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Arts & Culture

Songwriter in Residence

The 2021 Songwriter in Residence was Matt Blais.

Music to help build, inspire, and support community

The Songwriter in Residence is a 10-week residency that supports emerging and established songwriters working in any genre, be it pop, folk, jazz, blues, country, soul, or hip-hop.

This program provides our community with learning experiences, including performing, publishing, and songwriting opportunities.

Applications to discover our next Songwriter in Residence will open in 2022.

matt blais profile

Meet Matt Blais

2021 Songwriter in Residence

Born and raised in Calgary, Matt Blais is a songwriter, recording artist, and poet with over a decade of experience in music. His recent release, “In Shadow and Light,” reveals his abilities as a musical chameleon as he weaves blues licks, folk roots, and rock’n’pop hooks with authenticity and intensity.

Matt’s wit and storytelling ability has charmed and inspired audiences across Canada and internationally through concert, radio, film, and written word. Collaborations with greats including Sam Roberts, producer Mark Howard (Tragically Hip, Tom Waits), and opening for acts like Blue Rodeo and The Trews has helped further Matt’s musical expertise.

With recognitions such as “Male Artist of the Year” (2018) and “Singer Songwriter of the Year” (2017) at the Calgary Music Awards, and "Best Rock Song" at The Great American Song Contest (2016), Matt has solidified his reputation as a musical force both on and off the stage. His enthusiasm for music directly translates to his teaching practice, where children and adults learn instrument techniques, songwriting, and most importantly: a love of music.

“The purpose of my life has been to inspire connection through creativity. I am proud to have contributed to Calgary's artistic community in bringing people together in concert. My songs are reflections, not just of who we are, but who we can be. As my career in this industry continues, I look forward to providing shoulders for others to stand on — lifting up artists and working together to strengthen and grow our music community.”


Online programs with Matt Blais

Attend an online program with Songwriter in Residence, Matt Blais. During his residency, he is hosting sessions on branding, mental wellness in the arts, creative songwriting for teens and adults, feedback circles, performances, and more. Registration is available online

See the programs

Book a virtual one-on-one consultation

The Songwriter in Residence is pleased to consult with emerging and established musicians of all ages to discuss technique, songwriting, and performance, or whatever aspect of the music world would be most helpful.

Matt is available for one-on one virtual consultations:

Monday: 12 – 2 pm
Tuesday: 6 – 8 pm
Thursday: 12 – 2 pm
Saturday: 3 – 5 pm
Sunday: 1 – 3 pm


To book a one-hour consultation, please use the calendar booking link

If you have specific pieces you would like Matt to review, please include up to three recorded songs in advance. Submit your songs in MP3 format or via accessible streaming links (such as Soundcloud, Bandcamp, or Youtube). Studio quality tracks, though welcome, are not required. Demo recordings are fine as long as the audio quality clearly conveys the song. Please provide lyrics to accompany all submitted audio tracks.

Songwriter in Residence Matt Blais