SOCAN members Jully Black, Bruce Cockburn, and the late Salome Bey will be inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame, and SOCAN member Serena Ryder will receive the Allan Slaight Music Impact Honour, at Toronto’s Beanfield Centre on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, with a broadcast drawn from the event to air later in December on CTV.

“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to speak, to express, and to represent every little Black boy and girl who looked out and didn’t see someone who looked like them on television, or heard them on the radio, or seen them in film and TV, or saw them teaching in schools,” said Jully Black on learning of her induction.

“Being inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame feels to me like an excuse for a party,” joked Bruce Cockburn. “It feels wonderful. When I first heard the news, I was very excited. I was like, ‘What? Me?’”

At the 2021 awards show – the 23rd annual edition of the event – the other seven Walk of Fame inductees are:

  • Ajay Virmani (Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy) – Trailblazing between the streets and the sky, he became the Founder and CEO of Canada’s largest cargo airline, Cargojet, which has completed over 200 flights from China and other nations, bringing much needed PPE supplies for Canadians, and committed $3 million to healthcare initiatives and social justice causes.
  • Bret “The Hitman” Hart (Sports and Athletics) – A true champion and one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.
  • Damian Warner (Sports and Athletics) – Fresh from his dominating performance at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and winning Canada’s first gold medal in the decathlon, Damian Warner has taken his place as the greatest athlete on the world stage.
  • Frederick Banting, Charles Best, John Macleod, and James Collip (Science, Technology, and Innovation) – The team that saved 300 Million lives and counting with the discovery of insulin.
  • Graham Greene (Arts & Entertainment) – One of Canada’s most beloved and iconic actors, an Academy Award nominee who’s had principal roles in Dances with Wolves, The Green Mile, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Transamerica, and The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
  • Keanu Reeves (Arts & Entertainment) – A global star and legendary actor, producer, and director, who’s entertained audiences worldwide for more than three decades, fronting blockbuster franchises like The Matrix and John Wick.
  • Lieutenant-General (retired) The Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire (Humanitarianism) – a celebrated advocate for human rights, who’s dedicated his life to eradicating the use of child soldiers.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif will receive the new National Hero Honour, presented by Canada’s Walk of Fame to an individual whose selflessness, dedicated efforts, and outstanding contributions have made a significant difference in our society. As a star player with the Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs, Duvernay-Tardif made international headlines as the first NFL player to opt out of the 2020 season, as he deferred his $2.75 million salary to join the front-line pandemic efforts in his hometown of Montréal.

SOCAN members previously honoured by Canada’s Walk of Fame include Drake, the late Leonard Cohen, Andy Kim, Col. Chris Hadfield, the late Stompin’ Tom Connors, Michael Bublé, Rush, Sarah McLachlan, Blue Rodeo, The Tragically Hip, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, Nickelback, and kd lang.

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has launched a new Spotlight Award that will be given annually to a song and its songwriter(s) from a country other than the U.S. The inaugural award, presented by the ISC and SOCAN, will be presented in 2021 to a Canadian song, and its songwriter(s). All Canadians who are members of SOCAN are eligible for this award, to be presented in addition to all the other winners honored in the overall ISC competition.

The winner will be selected by ISC, and will be awarded a prize package consisting of studio recording time at the renowned Dark Horse Recording Studio in Franklin, Tennessee (just outside Nashville), with one week of lodging at SOCAN Nashville House, and a travel grant from the SOCAN Foundation.

Now in its 20th year, the ISC was created to recognize great songwriters and to provide a valuable platform for them to be heard by the music industry and public alike. The competition is open to both professional and amateur songwriters. A total of 71 winners in 23 genre categories share more than $225,000 in cash and prizes, including an overall Grand Prize consisting of $25,000 U.S. cash, and more. Previous winners have included Jane Siberry, Vance Joy, Faouzia, Sam Roberts, Tenille Townes, The Trews, and many more.

To learn more, click here; to submit your song(s), click here.

Country/pop singer-songwriter, professional actor, and SOCAN member MacKenzie Porter has had a phenomenal breakout year. She’s the first woman in 22 years to score three consecutive Canadian country No. 1 songs; the first Canadian artist to score a Top 10 crossover (country to pop) debut since Shania Twain; and the first Canadian artist to hit No. 1 in Australia in 16 years. So it’s no surprise that she’s been nominated for four 2021 Canadian Country Music Awards, including Entertainer of the Year.

In a conversation with SOCAN, she discusses those nominations; some other memorable moments; drawing on her emotions in acting, songwriting, and performance (especially in the “Seeing Other People” video); and why she’s always just a little bit nervous with new co-writers.