top of page


Host instructors

Libby Hortop (Elizabeth Bruce) and Clarissa Fortin.


Guest Coaches

Lynn Miles, Ian Tamblyn & Chris White

Give voice to the songs that are already inside you, with like-minded creative spirits. Revel in the luxury of a quiet songwriting space, just for you and your ideas. Enjoy daily opportunities to perform and receive valuable feedback on your singing, playing, lyrics, music writing, and stage presence.


Your instructors will guide you through the landscape that all performer-songwriters need to navigate: finding your muse, pulling a song together, and performing it effectively. Through hands-on creative activities and lively brainstorming sessions, you’ll gain useful insights into establishing and sustaining a songwriting routine. 


The camp will feature one guest coach each day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We’ll finish the week with a student concert in which everyone will perform one solo song and one group song.


Whether you are working on your first song or your fiftieth, your creative spark will ignite in this supportive environment.

  • July 1-5, 2024

  • 9 am to 4 pm

  • Age: Adult

  • Registration Fee $500, (non-refundable)

  • Deadline June 14th

  • Enrollment limited to ten participants.

Registration Form choice:

MSWord download fillable form

MSWord download and print fill in form



Do I need to play an instrument?

It helps, but you can also sing a cappella, or use beats and loops on your digital device.


What if I've never finished a song?

We've had lots of people write their first song ever at OSSC. And feel free to bring along your partially completed stuff.


Do I have to sing my song?

It's a good idea. Gives you the chance to work stuff out in a safe and supportive environment.


What about accompaniment?

You will hone your singing and playing skills at camp. And we can usually find some musicians around here somewhere.


What should I bring?

Your instruments(s) other than piano, your lunch (or signed permission to leave the premises and purchase lunch nearby), snacks, refillable water bottle, notebook, pencil, eraser, your idea journal if you keep one, your creative mind!


We supply: overnight instrument lock up, piano, inspiration, and creative space. 

Questions? contact us:

email or call 613-729-0693

Singer-Songwriting Coaches:

Libby Hortop (Elizabeth Bruce) has been writing songs since the late 1990s, when she would rush home after school to sing and play piano while the house was quiet. Her love of music led her to Montreal, where she earned a BA in music and recorded her first album. In 2007, she returned to the Ottawa area and began teaching voice and piano at Alcorn Music Studios. In 2013, she released an ambitious 21-song concept album based on the tarot. After discovering the autoharp, she joined forces with a 12-string guitarist to form Libby & Cal. Their first album, Our Lady of Perpetual Hammer, was released in 2021, and their second album will be released later in 2022. Libby’s songs have been described as unique and surprising. She believes all musicians should try their hand at songwriting!


Clarissa Fortin is a singer-songwriter, teacher, and performer with a decade of experience guiding young and old musicians alike. Sheʼs completed up to Grade 9 of the Royal Conservatory practical vocal exams, but as a teacher sheʼs committed to exploring many different genres and styles beyond her classical background.


Clarissa believes in focussing on the goals of each individual student, whether that means belting out showtunes, preparing for exams, or assisting them in writing their own original songs. She endeavours to create a safe encouraging space for her students to try new things and express themselves. She aims to give them the tools to develop a strong, unique, sustainable singing voice.


She also loves directing students towards open mic events, bringing them to Kiwanis Music Festival, and guiding them through auditions.


Clarissa also teaches beginner guitar, piano, and ukulele.

Youtube Clarissa Fortin

Facebook @ClarissaAnneFortin

Guest Coaches:

Lynn Miles has earned her reputation as one of Canada’s most formidable songwriters, having written over 900 songs and released 15 albums over her remarkable career. She’s racked up multiple Juno Awards and Canadian Folk Music Awards, had two albums voted #1 by readers of Penguin Eggs magazine, and had her songs covered by a multitude of artists, including Claire Lynch on her Grammy-nominated album North by South. The Ottawa-based singer is a producer, professor, and public speaker. Her 16th album, TumbleWeedyWorld, comes out on True North Records on March 17, 2023.

Ian Tamblyn has been a working  musician since 1972. He has released dozens of albums of his work as well as acting as producer for many other artists. Over the years Ian has written too many songs and has given up on counting them. He has also written fourteen plays and over one hundred theatre soundtracks. In 2012, Ian was made a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society for his guiding and creative work in the Canadian Arctic. He has been awarded the Estelle Klein and Helen Verger Awards for his contributions to Canadian folk music; he has a honourary doctorate from Lakehead University, a Distinguished Alumni Award from Trent University and was voted English Songwriter of the Year in 2010 by the Canadian Folk Music Awards, amongst other awards and nominations in the music and theatre world.

Chris White loves connecting people with music and with one another.  He co-founded the Ottawa Folk Festival with Max Wallace in 1993 and spent the next 16 years creating an atmosphere of celebration, inclusion and participation in the role of Artistic Director.  He hosts ‘Canadian Spaces’, the Saturday morning folk show on CKCU FM, and ‘Canadian Faces’, a live Sunday evening gathering of artists on Facebook.  Chris has led singing groups for home-schooled children (‘The Sparrows’), for people with dementia (‘Turquoise’), for seniors (‘The Merry Songsters’) and for men (‘Brothers Aloud’).  He organizes concerts and community events through Folkzone, a company he co-founded with long-time Grassroots Festival contributor, Mark Delorme. Chris has released three albums of his songs – ‘Inner Voice’, ‘Music All Around’, and ‘I’m A Poet… And I’m Aware Of It’ – and is currently working on a memoir.

bottom of page