Everyone has a song. Find yours at our Fall Songwriter Getaway.
Combine an intensive songwriting retreat with a relaxing weekend getaway in Orillia, Ontario, Canada – the birthplace of Gordon Lightfoot!
The Songwriter Getaway Weekend includes songwriting workshops and original song feedback, group sing-alongs, individual song feedback, communal meals, and plenty of free time for you to write songs and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Located 90 minutes from Toronto in Ontario’s Lake Country, our songwriting getaway location is in a beautiful area 10 minutes north of Orilla, ON with granite rock croppings, open fields, miles of trails, and a 40-foot bridge over a creek. The retreat centre is equipped with towels, linens, a fire pit, and plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces to find songwriting inspiration.
A typical menu for the weekend includes chicken curry, salmon filets, roast beef, roasted vegetable and brie paninis, cheese plates, crepes, and omelettes. Dietary restrictions are happily accommodated!
Whether you are new to songwriting or an experienced professional, you will return from this songwriting weekend energized by the break – with a handful of new original songs! We aim to give everyone who attends a great weekend experience, some new insights into songwriting, and the inspiration to keep writing songs after you leave. Includes one-on-one feedback from Murray Foster, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with two platinum and five gold records.
Single Room – $600/person* – Early Bird price $550
Shared Room/Separate Beds – $475/person* – Early Bird price $425
Non-songwriting Partner – $250*
DayPass – $225/person*
Saturday-Only DayPass – $150/person
Registration opens March 15! Join our Mailing List to be notified.
Friday – Make your way to the retreat centre where you will enjoy a delicious dinner cooked by us. That evening, join in on a campfire-style sing-along where you will get to know your fellow songwriters. Guests are welcome to arrive any time after 4pm. Dinner will be served at 7pm.
Saturday – Enjoy a fantastic breakfast to start the morning right! Throughout the day, take part in group songwriting lessons aimed at different levels of songwriting proficiency, or write and relax on your own. Book an appointment with Murray to get feedback on some of your songs. A buffet lunch and full dinner will be provided. That night, we will share our new songs at another sing-along.
Sunday – Another breakfast and an opportunity to share songs written throughout the weekend and to schedule one-on-one feedback from Murray. More time to write or relax. Departure is early afternoon.
Non-alcoholic beverages provided at all meals, but you are welcome to BYOB.
While we will provide all meals, if you would like to bring along a side dish or snack for the group, it will be gratefully accepted.
Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions. We are happy to accommodate.
The numerous bedrooms at the retreat centre offer a wide variety of sleeping arrangements whether you’re interested in having your own room, sharing a room with someone else (separate beds), or a room with a shared bed (for partners or close friends). If you already have a roommate in mind for a room with separate beds, please include a note stating this when registering. We can also pair you in a room with another same-gender songwriter.
Note: Once you select your room type on the registration form, you must click Attendee Information to complete your registration and provide dietary restrictions so we can plan accordingly.
Toronto Songwriting School gratefully acknowledges the support of the SOCAN Foundation.
Murray Foster retains his portion of the royalties for songs he contributes to including songs written in any class, getaway, workshop, or private lesson.
“I’ve been making music and writing songs with Murrman for over a decade and have loved every minute of it. Murray’s got such a broad musical experience from Folk to Jazz to Rock and all the way back again. Doesn’t hurt that he’s an awesome singer and vocal arranger either.”Alan Doyle, Great Big Sea
“Murray’s tremendous musical versatility and eloquence as a writer has always made him an invaluable creative collaborator and sounding board. His years contributing to countless Canadian projects have resulted in a honed skill for storytelling, developing and deftly refining musical and lyrical ideas in a surprising variety of styles. His depth of musicality is a constant known to everyone who’s had the pleasure of working with him.”Tory Cassis, 2000 Juno Nominee
“My partner Catherine and I started writing with Murray Foster in August of 2013 without any agenda other than to see if we could come up with a song or two. Immediately, I found Murray to be a laid back and receptive partner, open to suggestion and filled with thoughtful and interesting ideas aimed at making the songs as strong as they could be. To date, we’ve written three songs together that will be featured on our next record.”Andrew James O’Brien, Fortunate Ones
“I joined Murray Foster’s intermediate songwriting course as a 3-chord wonder. But by the time I finished the course, I had ventured into the scary realm of bar chords and even managed some finger picking. Murray taught me how to take my songs from that initial blast of inspiration to a complete package, something I have long struggled to do.”Ben Bull, Intermediate Course Student
“This course is what I’ve been searching for for years. Every class is the perfect mix of theory and hands-on experience, right from the very first week. Not only do you benefit from Murray’s wealth of knowledge and experience, but you get to work with other songwriters in the group and learn from their styles as well. I would absolutely recommend this class to anyone looking to build their skills and confidence as a songwriter.”Shari Archinoff, Intermediate Course student
“Your intro class was truly amazing! If this is what you get out of a 3 hour intro class, I can’t imagine the writing and music chops I’ll walk away with after attending a full class. Murray is not only talented in his own right but can actually teach the craft of songwriting!”Stephanie Brown, Intro Student
“The Songwriting Getaway Weekend with Murray Foster was an amazing experience. Murray’s insights are practical and intuitive, and I left with a renewed inspiration to build my tool-set and hone my craft. I’ll be the first to sign up for the next weekend, and every one after that.”Sean Hunt, Getaway Student
“An excellent communicator, Murray Foster has a depth of knowledge about contemporary and classic songwriting as well as popular music in general that is impressive. His use of humour in his teaching has endeared him to his students, who are consistently educated, engaged and entertained.”Blair Packham, Songwriting Instructor, Seneca College and Humber College, Toronto
“Murray Foster’s teaching skills are exceptional. The amount of information and ideas he is able to convey in a short period of time is unbelievable. In our class, we were able to broaden our songwriting experience by tapping into new avenues of creativity that hadn’t yet been realized. We only wished had more time with Murray and his phenomenal methods. Highly recommended!”Joy Thompson, Seneca student
“It was a pleasure working with Murray towards the creation of ‘Open Arms’, a song made for the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Center (OICC). It didn’t take Murray long to develop just the right lyrics, tone, and energy for us that was uplifting and authentic to the experience that patients living with cancer can have. I would engage him in the process again in a heartbeat.”Ottawa Integrative Cancer Center