Front Stage Contest Winners Announced!

Headline: Young Songwriters Makin’ Waves at Wentworth Park this Summer


Sydney, Nova Scotia – The first notes from Wentworth Park’s Sydney Credit Union Makin’ Waves Music Festival will not be from Ria Mae, Matt Minglewood, nor any of the other artists previously announced for the annual music festival. Sydney Credit Union Makin’ Waves Music Festival today announced the five young performers who will open each of the five concerts taking place on Thursday evenings from July 5th through August 2nd. These performers were chosen from over a dozen submissions to the CBMIC (Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative) Front Stage Contest.

“Being a curated festival, we carefully select our mainstage artists to create a diverse and inclusive lineup that breaks through barriers,” says CBRM Recreation Program Coordinator Joe Costello. “The CBMIC Front Stage Contest gives us the ability to hear great young talent from Cape Breton and provide them a platform to present their art. Our jury had an unenviable task to narrow the selection to just five artists, but we are excited to have these five join us in the park this summer.”

Kicking off the festival will be Cameron Hollohan, 24, of Sydney. Cameron is a youth care worker at the Whitney Pier Youth Club who has been writing and performing since he was 14 years old. He has recently re-emerged as a performer, taking the stage in local pubs and expanding his songwriting. Cameron will open the July 5th concert at 6pm, presented by 101.9 The Giant, featuring Ria Mae and Carmel Mikol.

July 12th will feature blues guitarist and songwriter Curtis Matheson, 23, of Glace Bay. Curtis is no stranger to the stage, performing at festivals around the Maritimes with his band and as a coveted guitarist with other performers. Curtis and his band performer on 2017’s Breakout Stage, and he will hit the Makin’ Waves stage solo this year opening for Matt Minglewood and Billie Yvette presented by Marine Atlantic.

Young songwriter Breagh Kelly, 14, of Glace Bay will be opening for Pretty Archie and Jordan Musycsyn Band on July 19th presented by Marco Hearing Health Centre. Breagh is a grade 8 student at Oceanview Education Centre and recent winner of the ECMA Music Moves You contest. She has been performing at all ages events and open mics throughout the community, and her song “Safe and Sound,” about her missing dog Jakk, was a viral video on social media in 2017.

Sarah Ellen Morrison, 23, of Sydney will return home from Halifax with band in tow for a special acoustic performance alongside Hillsburn and Diyet & the Love Soldiers on July 26th presented by Atlantic Lottery. Sarah has been performing locally and in Halifax for a number of years, really hitting her stride in the last year performing at the Seahorse, the Carleton, and many other Halifax venues. Sarah was a guest performer at the 2017 Sydney Credit Union Makin’ Waves Music Festival with rapper Mitchell Bailey who, like her, was a CBMIC Front Stage Contest winner.

Opening the final concert of 2018 on August 2nd will be Sydney’s Rudy Pace. Best known as the frontman of touring rockers The Electric Spoonful, Rudy has been increasingly writing and performing solo and take his folk songs to Wentworth Park this summer. Rudy’s music is best comparable to folk storytellers like Towns Van Zandt and Kris Kristofferson, but with a bit more modern edge. He will be joined by Toronto’s The Beaches and Cape Breton born songwriter Greg MacPherson at the concert presented by Sound Source Pro Audio.

Sydney Credit Union Makin’ Waves Music Festival will take place each Thursday at 6pm from July 5th through August 2nd. The festival is presented by the Cape Breton Regional Municipality Recreation Department and the Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative, and supported by Destination Cape Breton and the Nova Scotia Government through the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

New Funding Program Now Available!

Attention: This program is currently suspended until results from the first round of applications go through the jury process. Once successful applicants have been chosen, the program budget will be reviewed to determine if there will be a second round open for further applications for 2018. Please stay tuned.

2018 Product Development Program

Product Development Program Guidelines

Program Overview:

This program will match investment from artists in the music industry who are developing new products to further advance a career in the music industry. The recording of music and video content is now, more than ever, a necessary component in developing an artist’s profile.  As all eyes and ears are dialed in on technology, active artists now find it essential to keep up with the ever-growing social media platforms as the predominant outlet for promotion.  Showcasing opportunities, industry nomination, touring and buyers’ programs require professional artist profiles. This program will help ease the cost of producing recorded music and video product for Cape Breton artists.

In order to apply you will need the following information:

  • A copy of your artist bio along with a discography, links to social media content, commercial media content, awards, successes and achievements.
  • Project Outline providing the name and a description of the project including timelines, contractors/suppliers and project outcomes.
  • The proposed release date for your project.
  • A link to a sample of your music to be recorded for this project. (One track only)
  • A copy of your budget showing all pertinent expenses and revenues.

Who is eligible to apply:

The Product Development Program is accessible to all Cape Breton based artists or groups who are pursuing a professional career within the music industry and are recording new material for commercial release. There are no restrictions on genre of music. At CBMIC we strive to aid first and foremost artists that live and work on Cape Breton Island though we realize there are various circumstances that keep Cape Breton artists all over the world. A strong weighting will be given to those applicants who remain living on Cape Breton Island on a year round basis.

Eligible Expenses:

All suppliers/contractors should be operating in Cape Breton. Music producers from outside of Cape Breton are an eligible expense. Eligible expenses are only those that have occurred after the application has been submitted to CBMIC. Eligible expenses include but may not be limited to:

  • Studio time
  • Hiring an engineer, producer and side musicians
  • Renting recording equipment
  • Hiring instrument tech/vocal coach
  • Mixing and mastering
  • Hiring a professional videographer and director
  • Video editing
  • Graphic design/artwork for album and promotion

Ineligible expenses include but may not be limited to:

Equipment purchases and purchases of capital assets, union dues, penalties, fines, pension contributions and any other union-mandated payments; CD, vinyl or other music media manufacturing and duplication costs.


The funding available through this program is 50% of the total eligible budget up to a maximum of $5,000.  Successful applicants will receive 50% of the allotted funding upon receipt of a fully executed Funding Agreement.  The following 50% of allotted funding will be released only when the Final Report for the applicant’s project has been submitted and reviewed by CBMIC. Minimum project spend for consideration is $1200.

Final Report:

The Final Report must contain the following items:

  • A budget with projected and actual revenue/expenses stated in Canadian dollars and must provide reasons for any significant variances.
  • Invoices and/or receipts that list items and charges, and cancelled cheques, proof of electronic payments or receipts as proof of payments (2 copies) must be included and add up to the expenses declared in the Budget
  • A completed and signed letter stating any additional funding that was received by the applicant for the project.
  • A copy of the recording produced through the assistance of the Product Development Program


In all album artwork, publications, promotional materials, signage and activities relating to the Project in this Agreement, the Applicant must acknowledge the financial support received from CBMIC by including the words, or like sentiment of, “This project is supported by funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency through the Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative.” Logos for CBMIC and ACOA may be used in lieu of previous wording.

 What happens to your application:

 All complete applications will be sent to a jury of three music industry professionals.  Jury members will be Atlantic Canadian professionals, but not Cape Breton music professionals to reduce the possibility of conflict of interest.  To be considered for funding, applicants must be successfully recommended by two out of three jury members.  The overall number of successful applicants will determine the amount of funding available per applicant.

 Application deadline:

 Friday, July 20th, 2018

Applicants can expect to hear if their application was successful by Friday, August 31st.

For further information and funding application contact:

Shauna Walters, Program Manager

Product Development Program