DEADLINE EXTENDED – APR 12 | Song Writing Competition 3/3 – Cover Artwork Competition

Calling all artists!

In the spirit of MacEwan’s long history of artistic collaborations, Bent River Records (BRR) is offering an opportunity to have your design featured on collaborative original work.

This competition honours the continued support of MacEwan’s Provost and Vice-President, Academic, Dr. Craig Monk. His generous contributions to Bent River Records have made student opportunities like this possible. This contest is open to all currently enrolled MacEwan students.

ABOUT THE COMPETITION: Artists will submit original cover artwork for the winners of the Bent River Records Song Writing Competition series. Participants may take inspiration from the competition theme of “gratitude” and/or the two competition winners “Red Sky River” written by Sean Fulton, and “Phoenix Rising” written by Anika Carrier. Lyrics and demos for both songs may be found here.

SPECIFICATIONS: Each artist may submit up to two (2) original art pieces for consideration as 300 ppi jpegs. The final should be reproducable up to 12″ x 12″ (12” square plus 0.125” bleeds), CMYK, at 300ppi. However, entries may be submitted in RGB format and, if selected, the artist will work with an advisor to colour correct for print.

The selected artwork must meet these specifications, but the artist may otherwise determine their chosen medium and format. Use of conventional art mediums and mixed media are encouraged, as well as concepts that are open-to-interpretation and can appeal to a wide audience. Use of popular comic or anime genres are not sought for this call. The artist will also submit a one paragraph rationale (maximum of 150 words), explaining their process and how their submission connects to the songs provided.

Please, DO NOT include your name or signature on the art works and rationales since the final selection will be completed by an independent panel.

The winner will be announced at the upcoming Bent River Records Artist Spotlight on March 28th, on social media, and contacted individually.

PRIZE: $750.00 honorarium

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 12:00 pm MST on April 12, 2024.


TERMS & CONDITIONS: The author will retain all intellectual property, and BRR will only have the right to use the artwork for a limited run of CDs, vinyl, and/or digital release.

Adjudication will be completed by a panel of jurors selected by BRR, and will contain members of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Communication and representatives of BRR. The anonymity of entrants will be maintained; judges will not know the identity of the artists they are evaluating until after adjudication is complete.

Bent River Records values, promotes and prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion in all of its work. We recognize the systemic barriers that have led to many artists being underrepresented and will continue to do work to amplify and uplift voices that reflect Edmonton’s diverse communities. We are committed to fostering an inclusive culture that represents diverse backgrounds.

Please contact if you have any questions.

MacEwan’s Generations Big Band featuring renowned flutist Jim Walker – Bent River Records Artist Spotlight

Bent River Records invites you to celebrate the release of two new big band recordings.

In 2022, MacEwan University formed the Generations Big Band, a band comprised of MacEwan University faculty, alumni, and students. Over two weeks, this all-star ensemble, under the direction of Raymond Baril, recorded two new records: The Long View and Pipe Dreams.

The Long View showcases ten new commissioned works for big band, five written by MacEwan faculty and five written by recent MacEwan composition students.

Pipe Dreams celebrates the career of legendary flutist Jim Walker. Walker was the principal flutist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for seven seasons and the first-call studio flutist in L.A. for the better part of two decades. He has played on over 700 films, including Jurassic Park, Memoirs of a Geisha, Titanic, Finding Nemo, and Back to the Future.

Band members

Director, Ray Baril
Dan Davis, alto saxophone
Dana Anderson, alto saxophone
Jerrold Dubyk, tenor saxophone
Jeremiah McDade, tenor saxophone
Aidane Schafer, bari saxophone
Joel Gray, trumpet
Doug Berner, trumpet
Marlouie Saique, trumpet
Elissa Moores, trumpet
Craig Brenan, trombone
Matt White, trombone
Madeline Vandersluys, trombone
Ken Read, trombone
Chris Andrew, piano
Jim Head, guitar
Murray Woods, bass
Dave Laing, drums

This special event is a MacEwan University production supported by the Edmonton Jazz Society.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Doors 7pm. Music 7:30pm.

Adults/Seniors – $12 online (includes $2.00 online ticket charge), $10 at the door with proceeds going to MacEwan University scholarships and awards.

Students – free upon showing student ID.

Please RSVP at

Song Writing Competition 2/3 – Composition Competition

The Bent River Records Songwriting Competition was conceived as a way to provide competitive songwriting opportunities to MacEwan students while honouring our Provost and benefactor, Dr. Craig Monk. Songwriters are invited to write a song based on the theme of Gratitude and using the provided lyrics.

The competition will accept up to two submissions per participant. 

The songs must be based on the provided lyrics and may incorporate some or all of the melodic or harmonic material in the provided demos, but this is optional. If the existing melody or chords from the demo is used, additional writing credit will be given to the originator.


To be considered, participants will deliver the following:

  1. A Lyric sheet with chords, or a leadsheet (.pdf format)
  2. A One minute demo recording of the song (.mp3 format)
  3. Please upload all deliverables using the submissioin form. You must label the folder with the title of your song and your name.

The lyric sheet or lead sheet must be clear and easy to read, and must include all chords and lyrics in the song. 

The demo recording must be a professional-sounding, broadcast-ready version of your song. It will be at least one minute in length, which will be an incomplete version that accurately reflects your vision for the song. The demo must include vocals.

Competition Winners

A Bent River Records jury panel will choose two winners for this competition, one winner for each song, who will be awarded a prize of $750 each.

The winners of this competition will have the opportunity to complete their song in collaboration with the original lyricist, and with the assistance of Assistant Professor, John McMillan.

Any questions may be directed to John McMillan at

The lyrics and initial audio demo can be found along with the submission form HERE

PRIZE: $750.00 honorarium

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 12:00 pm MST on February 26, 2024

Magic, Marketing, and Music

Meet Russell Comrie, the newest addition to the Bent River Records team.

Russell’s route to BRR is an unusual one. He moved to Edmonton from South Africa a year ago to develop his career as a professional magician and to that end is now in his second year in MacEwan’s Arts & Cultural Management degree program.

Prior to that, he spent the last decade working in marketing as a copywriter and then Head of Strategy at an award-winning independent advertising agency, working with some of South Africa’s top brands, big and small.

Russell is looking forward to the wonderful learning opportunities that Bent River Records offers, deepening his connection to Edmonton’s arts community while putting his marketing experience to good use. Most of all, he is excited to work with such talented, creative, and kind people.