First, the Nova Scotian country sounds of Baie Sainte-Marie band P’tit Béliveau et les Grosses Coques made everybody smile and stomp their feet. Lastly, Alex Burger showed that he was able to evolve his rock music at lightning speed, presenting an even more powerful performance than he did in the semi-finals, with the addition of a second drummer. In between, jazz-rap combo O.G.B. – which stands for Original Gros Bonnet (Original Big Wig) – skillfully snuck up to first place.

All this in the finals of the 2019 Francouvertes competition, held Monday, May 6, 2019, with results determined by the combined votes of the jury and audience. In addition to the $10,000 cash prize, O.G.B. also received several other prizes, as did P’tit Béliveau and Alex Burger.

Eric Parazelli, the SOCAN online magazine Francophone editor, was there and met with the septet to capture their reaction to this win as soon as they stepped off the stage:

The night opened with the last of the “J’aime mes ex” performances, presented by SOCAN, featuring event spokespersons Karim Ouellet and his sister, rapper Sarahmée, who performed a few songs prior to the finalists’ performances.

Alex Burger won the Paroles & Musique Award – including a $1,000 cash prize and a stay at the Paris or Nashville SOCAN House, offered by SOCAN. The honour recognizes the excellent writing of the songs he performed during the semi-finals. The contest winner will, of course, be invited to perform in the “J’aime mes ex” series during the 24th edition of the Francouvertes, next year.

Paroles & Musique, Alex Burger, Eric Parazelli, Francouvertes

The winner of SOCAN’s Paroles & Musique award, Alex Burger (right) and his musicians alongside SOCAN’s Eric Parazelli (centre) during the Francouverte’s semifinals at Montréal’s Lion d’Or venue (Photo: Frédérique Ménard-Aubin/Francouvertes)

For a complete list of the prizes given out to the 2019 finalists, visit the Francouvertes website.

The finals of the Francouvertes were broadcast via Facebook Live on the ICI Musique page, and you’ll be able to hear them again on May 15, at noon on Influence Franco—SiriusXM 174 (and again on Friday, May 17, at 6:00 p.m.).

SOCAN congratulates O.G.B. on this important win in their budding career.

Michael McCarty, SOCAN’s Chief Membership & Business Development Officer, was inducted into the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame at Rebel Entertainment Complex in downtown Toronto, a during a SOCAN event-heavy Canadian Music Week (CMW), on May 9, 2019.

After an introduction from Alan Frew, and a video tribute that included Dallas Green, Jim Vallance, and Bob Ezrin, McCarty first thanked “a few of the records that inspired me to want to have a career” (including “Be My Baby,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Good Vibrations, “The Tracks of My Tears,” and “everything by the Beatles”). He talked about how Guess Who producer Jack Richardson’s success “inspired me to believe that I could do it, too,” and how he persevered his way into his first music job as an engineer, at Richardson’s side. After thanking the many people who helped him in his extensive career, McCarty concluded with, “For music, there isn’t a better place on this planet to be than Canada” – a line he wrote in 1992. “I believed it then, I believe it now,” he said.

A few days later, on May 11, McCarty was interviewed by veteran music-industry journalist Bob Lefsetz in a session called “Greenlighting: The Risks, Rewards and Gut Instincts of Signing Artists,” at the CMW host hotel, The Sheraton Downtown Toronto (where all the other panels were also held). McCarty told the stories of various acts that he’s signed over his career. He emphasized the paramount importance of gut feeling in greenlighting projects, and how the intensity of a manager’s – or other representative’s – belief in their artist can go a long way.

Eddie Schwartz, CSHF, CMW, 2019

Eddie Schwartz

Also at the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Awards, The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) inducted musician, songwriter, producer, industry advocate, and SOCAN’s longtime representative in Nashville, Eddie Schwartz, to its Hall of Fame.  “Writing songs is my calling, my joy, and it keeps me alive to this day, “ said Schwartz. “It was the songs that got invited to the recording sessions; it was the songs that made their way onto the charts; it was the songs that showed up that showed up on the stages of arenas, or just the neighbourhood karaoke bar.”

On  May 11, Schwartz also participated – along with SOCAN Foundation Vice-President Martine Groulx – in a panel entitled “Fair Pay for Creators in a Fair Trade World.” He said that, with the recent European Union directive on the use of creative content, we’re at an inflection point where streaming companies will have to act more fairly toward creators, though they’ll fight it, and it may prove a lengthy battle. He also spoke about how the Fair Trade Music campaign re-frames the argument on behalf of creators into ethical terms. “This is a global fight,” he said.

Lantz, Cooking Beats, SOCAN, CMW 2019


SOCAN presented its ever-popular CMW “Cooking Beats” panel, on May 8, with one of Canada’s hottest beat-makers, Jazz Cartier producer Lantz – whose “cinematic trap music” with Cartier has made the Polaris Music Prize long list twice, and earned a JUNO Award for Rap Recording of the Year.  In a conversation with SOCAN A&R Representative Aidan D’Aoust, Lantz generously revealed his beat-making methods by dissecting such songs as “Dead or Alive” and “Tempted.” He suggested that building a unique sound with one specific artist (as he did with Cartier) is a good way to establish oneself. He also said collaboration “is the best thing you can do… That’s how you learn cool shit [and] share techniques,” and shouted out SOCAN for fostering that sort of teamwork by including him in its 2017 and 2018 Kenekt Song Camps in Nicaragua – which led to other opportunities for him.

Arkells, MMF, Charlie Wall-Andrews, CMW 2019

Arkells, with Charlie Wall-Andrews (third from right). Photo: Phil Brennan

SOCAN Foundation Executive Director Charlie Wall-Andrews presented Arkells managers at eOne Entertainment – Chris Taylor, Ashley Poitevin, and Sarah Osgoode – the Banner Year Award at the Music Managers Forum on May 7, during CMW. The award is for their outstanding achievements and contributions to Canada’s music management industry.

A few days later, on May 11, Wall-Andrews moderated a CMW panel, “Inclusivity, Equity, and Diversity in the Context of a Music City – How are we faring?” She discussed the differences between equality and equity, how those who require greater resources to achieve success should receive them, and how to turn deniers of oppression and discrimination into allies through dialogue and education.

SOCAN CEO, Eric Baptiste, CMW 2019

SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste

SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste was a panelist on “The State of the Global Music Industry” on May 9. Baptiste pointed out that SOCAN received about $90 million in international royalties in 2018, and that this number has doubled in the last decade. He added that the globalization of music has just begun, and that there’s enormous potential for the growth of royalties in countries such as India and China, if they can develop more robust rights administration there.

The same day, SOCAN Vice-President, International Relations, Catharine Saxberg agreed with Baptiste’s point in a session called “The Global Music Landscape: Getting Discovered, Played and Paid.” “China has one billion people, yet only collects 0.3 percent of world royalties,” she said. “We need to build the capacity for collecting royalties in emerging markets.” She added that this will require both government support, and the development of collecting societies, in those markets.

Catharine Saxberg, SOCAN, CMW 2019

SOCAN’s Catharine Saxberg

On May 10, SOCAN Vice-President, Licensing,  Kit Wheeler and SOCAN member LU KALA presented Joan Hunter, co-owner of Toronto venue Jazz Bistro, with the 2019 Licensed To Play Award, offered annually to a SOCAN-licensed business that shows exemplary respect for, and understanding of, the music creators whose work improves their bottom line. “Jazz Bistro is all about the music,” said Hunter. “We believe in showing our customers that we honour composers, publishers, songwriters, and musicians.”

Joan Hunter, Jazz Bistro, L2P Award, SOCAN, CMW 2019

Left to right: SOCAN’s Kit Wheeler, LU KALA, Joan Hunter of Jazz Bistro.

As well, the SOCAN booth in the exhibition area outside the ballrooms was a hive of near-constant activity on May 9 and 10.

With goals of simplifying music licensing for hundreds of thousands of organizations across Canada that benefit from music, and to source and return more earned royalties to Canadian songwriters, composers, publishers, labels and performers, RE:SOUND and SOCAN have created Entandem.

Co-owned and overseen by RE:SOUND and SOCAN, Entandem brings the music licensing now managed separately by each organization into a single, jointly-operated business. With Entandem, retailers, restaurants, nightclubs, fitness clubs, and myriad other organizations that use music will be able to complete their legally-required licenses in a single transaction.

The new joint venture, which builds upon a successful 2017 pilot project that combined music licensing for both parent organizations via an online portal, will be launched in July 2019. Until launch, licensing will continue to be administered separately by RE:SOUND and SOCAN, without change.

“Entandem is all about simplicity,” said Ian MacKay, president of RE:SOUND. “For most businesses that use music, a single licensing organization means a simplified experience, by interacting with one organization instead of two, with one payment for both RE:SOUND and SOCAN music licenses, and one point of contact to answer questions and resolve issues.”

“It’s about time – literally,” said Jeff Stinco, member of Simple Plan and owner of Mangiafoco, one of the many great restaurants of Montréal. “Mangiafoco welcomes Entandem’s one-stop service because it will save us time. We strongly believe that the music we play at the restaurant brings value, otherwise we wouldn’t use it, and it’s only fair that the owners of the music that we license gain fair royalties for their work.”

A songwriter and performer who receives royalties from both RE:SOUND and SOCAN, Stinco added, “By making music licensing easier and more efficient, it will help put more of the value our music provides into the hands of rights-holders like me. It’s a big step forward for anyone seeking to build a sustainable career in music.”

Whether recorded or live music, it’s the law in Canada that businesses must pay for the music they use so that those who made the music can be fairly compensated, just as restaurants pay food suppliers and nightclubs pay for the liquor they serve.

Entandem will administer the licensing process as RE:SOUND and SOCAN do today, bringing royalties to Canadian songwriters, composers, publishers, labels and performers. Music licenses will continue to be based on agreements with users or tariffs approved by the Copyright Board of Canada.

While Entandem will collect licenses for live performances and the general use of recorded music in public venues, RE:SOUND and SOCAN will continue to administer royalties separately for recorded music – for example, on YouTube, social media, radio, television, movies, and online streaming services in single-use or as copies. Background music suppliers will also continue to obtain licenses directly from RE:SOUND and SOCAN.

SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste added: “RE:SOUND and SOCAN getting together for Entandem means a strengthened ability to reach more businesses that should be paying both music licenses that provide vital support to music creators, especially the emerging and middle-class ones. By making the process easier, we expect stronger engagement across the country and, with that, increased realization of earned royalties for Canada’s songwriters, composers, publishers, labels and performers.”

Entandem will be a partner with businesses that use music, helping them to use music more effectively, increase the use of live music, improve audio systems and more, with the essential truth that, the better the music experience, the better the customer experience. An improved customer experience results in extended shopping, increased spending, loyalty and, importantly, recommending the business to others.

Entandem will be jointly owned and overseen by RE:SOUND and SOCAN. However, in its day-to-day activities, it will operate separately from the parent organizations, under separate management.

The new organization will operate nationwide and will have premises in both downtown Toronto and Montréal. Existing licensing teams from each company will come together in shared locations.

Further information about Entandem is available at the organization’s website,