Art Song Composers Mentorship Programme

Steven Philcox and Lawrence Wiliford, the Co-artistic Directors of CASP, announce a series of grants to support new and emerging composers during this difficult time of COVID-19 isolation.

Two grants of $2000 will be awarded in each of the next three years. The successful applicants will be expected to create three Art Songs (free-standing poems set to music – read more about Art Song here), roughly 10 to 12 minutes in total, within eight months of the agreed start date. As part of the programme the applicant will be paired with a recognized Canadian Art Song composer who will act as Mentor throughout the process. The Mentors will provide guidance and support. This program is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

The Canadian Art Song Project is a registered charity organization with a 10-year history of engaging composers, poets, and performers in the shared goal of preserving, promoting, and building Canada’s rich body of Art Song literature. Our recently released recording Healey Willan: Summer Night and Other Songs for Voice and Piano was nominated for a 2020 JUNO Award. Past CASP-commissioned composers have included Afarin Mansouri, Ana Sokolović, Jeffrey Ryan, and Marjan Mozetich, among others.

In addition to seeking applications from graduates of composition programmes, those in post-graduate composition programmes and/or other emerging freelance composers who wish to advance their skills in the writing of Art Song, we welcome applications from composers from non-traditional or non-classical backgrounds.

Over the past 18 months CASP has been engaging in public conversations that have explored the voices of our diverse cultures and their relationship to Art Song in Canada. It is hoped that this Mentorship Programme will enrich and re-imagine the writing of Art Song in Canada by engaging racialized artists to bring their lived experiences into this evolving art form in a collaborative and open environment. To this end, we strongly encourage applications from racialized communities.


Candidates are asked to include:

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. A short one-page resume
  3. Letters of support from two members of your community who are able to speak to the merits of the application
  4. Your one-page project proposal including:
    1. An overview of the project with specific details about what you have in mind for your songs. This may be presented in a written or video (please provide links) format.
    2. A statement outlining how the mentorship programme will contribute to your personal creative development.
    3. Brief statement of how your contribution advances CASP’s mission.
    4. Names of up to 3 potential mentors, as well as specific areas or details of mentorship support that you would need or desire in your creative study of Art Song.

Deadline for submission is February 28, 2021.

Instructions for submitting an application:

  1. All pages, including the Application Form, resume, one-page Proposal, statements and list of potential mentors should be clearly labelled and combined into a single PDF form (please see or other comparable sites for help).
  2. Applications should be sent by email directly from the applicant to Canadian Art Song Project ( with the subject heading of: “applicant’s surname” – Art Song Mentorship Programme. The application should be attached as a single PDF file and is due on February 28, 2021.
  3. Letters of support should be sent by email directly from the author to Canadian Art Song Project ( with the subject heading of: “applicant’s surname” – Letter of Support. The letter should be attached as a PDF file and is due on February 28, 2021.
  4. All questions regarding the application and application process should be directed by email to Lawrence Wiliford, co-Artistic Director of Canadian Art Song Project.
  5. Only complete and on-time applications will be considered for the programme.

Results will be announced in April 2021.