Émile Bourgault walked away the winner of the hotly contested 55th edition of the Grand Concours Hydro-Québec Finals, the culmination of the Festival international de la chanson de Granby, held on Aug. 20, 2023, at the Palace de Granby, with Mehdi Cayenne as host. This victory also made him the first recipient of the Fabienne, a new trophy named in honour of Fabienne Thibeault, who won the competition in 1974.

Émile Bourgault came out the winner after competing with Sofia Duhaime, Olivier Faubert, Jeanne Laforest, and Claudie Létourneau. Born on Montréal’s South Shore, Bourgault has been driven by his desire to create since he was a child. Only 19, he creates songs that are at once energetic and sensitive, and he always manages to make people laugh, cry, dance, and think. Preceded by his reputation for colourful, thoughtful lyrics, and as an outstanding live performer, he’s made a remarkable arrival on the Québec music scene. SOCAN congratulates him and the other finalists.

Bourgault won the following prizes, among many others:

  • The Fonds d’aide au développement, a $25,000 career development subsidy offered by the Festival international de la chanson de Granby;
  • The Prix Étoiles Stingray, a $3,000 cash prize awarded by Stingray;
  • The Prix MNP, which offers personalized support for the creation of a career development plan, valued at $5,000;
  • The Prix Nat Corbeil, worth $3,000, which entitles the winner to a radio-tracking service on all Québec radio stations; and
  • The Prix Réseau Centre, which gives him the opportunity to present a tour of five to seven shows on the programs of Réseau Centre presenters, as an opening act, or in a double-header.

For more details on the 2023 edition, visit the festival website.

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SOCAN member Avril Lavigne is among five new inductees named to Canada’s Walk of Fame. The other four are philanthropist and broadcast industry mogul Gary Slaight, Roots clothing founders Michael Budman and Don Green, and Cree/Métis actress Tantoo Cardinal.

The Walk of Fame is also celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year with a cohort of musical inductees under the banner Canada’s Rock of Fame, honouring 13 classic-rock artists from the ‘70s and ‘80s at a special event on Sept. 28, 2023, at Massey Hall. The inductees are SOCAN member acts April Wine, Chilliwack, Glass Tiger, Lee Aaron, Lighthouse, Loverboy, Max Webster, Michel Pagliaro, Platinum Blonde, Prism, Rough Trade, The Parachute Club, and Trooper. Performers at the event haven’t been announced yet, but it’s expected that various of the inductee singers and band members will sing and play onstage.

Other 2023 inductees include Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella;  TV drama Degrassi; record-breaking hockey player Connor McDavid; TV personality Rick Mercer; and pioneering neuroscientist Dr. Brenda Milner.

In addition, Canada’s Walk of Fame will celebrate its silver anniversary with another special event, scheduled for Dec. 2, 2023, at Toronto’s Convention Centre, with CTV broadcasting the event at a later date.