This year’s winner of the Hagood Hardy Award, for a creator of World Music who stood out in 2018, AfrotroniX will receive his honour at the 30th annual SOCAN Awards Gala in Montréal, on Sept. 22 at La Tohu. Voted best African DJ at the AFRIMA Gala, he tells us about the concept behind the project that’s taken him all over the world; about his attachment to Québec; sand about his desire to abolish the province’s often too opaque musical barriers, as well as explaining the deep meaning of his signature white helmet.

Creative duo Ludovick Bourgeois and Fred St-Gelais will receive a Popular Music Award for their hit, “Desert Song,” during the at the 30th Montréal SOCAN Awards Gala held on Sept. 22, 2019, at La Tohu. We met with them so that they explain how their collaboration began, after Ludovick’s late father Patrick Bourgeois phoned Fred while he was trekking the American desert on his own. They also told us the story behind “Desert Song,” a piece of music they didn’t expect to have as much success as it did. That was merely the beginning of their affinity, and they’ve collaborated further on Ludovick’s album, the first single of which, “Que sera me vie,” has just come out.

More than 50 awards will be handed out to Québec music creators and publishers at the SOCAN Awards Gala, to be held for the 30th time, in Montréal, on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at TOHU. It will be a spectacular anniversary edition, honouring the talent and accomplishments of music creators past, present and future.

The event will be hosted by the sensational Pierre-Yves Lord, and the colourful Antoine Gratton will conduct a live orchestra illustrating the essential impact that music adds to a visual production, as we recognize the achievements of SOCAN’s most successful screen composers, songwriters and music publishers of the year.

Marking the 30th edition of the SOCAN Gala, and receiving the 2019 SOCAN Cultural Impact Award, will be Diane Juster’s “Je ne suis qu’une chanson,” made popular by the great Ginette Reno. The song has made a deep impact indeed on Québec culture, brilliantly highlighting the essential bond between singer and songwriter.

The SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award will go to composer and pianist André Gagnon, in recognition of his outstanding career, while the 2019 SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award will go to Cœur de pirate, and the newly-created SOCAN Non-Performing Songwriter Of The Year award will go to the creator behind many 2Frères hits, Steve Marin.

This year’s SOCAN Classic Awards[1] will be saluting the songs “Belle,” “Le temps des cathédrales,” and “Vivre,” timeless classics written by Luc Plamondon and Richard Cocciante for the musical Notre-Dame de Paris, which coincidentally turns 20 this year. With these three awards, Plamondon becomes the first SOCAN member ever to achieve 40 SOCAN Classics.

At the other end of the spectrum, Jean Leloup will receive his first three SOCAN Classic Awards for co-writing “1990,” “Isabelle,” and “Cookie.” The co-creator of “1990,” James Di Salvio, will also see one of the songs of his band Bran Van 3000 (“Drinking in L.A.”) being rewarded. Mario Pelchat (“Je ne t’aime plus”), Florent Vollant and Claude McKenzie of Kashtin (“E Uassiuian”), Nancy Dumais and Tino Izzo (“Parler aux anges”), Lili Fatale’s Nathalie Courchesne, Richard Binette, Uranian Valceanu and Martin Beaulieu (“Feels” and “Mimi”), and the co-writers of “Soul Pleureur” from Quebec rap pioneers Dubmatique, will also receive SOCAN Classic Awards.

Gilles Valiquette will receive the SOCAN Special Achievement Award for his crucial role in upholding the rights of music creators through his tireless work in the industry, including 26 years as a member of SOCAN’s Board of Directors.

The prolific couple Louise Tremblay and James Gelfand will receive the SOCAN Screen Composer of the Year Award for their contribution to productions such as Girls’ Night Out, Final Destiny, and Darwin.

Montréal music production team Banx & Ranx will be honoured with the SOCAN International Award, in recognition of the spectacular success of their hit “Answerphone,” which has achieved platinum certification in the U.K.

The SOCAN Pop Music Awards will go to the most-played songs of 2018, while the leaders of the Québec rap pack, Fouki and Alaclair Ensemble, will both receive the SOCAN Hip-Hop/Rap Award. Charlotte Cardin will be honoured with the SOCAN Anglophone Popular Music Award for her song “Main Girl”; the Country Music Award will go to phenom Matt Lang; and Montréal’s own ambassador of electronic music, Marie Davidson, will receive the Award for that category.

The remarkable work accomplished by music publishers will also be saluted during the gala, and the SOCAN Publisher of the Year Award will be presented to David Murphy et Cie.

“The music industry and SOCAN have changed considerably since the first Montréal Gala in 1989,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “But what hasn’t changed are the passion, talent, and relevance of SOCAN’s songwriters, composers and publishers, and the importance of honouring their fantastic work. The 30th edition of the Gala will no doubt be a great opportunity to look back with appreciation and gratitude on the major players of the past while celebrating the ever-increasing success of current creators. It will be another memorable night.”

Each of the SOCAN Special Awards winners will receive The SOCAN, the first and only major music industry trophy that is also a musical instrument.

The complete list of SOCAN Awards Gala winners will be published on the evening of September 22.

Montréal’s SOCAN Awards Gala is the Francophone equivalent of the annual SOCAN Awards in Toronto, which celebrates the songwriters, composers and publishers who work mainly in English.

[1] A song is eligible to be a SOCAN Classic in Québec when it achieves 25,000 “spins” on radio and is at least 20 years old.