Original Gros Bonnet (OGB), winners of the 2019 edition of the Francouvertes competition, kicked off the 2020 edition of the annual competition with a short-but-explosive performance at Montréal’s Lion d’Or on Feb. 10, 2020. This year’s spokespersons are Laurence Nerbonne and Émile Bilodeau, taking over from Sarahmée and Karim Ouellet.

Francouvertes announced the 21 contestants in its major Québec competition, and, SOCAN will once again support it by presenting the “J’aime mes ex” series of concerts – during which 10 Francouvertes alumni will perform as opening acts of the first round, and semi-final round, of the contest.

SOCAN will also present the Paroles & Musique Award, a $1,000 cash prize awarded to one of the semi-finalists for their songwriting talent, along with a one-week writing residency at the SOCAN House in Paris. These prizes are part of a myriad of rewards, grants, and concert opportunities that will be awarded this year.

There will be seven preliminary evenings held at the Lion d’Or, every Monday from Feb. 17 to Mar. 30, 2020.

Preliminary round

  • Mélodie Spear—Guillaume Bordel—Embo/phlébite (Feb. 17)
  • Ariane Roy—MoKa—Aramis (Feb. 24)
  • Jessy Benjamin—La Faune—Narcisse (Mar. 2)
  • Vendou—Petite Papa—dope.gng (Mar. 9)
  • Jeremy Lachance—Désarroi—La Fièvre (Mar. 16)
  • Kanen—thais—Valence (Mar. 23)
  • Mclean—Mille Piastres Please—Trop Belle (Mar. 30)

The semi-finals will be held on March 13-14-15, still at Lion d’Or, and the final round will be held at Club Soda on May 4.

The ten “exes” that will open each evening as part of the “J’aime mes ex” series presented by SOCAN are:

  • Olivier Bélisle (Feb. 17)
  • Alfa Rococo (Feb. 24)
  • Gab Paquet (March 2)
  • Marie Gold (Mar. 9)
  • Émilie Proulx (Mar. 16)
  • Jipé Dalpé (Mar. 23)
  • Louis-Jean Cormier (Mar. 30)
  • Mehdi Cayenne (Apr. 13)
  • Laurence-Anne (Apr. 14)
  • Lou-Adriane Cassidy (Apr. 15)

To find out more, visit francouvertes.com.

SOCAN members who make country music are invited to apply now for the $25,000 Top of the Country music competition, sponsored by the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) and SiriusXM, and supported by SOCAN and SOCAN Foundation.

The CCMA and SiriusXM will choose nine finalists (three each from Western, Central and Eastern Canada) to record in studios in Vancouver, Toronto, or Halifax. Videos of the performances will be uploaded online this spring for a Canada-wide vote, promoted by an extensive marketing campaign. The top act in each of the three regions will move on as finalists. This year, semi-finalists will be determined by a panel of industry judges, along with a public vote.

The top three finalists will have the chance to travel to Nashville on a writing trip with support from SOCAN. SOCAN will help make travel arrangements, and provide accommodations for the finalists at the SOCAN House in Nashville.

The top three will also:

  • play a set during a performance slot at a major country music festival;
  • participate in an industry mentorship program; and
  • play during Country Music Week at the Top of the Country Finale – airing across North America on SiriusXM – where one winner will be chosen by an industry panel and the audience.

For the winner, prizes will include $25,000, an appearance on the CCMA Awards broadcast in 2020, and attendance at CCMA/SOCAN song camps (in Nashville and one other location TBD).

Interested country music creators can register here, until midnight ET on Feb. 28, 2020.

In a tie victory, Tara MacLean and Andrew Waite both won the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year honour on Feb. 6, 2020, at St. Paul’s Church in Charlottetown, in advance of the 2020 Music PEI Awards gala later that week.

Waite took home the trophy for his song “Cash It In,” while MacLean earned her recognition for “Ghosting Me.” The awards were presented during the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Concert, which also included performances from Dennis Ellsworth, Irish Mythen, and Rick Sparkes, and was hosted by Matt Rainnie.

At the awards gala itself, held Feb. 9, 2020, at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel, five-piece dream-pop band Sorrey was the big triple-award winner, earning Album, Pop Recording, and Video of the Year. Double-award winners included MacLean, Cory Gallant, Paper Lions, and Irish Mythen. The awards were hosted by Music PEI President and JUNO-winning singer-songwriter Catherine MacLellan.

For a complete list of winners, click here and scroll down the page.