L-R: Chris Reineck, Spencer Creaghan, Aimee Bessada, Gary Slaight, CFC CEO Slawko Klymkiw, Rebecca Everett and Neil Haverty.
L-R: Chris Reineck, Spencer Creaghan, Aimee Bessada, Gary Slaight, CFC CEO Slawko Klymkiw, Rebecca Everett and Neil Haverty.

Slaight Music Residency Showcase Celebrates New Grads

The 2017 Slaight Music Residency Showcase was held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto on Monday night. It celebrated the work of the five new graduates from the program that is a part-time, nine-month creative and business initiative at the Canadian Film Centre (CFC).

The curriculum is designed to integrate Canadian music songwriters and composers into the onscreen process.

At the event, CFC CEO Slawko Klymkiw reaffirmed the previously-announced news that "thanks to the generosity and continued support from Gary Slaight and The Slaight Family Foundation, this Showcase also marks the renewal of the Slaight Music Residency for the next five years."

Klymkiw recalled his early meetings with Slaight about the initiative and stressed that "we could not be any luckier in our choice of a partner."

The stats on the first five years of the program are impressive. Some 28 creators have graduated and gone on to be involved in over 200 screen-based productions, with some gaining critical recognition and earning numerous nominations for achievement awards.

Alumnus Todor Kobakov won a 2016 Canadian Screen Award for his work on Born To Be Blue and he scored the new CTV hit series, Cardinal. Alumna Erica Procunier scored the feature film, Don’t Talk To Irene, and was recently commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and TIFF to compose the orchestral score for the animated film, DAM! The Story Of Kit The Beaver

The Residency program is a partnership of The Slaight Family Foundation and The Province of Ontario, and Klymkiw praised the government for being a huge supporter of the film and TV production sector.

The graduates of the 2016 Slaight Music Residency are Aimee Bessada, Spencer Creaghan, Rebecca Everett, Neil Haverty and Chris Reineck. They all received their diplomas from Gary Slaight after a presentation of samples of their work.

The music the five composed for short films produced by other CFC students was of a uniformly high standard, and we are sure to hear more of their work in the future.

The four new 2017 Slaight Music Residents were also announced, with one notable name being acclaimed singer/songwriter Sarah Slean (she told FYI she is very excited at the opportunity). The program commences on July 17.

At the event, Marc Jordan was named Chair of the Songwriting program for the Residency (for his second term), while renowned Canadian film composer Lesley Barber (Manchester By The Sea) was named Chair of the Composers program, succeeding Mychael Danna.

An illustrious cast of Residency mentors includes Tom Third, Danna, Stan Meissner, Todor Kobakov and Mark Korven.

A nice new touch at the Showcase this year was to have all five new graduates form an ad hoc band, one that paid tribute to the music of films directed by CFC founder Norman Jewison. The spirited medley included songs from such movies as Hurricane, Only You, and In The Heat Of The Night.

Audience members then exited to nearby club Roxy's for a reception with a nice vibe. Those spied included the Slaight Music crew, musicians Bill King and Lindy Vopnfjord, film composer Todor Kobakov, Cadence's Iain Taylor, and Indie Week's Daryl Hurs and Cam Carpenter.

More information on the program here

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