Calamine, Prix Felix Leclerc 2021Nothing, it seems, will rob queer, feminist rapper Calamine of the momentum generated by the release of her first solo album Boulette Proof in 2020 – especially with the addition of yet another honour to her already long list of distinctions, including the  Révélation Rap Radio-Canada 2021, and being a finalist at Francouvertes.

This time, she’s won the 2021 Prix Félix-Leclerc which was officially awarded to her on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, immediately after her show during the Francos de Montréal.

Calamine thus becomes the latest in a long list of young singer-songwriters who’ve benefited from the perks that come with this prize, awarded simultaneously to a Québécois and a French (from France) artist – Élia being this year’s winner of the cross-Atlantic counterpart.

SOCAN has once again partnered with the Prix Félix-Leclerc by awarding Calamine a $2,500 cash prize, presented to her in person by SOCAN A&R executive Sara Dendane. The cash prize is one of the many benefits attached to this award; the singer-songwriter also gets another $2,500 cash prize from Groupe Editorial Musinfo, an invitation to perform at the Francofolies de La Rochelle, as well as a $25,000 cash prize from Cogeco Média.

The winner of the Prix Félix-Leclerc is chosen by a jury of journalists and industry representatives selected by the FrancoFolies de Montréal. Calamine was a finalist, alongside peers and SOCAN members Clay and Friends, Laurence-Anne, Lumière, Raccoon, Robert Robert, Thierry Larose, and Vendou.

Congratulations, Calamine!

SOCAN was pleased and proud to present a SOCAN 101 session (via Zoom) as part of the Girl Connected Songwriting Camp that ran Aug. 19-22, 2021, at Collabo Camp, a retreat and incubator nestled amongst 100 wooded acres near Tweed, Ontario.

The participants in this edition of the Girl Connected camp were singer-songwriters Mighloe, Ajeya, Kenya Jade, and Faiza; producer-songwriter Jeia; and recording engineer-songwriter Cass Beau.

Girl Connected is a global brand focused on creating a community to connect women in the music, entertainment, and creative arts industries. The organization seeks to empower determined women professionals with a multi-level platform that provides the necessary framework towards professional success, inspiration, and growth. Through its programming, consisting of events and a global mentorship initiative, participants are able to evolve their careers, grow their ideas, and build meaningful partnerships in the entertainment and arts industries.

The SOCAN Artist & Repertoire (A&R) team continues to improve for our members, adapting to meet the challenges of the fast-moving music industry, the further expansion of SOCAN’s business into reproduction rights, and the further mitigation of the pandemic’s impact.

A&R has revised its department structure, clearly defining the two areas where members can be best supported by A&R. The team is now co-led by Kathryn Hamilton, Manager, A&R Programming & Partnerships, and Melissa Cameron-Passley, Manager, A&R, and will focus on developing connections and opportunities, assisting members as they navigate their creative journey.

As Manager, A&R Programming & Partnerships, Hamilton plans, develops, and oversees national and regional programs, events, education, and community-building initiatives, as well as Membership-specific sponsorships and partnerships, to better serve our songwriter, composer, and publisher members and clients.

As Manager, A&R, Cameron-Passley develops and oversees SOCAN’s member and client strategies for our performing and reproduction rights businesses, including developing and maintaining both creative and business relationships, with emerging and established music creators, publishers and key music industry influencers.

Both Cameron-Passley and Hamilton will continue reporting to Vanessa Thomas, Vice President, Member & Industry Relations.

We plan to build our strength in specific musical genres and business processes as well, by recruiting other team members for their specific knowledge and expertise. These new additions will complement the existing A&R team, which – in addition to Cameron-Passley and Hamilton – includes Michael Asante, A&R Representative, Rap & R&B, in Toronto; Sara Dendane, A&R Executive, in Montréal; Racquel Villagante, A&R Executive, in Toronto; Houtan Hodania, A&R Representative, in Vancouver; and Stephanie Falco, Québec Events Manager, in Montréal.

Since its inception in 2014, the A&R team has made great headway, as its elevated presence and direct involvement with members’ careers has allowed them to achieve greater success, and grown their domestic and international revenues.

A&R’s strategic vision is evolving, and will continue improving to align with the ever-changing music business, and our members’ needs.

Stay tuned for more news about our A&R department.