off.  “If you don’t stand for anything in your life, then your music won’t stand for anything either” was his message and it resonates so deeply with me and my music. 

Aside from classes and workshops we’ve been recording some AMAZING songs for the project and looking forward to showing them. 

Much love from

Ken, Erin, Harry, Geoff, and Kyle

Day 4 in the Books!!!

Day 4 in the Books!!!

Hey gang – Robb here.  Well, Day 4 is nearly in the books and The Dungarees are having a blast!  This program is really incredible; we’re getting to learn from industry experts, work with our peers, and record with producers we would otherwise never get to meet. We’re continually working outside of our comfort zone and it’s certainly paying off.  Today’s morning sessions included talks from super stylist Kate Matthews, FACTOR’s Jeff Hayward and a killer one-on-one interview with The Road Hammers’ Clayton Bellamy hosted by Wild 95.3’s Music Director Mike Shannon.  Mike also led an afternoon session about how stations like his determine what’s added and what isn’t.  Very eye opening indeed.  After dinner the showcases started and wow – what a group.  The gauntlet has definitely been thrown down……Dani-Lynn, Brad Saunders, Shantelle Davidson and Jamie Woodfin all knocked it outta the park! So excited for each of them!!  Lets check in with each of the guys for their highlights!

Darrek – The showcases were awesome. Hats off to the 4 artists who took the stage tonight as they were the first out of our group of twelve to face that challenge and blaze the trail that the rest of us will follow over the next couple days. It was pretty cool to see such serious talent in an intimate setting with our new friends here at Rockridge. 

Kiron- I loved the keynote interview Mike Shannon conducted with Clayton Bellamy.  Without going into too much detail, Clayton has a really interesting background full of ups and downs. I loved his positive attitude and incredible work ethic during both the good times and the hard times, specifically in the music industry but also generally in life. He was open, gracious and totally inspiring. Also, hats off to Mike for expertly navigating us through the terrain. Lastly, i participated and lost, to the incredible ninja warrior that is Amy Metcalfe, in a high-kicks contest. Can’t wait for day 5!

Ben – I really enjoyed the recording process here at the camp and working with our producer Winston! There’s such a good vibe in our little studio! The zip line was also a thrill  especially since I’m scared of heights! It was also good to reconnect with my good friend Liam Killeen. He held some great seminars on ‘Pitching Your Band’ as well as ‘How To Run Your Band As a Business’. Always a pleasure to hang with him.

James – I’m loving the camaraderie that’s starting to develop between all the artists here at bootcamp. We’re bonding over the shared experience. The weather today was beautiful and it was awesome to enjoy the pool and some sunshine between the keynotes today. Having a blast in the studio working on the collaboration with Cole. Winston has great ears and he has set a great tone in the studio. clayton bellamyProject WILD country logo

Nimbits Unite!

Nimbits Unite!

3 days into PW bootcamp and we are feelin it!

After a beautiful drive in to the mountains, it was undeniable that we won’t be hurting to live here for a week!

Aside from the amazing view, we have channeled our inner ‘summer camp kid’ and constructed some pretty stellar forts in our room, so really, if nothing else, we have aced that!

Yesterday, we took advantage and ventured out on a hike during free time and saw the world from a different angle. Then we headed into the studio for some songwriting and scratch tracks!

This morning started out strong with more inspiring workshops and one-on-ones with the pros in the industry that are guaranteed to make our lives easier!

Dani-LynnThat takes us to now…we are currently hanging out in the studio doing the bedtracks for our 2 songs with the help of Nimbus recording and their super cool truck!

Such an incredible environment and energy running through this room full of undeniably talented musicians, bringing our songs to life!

And of course to all of the Nimbits (Nimbus recording techs) you guys are killing it!

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store for us!


Reasons Why Boot Camp Reigns Supreme

Reasons Why Boot Camp Reigns Supreme

1. Every hour of my life is scheduled; I know exactly where to be at every minute of my day and it’s glorious. It’s different than say, my real life where I have to create my own margins of time, that are about as reliable as the “Apple” headphones I bought in Chinatown last summer.

2. The food is exponentially better than what I’m used to, not to mention there is a horn that sounds when it is about to be served. By Pavlovian logic, I may starve when I return back to the real world.

3. Geeking out about gear, marketing plans, budgets, vocal exercises, and radio is absolutely normal.

4. There is nature. Everywhere.

5. In all seriousness, even though this is a competition, I don’t feel ANY animosity between my camp mates. We are all here to hold each other up and cheer everyone on. I feel nothing but supported by all the people here, which is exactly how it should be. I’m learning so much from both the keynote speakers and my new friends out here. I hope we can take what we’ve learned here, even just about being there for one another, and apply it out in the real world once this is over.


The Sun is Shining

The Sun is Shining

The morning horn went off at 7:50…Just in time for breakfast. I’m sure that everyday I rise and make my bed and step out onto the deck of our dorm cabin that I will be in awe of where we all are. What a blessing this is. The food is great with a good selection. 

The first session of the day was with Tamara Beatty the Vocal coach from “The Voice” among other great things. She gave a very heartfelt and sincere session. There was a lot of affirmations of what Diane Sheets has taught me but also some other new tricks and things to consider.

Trevor PanczakLiam Killeen is the epitome of what you want in a public speaker. Informative, Witty and Engaging. 90 minutes flew by.

Bob D’Eith is what I would consider as the God Father of Project WILD. The man with the vision so many years ago and followed through with it. I’ve never met someone who practiced law and was in a road band at the same time…until now. You can be as involved in your career as you want to be. Its exciting that the sky continues to be the limit. The ones that go through the channels from the ground up always seem to have an understanding of the industry they represent that in turn is easy to connect with.

SykamoreSykamore and I worked with Scott our producer and Liam from nimbus. We laid down some scratch vocals and acoustic tracks in preparation for Sunday nights recording session. She is an absolute treat to be around and listen to. She knows her instrument through and through. I look forward to collaborating with her more here as well as after boot camp is complete. 

Talk to ya tomorrow. 


Project WILD – Bootcamp Begins

Project WILD – Bootcamp Begins

I arrived into Project WILD bootcamp Friday morning which is being held just outside of Princeton BC at an amazing location called Rockridge Canyon Resort! On day one we signed in and went over the program outline and what it would look like for the week. The view is absolutely stunning with mountains surrounding us, with a beautiful timber lodge chalet smack down in the middle of all of it.  It’s hard to put into words the excitement I think everyone is feeling but it’s a pretty special place with a great atmosphere.  

Throughout the week we have scheduled classes running with different industry professionals. They will help bring to light information that is crucial to having a successful path in the music industry and help mentor us towards some of our career goals.

We have also each been paired up with an artist & producer, Dany-Lynn and Josh Gwilliam are my team.  We are co-writing one original song and recording one Canadian cover song.  This has been a really interesting process especially putting our on flavors on the cover. 

The facility staff at Rockridge Canyon and all of members Project WILD & Alberta Music involved in the program have been amazing! It is certainly a once in a life time opportunity to be here and I am so excited to learn as much as I possibly can!

30 hours into Bootcamp: Rematch anyone?

30 hours into Bootcamp: Rematch anyone?

“You miss 100% shots that you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky.

Yesterday, we lost against the faculty in the annual boot camp hockey match. I couldn’t sleep last night because the sadness of not lifting the trophy over my head gave me nightmares. Our amazing Top 12 artist team rallied back from a 4-1 deficit after the first period to send the game into overtime at 4-4. An unfortunate bounce saw the faculty pot the game winner 5 minutes into OT. The worst part of the loss was seeing the smiles from producer Josh Gwilliam and business manager Liam Killeen on the opposing end. All kidding aside, it was so much fun and I enjoyed every second.

I have been at Rocky Ridge Canyon as part of the PW boot camp for around 30 hours so far and it has been incredible! I’m so lucky to hang with my fellow Top 12 finalists, and the amazing PW faculty for the next seven days. Today, we had the opportunity to hear from the extremely talented voice and performance coach Tamara Beatty. Tamara is a total pro and I am looking forward to hearing her advice later on in the week about what she thinks I can do in terms of improving my overall performance. It was also a pleasure being able to hear from Liam Killeen and Bob D’Eith about their advice on how to conquer the music business and the business world in general. I never take for granted the amazing people I get the opportunity of working with in this business!

As of right now, I am in the studio with my pals “The Dungarees” and producer Winston Hauschild. It is so much fun working with these fellas. James Murdoch (lead singer and bass for The Dungarees) just walked out of the room and the band and I have decided that I am going to take over bass duties from now going forward. I believe that my two minutes of air bass makes me qualified for this new position. 😉

Way too excited for the upcoming days here at boot camp. If you need me, I will be talking to our organizer Carly Klassen about scheduling a rematch.

Game on,


He Shoots! He Snores!!!

He Shoots! He Snores!!!

We rolled into beautiful Rockridge Canyon around noon to check into the Project Wild Bootcamp, our home for the next week.

We were happy to see that some good pals, like Scott Franchuk from Edmonton, would be spending the week with us.

Also our roommate for the week, our bud Trevor. Between the 6 of us in our dorm, there’s a lot of snoring taking place. Sorry to the neighbours!

We got to do some pre production work with our writing partner, Cole Bradley, who is one of the other top 12 PW finalists.

It turns out that Cole is not only a great dude to write with but he also knows his way around the hockey rink as we discovered later last night in the faculty vs artist hockey game. After our team fell to a 4-1 deficit, Cole scored three straight goals to tie the game up for our team and send it to OT. It was a real nail biter but the faculty ended up scoring the winner…

Congrats to them!

We ended the night with a campfire and some star gazing down by the lake surrounded by gorgeous mountains. Even at night time the scenery here is stunning. We’re so happy to be here!

( photos by Unfolding Creative )

Domino dives into Day 1 and 2 at Boot Camp

Domino dives into Day 1 and 2 at Boot Camp

Well, what can we say?? We have been blown away so far at Boot Camp! We arrived yesterday just after lunch, and were in awe with our surroundings.  This place is absolutely gorgeous! BC, why you so pretty? We love it here!

We had a 3 hour session, with Amy Metcalfe, working on the song we wrote for Boot Camp, and the cover we are going to record. Good times were had by all, and we got to also work with last years Winner – Leeroy Stagger. Man that guy has talent. Lot’s of great advice, and lots of fun.

A hockey game ensued after supper, going into sudden death overtime, where the faculty won….. barely… 😉 There are some discrepancies with the win, but …. well… I guess they deserved the win! HAH lots of fun for sure

Luanne was lucky enough to see 9 deer, and get pretty close… Deer whisperer? Maybe!!

Campfire and songs to end day 1 – then off to bed

Day 2 has consisted of an amazing morning with Tamara Beatty from The Voice…. yes that’s right, we said THE VOICE! wow!!  Kent was asked to go up on stage to work with Tamara.  What an amazing opportunity for us, to have! We will get some one on one time with her later this week.

Then off to a seminar about branding and our business with Liam Killeem. Yes this is a business kids… so lot’s to learn, and to do there. So informative. He was super funny too and we really enjoyed it.

Incredible food and being taken care of by the staff here at Rockridge. Amazing!

Another seminar this afternoon with Bob D’Eith, about the music business and how to be successful. So much incredible information and we are learning so much.

Got to spend some quality time with the incomparable Mike Plume… holy smokes! What a guy, what a talent.. what an inspiration. So much wisdom and encouragement. We can’t wait to write with him.

Tonight we record… Yes we record. Can’t wait! Get to work with the super talented John Ellis, and record 2 songs this week. We are trying to soak this all up and enjoy every second. Pretty surreal for sure.

What will the rest of the week bring??

We can’t wait to find out!



Project WILD: The fun is in the getting there

Project WILD: The fun is in the getting there

What a way week it was leading up to Project Wild 2016 boot camp. The band and I had performances going on all week long for Whoop-Up Days Lethbridge. A parade and pancake breakfasts every morning and two night performances including the main stage show on the Gas King stage on Tuesday night and a grandstand performance during the rodeo Thursday night. The point to this is…I didn’t have a chance to catch up on sleep before I headed out as was advised by the Project WILD folks. I did however get the waking up at 6am habit started so hopefully it will be easier to rise when the morning horn sounds.

trevor panczakI left Lethbridge at 10pm and needed to be at boot camp Friday at noon… So not a lot of time to waste as it is a 10 hour drive. I drove all the way to Golden BC and had to get horizontal. SO…I had a 2.5 hour sleep for 150 bucks in a Howard Johnson with a pink bed spread and leaky shower faucet to drip me to dreamland. Somehow I awoke 10 minutes before my alarm and was back on the road until I stopped in at Kamloops to visit Country 103. TJ and Mike were very welcoming and very responsive to my newly decaled truck. It was good to see them again and have a visit.

I breezed down the highway and passed Merritt and as my excitement grew I couldn’t help but visualize myself on the main stage of Festivals such as the Merritt Mountain fest. I started thinking that at boot camp I will be provided with the necessary information to sharpen the tools in my chest on the business side of things to get my foot in the door with more touring and festival dates. So much to take in but so willing.

I drove down the gravel road and couldn’t have been more pleased about the location of Boot Camp. We are all so lucky. I will remember always the song that was playing on PRIME as I pulled up. Those Memories by Dolly,Linda,and Emmylou. Dolly was being interviewed and spoke of reflection and of new projects. I couldn’t help but consider a parallel between us and immediately wanted my Dollywood campfire mug to be in my suit case instead of at home.

trevor panczakPulling up the scene unfolded like something out of the Great Outdoors. The view is amazing and the facility is set up well. I was physically tired from my drive but my brain was rockin… I enjoyed the introduction session and somehow managed to get a good laugh out of the faculty and finalists. #blob

We lost the traditional Faculty vs Finalists ball hockey game in overtime and I skipped the campfire and went to bed in the shared dorm room. My guys are coming Sunday and so its just me and The Dungarees ’til then.

Tomorrow will be a shorter blog I just really want to emphasize how blessed and fortunate that someone like Bob D’Eith had the vision to get this program going 8 years ago. Not only that but there’s the Alberta Music and Project WILD team that have sacrificed and bled and shed tears for 12 random people with a musical dream to achieve and cultivate that dream to put it all into reality and action. I know I will forever be personally and professionally grateful.

tty tomorrow all



Ken Stead at Project Wild!!

Ken Stead at Project Wild!!

Hey Folks!

Just wanted to take a few minutes to introduce this incredible band that came with me to Project Wild and to fill you in on how the first 2 days have gone.  Harry Gregg is groovin the bass, Geoff O’Brian is killin the skins, Kyle Mosiuk is slayin the electric and Erin Kays smooth vocals are backin me up.  Super excited to have these guys along for this incredible opportunity.

It’s been two days and I am already learning a ton of information but one of the biggest things I’ve learned is to have confidence in myself and what I’m doing.  I look around at the other artists here and it is really amazing to see how much these artists have accomplished in their careers and the talent that got them here.  It’s easy for me to be insecure about what I do.  I’m learning how to talk about my music, how to promote my music, how to sing with confidence, how to manage my music.  It’s incredible how much more comfortable I am getting from each one of these sessions. 

We had are recording two songs while we’re here with Midnight Lights and producer Russel Broom.  I don’t do a lot of co-writing so it was fun to watch two different styles come together and then have Russel Broom add his magic to the mix.  We have bed tracks laid and now onto vocals!  I’ll be posting everyday from here on out. 

Much love,
Ken, Erin, Harry, Kyle, and Geoff

Bootcamp Day 1: Dude, Where’s My Sleep?

Bootcamp Day 1: Dude, Where’s My Sleep?


Are we having fun? Yes.

Are we learning a ton? Oh yeah.

Have we swam in the lake yet? No, but that is definitely going to be happening. The Blob, anyone?

What about our co-write with Ken? Turning out so awesome. As Russell (our producer) said, “Wow, we really pulled that one out of the ditch”. Couldn’t agree with you more, buddy.

What about sleep? So far, the outlook is not good.

So far, this has been a great 27 hours at bootcamp. We feel that perhaps it hasn’t quite sunk in yet that we’re here, and yes, we REALLY ARE in the top 12 of Project Wild. We’re really impressed not with just the breathtaking majesty of the camp, but also by the quality and calibre of the speakers and educators that have been brought here to work with us. Talk about career changing!

HUGE thank you to everyone at Alberta Music, Wild 95.3, and all the generous sponsors. We are honoured to be here, and a part of Project Wild.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, it’s naptime!

Arriving at Project WILD

Arriving at Project WILD

Arriving at Boot Camp

Where do I start! Project wild boot camp has been absolutely incredible already, When we arrived I was blown away by the scenery. The facility is laid out perfectly for this program. We drove several miles into the secluded back country. The camp is situated right on the lake with an amazing view of surrounding mountains. Leading up to the camp we were assigned a partner to write a song with. On day One  we met with our producers. Our producer is Carly Mckillip. During boot camp we will be recording 2 songs with our producer. One original and one cover and at the end of boot camp we have a listening party with an award for best song. As the sun went down over the mountains we squared off for a good o’l game of ball hockey. It was the artists against the facility. The game was a close one with the facility scoring in over. They held the trophy high as they celebrated. But!!! In the darkness of night the trophy mysteriously went missing. Word in the camp has it that they now want a rematch.

1: Gratitude, The Knievel Bros and Grizzly Lunchables

1: Gratitude, The Knievel Bros and Grizzly Lunchables

Oh, hi!

My name is Sykamore. And I am a player of music, a writer of songs and probably most importantly, a lover of tzatziki sauce and adventures. This year I’ve been selected as one of 12 finalists to participate in a country artist development program called Project Wild, formerly known as the Peak Performance Project.

This particular adventure started on Thursday Aug 25th when I had to drive from Kelowna to Princeton, BC – which really shouldn’t have been memorable at all, with the exception of the breathtaking scenery and copious wildlife everywhere [Canada, amiright]. EXCEPT I am, at best, a partial adult. Which is the reason why when I saw a sign leaving Kelowna that said CHECK FUEL, NEXT SERVICE 105 KM – I looked at my own gas gauge, that said 113 KM, and thought, yep we’re doing this.

So I proceeded to scramble through the mountains on approximately a quarter tank of gas. The range of emotions was, to say the least, entertaining [in hindsight]. I started out fearless and free, thinking I was such a daredevil and a risk taker and the perfect testament to my profession as a rebellious musician. After some time though, that fearlessness got shaded in by doubt, and I went from Evel Knievel to… his somewhat less courageous cousin, we’ll call him Larry Knievel. It was a lot less empowerment and a lot more “Sure, I’m fine. I’m fine. This is fine. We’re all fine.” You know how it is, when you repeat a sentence enough times hoping you’ll eventually believe it? Yeah. That.

The spiral continued downward, and it really did nothing for morale when my gas gauge bottomed out and completely stopped telling me how many kilometres were in the tank at all. Let me tell you something, the wilderness is a lot more breathtaking when you have the sweet guarantee that you won’t die somewhere in it. Without it, you’re just another potential lunchable for the Grizzlies.
Anyways, fast forward through a lot of downhill coasting and wondering if my knuckles would ever return to their natural pigment, and you’ll find MeAndTrevorAndScottout that I survived.

The next day I rolled into Rockridge Canyon and started my week of intense music training, education and general rambunctiousness with my colleagues.
Something I can already say I love about this experience is just spending time with a crowd of musical individuals. I can literally walk to any picnic table or join in on any conversation and feel like I belong, and that I have something to contribute. You’ll never feel more validated than when you’re in this type of program. Growing up I spent a lot of time thinking I was never going to find people like me, who cared about art in the same way, and to be honest there were times when I just thought it would be easier to conform and find another dream, just for the sake of fitting in. I’m really glad I didn’t, because now I can say I feel fulfilled not only by pursuing my dream, but by the people I am surrounded by. There’s really nothing better than that.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has to offer. At first I was just happy to make it in one piece, but now can say I’m grateful for the chance to get here at all, on a quarter tank or not.

See ya tomorrow! PEACE

Waking up in Paradise~

Waking up in Paradise~

I was a party pooper last night after our epic hockey game (even though we lost) and decided to go straight to bed. It was a good decision, because I woke up in an excellent mood!! I am a morning person. This morning I decided to go for a run around the beautiful manmade lake at RockRidge Canyon and do a headstand in the grass. It was a great day!!

The Day Before the Day Before

The Day Before the Day Before

“All my bags are packed and I”m ready to go…..” Just kidding I can’t even quote John Denver. My clothes are folded but they are not actually in my bag yet. And by “bag” I mean large trunk with wheels. There isn’t laundry so I mean yeah, I brought a lot of clothes. You got daytime clothes, nighttime clothes, bedtime clothes, physical activity clothes, swimming clothes (Also known as bathing suits) Performance clothes. Lots of clothes.

Anyways tomorrow at around 8:17am ( I like that number) I will be leaving for B.C. to embark on a the “Wild Ride”. Joining 12 others acts in the beautiful Rockridge Canyon Centre for People Who Can’t Read Good. hahahah just kidding thats Zoolander! Keep up. But actually let me restart… we are headed to the Rockridge Canyon Retreat and Conference Centre which is a world renowned place.

I’m looking forward to learning lots, and feeling like I’m in school again!

Will update upon arrival. I will also inform you how badly we beat the faculty in Ball Hockey on Friday 🙂

Amy Metcalfe