The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) is excited to induct rock legend, guitarist, songwriter, and broadcaster,  Kim Mitchell. Mitchell’s induction was announced last year to take place during the 2020 Canadian Music Week, but was postponed due to the pandemic.  To coincide with the release of his latest single, “Best I Never Had,” and success of The Big Fantasize, Mitchell’s current album – and first in more than 13 years – the Hall of Fame will present Mitchell with the honour at the El Mocambo, which is also the record label for his newest endeavor.

The induction will air on Wednesday, July 21st on Global’s The Morning Show, and will be presented by Vanessa Thomas, Vice-President, Member and Industry Relations at SOCAN and Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame; joined by Mitchell’s friend and Barenaked Ladies’ frontman Ed Robertson, who collaborated on the song “Diamonds, Diamonds” in 2019. The pair will reunite to celebrate Mitchell’s catalogue of songs penned during his storied career spanning five decades as part of the alt-rock band Max Webster, and as a JUNO-winning artist best known for classic rock hits such as “Patio Lanterns” and “Go for Soda.”

“We have been waiting for the right moment to celebrate Kim’s induction to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in the true fashion that he deserves; and we’re thrilled to be able to honour his legacy of songwriting on the stage, where he shines best,” said Thomas.  “Kim is an originator and authentic in everything he pursues, from songwriting to transforming radio airwaves, defining the indie-rock genre in Canada, and putting it all on the stage for his fans.  He is among Canada’s rock elite, and continues to influence and innovate through his music.”

Mitchell, through the influential and eclectic band Max Webster, defined “alternative” and “indie” long before the words became clichés. He is among Canada’s most respected singers, songwriters and guitar players, having achieved critical acclaim and multi-platinum commercial success. In addition to being the frontman, guitarist, and lead writer with his writing partner Pye Dubois of the influential and eclectic band Max Webster, he rose from there to prominence and massive Canadian success as an award-winning solo artist.

He’s credited with penning (in partnership with Dubois) and recording numerous classic hits including “Go For Soda.” “Rock N Roll Duty,” “Patio Lanterns,” “I am a Wild Party,” All We Are,” and “Easy To Tame” – all which have become part of the Canadian musical genome.  Mitchell has received three JUNO Awards, and been recognized with numerous SOCAN Awards.  With his band Max Webster, he released five albums, which generated many Canadian top 100 hits, including “Let Go the Line,” “A Million Vacations,” and “Paradise Skies.”

In the early 2000’s, while maintaining a busy touring schedule, Mitchell was invited to join the on-air staff at Q107 in Toronto.  He left the radio station in 2014, after becoming one of Canada’s most popular and most listened-to afternoon-drive DJs. Mitchell went back to the recording studio in 2018 to mark his first solo recording in half a dozen years.  He got together with his friends the Barenaked Ladies to re-record his song, the Max Webster hit “Diamonds Diamonds.”  Max Webster, and this song in particular, was a great influence on the members of the Barenaked Ladies.

In November 2020, Mitchell released his 15th studio recording, The Big Fantasize, through El Mocambo Records, owned by Canadian entrepreneur Michael Wekerle.  The full new studio recording was produced by friend and Grammy Award-winning producer, Greg Wells (Keith Urban, Adele, Twenty One Pilots), and includes the single “WISHES” and “Best I Never Had” to be released July 16, 2o021, available on Spotify. The Big Fantasize is Mitchell’s first full-length recording since 2007’s Ain’t Life Amazing.

Following his induction, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame will recognize his songwriting accomplishments in the National Music Centre, located at Studio Bell, in Calgary. As the physical home of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the National Music Centre honours new inductees through on-site exhibitions, featuring stories, photos, artifacts, and memorabilia.

Words & Music is pleased to continue extending its helpful “how-to” series for our members, “The Breakdown,” into the realm of short, question-and-answer videos.

 In this episode, SOCAN A&R Representative Houtan Hodania asks Cheryl Link, the Senior Creative Director of peermusic Canada – winner of SOCAN’s Publisher of the Year Award in 2021 – “What are the most common mistakes and misconceptions for novice songwriters?” The answers include information about royalties funding retirement, and the importance of networking.

A crowd of SOCAN members gathered – online-only, for the second year in a row – to attend the SOCAN Annual General Meeting on June 13, 2021, to learn about SOCAN’s major achievements in 2020.

SOCAN Board of Directors President and Chair Marc Ouellette opened by briefly mentioning SOCAN’s continuing adaptations to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and its successful efforts to maintain regular royalty distributions. Ouellette noted that Jennifer Brown has now become the first woman to lead SOCAN as its new CEO;  congratulated the newly-elected SOCAN Board, which will serve our members at the helm of the organization for the 2021-2024 term; and discussed the work of the Board in 2020.

SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown spoke of SOCAN’s 2020 financial results – including a total of $349 million in royalty distributions, which is only a four percent decrease from 2019 (better than expected during the  pandemic); a total of $282 million of that in domestic revenue; an all-time high of $100 million of that in international revenue; royalties distributed on from more than 125 billion performances; and $11 million in reproduction rights revenue.  In 2020, SOCAN grew to more than 175,000 members, and a total of 178,288 new works (songs or compositions) were registered.

Brown mentioned that in adapting to the pandemic in 2020, SOCAN was the first performing rights organization in the world to pay royalties for online concerts, and was quick to create an emergency relief advance program.

As for SOCAN’s wholly-owned subsidiary companies, SOCAN Foundation Executive Director Charlie Andrews discussed how the Foundation also created a similar COVID relief fund, and established the Black Canadian Music Awards to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in our industry. The 2020 Executive Director of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF), Vanessa Thomas, reported more than 370 million cumulative media impressions for a series of televised CSHF broadcast inductions.

A lively question-and-answer session followed, for the approximately 220 members who attended the event.

For a more complete accounting of SOCAN’s activities in 2020, see our full Annual Report.