The City of Hamilton is standing up for fair and legal music licensing for music creators, becoming the first Canadian municipality to receive a special SOCAN Licensed To Play designation.

After confirming that all of its city-owned recreational facilities – including community halls, swimming pools, arenas, and other recreational services – are legally licensed by SOCAN to play commercially released music, Hamilton was given a Licensed To Play designation by SOCAN. It includes a Hamilton-specific version of the emblem that more than 40,000 Canadian music-using businesses have so far received to show their support of fair compensation for music creators.

“We are proud to be the first Canadian municipality to receive the special Licensed To Play designation from SOCAN. Music is an important aspect of community, culture, and recreation activities, and can bring people from all backgrounds together through special events, festivals, fitness, and dance,” said Laura Kerr, Manager of Program Development, Recreation Division, at the City of Hamilton.

Hamilton’s vibrant music scene and music-related initiatives have made the city a popular residence for music creators, including SOCAN members, and Hamilton’s SOCAN-licensed recreational facilities set the stage for many private and public events each year where music is heard and performed.

Hamilton is a true playground for music creation, publishing and performance,” said Hamilton-based SOCAN member, Max Kerman, of Arkells. “The SOCAN Licensed To Play designation confirms that Hamilton recognizes the hard work of music creators and publishers, and the importance of venues having a music license. To truly celebrate Canadian culture, it’s important to honour the livelihood of the thousands of songwriters, composers, music publishers, and other musicians living in the area. These administrative steps really add up for someone who works in music.”

While Hamilton is home to a diverse community of musicians, it also boasts a growing number of businesses using music as their core offering, or which offer music to improve their business. The City of Hamilton’s Planning & Economic Development Department encourages businesses to use music responsibly by becoming Licensed To Play with SOCAN.

“The City of Hamilton believes that musicians and artists are entrepreneurs and being Licensed To Play with SOCAN helps ensure that music creators and publishers are fairly compensated for their hard work. Our Music Strategy and Hamilton Music Advisory Team are focused on cultivating local music creation and talent and encouraging others to support artists via SOCAN licensing and fair payment. A lot of time and effort is invested in the creative process before you listen to the final song,” said Debbie Spence, Business Development Consultant Creative Industries, City of Hamilton.

While organizations that use music in their business are expected to abide by the law, constantly monitoring every one of Canada’s music-using businesses isn’t feasible. SOCAN works with businesses and their trade associations, as well as municipalities, to encourage them to stay up-to-date with their music licenses. Collectively, music licensing provides a major part of songwriters’, composers’, and music publishers’ livelihoods through royalties. It’s a vital aspect of Canada’s music ecosystem.

“The City of Hamilton is making a clear statement that it stands up for music rights and the need for songwriters, screen composers, and music publishers to be fairly compensated for their music,” said SOCAN Vice President of Licensing, Leslie Craig. “As the first Canadian city to receive this designation, it’s a milestone for the Hamilton music community, and the more than 150,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers represented by SOCAN.”

Licensed To Play is a long-term program encourages businesses to show that music is an instrumental aspect of the customer experience, and that they stand up for songwriters, screen composers, and music publishers who have created the valuable music that enhances their business.

SOCAN was a proud sponsor of the 20th annual LEO Awards, celebrating excellence in British Columbia film and television, as it has been for every edition since the beginning in 1998. The Celebration Awards One were presented on May 26, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver, where our SOCAN #ComposersWhoScore walked away with all eight musical honours.

Prizes were awarded as follows:

  • Best Musical Score in a Motion Picture to Matthew Rogers, for Adventures in Public School
  • Best Musical Score in a Television Movie to Hamish Thomson, for Love Locks
  • Best Musical Score in a Short Drama to Mark James Fortin, Lorna Fortin, and Ella Mae Fortin, for Sliding Away
  • Best Musical Score in a Dramatic Series to James Jandrisch, for Somewhere Between – “The Hunter and the Hunted” episode
  • Best Musical Score in a Feature-Length Documentary to Eli Bennett, for Believe: The True Story of Real Bearded Santas
  • Best Musical Score in a Short Documentary Program to David F. Ramos, for In Three Years
  • Best Musical Score in an Documentary Series to Russell Wallace, for 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus – “Architecture” episode
  • Best Musical Score in an Animation Program or Series to Marc Junker and David Parfit, for S.O.S.

The Music Director for the 2018 LEO Awards was winner Eli Bennett, a two-time recipient of the CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award from the National Jazz Awards, who’s been awarded the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for music, as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Premier of BC.

The LEO Awards offer an excellent opportunity for SOCAN members who work in film and television to celebrate their accomplishments and network with producers, directors and local industry players. Attending from SOCAN were Sara Pavilionis, Racquel Villagante, and Lea Faradian.

For more information and a complete list of winners visit the awards website.

SOCAN #ComposersWhoScore Andrew Lockington and Keith Power, and member Ed Robertson, were among the honourees at the 2018 editions of the ASCAP Screen Music Awards, held May 24 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and the BMI Film, TV and Visual Media Awards, held May 9 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, both in Los Angeles.

The SOCAN member winners at the ASCAP event were:

The Big Bang Theory, Ed Robertson
The Good Witch, Mchael Berec, Jack Lenz
Saving Hope, Gary Koftinoff
The Voice, Jordan Sears

Ed Robertson

And those honoured by BMI were:

Rampage, Andrew Lockington

Hawaii Five-0, Keith Power
MacGyver, Keith Power

SOCAN congratulates our screen composers and theme song writers on these great achievements!