SOCAN member Debby Friday won the 2023 edition of the $50,000 Polaris Prize for the best album in Canada, in a gala presentation held on Sept. 19, 2023, at Massey Hall (for the first time) in downtown Toronto.

Friday’s’ winning album Good Luck is a 33-minute adrenalin rush of modern music fusion, with influences including rave, rap, industrial, alternative, R&B, and hyperpop, to name just a few. The result is a work on which the 11-person Polaris Grand Jury ultimately agreed. If you’d like to read what Friday had to say to SOCAN about their winning album when it first came out, you can access the story here.

Graciously and gratefully accepting the 18th edition of the award onstage from last year’s winner, Pierre Kwenders, Friday thanked everyone who’s supported her on her journey.

“I’m in shock!,” said a truly surprised Friday after receiving her award. “This is something that I didn’t realize was even a possibility. I was born in Nigeria, in a small village, but l’m here today, and it just feels like a miracle… I’ve always been a little bit strange, a little bit different from other people, and it’s only in retrospect that I’m able to see that this has been a super-power all along. I just want to say that I think it’s very important to protect your strangeness, protect the things that make you different, because these are gifts.”

The Gala featured brief but intense performances from all of the nominees except ALVVAYS, Daniel Caesar, and Feist, all of whom were on tour elsewhere that night.

Gayance opened the show with a magnetic performance of high-energy funk and rock. The Sadies, playing under a banner depicting their late singer Dallas Good, showed off their psychedelicized indie rock ‘n’ roll. Friday, backed by violin, cello, a DJ, and electric guitar, turned old gender tropes inside-out with “What a Man,” and followed with her poppiest song, “So Hard to Tell.” Aysanabee played with the Arkells horn section and two backup singers, for a richer, more soulful rendition of his music.

After a brief intermission, Begonia earned a mid-song ovation with the power and beauty of her unique voice. Dan Mangan worked the very lip of the stage, singing powerful, moving songs about trying to live sanely through our currently apocalyptic times. And Snotty Nose Rez Kids introduced their set in a satirical talk-show format, leading into explosive versions of “I’m Good” and “Damn Right.”

The Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music, goes to the best Canadian album of the year, based on artistic merit, without regard to genre, sales history, or label affiliation. Each of the 2023 short-list nominees received a $3,000 prize.

The 2023 Polaris Short List is:
ALVVAYS – Blue Rev
Aysanabee – Watin
Begonia – Powder Blue
Daniel Caesar – Never Enough
Feist – Multitudes
Debby Friday – Good Luck
Gayance – Masquerade
Dan Mangan – Being Somewhere
The Sadies – Colder Streams
Snotty Nose Rez Kids – I’m Good, HBU?

SOCAN congratulates Debby Friday, and all of the 2023 short-list nominees, on these great career achievements!

On Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, ADISQ announced the nominations for this year’s edition of its annual gala. A total of 54 Félix awards will be handed out over the course of three separate events: The Gala de l’industrie, on Nov. 1, at 4:00 p.m., at Place des Arts’ Piano Nobile; the Premier Gala de l’ADISQ, also on Nov. 1, at MTELUS, and broadcast on Télé-Québec, at 8:00 p.m.; and the Gala de l’ADISQ, on Nov. 5 at 8:00 p.m., broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada Télé.

Leading the nominations is Daniel Bélanger, with six in artistic (as opposed to industry) categories, followed by Alexandra Stréliski and Lisa LeBlanc with five artistic nominations each. They’re closely followed by Salebarbes, 2 Frères, FouKi, and Les Cowboys Fringants, who garnered four artistic nominations apiece.

Once again this year, songwriters, composers, and SOCAN members will have the opportunity to shine in various categories, including the prestigious Songwriter of the Year Award:

  • Alexandra Stréliski for “Néo-Romance”
  • Daniel BéIanger for “Mercure en mai”
  • Ingrid St-Pierre for “Reines”
  • Lydia Képinski for “Depuis”
  • Philippe B for “Nouvelle administration”
  • Philippe Brach for “Les gens qu’on aime”

As usual, SOCAN will be involved and present on the red carpets of both televised galas. The Association des Professionnels de l’Édition Musicale (APEM), meanwhile, has joined forces with ADISQ to reintroduce the Publishing Team of the Year award, and this year’s nominees are:


  • Bloc-Notes Music
  • Bravo Musique Éditions
  • Éditorial Avenue
  • Quartier Général
  • Third Side Music

The public will also be invited to join the Academy in voting for their favourite among the 10 songs nominated in the Song of the Year category:

“On a mis d’la lumière,” 2 Frères
Written by: Steve Marin, Jacob Côté
Published by: Éditions du Baume, Éditions Musicor

“Ce n’est pas de la chance,” Ariane Roy
Written by: Ariane Roy, Dominique Plante

“Crépuscule,” Cœur de pirate
Written by: Béatrice Martin
Published by: Éditions Bravo Musique

“Nouveau pouvoir,” Corneille
Written by: Sofia de Medeiros, Corneille
Published by: C Way Music inc.

“J’entends tout ce qui joue (dans ta tête),” Daniel Bélanger
Written by: Daniel Bélanger
Published by: Édition Achille Cassel

“Matusalem,” Koriass (avec Jay Scøtt)
Written by: Emmanuel Dubois, Pier-Luc Jean Papineau, Clément Langlois-Légaré, Marc Vincent
Published by: Disques 7ième Ciel, Éditions Lauréa

“Dans l’jus,” Lisa LeBlanc
Written by: Lisa LeBlanc, Benoit Morier, Michel Roy, Léandre Bourgeois
Published by: Third Side Music

“Tout l’amour qu’on donne,” Marc Dupré
Written by: Nelson Minville, Marc Dupré
Published by: Les Éditions Dama inc, Autographe Productions inc

“Partout,” Roxane Bruneau
Written by: Mathieu Brisset, Roxane Bruneau
Published by: Éditions Inspire/Éditions Musique Variole

“Gin à l’eau salée,” Salebarbes
Written by: Salebarbes
Published by: Éditions L-Abe

SOCAN congratulates its members for their nominations and wishes them the best of luck.

To see the full list of nominations, visit the Gala section of the ADISQ website.


SOCAN panel, Gemeaux, 2023SOCAN presented a panel, La musique à l’image pour la télé : créer en solo ou en tandem?, as part of the Salon des membres of the Prix Gémeaux of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, on Sept. 12, 2023, at the Cinémathèque québécoise in Montréal. SOCAN invited Martin Roy, Luc Sicard, and Kim Gaboury, the screen composers with the most nominations in the two musical categories at the Gémeaux, to speak in front of a packed audience of television professionals. The discussion was moderated by Eric Parazelli, Editor of SOCAN’s online magazine Paroles & Musique, and manager of Francophone communications at SOCAN.

The screen-composing duo of Martin Roy and Luc Sicard (nominated in the Best Original Score: Fiction or Documentary category for La Faille and Larry, and in the Best Musical Theme: All Categories for Larry) discussed the advantages of working together with their colleague Kim Gaboury (nominated in the Best Original Score: Fiction or Documentary category for Classé Secret, and in the Best Musical Theme: All Categories for both Classé Secret and Les Histoires bizarres du professeur Zarbi), who works mainly as a solo composer, but has experimented working as a duo with his mentor, Michel Cusson.

SOCAN panel, Gemeaux, 2023

Select the image to play the French-only YouTube video of the SOCAN panel at the 2023 Gémeaux Awards. An English-subtitled version will be posted shortly.

The fascinating discussion focused on the creative aspects of their respective nominated productions, as well as the increased efficiency of working in tandem, and the relative freedom of solo composition. All three SOCAN members also discussed the main reasons why composers work in teams, which is often out of obligation, lack of time, to share the pressure, and because of the increasingly restricted budgets affecting Québec television productions – often to the detriment of the working conditions of screen composers.

These are a few of the topics covered in the video excerpt of the panel, on the right.

SOCAN extends its warmest thanks to the panelists, the organizers of the Salon des membres des prix Gémeaux of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and the many members of the audience who were able to interact with the participants during the Q&A period that followed the discussion.