UPDATE: Winners of the 200th Anniversary Songwriting Contest

unnamed1st place    Tim Loten: “Ode to the Big Cheese”

2nd place   Brian Lynch: “Perth by the Tay”

3rd place    Doris Folkens & Heather Elliott : “The Fields of Perth”

We would also like to thank our judges Susan Code, James Keelaghan and Joel LeBlanc.



Background Information

The year 2016 is the bicentennial of the founding of the Perth Military Settlement and Stewart Park Festival is looking for an original song to recognize and celebrate this important milestone.

The Rideau Military Settlements, including the town of Perth, were born out of a concern for the defense of Upper Canada from invasion by the United States. The War of 1812 had revealed the vulnerability of the settlement along the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Kingston.

By 1816, the British Government had commenced a program of government sponsored military settlement and assisted immigration that offered land and support, including transportation, to families from Scotland, joined by discharged soldiers, willing to take up a new life in this isolated part of Upper Canada.

Within a few years, the British Government had brought in thousands of immigrant families from Scotland, Ireland, the United States, and even Switzerland, Belgium, Germany and Poland. The Town of Perth was established to direct people to the interior where the once unpopulated area began to ring with the clearing of land and the construction of houses and roads.

The 200th Anniversary is intended to mark the arrival of these first settlers and War of 1812 veterans to the area and celebrate the history of the communities in the settlement – Perth, Drummond/North Elmsley, Beckwith and Tay Valley.

What better way to recognize and honour our historical legacy than through the gift of song. Pick a personality, pick an event of historical importance from 1818 to 2016, put it to music and help make our story come alive.

More information and details about the history of the Perth Military Settlement can be found at the website of the Perth & District Historical Society’s website www.perthhs.org

The Perth Vocal Society aboard the steamer Arrah Wanna, before sailing to the Rideau for a picnic circa 1909.
The Perth Vocal Society aboard the steamer Arrah Wanna, before sailing to the Rideau for a picnic circa 1909.

First prize for the competition includes $500 plus an opportunity to perform on the main stage at the 2016 Festival. Second prize is $300, while third prize is $200. The top six songs will be included on a commemorative CD to be produced by the Stewart Park Festival.

Entries should be sent to:

Stewart Park Festival
80 Gore St. E.
Perth, ON
K7H 1H9
Attn: Kari Clarke

Deadline is December 31, 2015. For further information contact:

Download the 2016 Songwriting Competition Entry Form >