We were treated to a totally unprecedented Premier Gala de l’ADISQ last Wednesday when SOCAN member Pierre Lapointe hosted the event remotely between Place des Arts and Théâtre Corona, in Montréal, where 21 Félix Awards were presented.

The list of SOCAN members being honoured was headed by the members of Cowboys Fringants, who collected three Félix Awards for Album of the Year – Bestselling Album (Les Antipodes), Album of the Year – Rock, and Video of the Year for “L’Amérique pleure.” Marie-Pierre Arthur took home the two Félix Awards for Album of the Year – Critics’ Choice, and Album of the Year – Alternative for Des feux pour voir, and Patrick Watson also scored a double victory with Album of the Year – Anglophone (Wave) and Show of the Year – Anglophone.

Once again this year, SOCAN partnered with ADISQ to present the Félix Award for the Artist with the highest international profile, which was given to the composer-performer Alexandra Stréliski. We talked with her remotely the day after her victory to learn more about the expansion of her success, and about the situation currently preventing her from performing on the world’s stages.

Other awards were presented to:

  • The Nikamu Mamuitun – Chansons Rassembleuses artist collective: Album of the Year – Other Languages;
  • Patrick Norman: Album of the Year – Country “Si on y allait”;
  • Jacques Kuba Séguin: Album of the Year – Jazz “Migrations”;
  • Zal Sissokho: Album of the Year – World Music “Kora Flamenca”;
  • Salebarbes: Album of the Year – Traditional “Live au Pas Perdus”;
  • Elisapie : Show of the Year – Other Languages “The Ballad of the Runaway Girl”;
  • Alaclair Ensemble: Video of the Year “La famille”

SOCAN members performing live during the ADISQ’s Premier Gala included Cindy Bédard, FouKi and Alicia Moffet, Les Hay Babies, Matt Lang, Miro, Nikamu Mamuitun – Chansons Rassembleuses, Nomadic Massive, P’tit Belliveau, Salebarbes, and Sarahmée.

The program can still be viewed online, and will be broadcast again Nov. 1, 2020, from 5:00 PM on Télé-Québec. The 42nd annual celebration of the Quebec recording and live music industry will continue that day, hosted once again this year by comedian Louis-José Houde.

For a complete list of Industry Gala and Premier Gala winners, please go to ADISQ website.


SOCAN has announced the departure of Chief Membership & Business Development Officer Michael McCarty, effective Nov. 30, 2020. After that, he’ll provide consulting services for the organization until April 2021, assisting with the transition to the Membership department’s future leadership and structure.

“We thank Michael McCarty for his leadership, creativity, and commitment to our members over the past seven years,” said Jennifer Brown, Interim CEO of SOCAN. “During this time, he has transformed our Membership services and strategy, built one of the strongest member bases in our industry, and helped to change our company culture to being even more optimistic and leading-edge, serving music creators and publishers in Canada and around the world.”

McCarty has a 40 -year career in the music industry. Before becoming SOCAN’s Chief Membership & Business Development Officer in 2013, he was president of EMI Music Publishing Canada for 17 years and contributed many years of service as a member of the SOCAN Board of Directors.

“One of the great joys of my job has been to work with a strong team of people dedicated to a single cause – serving our members,” McCarty said. “I will always be proud of our accomplishments and the journey we took together, improving the recruitment and retention of members and impacting the culture and business of SOCAN. I want to thank everyone at SOCAN for their support, advice and help in achieving our mandate.”

In 2019, Michael McCarty was inducted into the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame.

In the midst of social distancing, SOCAN continues to conduct video interviews with our members online – in our video series, “Staying Home with…” Today, it’s Sara Quin, of Tegan and Sara.

Among many other musical accomplishments, Tegan and Sara were signed by Neil Young’s Vapor Records at the age of 18, pplayed onstage at the Academy Awards, hosted the JUNO Awards (and won three), earned a Grammy nomination, won a SOCAN Award, toured with Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, and played Coachella.

Their most recent project was a memoir, High School, accompanied by an album of demos, and re-recordings of some of those demos from their teenage years, as well as live shows that included readings from the book, old home videos of the duo as teen girls, and acoustic-duo performances. At press time, reports surfaced that Tegan and Sara had signed a deal with Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, to adapt High School into a television series.

We sat down to ask Sara Quin a bout the writing dynamic between herself and twin sister Tegan, both as young girls and grown adults, and the process of re-recording their early demos.