Collingwood Live & Original Music Series


The Collingwood Live & Original Music Series was introduced in 2015 as a sub-festival within the Collingwood Elvis Festival. For more than 20 years, the Collingwood Elvis Festival has helped to preserve the legacy of Elvis Presley, the original rock star, and has provided visitors with the opportunity to hear Elvis' music performed live once again. To complement this, the Collingwood Live & Original Music Series was created with a primary focus on giving aspiring singer/songwriters the chance to showcase their unique talents through live performances of their original compositions to a crowd of music fans who know what it looks like when an artist tries something original, puts themselves into their songs, and can deliver an amazing live performance. 

After an incredibly successful inaugural year, the Collingwood Live & Original Music Series returns and expands in 2016 for another year of inspiring and impressive performances. These are not tributes. These performances are raw, real, and relatable - just like the story of Elvis' climb from truck driver and aspiring legend. This year we invite you to experience a music series unlike any other, to get up close and personal to artists on the ascent. Experience the Collingwood Live & Original Music Series, coming to the Collingwood Elvis Festival July 20-23, 2016. 

This year's featured components include the L&O Songwriter Showdown and the L&O Encore. Unfortunately the L&O Showcase has been cancelled for 2016.



Semi-Final Results

Congratulations to the top 8 Semi-Finalists who will move on to the Finals Saturday July 23rd at 8:00 p.m. at the Gayety Theatre for their chance to win a piece of the $5000 prize money!
  • Alyssa Pridham
  • Sohayla Smith
  • Mike Charette
  • Jeff Cunningham
  • Kendrick Ambrose
  • Rebecca Rain
  • Bernadette Connors
  • Jamie McLaughlin
L&O Songwriter Showdown

The L&O Songwriter Showdown celebrates finding musical creativity and innovation at the grass-roots level. This is an opportunity for unknown artists to develop their own individual songwriting ability and performance style, in a competition format, performing their original songs live and in person. This competition is designed to give the audience a connection with the artist as he or she expresses their personal story through song.

This event is the evolution from L&O’s inaugural year in 2015, which saw Gina Horswood crowned as the first Live & Original Winner, after wowing the judges and voting audience with her vocal style and musical talent. This year’s enhancements include a larger venue at the Gayety Theatre, more opportunities to experience up and coming musicians, and new ways for festival-goers to see and support a favourite singer/songwriter in their quest for a share of $5,000 in cash. 

Top 12 Semi-Finalists

Congratulations to the top 12 semi-finalists! The videos below are a sneak peak at the twelve semi-finalists. For all the details on the Songwriter Showdown, follow us on Twitter @ExperienceCwood or like us on Facebook at Experience Collingwood. For all the dates of the events where you can see these artists perform live, please click on the "Attend" link below.

Jamie McLaughlin

Kendrick Ambrose

Bernadette Connors

Sohayla Smith


Mike Charette

Marshall Dane

Jeff Cunningham

Emily Hoppe

Amanda Kelly

Alyssa Pridham

Rebecca Rain

Esther Pennell


Attend - view the performance schedule and ticket information here

Original music, original artists performing their own unique style of music in their own unique way. See it and hear it unfold at the Historic Gayety Theatre and other venues! 

Don't miss special guest Gina Horswood performing at the L&O Songwriter Showdown Finals on Saturday, July 23rd.


L&O Compilation CD

New this year! The Live & Original Music Series presents an L&O Compilation CD featuring the 2016 semi-finalists. The L&O 12 semi-finalists will have the opportunity to contribute their audition song to a limited edition collectible CD. The singer/songwriters will produce their track in an exclusive session with Collingwood’s own Red Room Recordings while they are in town for a very busy four days of competition. Proceeds from the sale of the limited edition CD will be collected and turned into a bursary fund to assist the efforts of a local student who wishes to pursue a post secondary music education.

PRE-ORDER your CD now by calling 705-444-2500. Only $20 plus shipping.

CDs will be available for pick up or by mail beginning in mid-August.


L&O Encore

August 6th, 8:00 p.m. at the Collingwood Shipyards Amphitheatre - part of Sidelaunch Days - don't miss the top three L&O Songwriter Showdown finalists back in town for an ENCORE concert at the gorgeous Shipyards Amphitheatre. This is a free opportunity to see some of our L&O artists at the beginning of their musical journey and career! Stay tuned for full details. 


The Collingwood Live & Original Music Series is proudly supported by: