Margaret McGuffin has been promoted to the position of CEO of Music Publishers Canada (MPC), effective immediately.

McGuffin has spent five years at MPC, and has served as its Executive Director, after previously spending three years at the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) in several Vice Presidential capacities.

The MPC has consistently advocated the federal government for the rights of its music publishers, who  represent, and invest in, thousands of Canadian songs and songwriters, heard daily on radio, streaming services, in videogames, and in film, television, and other screen productions, worldwide. The organization has pursued the modernization of the Copyright Act, and a review of CRTC Commercial radio policy.

At MPC, McGuffin has overseen the launch of new programs, including the Women in the Studio National Accelerator, Music Publishing 101 training, the Meet the Music Supervisors series, the annual Music Tech Summit, and the CREATE trade missions and song camps.

“The Board of MPC would like to acknowledge the important work Margaret is doing on behalf of our music publisher members and the music publishing community as a whole, especially in the area of advocacy,” said Board Chairman Vince Degiorgio in making the announcement.

“I would like to thank my team and the MPC Board of Directors for their support and their vision for the future of music publishing in Canada,” said McGuffin in a statement.

McGuffin has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario, and an MBA in Arts and Media Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University.


There’s been a sudden, widespread proliferation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the music industry in February and March of 2021, so here’s a short guide to explain how they work.

NFTs are a way to sell a unique piece of music (or a painting, photo, graphic, collage, video, piece of writing, or anything else, it seems), exclusively to one person, or one small set of people, via a non-fungible token –  which is intrinsically linked to the original work. In essence, the buyer is purchases ownership of a data file that contains the music (or other work of art) in a unique transaction. The back end is controlled by blockchain technology – a kind of digital ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently, verifiably, and permanently.

The only way to buy NFTs now is with a cryptocurrency called Ethereum. Once the artist approves the sale, the Ethereum token is deposited in their digital “wallet,” and can then be transferred into their bank account, and withdrawn as actual money. The combination of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency makes buying an NFT very secure. Once the buyer, or small group of buyers (usually fans of the artist), has purchased the item, the only way for anybody else to obtain it is if a buyer re-sells.

There’s usually still a “middleperson” with NFTs, as the artist sells to the fan through a company, which usually takes a percentage for facilitating the transaction, and a fee for the energy required to create the token. But there can also be less need in the transaction for other typical music industry professionals; record companies, streaming services, digital service providers, agents, managers, publicists, promoters, venues, and so on, might all be left out.

There’s a lot of money to be made with NFTs. Often, the sale is done by auction, which drives up the price for in-demand recording artists. One globally popular Canadian musician auctioned off a video-art piece with a song demo for about $490,000 CAD. Kings of Leon made more than $2.5 million CAD in NFT sales of various exclusive versions of, spin-offs from, and merch for, their current album When You See Yourself. It’s not unlike crowd-funding or Patreon perks, with different products offered by artists to their fans at different prices, or levels of funding; but with NFTs, the sale is only to one fan, or very small, exclusive groups of fans, either once, or in very limited-edition numbers.

And the money can be made multiple times. Because the artists set the terms of the sale, they can dictate the percentage they receive of all future sales of the product, no matter how many times it’s re-sold. So, for example. If whoever bought that Canadian musician’s video-art piece for $490,000 CAD re-sells it for, say, $800,000 CAD, and the musician has established, say, a 20 percent share of future sales, they’ll receive another $160,000 CAD when it’s re-sold. And it might be re-sold many times.

But, according to the eternal laws of supply and demand, in order to drive up the price of the NFTs via auction, or set a high initial price for them, the demand already has to be there. So if a musician draws hundreds of fans rather than hundreds of thousands, or casual listeners rather than hardcore fanatics, they might not make more money from NFTs than from crowd-funding or Patreon offers.

The major, current  drawback to NFTs is that the energy used – referred to as “mining” – for Ethereum is bad for the climate. From Time magazine, March 18, 2021: “Critics say the mining that makes NFTs possible is perhaps humanity’s most direct way of making money by polluting the planet – Ethereum mining consumes about 26.5 terawatt-hours of electricity a year, nearly as much as the entire country of Ireland and its almost five million residents.” But that may improve over time with new advances in technology, so the problem might eventually be solved.

Currently, the buzz around NFTs seems driven more by their money-making potential than their intrinsic musical value. Some say they’re the future of the music industry, some say they’re a fad. Only time will tell for sure.

The Artists and Repertoire team plays a crucial role at SOCAN. Sara Dendane has been added to the team as its Executive in our Montréal office, to continue the team’s efforts to recruit, retain, and re-patriate our songwriter, composer, and music publisher members. Sara fills the position left vacant by Widney Bonfils.

Dendane will develop and maintain creative and business relationships with established and emerging music creators and key players in the French and English music community in Québec and Canada. She will also play an important role in the recruitment and retention of all SOCAN members by participating in music business training, while actively working to create opportunities to connect our members with each other, and with the rest of the industry and publishers.

“I’m deeply motivated to bring talent to light, and find the means that match their ambition,” said Dendane as she began her new responsibilities. “So I’m thrilled to join the SOCAN team and be able to support creators and professionals, whether it’s helping them de-mystify the basics, or connecting them with the right people and opportunities to help them make magic.

“Today’s talent will be tomorrow’s history, and I’m delighted to continue the work of Guillaume Moffet and Widney Bonfils. I look forward to helping create a culturally innovative future, in a spirit of empowerment that cultivates diversity and inclusion. A future that resembles us, but above all, that brings us together.”

Prior to working for SOCAN, Dendane was a Manager and A&R Executive for the independent label Indica Records, supporting the careers of talented musicians and bands like Half Moon Run, Hein Cooper, Metric, and VALAIRE. As Marketing and Sponsorship Director for concert promoter [co]motion, she led the marketing and branding for LVL UP, a hip-hop and digital arts festival that attracted 22,000 spectators in its first year in Laval.

In addition to having her finger on the pulse of Québec’s emerging music scene, Dendane has an intimate knowledge of the Francophone market, and a vast network of contacts in the music community. She’s also co-founder of the Montréal chapter of Women in Music, a non-profit organization that aims to advance the equality and diversity of women in the musical arts, and is co-chair of the Francophone Music Advisory Committee for CARAS and the JUNO Awards.

Dendane’s flair for discovering new music and her commitment to the development of emerging talent, as well as her proven ability to build relationships and connections with various stakeholders in the music ecosystem, are just some of the qualities that earned her the position of A&R Executive in Montréal.

You can reach Sara at