Dear Rouge won the SOCAN-sponsored Songwriter of the Year Award for their song “Chains” at the 2018 edition of the Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMAs) in Kelowna on Oct. 14, during the BreakOut West conference. The same night, the duo also won the Pop Artist of the Year honours.

The Grapes of Wrath was enshrined in the Western Canadian Music Association Hall of Fame, while Terry Jacks received the 2018 Heritage Award. “Home for a Rest” by Spirit of the West was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame.

Among the other winners were Jocelyn Morlock, who won the Classical Composer of the Year honour; Snotty Nose Rez Kids who earned the Rap/Hip Hop Artist of the Year Award; and Alexis Normand, who took home the Francophone Artist of the Year recognition. The complete list of nominees and winners is available here.

SOCAN also presented a Song House writing camp during BreakOut West 2018, allowing our member participants the opportunity to develop the craft of writing a hit song.


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Fortunate Ones

Fortunate Ones (Photo: Ryan Nolan)

Singer-songwriter Mark Bragg won the Ron Hynes SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award, at the MusicNL Awards, held Oct. 14, at Twillingate, NL, during MusicNL (Newfoundland and Labrador) Week 2018.

SOCAN Director, A&R, Rodney Murphy presented the award to Bragg, who also earned the honours for Male Artist and Alternative Artist of the Year.

Another three-time winner was the duo Fortunate Ones, who earned the FACTOR Album of the Year (for Hold Fast), Pop Artist of the Year, and Video of the Year for “Northern Star,” directed by Jason Levangie. For more information, and a complete list of MusicNL 2018 winners, click here.

During the MusicNL Week conference, Murphy took part in a Rights & Royalties panel and met with many of our Newfoundland based members.


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For two days at the 2018 BreakOut West festival and conference in Kelowna, BC, the SOCAN Song House provided 12 member participants the opportunity to develop the craft of writing songs. The session was led by hit songwriter/producer Brian Howes, and organized on-site by SOCAN A&R Representative Racquel Villagante.

The participating songwriters, all from Western Canada, were Rebecca Emms, Brady Frank, Scott Henderson, Zach Kleisinger, Rebecca Lappa, Olivia Lunny, Sam Lynch, Dylan MacDonald (of The Middle Coast), Sammi Morelli, Jacqueline Muzichuk, Aaron Parker, and Tatiana Zagorac (a.k.a.TallTale).

BreakOut West, SOCAN Song House, 2018The first day of the workshop they presented half-written songs and were given individualized feedback and critique by Howes. They re-worked these songs and re-presented them to the group. On the second day, they were partnered up, and co-wrote with each other to come up with new songs that fused their styles and strengths together.

All 12 SOCAN songwriters came away with new co-write connections, new songs for their repertoire, and a more comprehensive understanding of what it takes to write a hit song.

Sammi Morreli left the Song House saying, “I’m still buzzing from an incredible week at the #SOCANSongHouse! Sooo grateful for SOCAN providing songwriters like us with incredible opportunities to grow and connect like this! Huge shout out to Brian Howes for leading the workshop, and Racquel Villagante for making it all happen!”

Tatiana Zagorac, published by Cymba Music Publishing said, “Thank you so so much to SOCAN for including me in your Song House at Breakout West this year. I couldn’t imagine a kinder and cooler group of artists, a more fun and sassy organizer than Racquel Villagante, or a better mentor than Brian Howes. I’m gonna really remember this one.”

Dylan MacDonald said, “I just wanted to say thanks for a great experience this week through the SOCAN workshop. You did such a great job of facilitating a fun, comfortable and creative space. I have returned home feeling very inspired.”


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