CFC Welcomes Six Music Creators Into 2015 Slaight Music Residency

CFC Welcomes Six Music Creators Into 

2015 Slaight Music Residency

Toronto, September 28, 2015 – The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and The Slaight Family Foundation are pleased to announce the six talented and diverse songwriters and composers selected to participate in the fourth year of The Slaight Music Residency: composers Armen Bazarian, Dillon Baldassero and Emily Klassen; and songwriters Ava Kibalian, Casey Manierka-Quaile and Lisa Conway.

“We are proud to support this program and are already seeing how it’s benefitting the careers of our music creators,” said Gary Slaight, President and Chief Executive Officer, Slaight Communications Inc. and patron of The Slaight Family Music Lab. “This year’s group is incredibly talented, and we hope they are committed to shaking up the music, film and TV world.”

The Slaight Music Residency, chaired by Academy Award-winning film composer Mychael Danna and Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter Marc Jordan, is a part-time, nine-month creative and business initiative for composers and songwriters that encourages the complete integration of music creators into the onscreen process while offering unique business opportunities to increase the use of Canadian music in film and TV. The Slaight Music Residency provides musicians with advanced knowledge on how to effectively translate their musical talent to onscreen applications and helps develop, package and launch their unique musical vision. The Slaight Music Residency is supported by The Slaight Family Foundation, the Government of Ontario, the Screen Composers Guild of Canada and the Songwriters Association of Canada.

“We are thrilled with the level of talent coming through our doors and we look forward to working with this new group of artists during their residency at the CFC and beyond,” said Larissa Giroux, Executive in Charge of Music & Acting Programs, CFC. “We are very grateful for the support that our many accomplished and passionate mentors, as well as our Songwriter and Composer Chairs, provide to The Slaight Music Residency – not to mention the continued and growing enthusiasm for the program from the film, TV and music communities in Canada and abroad.”

Throughout the Slaight Music Residency, the below music creators will expand their onscreen work, elevate their craft and collaborative skills and build career and business strategies for the screen-based entertainment industry:

  • Armen Bazarian (Composer): Armen Bazarian is a Toronto-based songwriter and composer. An alumnus of Toronto Children’s Chorus, Bazarian studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music before turning his attention to rock and pop songcraft. After self-releasing two EPs and touring extensively in the United States and Canada under his solo project Armen at the Bazaar, he competed at the BOSS Looping National Finals where he placed third. His song “Fire” from his self-released EP Noor received critical acclaim in The Globe and Mail and was featured in CTV’s The L.A. Complex. Shifting his focus to scoring and sound design, Bazarian designed the sound component of an installation displayed at the 2012 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. He has spent the last two years composing and songwriting for Apollo Studios, a Toronto- and Montreal-based post-audio house, writing commercial music for brands like War Child, Adidas, Koodo and Bud Light, among others. Most recently, Bazarian scored and did the sound design for the Los Angeles-based short film The Jailor (Anahid Yahjian, director) and the Paris-based short animation film Horla (Damien Lecocq, director).
  • Dillon Baldassero (Composer): Dillon Baldassero is a Toronto-based composer for film, television and advertising. He scored his first short film, Bergeron, at age 16, which went on to screen at the Montreal World Film Festival and Hollywood Weekly Festival. Since then, he has composed original music for award-winning feature films, television series, theatre, advertising and more, including the score for Gail Harvey’s feature film Looking is the Original Sin (Cannes Film Market; Best International Film, New York Independent Film Festival). His commercial works include clients such as Rickard’s, Scotiabank, Canon, Much Music, and more. Baldassero studied at Berklee College of Music, where he graduated from the Specialist Orchestration for Film and Television program. Additionally, he completed the NYU/ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop in New York City where he mentored under the likes of Sean Callery, Mark Snow and Ira Newborn, among others.
  • Emily Klassen (Composer): Emily Klassen is a Toronto-based freelance film and television composer who has scored more than 50 multimedia projects in a wide variety of genres, including feature films, television, short films, corporate and promotional videos, plays, and video games. Her first feature length film, Separation Anxiety (Elvis Deane, director), won Best Original Theme at the SOCAN Foundational Awards for Young Audio-Visual Composers. Klassen scored Season 2 of NYC-based Finding Me: The Series, which is set to air on OUTtv in late 2015. Currently, she works with Silverpoint Media on corporate and commercial videos, and her clients include Cadillac-Fairview, Yak Communications, Doors Open, and City of Markham.
  • Ava Kibalian (Songwriter): Ava Kibalian is a self-taught pianist, singer and songwriter who has garnered both domestic and international success. She has a gold record, numerous top 10 titles, and has toured in major U.S. cities with her artist project Boss & Swan. In addition to Kibalian’s success in the pop genre, she has written for network television shows such as Austin & Alley, The Next Star, Mr. D, The Music Room, Unstable, ER Vets, and Winners & Losers. Kibalian’s song “Raging Bull” has had reoccurring success with its placements in Much Music’s national promo for Degrassi’s season finale and in the cult-classic movie American Mary, and was also released as a remixed single for the renowned German DJ, ATB. Most recently, Kibalian’s song “All I Need Is You” was featured in the comedy Dr. Cabbie.
  • Casey Manierka-Quaile (Songwriter): Casey Manierka-Quaile is a writer, producer and music creator. A classically trained pianist, Manierka-Quaile has worked closely with John Carter A&R, Capitol Records and Grammy Award-winning producer/mixer Kevin Killen. His band, Unbuttoned, has received international recognition, and their work has been played on many influential blogs such as Noisey, Afropunk and Hypetrak. As a touring musician, Manierka-Quaile plays with multiple musical groups, including The Spoons, and is currently performing and producing with Zaki Ibrahim on her forthcoming album.
  • Lisa Conway (Songwriter): Lisa Conway is a composer, artist, and musician who has composed for and collaborated with filmmakers, dancers, and performance artists, and has completed creative residencies from New Brunswick, Canada to Aubagne, France. A talented vocalist, arranger, and producer, her work both in live performance and in the studio has garnered critical acclaim. Conway holds an Honours BFA in Music from York University and an MA in Sonic Arts from Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Since its inception in 2012, the Slaight Music Residency has significantly expanded professional opportunities and networks for its songwriters and composers. Some examples of the program’s alumni successes in film and TV include composer duo Joseph Murray and Lodewijk Vos of Menalon (2013 alumni), who scored five films that premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and three films that screened at this year’s festival, including CFC short film BENJAMIN. Murray and Vos have also scored and/or written songs for numerous additional short films, feature films and TV series, including their song “You Kill Me” (featuring fellow alumna Robyn Dell’Unto), which appeared in feature film The Intruders. Meanwhile, Ben Fox, a 2014 alumnus, scored two shorts at TIFF 2015, and 2013 songwriter alumna Adaline, wrote a song with fellow alumnus Todor Kobakov for the Season 2 finale of Bitten, and music from her album Modern Romantics was featured on Grey’s Anatomy.

Past guests of the Slaight Music Residency include award-winning producer, conductor, arranger and composer Quincy Jones; Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore; singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk; composer/songwriter Christophe Beck; musician/composer Mark Mothersbaugh; songwriter/arranger Jim Vallance; acclaimed composer Andrew Lockington; Grammy award-winning, multi-platinum composer/producer Christopher Ward; award-winning composer Mark Korven; composer, conductor, pianist, producer and multi-instrumentalist Lesley Barber; and composers Darren Fung and Sean Callery, among many others.

For more information about The Slaight Family Music Residency, please visit:

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About CFC
CFC accelerates the careers of the brightest talent in film, television, screen acting, music, and digital media. A charitable organization, CFC is committed to promoting and investing in Canada's diverse talent; providing exhibition, financial, and distribution opportunities, and fostering industry collaborations and creative partnerships. CFC makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to Canada by launching the country's most creative ideas and voices to the world. For more details, visit


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