The SOCAN Foundation is proud to announce the two recipients of the inaugural HER Music Awards sponsored by RE:SOUND. During the evening of Feb. 6, 2020, Haviah Mighty (Toronto, ON) and Leela Gilday (Yellowknife, NT) each received a $5,000 prize during a full-house reception held in downtown Toronto.

“The HER Music Awards are designed to celebrate and support female-identified people building momentum, as music creators on the verge of taking their creative careers to the next level,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of SOCAN Foundation. “This program is also designed to empower award recipients, and to help them reach their full potential.”

The recipients were selected by a jury composed of Cris Derksen, Frannie Holder, and Martine Groulx. All applications were evaluated on the basis of the quality of their musical work, career potential, as well as the impact that receiving an award would have on their personal development as an artist.

“Women are making incredible music all over this world right now!” said Leela Gilday. “Hearing it, lifting it up, working with women, and honouring women in music will enrich all of us. I hope to use the award to continue to blaze trails for more young women, so that one day a young female musician can look around and say, ‘There used to be gender bias in the music industry?’”

“I became aware of the HER Music Awards shortly before applying,” said Haviah Mighty. “As a mid-level, female Canadian musician, I felt this award was right up my alley. Still, I was surprised to hear that I’m a recipient, and very grateful to have been considered. I’m committed to continuing to push the conversation of female perspective in these ways, and think it’s amazing that more and more music outlets (and others) are acknowledging the female contribution. Our stories as Canadian women are diverse, and should be a part of the stories we tell as a country.”

These awards are one of the many SOCAN Foundation competitions that, for more than 25 years, have allowed the organization to financially support promising Canadian artists, while underscoring their merit and their outstanding artistic expression.

SOCAN congratulates our member screen composers, brothers Mychael and Jeff Danna, for composing the score to Onward, the Pixar/Disney animated movie that hit No. 1 on the box office in America on the weekend of March 6-8, 2020. Onward – which earned $40 million in the U.S., and $28 more million worldwide, in its opening weekend – stars the voices of Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, as two elf brothers on a quest, in a van, to magically spend one more day with their deceased accountant father.

It turns out that the Danna brothers had also lost their accountant father when they were teenagers in Toronto. At Pixar’s original presentation of the story, Mychael recalled to movie-industry bible Variety, “We were just like, ‘Is this a joke? Is this some weird prank?’ because it was pretty much our story.” Jeff added, “There were so many parallels, we were shaking our heads, we couldn’t believe it.”

Film Music Magazine says, “With their dexterity at both ethnic and orchestral music, Mychael and Jeff Danna conjure a wondrous, theme-filled quest that drives Onward’s magic bus.” Variety says, “There is a 92-piece orchestra and 30-voice choir, but the mystical sounds of Renaissance lute and wire-strung harp, along with the medieval voice of the crumhorn, flavor the score with hints of the fantasy world that’s on screen. Elf brothers Ian and Barley pursue their quest… in an old van whose cassette player blasts a wild mashup of ‘70s progressive rock and ‘90s indie rock – all written and played by guitarist Jeff and keyboardist Mychael in a callback to their own, pre-film-music experiences in Canadian pop bands.”

Mychael Danna is an Oscar winner for Life of Pi, an Emmy winner for World Without End, and has composed scores as diverse as Moneyball, Capote, and Girl Interrupted. Jeff Danna’s credits include Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, and documentary The Kid Stays in The Picture. Working on their own, Mychael has won six SOCAN Awards, and Jeff has garnered five of them. Working together, they’ve earned three of them – for the Anthony Hopkins/Ryan Gosling-starring Fracture in 2008; the Disney/Pixar animated movie The Good Dinosaur in 2017; and the Warner Animation Group’s Storks in 2018.


In the midst of social distancing to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, SOCAN continues to conduct video interviews with our members – now online via meeting apps – in our new video series, “Staying Home with…” Up first, Jessie Reyez.

In a wide-ranging online video interview with SOCAN just after the release of her debut album Before Love Came to Kill Us (out March 27,  it’s already the top female debut album and top R&B debut album of 2020 so far, with more than 350 million global streams), Jessie Reyez talks about life in lockdown, opening two dates on the now-cancelled Billie Eilish tour, mortality, unrequited love, her new sobriety, and how someone with trust issues writes and releases vulnerable songs. Also, how one particular scene in the movie Goodfellas encapsulates the entire spirit of the album.