Wanted: Dancer and Painter to Star in Music Video

I have exciting news to share with you. I’m shooting a music video early in the new year. The video will be a joint production between myself and Adam Machan of MazeKey Media. Last time Adam and I worked together we produced
the heart-warming video for my single, “Love Is”. This video is currently available in limited release and can be see here.

Love is was shot at the Making-Box downtown Guelph.

Stylistically the new video will be a departure from the highly comical Love Is video. The new video is for the track, “Let Your Music Play {Listen to the track}”, a song about creativity and expression. I feel such an incredibly strong drive to share my music with the world and I want to inspire others to do the same. There is “music” inside all of us. For me, the “music” I’m referring to represents all forms of creative expression.

I have been writing and performing music for over 10 years now.

Through my own personal journey, letting my music play has allowed me to see all of the incredible possibilities that exist around me. Creative expression is immensely rewarding and tremendously challenging. There have been so many times along the way when I could have called it quits and packed it in, but I stayed the course. Now, it is my sincere desire to use the platform I have created to encourage others. The “Let Your Music Play” video will inspire viewers to press on in their own creative journey.

The story of Let Your Music Play follows the creative journeys of a dancer and a painter.

Concept image providing a sense to the aesthetic we are going for.

The video is told over the course of one day as the artists prepare, warm-up and dive into their craft. Along the way, they confronted with barriers of various shapes and sizes. In order to overcome and ultimately dissolve these barriers, they must reach deep within themselves and find the strength to carry-on. This means getting up when they don’t want to, warming up when they’re not feeling it and stepping it up when they stumble. As the song builds to a triumphant crescendo, the viewer’s eye is drawn to the similarities between the work of the dancer and the painter, this is achieved through a series of fast cuts. After the crescendo, we return to the artists in a moment of stillness and find that they have traded places. The dancer is now in the painter’s studio and the painter is now on stage. This trade serves to reinforce the theme of barrier dissolution by dissolving the barrier between the artists’ respective mediums.

We are currently looking for a female contemporary dancer and a female contemporary painter (between the ages of 19 and 29) to bring this project to life.  

The Successful Dancer Will:

Commit to being on set for two separate shoots of approx. 3 hours each.

Choreograph a contemporary dance based on the themes of the creative journey and barrier dissolution with an emphasis on large graceful movements that will display well in slow motion. (A ribbon or scarf may be incorporated if you see fit).

Provide their own clothing and do their own make-up for the shoot

The Successful Painter Will:

Commit to being on set for two shoots of approx. 3 hours each.

Be comfortable painting a large abstract oil painting on camera.

Create a concept sketch based on the themes of the creative journey and barrier dissolution for review.

Provide access to a studio space suitable for the shoot, ample natural light is ideal

Provide their own clothing and do their own make-up for the shoot.

Supply their own painting materials.

So if you are passionate about encouraging creative expression, if you live for your craft, and you are willing to bring your all to this project, then please fill out an application below. Selected artists will be compensation though a modest honorarium and credited as key contributors.  

Application deadline: Dec. 30th: Apply Now.
(Dancer Application // Painter Application)

Thank you for your interest.


Remembrance Day Video “My Home” from Don Sawchuk

Please Like & Share this Video by Don Sawchuk.

Here’s a quick note of introduction to a timely video I’m releasing featuring “My Home” for Remembrance Day which was filmed at my local Royal Canadian Legion in Guelph during a special presentation on June 6th of this year.

The event was planned to commemorate D-Day, June 6, 1944, when fourteen thousand young Canadians stormed ashore Juno Beach against frightening opposition. The soldiers raced headlong over mined beach obstacles, across wide open beaches swept with machine gun fire, overtaking German strongholds in fierce hand-to-hand combat, then advancing inland, securing a critical bridgehead for the allied invasion. The victory was a turning point of World War II and led to the liberation of Europe and the defeat of Nazi Germany. 

Let us never forget their sacrifice and the freedom cherished by so many around the world because of it.

I was very proud to be asked to contribute this performance of My Home (Canadian Prisoner of War) for the event. As you watch and listen, please share in my pride for Canada, for the people of our nation and for the values of peace and freedom we hold dear.

Don Sawchuk
Building community one song at a time.


Love Is (Official Music Video) Limited Release

I have a truly exciting announcement to share!

The much-anticipated music video for my new single, Love Is, is now available to watch in limited release.

To watch the video, simply click the link at the bottom of this post and follow the instructions to unlock access. BUT WAIT!, don’t just skip ahead, I have more interesting things to say about the video.

I’m so happy with how the video turned out. Way back in February, when Adam and I first started discussing this project I had no idea it would turn out as great as it did. The music video, for those that don’t already know, tells a story of a boy and girl falling in love at a surprise birthday party for a tortoise. Yes, a surprise birthday party for a tortoise. When I first heard about this concept I thought it was quite strange, but that this quirky idea would likely be a great fit for the warm and positive energy of the track (spoiler alert, it was indeed a great fit).

During the shoot, I was overwhelmed by all the support that rallied around the creation of this video. From Decadently Yours that supplied the cupcakes, to The Making-Box which provided space and the tremendous talent of Halley Kellett and Rob Lewin. I’d also like to thank all of the people that came out to be extras, some of which just walked in off the street knowing nothing about what sort of shenanigans they were getting themselves into. Thanks to Mark Vicary for saving the day by providing us with a tortoise for the shoot as well as a wealth of tortoise knowledge to boot.[No tortoises were hurt in the filming of this video:)] Mark made sure that our fine shelled friend was very well taken care of during the whole shooting process, thanks, Mark (Mark runs a Medical Grade Janitorial Business, check them out here). Also, big thanks to Adam Machan who conceptualized the video and co-directed the project with the incredibly talented Dave Horst. Without Dave’s creative eye, directing chops and editing expertise, none of this would have been possible.

And one last thing, thanks to you! Thank you for being so patient awaiting the release and for reading the rest of the newsletter before watching the video. You know what they say, good things come to those who… read the entire newsletter.

And now!

Without further adieu…

Here it is…

Don Sawchuk – Love Is – Official Music Video

Cheers, Donny. 🙂

Don Sawchuk
Building community one song at a time.

My new record, Underdog, is now available!

To start with the main course – my latest record Underdog is now 100% complete! It’s ready and pressed into CDs and Vinyl Records, ready now for purchase. I’ve also been booking quite a few small shows in the Guelph area. These dates give me the incredible opportunity to practice my new songs with a newly formed band of talented musicians. The exact dates for these shows are yet to be announced, but stay tuned. I’ve also been dreaming up a spectacular multi-media CD release show experience, but the details have yet to be finalized. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, check out my newly launched website full of info, music, pics & merch!

On a more personal note, there have also been some major events happening in my life.

I’m happy to report that I have moved into a new home in Guelph, ON with my partner, Diane. – The place is beautiful, inside and out. We have access to an incredibly gorgeous forest trail along the Speed River, and I take a stroll there almost everyday. I’ve set up my writing table right next to the window so I’m able to gaze outside and let the natural world inspire me. It is truly the perfect place to write songs for my next record, which I’ve already started working on! All in all, I feel like I’m getting into the next major chapter of my life – I have finally settled into a place where I’m comfortable to write, live, love and grow old.

I attended Hillside this year and was blown away! As anyone else who was there will tell you, it was absolutely amazing! A personal highlight for me was seeing Xavier Rudd perform – I admire Xavier and the passion he has for his music and his message. Watching him during Hillside inspired me to focus on the things that really matter to me in my own music – on exploring the human condition, how we deal with self-doubt and low self-esteem, on the things we all struggle with and how we’re all a little bit crazy in our own unique way and that that’s okay.

Xavier Rudd closed out the 2017 festival
Australian perfomer Xavier Rudd closed out the 2017 festival. Photo by Vicki Mahoney

Lately, I’m seeing so many people throw away their potential because of insecurity, depression, stress, and self-loathing. I feel strongly that this is one of the biggest problems we face in society today, regardless of our race, religion, age, physical appearance, sexuality or nationality. I want my music to serve as a light of hope; to help people get out of these unpleasant, debilitating and destructive mindsets.

I, myself, have channeled a great deal of my energy into shifting my mindset towards a positive outlook. It’s definitely not an easy thing to do, learning to stop endlessly reading into other people’s reactions and words. I believe that fear of other people’s judgements is where most of our insecurity and low self-esteem come from. People are social beings and that’s great, but we need to learn to take only the important things out of our social interactions and leave behind the mental tar that often clogs our minds. These are the sorts of things that have been floating around inside my head as of late, and these themes will likely be coming up in the new songs I’m writing.

Song writing is always an adventure and I love watching my skills grow and mature. I’m convinced that we’re really alive when we’re growing, and that we truly enjoy life only when we can see and appreciate that growth. We’re here only briefly – let’s live life to the fullest and enjoy the ride, individually and collectively. I hope you’ll join me.

One more thing, I recently shot a music video with help from MazeKey Media and starring some lovely folks from The Making-Box, an innovative comedy theatre and improv training centre in Guelph, that is building community through comedy. The video tells the story of a boy and a girl falling in love at a surprise birthday party for a tortoise. Yes, a surprise birthday party for a tortoise, hilarious! The video is set for release in early September, but you can get a sneak peek by watching the trailer that is up now on my Facebook band page.


Thanks for your continued support!

Cheers, Donny. 🙂

Don Sawchuk
Building community one song at a time.

Who is the Underdog?

Dear Fans:

Who is the Underdog?

Don Sawchuk has been observing the world and how we interact with one another, digging deep to understand this question. What is forthcoming is Don’s answer.

Don’s new work Underdog speaks to the insecurity, un-lovability and smallness in us all and our unquenchable ability to rise up and overcome our own self-defeating beliefs and the negative and oppressive opinions of those around us.

It is honest, it is us pure, and it captures the emotional movement of downward struggle towards a defiant overcoming. Sometimes it may dip back and forth: we become the Underdog time and again – with each overcoming we are thrown back into struggle, but no matter, we keep overcoming – the Underdog remains persistent.

This new piece centers the listener and communicates this message with ear catching melodies. From classic rock n’ roll to adult contemporary influences, Don has created a diverse palate of sounds with a message that speaks to all of us – maybe in different ways, but it allows space for everyone.

Stay tuned – You will soon find yourself within Don Sawchuk’s soon to be released full length album Underdog.


Adam & Braeden,
MazeKey Media & Two Take Writing




He did WHAT?!?!? Is it true?

I want to thank everyone for tuning in to the goings on of my musical endeavours.

Of course, I want to welcome all of the new faces I’ve met along the way at places like Hillside, SongStudio, Ark Fest, the Regal Road Studio concert series with the Hazy Maidens, et. al., Sharpe Fest, the Fergus Songwriting Competition, SAC Regional Writer’s Groups, League of Rock, and all of the open mics in the GTA/Ottawa/Cambridge/K-W/Guelph/Fergus/Elora areas.

There have been many things changing in my world since my last email in September. As most of you know, I have been enjoying the freedom of pursuing music full-time, while doing a small amount of consulting in the pharmaceutical industry to keep myself in picks and guitar strings. Well, as of Jan 2, all that has changed.

I started as the Regulatory Manager for a local animal health pharmaceutical company with its head office based in Europe. By Jan 5th I was on a plane heading for a 3-week jaunt in France to get up to speed with the company’s products, people and facilities. The offer to return to work was too good to turn down, so, I’ve committed to work for the Canadian affiliate to achieve a number of new product registrations over the next 2-3 years. This will require travelling to France and Ottawa and otherwise working 40 hours/week out of the Cambridge office – behind a desk and everything! I know… it’s hard to believe!!! I’d never been to Europe. I took lots of pictures of France and a few in Spain. If you check out my Facebook account you’ll find a whole album of about 145 pictures if you’re interested in seeing some of what I saw.

I am looking at this full time job as an opportunity to become more focused on achieving my musical ambitions. No more dilly-dallying. It’s time to get busy and get things done: writing, recording, performing.

That being said, please find below a list of upcoming gigs and events that I am going to be a part of. Of special note are the following:
1) THIS THURSDAY NIGHT Feb 6: Toronto Songwriting Guild Annual Showcase – a rare opportunity to see me perform in Toronto!
2) Next Thursday night Feb 13, I’ll be competing in The 2014 Southern Ontario Songwriting Competition in Fergus, ON, and
3) The second season of Lord Of The Flies theatrical production set to the music of Pink Floyd with 4 performances Feb 28 and Mar 1.

I have an album in the works that will be released this year if it kills me. I have to get my music out there for people to hear. Presently, the only way for people to hear my music is if I play it for them. Not so efficient eh? – although, my live performances do come with a manic exuberance. The challenge is getting that enthusiasm on tape in the studio… hmmm, I think I’ll lean on my producer JK Gulley at BlueGull Studios for that. He’s awesome. I can’t wait to put out my first fully produced full-length CD with the best material I’ve written to date.

On the subject of performances, I really don’t look for many places to play. I have had lots of people ask me to play a gig for them or be a part of this or that, apart from my regular open mics. I love that. If you would be interested in having me play for an event please let me know! I’m sure we’ll make it fun for everyone! 😉

Let’s get through this cold, cold weather together with a tune in the air and a skip in our step. 🙂

See you at the next event in your neck of the woods.

Cheers, Don.

Don Sawchuk
Building community one song at a time.

Where the real work starts

This summer has been a terrific opportunity to meet a number of great people – fans and musicians alike. Honestly, I can’t remember when I’ve had so much summertime fun, met so many cool people, and enjoyed every musical moment.

I want to extend a warm welcome to all the new people now receiving this update, and I want to say hi to those that have been keeping up with me for a while now.

The community here that we are a part of has been a source of edification and inspiration to me. I thank each of you for your encouragement, support and love.

It’s been two years now that I’ve not had a job to go to and I’ve really enjoyed the freedom. However, I look back and see that I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying people’s company, living life, traveling and playing music, but I haven’t been very disciplined or focused on writing and recording. In fact, I’ve got lots of songs that are in the works that need my attention to finish.

When I, or most songwriters I imagine, write a song, the first draft is really quite easy, fun and exciting. Where the real work starts, where the heavy lifting occurs, is in the re-writing process. It’s the editing and re-writing that takes a song from good to great. What better time than the present change of seasons to enter into and embrace the re-writing process.

This week I’ve spent some time revisiting works in progress and have managed to make good headway on three songs that I feel are good but have the potential to be great. I’ll be playing these songs at open mic opportunities to test drive them, if you will, and gage listener’s response.

You have an open invitation to let me know your impressions of the new material you hear. The songs I’m writing aren’t meant for me, they’re meant for YOU! Your opinion is valuable feedback for me and is always welcome. 🙂

Below you’ll find a listing of my upcoming gigs. You’ll also find these and other interesting tidbits on my website: www.donsawchuk.com.

Of special note is tonight’s wrap to summer at the BrewHouse in Fergus. Come out to hear some music, get a bite to eat, have a refreshing libation and say hi!

Cheers, Don.

Don Sawchuk
Building community one song at a time.

What’s going on?

What a rush this Spring has been, with the crazy wintery weather and warm muggy days, pressing for a summer appearance sooner than expected. I love it when I meet people that refuse to allow the weather to dictate their sunny disposition. What’s the line… oh yeah, ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.’ Personally I get a buzz from being cold and wet, I find it exhilarating! Anyway, I hope you enjoy it any way you can.

Allow me to catch you up on what’s been going on with me musically.

I spent 2 weeks in Nashville, Tennessee, taking it all in. As my home base I used the SOCAN House operated by Daryl and Lee Ann Burgess – great Canadians with a soft spot for fellow Canadian songwriters. I got to see Daryl perform a couple of times including tunes he’d written for my favourite Canadian guitarist Colin James. He’s got his gold records hanging on the walls of the SOCAN House assuredly as inspiration for myself and the other songwriters that pass through while visiting Nashville. The Nashville Songwriter’s Association International (NSAI) held Spring Training for Songwriters while I was there – great information and motivation to write hits songs. Tin Pan South a songwriter’s festival was on as well and I got to see so many hit writers performing the songs that lots of famous artists have turned into smash hits on the radio. What a jaw-dropping experience that was listening to these writers perform these songs. The level of quality writing and craftsmanship was numbing and left me feeling simultaneously inspired and scared shitless! I found some co-writers that I was able to work with to expand my writing approach and look forward to continuing writing with them remotely now that I’m back home. Whenever I had the opportunity to play in clubs in Nashville I took it and got some terrific feedback and encouragement. I even got to see a couple of NHL games in Nashville while I was there, including my favourite team The Red Wings. The trip was a great learning experience and I look forward to raising my game and going back. As I was making my way home in my “tour bus” (1995 Buick LeSabre) I heard the NSAI mentioned me as a “writer to watch” in their newsletter publication.

Upon my return, I threw myself headlong into the theatrical production of Lord of the Flies adapted and directed by Ida Brown and set to the music of Pink Floyd. In three short weeks, under the leadership of Ida’s 19-year-old daughter Bethany Brown, myself, Bethany, Bob Flewelling and Siyobin Blanco pulled all the music together and created a Pink Floyd cover band of sorts for the play. I dusted off my 1963 Gibson Les Paul for the solos and rocked out like I used to in my youthful high school days. We started with a dinner theatre show which was mostly music with a few snippets of scenes and props from the play. The meal was catered by Nathalie McNeill of The Fountainhead Health Store & Cafe and consisted of a 7 course meal with each course being in-theme with the Floyd songs we played. Talk about sensory overload! The two performances of the full production at the Fergus Grand Theatre were smashing successes. The countless hours of rehearsing by the children in the play, the efforts of all the parent volunteers and the music came together into a dramatic and moving theatrical production beyond everyone but Ida’s wildest imagination. There are negotiations taking place now to have the play licensed and toured in area theatres as well as a selling the performance to high schools in the region. I couldn’t be any prouder of all the people that contributed to this life changing experience that I was so lucky to be a part of. All three of my boys came out to see one show or another and were very impressed – now that’s hard to do!

So now the focus switches to writing, recording and performing. Gone are the days of just playing other peoples’ music. It’s time to write and play my own music. Last night I got the opportunity to be interviewed by Nick Gush from local radio station FM 92.9 The Grand which will air tomorrow evening Thursday May 30 at 7 p.m. I played some new music I’ve been writing and recording and we talked about various songwriting topics, him being a songwriter himself. You can hear the interview on the radio or listen anywhere on the net at http://www.thegrand929.com/index.cfm?page=listen. I’ve got a number of open mics I’ll be hosting coming up in Guelph and Elora and some charity events and other gigs happening. Check below to find out where and when.

I also want to unveil my website that Andrea Deering helped set up with photos from Laurie Goodman Photography. I’m hoping to keep this site up to date with all my shows and let people access my music there too. I’m planning to move this email update into blog format on the site in the coming months. I hope you’ll check it out at www.donsawchuk.com.

Have a great start to Summer and keep music in your life.

Cheers, Don.

Don Sawchuk
Building community one song at a time.

Pink Floyd Live…

I want to take a moment to let you know about an upcoming event that is been in the works for months and is shaping up to be quite a spectacular expression of art and music.

Ida Brown has adapted the William Goulding novel Lord of the Flies into a theatrical production set to the music of Pink Floyd and it’s being presented this weekend and next weekend.

This Saturday night May 18, 6 pm at the Royal Canadian Legion in Elora, there will be a very special dinner theatre preview of the show with music performed live with a nine-course meal with each course in theme with the musical entertainment. Tickets are $29 for adults and children under 12 are free. Tickets will be available at the door.

Next weekend the full production will be performed at the Fergus Grand Theatre, Friday May 24 at 7 pm and a matinée on Saturday May 25 at 1 pm. Tickets are available at the box office and online, $15 for adults and $7 for children. All the details are included in the attached poster.

I’ve had a wonderful time learning all this Pink Floyd music with a great group of young musicians and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Please consider coming out to experience it!

Excitedly Yours, Don.

Don Sawchuk
Building community one song at a time.

Don’s Update…

I want to welcome all the new subscribers – it’s spectacular having a growing community of supporters that appreciate music and the craft of songwriting. Thank you for your encouragement!

Although Spring is just around the corner, I can’t wait for the warm weather, so I’m heading South to Nashville to meet it head-on. And if I’m there anyway, I think I’ll take the opportunity to play some stages, do some networking, pitch my songs to publishers, and do some co-writing. I might as well, eh? ; ) No, seriously, I’ve been planning this trip for over 6 months and I’m glad it’s finally here. I’ll be staying at the SOCAN house for visiting songwriters and spending a good deal of time at the Nashville Songwriters Associate International office. I’m excited about the opportunities that await in the iconic music city Nashville.

I’ve enrolled in a 6 week on-line songwriting course from Boston’s Berklee School Of Music with instructor Pat Pattison. The course is in full swing and I’m learning lots, filling my tool belt with terrific tools for writing better songs. As a writer, I’m realizing the possibilities are infinite and I can’t help but be humbled by it all. I want to be able to clearly communicate the emotion of my songs and I’m learning better ways to do just that. From my point of view, music is just a vehicle for emotion. I write to express emotion and if I do it well I evoke that emotion from the listener. What better way to make an impact. It’s a tall order but I’m committed to making an emotional connection with every song I write.

However, not all the songs I write hit the mark. I spend lots of time re-writing my songs to make them stronger and more engaging. Once I’m done polishing my songs I select the strongest pieces of work and take them into the studio to record. JK Gulley from Blue-Gull Studios has been very patient with me as I climb the learning curve associated with the recording process. I’ve got a whole collection of strong guitar-vocal pre-production recordings. Once I complete a few more songs I’ll be ready to hire session players to record the other instrument and vocal tracks. And voila, I’ll have my 2nd CD!

I’m currently working on a music website which I’ll be launching soon. There you’ll find my guitar-vocal tracks until I can replace them with my fully produced CD-quality songs. You’ll be the first to know when the site is up and running and you’ll have access to my music, my gig calendar, videos, photo gallery, blog, twitter feed, etc.

I want to take a moment and thank everyone who has shown their belief in me and my music. I have received an inordinate amount of help and encouragement to pursue my dream and passion. It’s because of people like YOU that all of this is coming true! Thank you once again.

As usual, you’ll find an up-to-date listing below of upcoming gigs and open mics I’ll be hosting. Of special note, you’ll see I’ve been asked to host a brand new open mic in Guelph. Mahoney’s, a family run restaurant and sports bar has just opened their doors and is looking to support a live music community. If you are a performer I encourage you to come out this Friday night for the debut Open Mic. Mike and Amanda Mahoney extend their invitation offering half price appetizers and $4 pints to all performers. Terrific. I’m hoping to build this Open Mic with your help I’m sure we can do just that!

One last thing… I’ll be competing this Saturday night in the finals of the Fergus Songwriting Competition – wish me luck.

Take care everyone and enjoy the music life has to offer.

Cheers, Don.

  1. Underdog Don Sawchuk
  2. Love Is Don Sawchuk
  3. Mercy Don Sawchuk
  4. Right On Time Don Sawchuk
  5. No Place to Go Don Sawchuk
  6. My Home Don Sawchuk
  7. You are the One Don Sawchuk
  8. Drowning in Tears Don Sawchuk
  9. Happy it Happened Don Sawchuk
  10. Where Are You Now Don Sawchuk
  11. You Love Me Too Don Sawchuk
  12. Let Your Music Play Don Sawchuk