SOCAN members who make country music are invited to apply now for the $25,000 Top of the Country music competition, sponsored by the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) and SiriusXM, and supported by SOCAN and SOCAN Foundation.

A jury of experts will choose eight semi-finalists to record their own original tracks and in-studio videos. The second stage of the competition will see those videos shared online for a country-wide vote, where Canadian music fans can choose their favourite artist. After the voting period, three finalists will appear onstage at one of Canada’s most recognized and praised country music festivals. Finalists will also take part in exclusive mentorship sessions with some of the industry’s best.

The top three will also perform during Country Music Week 2022 in Calgary this September, at the Top of the Country Finale – airing across North America on SiriusXM – where one winner will be chosen by an industry panel and fan votes. For the winner, prizes will include $25,000, an appearance on the CCMA Awards broadcast, and attendance at a SOCAN song camp.

Interested country music creators can register here, until 11:59 p.m. ET on Mar. 4, 2022.



SOCAN’s James Leacock has given an overview of digital licensing in a podcast presented on Canadian IP Voices, a new platform that discusses how copyright works in real life. Recorded in both French and English, Leacock, SOCAN’s Director, Domestic Royalty Collection, discusses the different ways music is used in business, and the value music brings to those businesses. Using real-life examples, he shares how responsible licensing fosters music creation by ensuring that music creators are fairly compensated for their work.

Canadian IP Voices discusses tips, tricks, and issues related to how trademarks, patents, copyrights, industrial designs, and trade secrets work in day-to-day reality. In line with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)’s mandate to promote intellectual property (IP) awareness and education, the podcast is dedicated to improving awareness, knowledge, and the effective use of intellectual property by Canadians. Those who tune in can listen to real problems – and real solutions – explained by a range of IP professionals and stakeholders from across Canada and abroad. The platform – hosted by Lisa Desjardins in English, and Maya Urbanowicz in French – posts new interviews and IP stories, with special guests, every two weeks.

You can listen to Leacock’s podcast, or any others in the series – including “How copyright works when we share things on social media,” “How to deal with pirate (fake) copies in the marketplace,” and “How to protect your videogames” – by clicking here, and the blog post here.



The alternative booking festival Le Phoque OFF will be held Feb. 21–25, 2022. And since the presenters of this Québec City-based event never do things like anyone else, this edition will take place in… the metaverse! That means all musical showcases will be presented online in 3-D immersive universes. As the event’s mission is to introduce the artists of tomorrow to the various players in today’s performing arts market, it;s be the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with emerging and alternative artists of all musical walks.

Don’t miss our “The Breakdown” video capsule featuring Yanick Capuano, Phoque OFF’s programmer, who explains what the metaverse is, and how his festival and the participating artists will benefit from it:

In addition to the musical showcases featuring, among others, Malika Tirolien, Seulement, La Fièvre, Zouz, Virginie B, Douance, Sara-Danielle, Hippie Hourrah, and Larynx, Le Phoque OFF will also host a series of panels, conferences, training sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities via its PRO platform. tackling issues that affect all actors in the cultural industry. SOCAN is once again a partner of this event, providing financial support, and will also present two panels hosted by Sara Dendane, SOCAN Creative and Partnerships Executive:

  • SOCAN 101 — Musical Eights and Royalties Explained. Feb. 24, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. Free. Book your online ticket here.
  • SOCAN Panel — Writing and Composing for Others: Challenges and Opportunities. Whether you sing your own songs or write for others, certain issues arise. How do you adapt to a given artist while retaining your own signature? How do you stay fresh and on top of the latest trends? How do you reach the higher echelons of the songwriting world? These and other questions will be answered by the girls of Heartbeat, a singer-songwriter duo from Montréal, who now covet nothing less than the top of the international pop world, along with Sara Dendane. Feb. 22, 2022, at 4 p.m. Restricted to attendees with PRO credentials.

The public is also invited to enjoy the musical showcases and performances through a variety of rates that you can find here.

SOCAN wishes you a great Phoque Off!