Meet the Producer: Russell Broom

Finally! We get to introduce the man that all submissions of the 2019 Bent River Records Recording Competition are fighting for the chance to work with:

Russell Broom.

Based out of Calgary, Russell is a fantastic producer, engineer, songwriter and guitar player. He has worked with countless amazing musicians like Jann Arden, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, and Sam Roberts, just to name a few. He has done work not only within the music industry, but is also a very active writer, performer and engineer in film and TV. He has done work for CMT (Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, Civil Wars, etc.), Alberta Primetime, Love Lies Bleed (Elton John) and many, many, many more. Besides being a phenomenal producer and engineer, he is also a very well-established guitar player across Canada and has played with the likes of Josh Groban, Robbie Williams and Brett Kissel. We could go on forever.

His hard work and creativity have led to many awards including a JUNO for songwriter of the year, WCMA producer of the year (three times!), WCMA musician of the year, WCMA engineer of the year and WCMA pop album of the year along with an even longer list of nominations.         We cannot wait to see who Russell Broom and his fellow judges choose to be the winner of the Bent River Records 2019 Recording Competition. We’ve had a listen ourselves and it won’t be easy to choose just one winner. There is just so much talent in Alberta!

Thanks to All Who Participated!

As of midnight last night, we are now in phase two of our 2019 recording competition! You submitted your music, now we’re going to listen. We will be diving into the hard process of determining finalists this week, sifting through your songs, CV’s, and stories, searching for the artists with a pinch of the ‘X factor’ and a little dash of ‘je ne sais quoi.’ 

This contest has brought us more entries than ever before, and on behalf of the Bent River Records team, thank you for sharing your hard work, creativity, and talent with us. We can’t wait to hear your music and see the competition winner onstage, performing at the Bent River Records Artist Spotlight in April. 

Meet Our Panel: Chris Martin

Last but not least, we have Chris Martin joining the rest of our amazing judges.

Chris Martin began his career in the music industry in 1990 as a booking agent.  His company, The Bristol Agency has worked with the likes of Uisce Beathe, Jr. Gone Wild, Bill Bourne and Shannon Johnson, Painting Daisies and Ann Vriend. As a manager and music consultant, Chris has assisted in the development of emerging Canadian artists within Canada and abroad. He has sat on conference panels at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals, Western Canadian Music Week, Canadian Country Music Week and others. Since 2006 Chris has worked at CBC Edmonton where he is currently the Associate Producer of Saturday Night Blues! He will be an amazing contribution to our panel and we can’t wait for him to see all of your submissions!

Don’t forget that the submission deadline for the Bent River Record 2019 Recording Competition is almost here! Monday, October 15th will be the last day that we are taking submissions. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity!

Meet Our Panel: Celeigh Cardinal

We could not be more thrilled to announce Celeigh Cardinal as one of the members on our 2019 recording competition panel! 

Hailing from Peace River, Celeigh has established herself as an Alberta artist to be reckoned with, internationally performing  “heartfelt, biographical inspired songs [that] blend soul and emotion,” as her website’s biography aptly describes. Give any song from her two albums or EP a listen and you’ll hear why Celeigh, Métis herself, is one of the top artists representing both Indigenous and Alberta music today! Her undeniable talent and hardwork have earned her the WCMA Indigenous Artist of the Year award, and both the Female Artist of the Year award and Indigenous Recording of the Year award at the Edmonton Music Awards. And we’re not done yet! Celeigh is also a recipient of Winnipeg’s REVEAL Ingienous Arts Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation.

Outside of her performing work, Celeigh has been making even more history. She is a radio personality at CKUA-FM 94.9 in Edmonton and a member of Edmonton’s Art Column, the In Crowd… and the first Indigenous person to hold either position! No stranger to Alberta’s music scene, to musical success, or to breaking through glass ceilings, Caleigh will provide an essential voice in the selection process of the Bent River competition. 

Welcome, Celeigh!

Meet Our Panel: Adam Fox

We’d like to give a warm welcome to Adam Fox, who will be on the panel of judges for the Bent River Records 2019 Recording Competition! 

Adam Fox hails from a small farm in Essex County, Ontario, but his passion for music and story has led him to Windsor, Toronto, Edmonton, and Calgary. He studied journalism and English literature before immersing himself in community radio. He’s worked in radio and print media, for CBC, CKUA, CJAM, and CHRY as a journalist, music director, and in programming and general management. 

In his current role as Director of Programs for National Music Centre, he contributed to the first permanent exhibition of music in Canada and oversees a team that delivers Education, Artist Programs, Live Music and Public Programs. He’s maintained a creative pursuit through the years, producing, releasing, and performing music with various projects.  

Meet Our New Associates: Eliana, Cam & Liam!

Eliana is thrilled to be joining the Bent River Records team as an associate for the 2019-2020 year! They are looking forward to being involved in many aspects of the team, including but not limited to community outreach, volunteer coordination, distribution, and marketing. Eliana is currently completing their Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at MacEwan University. Outside of time spent at MacEwan, Eliana is a music educator, multidisciplinary artist and craftsperson, burlesque dancer, and community organizer. They recently started their own project, WARA WARA, which combines sounds of folk and rock to create music and poetry that is raw, vulnerable, and politically charged.

Cam is in his third year of studies in the design program at MacEwan. He has a passion for branding, playing with typography, rock climbing, and has always been intrigued by album cover artwork. It’s always neat to see the choices that artists make; how letterforms interact with images on the page, etc. He’ll use any opportunity he gets to incorporate hand-lettered type into his projects. When a project in his second year typography class turned out to be a competition to design an album cover, he was super excited. And after being selected as the winner of the record cover design competition, Cam took interest in the record label and thought it would be a great opportunity to take a deeper dive into the workings of the music industry. This year he’ll be working as an associate for the label, focusing on graphic design. Can’t wait to see what the future holds!

As a third year design student, Liam is very excited to start working with the Bent River Records team this year! “I am passionate about music and have been drawn to and inspired by album artwork for as long as I can remember, and am ready to see how my interests and inspirations can contribute to the success of Macewan’s label. Beyond design I am a practicing mixed-media printmaker working out of SNAP studios, and successfully held my first solo exhibition titled “Fear of the Void” at the end of August.” —Liam

Meet Our New Interns: Shantel & Nathalie!

Shantel Heit will be one of our student interns for the fall term. She will be in charge of running all of our social media platforms and ensuring that all of you know all of the exciting things going on here at Bent River Records.

“I can’t wait to be working alongside and learning from the wonderful team here at Bent River for the fall term. This experience will give me the chance to see how a record label is run and give me the first-hand knowledge that I will need to understand the ins and outs of the music industry.”

—Shantel Heit

Shantel is just beginning her third year into her Bachelor of Music degree. She plans to finish with a General major with a Business of Music minor.  She has moved all the way from Warman, Saskatchewan to be a vocalist in the music program at Macewan. 

Nathalie Parent is our other new practicum student on the Bent River Records team, taking on responsibilities within the realm of digital distribution and recording work.

As a fourth year recording and production major at MacEwan, Nathalie is eager to learn the ins and outs of working for Bent River, furthering her knowledge of the recording arts. 

“Running a studio session and running a record label are two very different things, but they go hand in hand. I can’t wait to be a part of the team and support Bent River’s musicians in their exciting projects, while also learning how to be a professional in a part of the music industry that’s new to me.”

—Nathalie Parent

Nathalie has been working as a freelance producer and engineer for the past year and is a 2019 MusiCounts scholarship recipient in the recording stream. She is also the lead singer of her Edmonton-based band, National Hotel, which can be found on all streaming platforms.

Alberta Artists, We Want You!

We’ve been busy here at Bent River Records, and are once again stoked to announce that we want to hear your original music! And not only that, we want to help you release an EP produced by renowned producer, Russell Broom, who has worked with Jan Arden and SheDaisy, among many, MANY others! That’s right, ATB Financial presents the Bent River Records 2019 Recording Competition

So how does this work? Between September 12th, and October 15th, simply submit your, or your band’s, biography, two recent recordings or demos, links to existing websites and social media, a CV or resume, and one hi-resolution photo. You’ll need a Google account to upload your submissions (it’s quick and free to sign up if you don’t have one). If you have any questions about your submission, please contact at least 24 hours before the deadline. Then, your job is done! We’ll choose our winner, who will win the chance to record a three-song EP with Russell. That includes all mixing, mastering, other studio fees, album art, and the manufacture of 150 CD-Rs for your personal use. This one’s on us!

To top it all off, our winner will also receive a time slot to perform at the 2020 Bent River Records Artist Spotlight on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. So what are you waiting for? Send your music our way; we can’t wait to hear from you!

Thank you to all of our wonderful applicants! Stay tuned for updates!

Welcome Back!

Bent River Records is back with a brand-new semester which means brand-new contests, albums, and shows coming your way. We’ve been hard at work all summer planning for the upcoming year and it is going to be jam packed with exciting announcements, so stay tuned! Our artists have been keeping busy writing and performing brand new music all summer and can’t wait to share what they’ve been working on.

Over the summer, Paul, Erin, and Emily went on a trip to Prague for Allan Gilliland’s (Dean of FFAC) concerto recording with an all-star Canadian jazz quartet including PJ Perry, Chris Andrew, Neil Swainson, and Dave Laing, along with conductor Raymond Baril and a Prague recording orchestra. This recording is to be released this academic year, and that’s just one of many projects we’ve been working on.

Stay tuned for an exciting announcement with community partners coming next week! Not to give too much away… but it involves the Bent River Records Artist Spotlight which will be held on April 22, 2020, so mark your calendars!

Get out to the 2019 Jazzfest!

Jazzfest is in full swing, folks! Have you purchased your tickets yet? From June 21st until June 30th, you can check out over 200 insanely talented musicians including some of our own locals! Not only do we have some of the Bent River Records roster with performance dates, but we also have MacEwan students, faculty and alumni who will be performing there as well. Check out the schedule below! 

In addition to all this wonderful news, Jazzworks is offering FREE MASTERCLASSES led by some of the performers of the TD Edmonton International Jazz Fest line-up!



at Varscona Theatre 3:00pm – 4:30pm


at Varscona Theatre 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Get out to some shows and have an awesome Jazzfest!