Truro Daily News features Songcamp Circle

It might be the only showcase during an upcoming music festival where you can see more than a dozen artists on stage at once – the Gordie Sampson Songcamp Circle.

“Officially, it started, I think, two years ago at Nova Scotia Music Week, but on smaller stages, and it’s really started to gain momentum,” said Sampson, the Cape Breton singer/songwriter that started the songcamp five years ago. “Last year, it took a really big leap. We took over the ballroom in Sydney and couldn’t fit everyone in.”

Over the years, the songcamp has been bringing a number of musicians – including former Truro resident Nicole Curry – to Ingonish for the songwriting circuit.

During Molson Canadian Nova Scotia Music Week, which runs Nov. 6 to 9 in Truro, 15 of those musicians will be participating in the songcamp showcase.

“There are so many names on the bill that it will be a huge draw,” said Sampson, who won’t be attending the four-day event due to prior project commitments in Nashville. “They’re really starting to capitalize on the songwriting circle mentality.”

Of the musicians that will be featured during the songcamp showcase at the Holiday Inn on Nov. 7 beginning at 5 p.m., Curry, who goes by the stage name of Nicole Ariana, will have a chance to take the spotlight.

“She is wonderful,” said Sampson about the R&B artist who graduated from Cobequid Educational Centre in 2006. “She has an unbelievable sense of hip hop and R&B. She’s a great writer and comes up with some amazing, quirky phrases that are really unique to her. You can really see where it goes.”

Along with Curry, other musicians that will be featured include Steven MacDougall, Dana Beeler, Molly Thomason and Seamus Erskine.

Dylan Guthro, Dave Sampson, Breagh Mackinnon, Kyle Mischiek and Carleton Stone will also be featured, as will Rankin Macinnis, Elijah Wohlmuth, Barb Cameron, Jenny MacDonald and Natalie Lynn.

“The songcamp has been exponentially amazing since the start,” said Sampson. “And it continues to be just gargantuan. It’s a springboard for people and there is a lot of collaboration between people that have met at the camp.”

Sampson himself will be recording with Stone, Guthro and Mackinnon on a project the three are working on together.

But for an hour-and-a-half in the Elm/Oak Ballroom at the Holiday Inn, the musicians will showcase their own works.

“The people that run Nova Scotia Music Week have really taken the bull by the horns and made this an essential part of the week,” said Sampson.

For more on Nova Scotia Music Week, visit

by Raissa Tetanish, Truro Daily News