Across The Board – an advocacy movement to pursue gender parity on the Boards of Directors of organizations that impact the Canadian music industry – has found that the participation of women on those boards had more than doubled, to 40 percent, by the end of 2018.

Beginning in 2017, Across The Board conducted a study across 30 Canadian music industry boards, finding that women only held 19 percent of the seats. In December of 2018, the organization distributed a survey to compile information on the progress of its gender parity initiative.

SOCAN currently stands well above the industry mark, as 44 percent of our Board of Directors are women. Additionally, SOCAN has achieved 50/50 gender parity on our executive team, while no fewer than 64 percent of our managers, throughout the organization, identify as female.

Further, the Executive Directors of both the SOCAN-owned Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and The SOCAN Foundation, identify as female, and women make up more than 60 percent of SOCAN’s full-time employees.

We’ve pro-actively ensured that our hiring practices are fair and equal. Our leaders and human resources team take an inclusive approach to attracting, securing, and retaining the very best talent regardless of gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. SOCAN strives for inclusivity, equality, and equitability

“We’re pleased and proud to be moving towards, and beyond, complete gender parity,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “But there’s still work to be done. We continue to adhere to Across The Board’s cornerstone initiative of recruiting women as board members, executives, managers, and employees, as we pursue diverse and balanced leadership and staff throughout SOCAN, and throughout the Canadian music ecosystem.”

Ian Tyson and Sylvia Tyson will be individually inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF), during the 2019 edition of Country Music Week. They’ll be inducted at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, in Calgary on Sept. 5, 2019. The celebration coincides with the double-album compilation release of Ian & Sylvia The Lost Tapes, the next day, 60 years after the two singer-songwriters first met. In July of 1959, they began a musical journey, both as a dynamic duo and with distinguished solo careers, that would help put Canadian country music on the map globally.

“Ian & Sylvia were pioneers of the singer-songwriter movement – a genre firmly established today because of their leadership,” said Vanessa Thomas, Executive Director of the Hall of Fame. “As a performing duo they were superb, and it was apparent through their second album that they wanted to announce their strong individual songwriting skills as well, which continued to drive their authenticity throughout their music careers, spanning more than six decades.”

During the ‘60s and ‘70s, as the folk-singing duo Ian & Sylvia, they were among North America’s leading singer-songwriters, achieving commercial and critical success over 13 studio albums.  The duo performed their hit songs at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, and Town Hall in New York City, and enjoyed appearances on television’s Hullabaloo, The Johnny Cash Show, Steve Allen Show, Mike Douglas Show, and the BBC.

Their folk standards “Four Strong Winds” – which CBC called the “most essential” piece of Canadian music – and “You Were on My Mind” were inducted into the CSHF in 2003 and 2007, respectively.  Ian penned “Four Strong Winds,” and Sylvia wrote “You Were on My Mind,” making her one of the few female folk artists to write a major song in that genre at the time. It was re-recorded in 1965 by American folk-rock quintet We Five, becoming a worldwide No. 1 hit single. Both songs cemented their individual status as songwriters.

Ian & Sylvia The Lost Tapes is culled from newly-discovered concert tapes from the early ‘70s, and includes never-before-heard versions of country and pop classics, cementing their reputations as engaging performers of folk, blues, country, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll.  Much of their best-known repertoire is superbly represented here.

Says Canadian music industry journalist Larry LeBlanc, “Along with the Byrds, Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, Ian & Sylvia laid the foundation of Canadian country music and Americana music that evolved as a recognized source of popular culture.”

Ian, who loves the cowboy way of life, living on his ranch in Longview, Alberta, today performs his own Western-influenced repertoire; Sylvia continues to have a fascinating, still-thriving solo career, while also performing, writing, and recording with Quartette, alongside Caitlin Hanford, Cindy Church, and Gwen Swick.

SOCAN congratulates all of its members who’ve been short-listed for the 2019 Polaris Music Prize! All of the solo artists on the short list, announced July 16, 2019, are SOCAN members, and all of the listed bands include at least one singer-songwriter who’s a SOCAN member.

The short list, by artist and album, is (in alphabetical order):

  • Marie Davidson – Working Class Woman
  • Elisapie – The Ballad of the Runaway Girl
  • Dominique Fils-Aimé – Stay Tuned!
  • FET.NAT – Le Mal
  • Haviah Mighty – Thirteenth Floor
  • Jessie Reyez – Being Human in Public
  • Les Louanges – La nuit est une panthère
  • PUP – Morbid Stuff
  • Shad – A Short Story About a War
  • Snotty Nose Rez Kids – Trapline

For more information, visit the Polaris Music Prize website.