Kellie Loder, ECMAs, 2023

Kellie Loder (Photo: Manon Cormier)

The East Pointers led the honours count with three – in the categories of  Contemporary Roots, Group, and Pop Recording of the Year – at the the 35th Anniversary edition of the East Coast Music Awards, held in Halifax on May 4, 2023, at the Scotiabank Centre, and May 7, 2023, at the Nova Scotia Ballroom of the Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.

David Myles and Kellie Loder tied for the second-most awards, with two apiece. Myles won Album and Solo Recording of the Year, both for It’s Only A Little Loneliness. Loder won the Fans Choice Award and the Songwriter of the Year honours, the latter presented by SOCAN, and handed to her by the duo of SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown and longtime SOCAN member, and multiple ECMA and JUNO winner, Rose Cousins. Grej won Classical Composer of the Year, and Mi’kmaw fiddler Morgan Toney won the Indigenous Artist of the Year Award for the second year in a row.

On May 6, 2023, SOCAN held a Songwriting Masterclass Workshop, moderated by SOCAN Creative Executive Houtan Hodania, with Adria Kain and Neon Dreams sharing their songwriting methods and techniques with interested attendees. On May 7, 2023, our ever-popular SOCAN Songwriters’ Circle, held in the Schooner Room of Casino Nova Scotia, was hosted by O’Sound and Fortunate Ones, and featured songs and stories from them and 2023 ECMA winners Adam Baldwin (Song of the Year, for “Lighthouse in Little Lorraine”); Lisa LeBlanc (Francophone Recording of the Year, for Chiac Disco); as well as Breagh Isabel, Jason Benoit, Joce Reyome, and Mo Kenney.

During the gala awards show, Myles Goodwyn was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame; Rawlins Cross were honoured with the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award; and Natalie MacMaster took home the Director’s Special Achievement Award.

Complete list of winners

“Songwriting is a popular form of art, not a French class. It’s a piece of jewelry. You put it together like a precious jewel. There is no moment more precious than when you finish writing a song.” – François Guy, Paroles & Musique, 2010

Francois GuyWith great sadness, SOCAN learned of the death of songwriter François Guy on May 12, 2023. A fatal fall at his cottage in Labelle, in the Laurentians, put an end to a prolific career in “chanson québécoise.” Whether through his numerous compositions over six decades, or his involvement with SACEF (Société pour l’avancement de la chanson d’expression française) for more than 15 years, Guy left his mark on a whole era. He added his own cornerstone to the edifice of the Francophone repertoire, and mentored the next generation of singers through the Ma Première Place des Arts contest, among others.

Reaching an audience via the band Les Sinners in the late ’60s, and by his next group, La Révolution Française, Guy co-wrote the rallying anthem “Québécois,” that would be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018. It was one of the first rock songs to sing about Québec’s independence, a theme that, until then, had been mostly reserved for folksingers. The song’s powerful message captured the era’s zeitgeist, which was the key to its success, and “Québécois”  became the province’s best-selling single in 1970, with more than 100,000 copies sold.

Guy proceeded to record five albums and a series of singles between 1973 and 1983; he participated in the creation of several musical revues, including Cirociel in 1976, before re-orienting his career toward talent development. He did circle back to writing for other artists, including Chloé Sainte-Marie, Véronique Béliveau, Renée Martel, Gildor Roy, and Francine Raymond with “Y a les mots,” a hit song that became a SOCAN Classic in 2018.

Guy made a final recording in 2010 with the album Je préfère le bonheur, in collaboration with his accomplice Manuel Brault, and other lyricists, such as Mario Proulx and Jean-Guy Prince. “I’ve never really left songwriting behind,” said Guy in a story published in SOCAN’s Paroles & Musique magazine in 2010. “I never stopped writing. I just grew old. When you’re younger, you’re more dynamic, but as you grow older, you become a better singer. You reach a certain level of mastery, you know yourself better, your capacities, your range, your interpretation, the value of the words.”

SOCAN extends heartfelt condolences to Guy’s family, friends and colleagues.


Winners List
Photo Gallery 1: Winners
Photo Gallery 2: Performances and Awards
Photo Gallery 3: Red Carpet
Photo Gallery 4: Ambiance

May 7, 2023, marked the long-awaited return of the SOCAN Gala at Montréal’s La TOHU. More than 500 songwriters, composers, screen composers, producers, music publishers, and music industry professionals gathered to celebrate the 33rd annual SOCAN Gala, during which over 100 trophies were awarded to highlight the work of Québec’s creative talent over the past two years.

Gala SOCAN 2023, Winners

A gathering of some of the winners at the Gala SOCAN 2023

Hosted with glamour and humour by the flamboyant drag queen Barbada, the SOCAN Gala began with Jeanick Fournier’s powerful, moving performance of the timeless “Un peu plus haut, un peu plus loin,” celebrating the incredible work of Jean-Pierre Ferland, recipient of this year’s Cultural Impact Award.

Many other Achievement Awards were presented during the gala, including the Special Achievement Award to Ginette Reno for her illustrious career; the Lifetime Achievement Award to the great Plume Latraverse; and the Songwriter (Performer) and Songwriter (Non-Performer) awards, given, respectively, to two successful creative duos: Roxane Bruneau and Mathieu Brisset, as well as hit-makers Banx & Ranx. The Screen Composer Award was presented to two outstanding creators, Nathalie Bonin and Cristobal Tapia de Veer, celebrated for their incredible composition work on both small and big screens over the past two years. The Publisher Award went to Bloc Notes Music Publishing, an outstanding company in the music ecosystem of Québec and Canada. And the International Award went to Montréal-based music production duo Demy & Clipz, responsible for, among other things, the worldwide hit “La Corriente” by Grammy-winning mega-star Bad Bunny.

“The annual 2023 SOCAN Gala was a wonderful snapshot of our accomplished and very important members from Québec: touching, creative, and full of talent,” said SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown. “Québec’s music community is dynamic and gifted, and must continue to thrive. SOCAN recognizes and understands the specific challenges it faces, and we’re fully committed to our mission: to license the use of our members’ music, collect the money due to them, and return the royalties they’ve earned for their work. We believe that together, we can do great things. More than ever, SOCAN is proud to be a key player in Québec’s vibrant music ecosystem, and is passionate about its continued success.”

Breathtaking Performances and SOCAN Classics 

Several musical performances marked the gala with unique and moving moments. Among them, Mara Tremblay, Catherine Durand, Marie-Pierre Arthur, and Martin Deschamps joined their voices to pay tribute to Plume Latraverse, performing a selection of his most well-remembered songs. Ines Talbi, Marie-Denise Pelletier, and Lunou Zucchini embraced the task, with respect and humility, of reminding us how Ginette Reno has impacted Québec with her greatest songs. The excellent “chameleon band” Qualité Motel performed a daring medley where they adapted, to their unique sound, a selection of award-winning works from the various categories dedicated to screen music. Pierre Kwenders, Ingrid St-Pierre, and Stéphanie St-Jean paid tribute to Paul Piché, who was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame during the Gala – much to the delight of the artist himself, and everyone in attendance. The extremely talented Chloé Lacasse was the Gala’s musical director.

This year’s event also marked the return of the SOCAN Classic Awards. Trophies were presented to “Toune d’automne” by Cowboys Fringants; Corneille’s “Parce qu’on vient de loin”; Daniel Boucher’s “La Désise”; Ariane Moffatt’s “Point de mire”; Jean Leloup’s “Balade à Toronto”; Daniel Bélanger’s “Rêver mieux”; “Amalgame” by The Respectables; and Noir Silence’s “On jase de toi.”

Special Awards

In the specialized music categories,  global music was honoured with the Hagood Hardy Award, given to Pierre Kwenders; the Jan V. Matejcek Award for New Classical Music went to Linda Bouchard; the Country Music Award went to the energetic Sara Dufour; the intriguing Ouri won the Electronic Music Award; veteran Souldia won the Hip-Hop Music Award; and the Viral Music Award, presented by Gowling WLG, went to Patrick Watson – for his song “Je te laisserai des mots,” which has accumulated more than 4.8 billion views worldwide on TikTok. The Breakthrough Award went to dance sensation Rêve and rising star Jay Scøtt; and the first-ever Breakthrough Female Screen Composer Award went to the talented Anaïs Larocque.

Popular Music and Screen Composition  

A total of eleven Popular Music Awards were presented during the evening, to the songwriters and publishers of the most popular French-language songs of 2021 and 2022: “À ma manière,” “Si jamais on me cherche,” “Guérir nos mémoires,” “Copilote,” “Tokébakicitte,” “L’écho,” “T’es belle,” “Où sera le monde…”, “Je suis comme toi,” “Elle n’entend plus battre son cœur,” and “Vous êtes ici.” Two Anglophone Popular Music Awards were given to “Flowers Need Rain,” sung and played by Preston Pablo and Banx & Ranx, as well as “Lost” by Jonathan Roy. The International Song Award went to “Tu t’en iras,” co-written by La Zarra, Zacharie “Soke” Raymond, Yannick “Kny Factory” Rastogi, and Benny Adam.

The Gala also saluted the precious talent of screen composers and publishers. Among the evening’s winners, Michel Cusson walked away with two awards: one for his collaboration with Miklos Simpson on District 31 in the category Fiction or Dramatic Series, the other for Unité 9 in the category Television Music – International. Composers Jason Sharp (The Decline), Tim Rideout (L’échappée), Luc Pronovost (Destination Ski), Nicolas Savard-L’Herbier (Cochon Dingue), and Raphael Reed (Crisis) all won trophies recognizing their invaluable contributions to these productions.

The Post-Synchronization Award, given for the first time at the Gala – to the SOCAN reproduction rights client whose work has been reproduced in the greatest number of post-synchronizations on digital or traditional audio-visual platforms in 2021 – went to composer Philippe Leduc.

Partner In Music Award 

Finally, the essential contribution of SOCAN-licensed companies or organizations for the fair use of music was recognized with this year’s Partner in Music Award, given to Télé-Québec and Sphère Média for the long-running TV show Belle et Bum, and its ongoing commitment to showcasing a diverse roster of up-and-coming musicians. The show celebrated its 20th season this year.

For all the details on the 33rd annual SOCAN Gala, visit