Critically acclaimed Atikamekw singer-songwriter Laura Niquay, from Trois-Rivières, QC, has earned the 2021 SOCAN Foundation TD Indigenous Songwriter Award. Niquay is being honoured for her songs “Moteskano and “Nikto Kicko,” works that offer a view into her energized folk-grunge universe.

Created in 2018, The SOCAN Foundation TD Indigenous Songwriter Award was created to recognize and celebrate the artistic merit demonstrated by Indigenous songwriters of any genre. Niquay will receive a cash prize of $10,000, in addition to opportunities and efforts toward her career development. In addition, the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC) and Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ) are offering a one-year complimentary membership to their organization for the Grand Prize winner.

Special distinction awards of $1,000 are also being made to Anyma, LJ Tyson, Shane Ghostkeeper, Kristi Sinclair and Jayli Wolf, to recognize their works.

“The Indigenous Songwriter Award recognizes artistic excellence in songwriting achieved by an indigenous music creator in Canada, and we’re proud to collaborate with TD to celebrate Laura Niquay,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of SOCAN Foundation. “The award is a significant part of our ongoing, mutual efforts with TD to foster, celebrate, and create opportunities for Indigenous music creators.”

Hundreds of applications from artists across Canada, covering a wide variety of musical genres, were submitted for consideration, and winners were selected by a jury and advisory council of prominent Indigenous artists and industry leaders. including those of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit heritage. This special Award is made possible with the support of TD Bank Group.

“Congratulations to Laura Niquay for being the recipient of the TD Indigenous Songwriter Award,” said Uma Venkataramaiah, Senior Manager, Philanthropy (Canada), Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. “We’re so proud to continue collaborating with the SOCAN Foundation, and honouring the musical and cultural contributions of artists from the Indigenous community. Through the TD Ready Commitment, we seek to highlight emerging artists as they navigate their careers.”

Since childhood, Laura Niquay was nourished by her family’s classical guitar sounds in the small community of Wemotaci in Trois-Rivières, QC. The time soon came when Laura, too, picked up a guitar to compose her own songs. She stands out by singing in her native language, Atikamekw, with an incomparable voice.

Critically acclaimed, her latest album was finely crafted over several years with sidekick Simon Walls, as well as production by the team at Musique Nomade. The result is a multi-layered, luminous, and complex opus. With collaborations from Shauit, Anachnid (2019 SOCAN Foundation TD Indigenous Songwriter Award Winner), RedTails Spirit Singers, Gotta Lago, Eadsé, Kanen, and Soleil Launière, the diversity of Indigenous voices shines through.

“I draw my strength from my roots and the teachings of my mother and other elders,” says Niquay. “With my music, I want to encourage the Atikamekw and other members of Indigenous communities to be proud of who they are, and to walk in the path of their ancestors. For me, the promotion of the Atikamekw language is very important for the transmission of language to the younger generations, but also for the awareness of the non-native public. I’m honoured to be recognized with this Award. Thank you to SOCAN Foundation and TD, and congratulations to all the artists being recognized for their amazing works.”

On July 7 (today), at 6:00 p.m. ET, all SOCAN Foundation TD Indigenous Songwriter Award recipients will be honoured on a special edition of The Kim Wheeler Show on SiriusXM’s The Indigiverse, Channel 165. Listeners will learn more about all the recipients from across Canada, hear their music, and there will be several special guests. The show will also re-air on July 8 at 4:00 p.m. ET, July 9 at 12 noon ET, July 10 at 7:00 p.m. ET, or anytime on your SiriusXM App.

Are you a live music worker? If so, you may be eligible to apply for the Unison Fund’s Live Music Workers Fund!

The Government of Canada, through the Department of Canadian Heritage, has awarded the Unison Fund almost $16.9 million to distribute to live music workers. Three other national organizations (Fondation des Artistes, The Actors Fund of Canada, and the Canadian Dance Assembly) also received funding to distribute to other live performing arts communities.

Unison has built a new online application portal to distribute this new funding stream, and is ready to accept applications from July 6, 2022, until March 31, 2023.

All qualified applicants – independent and self-employed workers in the live music sector – will receive a one-time payment of $2,500 through the funding stream Live Music Workers Fund, to support themselves and their families with basic living expenses, such as groceries, shelter (rent), and medical expenses.

All eligible applicants must be:

  • Individuals who’ve worked primarily in the live music industry for at least two consecutive years.
  • Individuals who are self-employed or independent workers (i.e., not in a salaried position).
  • Individuals who’ve earned at least 55% of their income from the Canadian music industry.

Live Music Occupations may include:

  • Artist
  • Artist Manager or Management Company
  • Booking Agent
  • Composer
  • Concert Photographer
  • Concert Recording Engineer
  • Consultant
  • DJ
  • Event Production/Festival
  • Marketing/Communications
  • Merchandiser
  • Musician
  • Production Company
  • Promoter
  • Publisher
  • Publicist/Public Relations/Media
  • Retailer (Instruments and Supplies)
  • Songwriter
  • Stagehand/Roadie
  • Talent Buyer
  • Technician
  • Tour Management/Operator
  • Venue
  • Video

To start the application process, apply – or register to apply – now at

He’s been hailed as one of Canada’s most culturally conscious singer-songwriters of the ‘70s, but Murray McLauchlan’s sympathetic portraits of ordinary folk have appealed to our social conscience for more than five decades.  So the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) is pleased to induct Murray McLauchlan, composer of more than 35 hit singles, including the SOCAN Classics “Farmer’s Song,” “Down by the Henry Moore,” and “Try Walkin’ Away.”

Marking its first in-person induction ceremony since the pandemic began, the Hall of Fame is partnering with the Mariposa Folk Festival to recognize McLauchlan on Saturday, July 9, 2022 on the Festival’s main stage.  Since 2018, the CSHF began partnering with music events and festivals across the country to connect with fans and celebrate songs and songwriters.  McLauchlan will be officially inducted at Mariposa by longtime friend and CSHF Inductee Gordon Lightfoot< and honoured with a special tribute performance by Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.

“I’m honoured to join my respected friends Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, and so many others in the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame,” says McLauchlan.

The 2022 Mariposa Folk Festival takes place July 8-10 in J.D. Tudhope Memorial Park, Orillia, Ontario. Tickets are available at

Murray McLauchlan was born in Scotland, and raised in Toronto, where he studied art and began singing in coffeehouses at age 17. He frequented Yorkville club The Riverboat, a hub for the folk-rock music scene in the early ‘70s, where fellow singer-songwriters Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, and other Canadian icons would play; it was also a favourite tour stop for American artists including Simon and Garfunkel, and folksinger Tom Rush.  McLauchlan would play his bittersweet compositions “Old Man’s Song” and “Child’s Song” on the back steps of The Riverboat for Tom Rush, who became the first artist to record one of his insightful songs. “Child’s Song” was recorded by Tom Rush in 1970, and would later garner McLauchlan three JUNO Awards for Folk Single, Country Single, and Songwriter of the Year.

In 1971, McLauchlan signed with True North Records and recorded his debut album, Song from the Street, that reached Top 40 in Canada.  His first Top 10 single came from “The Farmer’s Song,” which drew attention to the industrial forces decimating family farms, while earning him his first JUNO Awards for Best Songwriter, Folk Single, and Country Single. His follow up album Sweeping the Spotlight Away earned him a JUNO for Best Country Vocalist; and his homage to Toronto, “Down by the Henry Moore,” became his first No. 1 hit to cross over to both pop and country charts.

McLauchlan’s first Gold record came with the 1976 album Boulevard, which included the hit single “On the Boulevard.”  Through the 1980s, McLauchlan enjoyed further success with hit singles like “Do You Dream of Being Somebody?,” “Somebody’s Long Lonely Night,” “Little Dreamer,” and “Never Did Like That Train.” He rounded out the decade with the anthem “If the Wind Could Blow My Troubles Away,” participation in “Tears Are Not Enough,” and his JUNO-nominated album Swingin’ on a Star.

His most recent endeavours include his 2012 hit albums Human Writes and Love Can’t Tell Time, while 2021’s Hourglass has made numerous Top 10 lists in Canada, the U.S., and throughout the world. He has won 11 JUNO Awards throughout his esteemed career, and is among the Top 20 most-winning JUNO artists of all time.

McLauchlan’s songwriting, whether in his earlier narrative style or his later impressionistic one, has definite grassroots appeal. And the visual sense he developed while studying art as a youth still inspires his songwriting: “I always try to write visually, to put someone into their context,” he explains.

His love for songwriting and art came together in 2021’s “A Thomson Day,” a tribute to the work of Group of Seven painter Tom Thomson that resulted in a collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Recently, “Child’s Song” was featured in the hit NBC TV show This Is Us; and Widespread Panic recorded a hit rock cover of McLauchlan’s dark ode “Honky Red.”  Others to cover McLauchlan’s work over the decades include Bonnie Dobson, John McDermott, Renée Claude, David Wiffen, George Hamilton IV, Waylon Jennings, Kathy Mattea, David Bromberg, The Ennis Sisters, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, R. Harlan Smith, Walter Ostanek, Bob Neuwirth, 3’s a Crowd, Melanie Safka, and Junkhouse.