Hosted once again by MC Gilles, SOCAN’s 7th annual Gala Country took place on October 19 at André Mathieu Hall in Laval, Québec, where14 “Willy” Awards (named after famed Québec country singer Willie Lamothe) were handed out during an evening celebrating the success of Canada’s Francophone country music artists in the past year.

As part of SOCAN’s efforts to stress the importance of country music on the Quebec and Canadian music scenes, Geneviève Côté, SOCAN Chief of Québec Affairs, presented the Songwriter of the Year Award to Laurie LeBlanc, a Bouctouche, New Brunswick, artist who also won a two-week creative stay at the SOCAN House Nashville, and a $1,000 cash prize.

We caught up with him as he was leaving the stage (see left).




Among the evening’s other winners were:

  • Karo Laurendeau (Original Song Album, Song [“La fureur de vivre”], Female Artist, and Radio Show of the Year [Destination New Country];
  • Matt Lang (Breakthrough, Anglophone, and Male Artist of the Year);
  • Paul Daraîche (Show of the Year for Ma maison favorite);
  • Patrick Norman (TV Show of the Year for Pour l’amour du country;
  • Mack et Ro (Group of the Year);
  • Annie Blanchard (Covers Album of the Year for Welcome soleil;
  • Festival Western de St-Tite (Promoter of the Year); and
  • Yoan (People’s Choice Award).

For more details about the 2019 Gala Country, visit the Culture Country website.