Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Gordie Sampson – who’s had his songs recorded by Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Willie Nelson, and Bon Jovi, among others — hosted the 10th Anniversary edition of his Gordie Sampson Songcamp, July 7-12, 2019, in Ingonish, Nova Scotia.

Gordie Sampson, Songcamp

Gordie Sampson (Photo: Mat Dunlap)

Taking part this year were 37 songwriters and 10 world-class writer/producer guests. No less than 80 songs were completed during the 2019 edition of the song camp, more than half of which were recorded. This brings the total song count for the past decade to over 500 songs. Returning songwriter alumni from the camp this year included Carleton Stone, Dylan Guthro, Mo Kenney, Dave Sampson, and Quake Matthews, while guests included artists Scott Helman and Ria Mae, and professional songwriters Thomas “Tawgs” Salter and Simon Wilcox.

In 10 years, the song camp has become an annual tradition for aspiring songwriters, as Sampson – who spends a portion of each year living and writing songs in Nashville – has made it his business to nurture emerging songwriters from across Nova Scotia; allow them to network with their instructors and each other; give them access to useful knowledge; and help them develop tools to benefit their careers. The Gordie Sampson Songcamp has enjoyed many success stories over the years – from Mo Kenney to T Thomason to Port Cities.  Participants have created their own community, and continue to write and perform together as their careers unfold.

Leading up to the 2019 edition of the song camp, Sampson and his team produced a 10th Anniversary Compilation double-album that features 29 songs written there – many of which have already been released, and have charted on sales and at radio. On Aug. 26, 2019, a Gordie Sampson Songcamp Circle played at the Carleton Music Bar & Grill, during the Halifax Urban Folk Festival. A song camp Reunion Songwriters Circle with Gordie Sampson is also scheduled for the 2019 edition of Nova Scotia Music Week.  A documentary piece on the camp, and a promotional piece, will be featured later in 2019 on the JUNO TV YouTube channel.

The Gordie Sampson Songcamp is supported by SOCAN and funded in part by The SOCAN Foundation. SOCAN also provides an educational info session for, and connects with, the young writers each year.

More than 50 awards will be handed out to Québec music creators and publishers at the SOCAN Awards Gala, to be held for the 30th time, in Montréal, on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at TOHU. It will be a spectacular anniversary edition, honouring the talent and accomplishments of music creators past, present and future.

The event will be hosted by the sensational Pierre-Yves Lord, and the colourful Antoine Gratton will conduct a live orchestra illustrating the essential impact that music adds to a visual production, as we recognize the achievements of SOCAN’s most successful screen composers, songwriters and music publishers of the year.

Marking the 30th edition of the SOCAN Gala, and receiving the 2019 SOCAN Cultural Impact Award, will be Diane Juster’s “Je ne suis qu’une chanson,” made popular by the great Ginette Reno. The song has made a deep impact indeed on Québec culture, brilliantly highlighting the essential bond between singer and songwriter.

The SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award will go to composer and pianist André Gagnon, in recognition of his outstanding career, while the 2019 SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award will go to Cœur de pirate, and the newly-created SOCAN Non-Performing Songwriter Of The Year award will go to the creator behind many 2Frères hits, Steve Marin.

This year’s SOCAN Classic Awards[1] will be saluting the songs “Belle,” “Le temps des cathédrales,” and “Vivre,” timeless classics written by Luc Plamondon and Richard Cocciante for the musical Notre-Dame de Paris, which coincidentally turns 20 this year. With these three awards, Plamondon becomes the first SOCAN member ever to achieve 40 SOCAN Classics.

At the other end of the spectrum, Jean Leloup will receive his first three SOCAN Classic Awards for co-writing “1990,” “Isabelle,” and “Cookie.” The co-creator of “1990,” James Di Salvio, will also see one of the songs of his band Bran Van 3000 (“Drinking in L.A.”) being rewarded. Mario Pelchat (“Je ne t’aime plus”), Florent Vollant and Claude McKenzie of Kashtin (“E Uassiuian”), Nancy Dumais and Tino Izzo (“Parler aux anges”), Lili Fatale’s Nathalie Courchesne, Richard Binette, Uranian Valceanu and Martin Beaulieu (“Feels” and “Mimi”), and the co-writers of “Soul Pleureur” from Quebec rap pioneers Dubmatique, will also receive SOCAN Classic Awards.

Gilles Valiquette will receive the SOCAN Special Achievement Award for his crucial role in upholding the rights of music creators through his tireless work in the industry, including 26 years as a member of SOCAN’s Board of Directors.

The prolific couple Louise Tremblay and James Gelfand will receive the SOCAN Screen Composer of the Year Award for their contribution to productions such as Girls’ Night Out, Final Destiny, and Darwin.

Montréal music production team Banx & Ranx will be honoured with the SOCAN International Award, in recognition of the spectacular success of their hit “Answerphone,” which has achieved platinum certification in the U.K.

The SOCAN Pop Music Awards will go to the most-played songs of 2018, while the leaders of the Québec rap pack, Fouki and Alaclair Ensemble, will both receive the SOCAN Hip-Hop/Rap Award. Charlotte Cardin will be honoured with the SOCAN Anglophone Popular Music Award for her song “Main Girl”; the Country Music Award will go to phenom Matt Lang; and Montréal’s own ambassador of electronic music, Marie Davidson, will receive the Award for that category.

The remarkable work accomplished by music publishers will also be saluted during the gala, and the SOCAN Publisher of the Year Award will be presented to David Murphy et Cie.

“The music industry and SOCAN have changed considerably since the first Montréal Gala in 1989,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “But what hasn’t changed are the passion, talent, and relevance of SOCAN’s songwriters, composers and publishers, and the importance of honouring their fantastic work. The 30th edition of the Gala will no doubt be a great opportunity to look back with appreciation and gratitude on the major players of the past while celebrating the ever-increasing success of current creators. It will be another memorable night.”

Each of the SOCAN Special Awards winners will receive The SOCAN, the first and only major music industry trophy that is also a musical instrument.

The complete list of SOCAN Awards Gala winners will be published on the evening of September 22.

Montréal’s SOCAN Awards Gala is the Francophone equivalent of the annual SOCAN Awards in Toronto, which celebrates the songwriters, composers and publishers who work mainly in English.

[1] A song is eligible to be a SOCAN Classic in Québec when it achieves 25,000 “spins” on radio and is at least 20 years old.

CCS Rights Management held its first international song camp this summer, CCS Songworks 2019, co-sponsored by SOCAN, from July 1-5, 2019, at Jukasa Studios in Ohsweken, Ontario, on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford.

A resounding success, CCS Songworks 2019 gathered  21 songwriters, producers, and artists from Canada, Denmark, England, and the U.S., including those represented by CCS, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), Downtown Music Publishing, Demolition Music Publishing, GL Music, Warner Music Canada, Universal Music Denmark, Ultra Music Publishing, Big Machine, and Dine Alone Records.

The participants were:


  • Shawn Hook (Ultra)
  • Moody (Universal Denmark)
  • Myles Castello (Warner Music Canada)
  • Francesco Yates
  • CARYS (Warner Music Canada)


  • Dave Audé (Downtown Music Publishing)
  • Gavin Brown (CCS)
  • Liz Rodrigues (UMPG)
  • Erik Alcock (UMPG)
  • Drew North (Ultra)
  • James Younger (CCS)
  • Littgloss
  • Jandre
  • Kasper Larsen (GL Music)
  • Lyric
  • MYYA
  • Miller Blue
  • Haven (Demolition Music Publishing)

Most of these participants had never worked together before, but their personalities meshed beautifully, and communications between the writers was seamless. Their creative output was pitched at a uniquely high caliber, and the co-creators proved just how extraordinary they are. They wrote 19 songs at the camp, and early indications are that more than half of them will be recorded, a very high percentage for a camp of this nature.

Additionally, every one of the writers is maintaining either a personal or professional relationship with at least one of the other writers since the camp ended, a fact of which CCS is especially proud.