Poet and lyricist Claude Péloquin died last Sunday at the age of 76 in the palliative care unit of Marie-Clarac hospital in Montréal-North. He suffered from generalized cancer.

A singular poet, writer, screenwriter, director, and prolific lyricist, Claude Péloquin’s name is stamped indelibly on the great Québecois songbook. His most recognized work is undeniably “Lindberg,” which he co-wrote with Robert Charlebois, and for which he was honoured with SOCAN’s Cultural Impact Award at our 2017 Montréal Gala. Written in 1967, the song was like an earthquake, the aftershpocks of which are still being felt today – it was the beginning of the modern era of music in Québec. Péloquin and Charlebois would continue to collaborate frequently until the ’80s. He released five albums under his own name, notably Laissez​-​nous vous embrasser où vous avez mal, in 1972, alongside composer Jean Sauvageau, a cult album that included his classic “Monsieur l’indien,” a song in which his free, rebellious spirit shone through so brightly.

In 2013, Péloquin met singer-songwriter Yann Perreau and gave him a pile of lyrics, and carte blanche. The resulting album, À genoux dans le désir, saw Péloquin’s poetry married to Perreau’s music in a magnificent way. It was a meeting of two free creators from different generations, and SOCAN re-united them once more in 2017 on the red carpet of its Montréal Awards Gala. In this never-before-seen video interview, Péloquin and Perreau talk about “Lindberg,” their collaboration on À genoux dans le désir, and the importance of SOCAN in their careers.

SOCAN expresses its heartfelt condolences to Claude Péloquin’s family and friends.

SOCAN A&R Representative Racquel Villagante reached out to our members in Alberta with a week-long tour that connected them with us, and with each other.

On Nov. 13, Villagante drew a full house at a “SOCAN 101” information session at the ATB Financial (Alberta Treasury Branches) Branch for Arts & Culture in Edmonton, co-ordinated by Allison Myggland from Alberta Music. Attendee Mike Nash, from Edmonton band The Prairie States (who made the Top Three in Project Wild), was thrilled to learn about the SOCAN House in Nashville, and was also very interested in our song camps and song house events.

The next stop for a “SOCAN 101” was the Red Deer Memorial Centre, again co-ordinated by Myggland. Red Deer Arts Council members attended, in order to learn more about how we help to support music creators in their community. One of the songwriters who came out after teaching vocal lessons, Kayla Williams, said she was very grateful for info on how to claim royalties from live performances. After the presentation, Teresa Neuman from the council e-mailed Villagante to say, “The information presented was excellent, and we really appreciated the opportunity to host you and benefit from your expertise.”

The third and final info session was on Nov. 17 at the Alberta Electronic Music Conference (AEMCON), an annual event gathering artists, producers, DJs, and music industry people from all over the world. Our well-attended afternoon session was held in Studio Bell, at the National Music Centre in Calgary. One of the DJ/producers who attended, Tyler Martens of Stickybuds, called our Info Centre afterwards to say he was very appreciative of the learning experience. Calgary-based producer Jack Trades e-mailed to say he was “really excited to be working with SOCAN, and be a part of all the upcoming events and opportunities in the future.”

That night, Villagante attended the AEMCON-sponsored Beat Battle, hosted by 10at10. Thirty-two competitors showcased their production skills as they battled each other for a $1,000 prize. The winner was Creeasian, and first runner-up was Jon Mario of DayxNight, and all of the participating beat-makers enjoyed great support from organizers, judges, and fans.

After a strong week of SOCAN education and building new connections, SOCAN plans to continue supporting Alberta’s diverse, vibrant music scene.

The 13th annual edition of the Gala alternatif de la musique indépendante du Québec (GAMIQ) was held Nov. 25, 2018, at Montréal’s Café Campus. All told, 29 Lucien Awards – the trophy named in honour of the frontman of legendary band Aut’Chose, Lucien Francoeur – were presented during the event. The evening was also the occasion of a well-deserved homage to Grim Skunk, on the band’s 30th anniversary of making no-compromise rock music.

No artist came out on top in terms of their number of wins, because this year, the gala made a conscious effort to distribute the awards in a more targeted way. Among the most coveted awards, Milk & Bone won Artist of the Year, and rap duo Seba & Horg won Song of the Year for their hit “Vintage à l’os.” The Breakthrough Artist Award went to Les Louanges, the Pop Album of the Year was presented to Lydia Képinski’s Premier juin, and the Artist of the Year – Public Choice went to Fouki.

The evening was hosted by duo Sèxe Illégal, while the musical accompaniment was in the very eclectic hands of Crabe. As usual, several performances underscored Québec’s rich and  diverse independent music scene, including those by Random Recipe, Sonido PESAO, Donzelle, Alex Burger, K-Iri, L’amalgame, VICTIME, Marie-Gold, Silver Dapple, Robert Fusil et les chiens fous, Renard Blanc, Tu/Lips, and Of Course, who performed between the award presentations, which celebrate the vitality of Québec’s emerging music scene.

Here is the full list of award winners at the 13th annual GAMIQ:

Artist of the Year: Milk & Bone
Artist of the Year – Public Choice: Fouki
Pop Album of the Year: Lydia Képinski – Premier juin
Indie Rock Album of the Year: Mon Doux Saigneur – Mon Doux Saigneur
Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year: Eman X Vlooper – La Joie
Folk Album of the Year: Maude Audet – Comme une odeur de déclin
Rock Album of the Year: Keith Kouna – Bonsoir shérif
Electronic Album of the Year: Ouri – Ouri/Mind Bath
Pop EP of the Year: Rosie Valland – Synchro
Rap/Hip-Hop EP of the Year: Marie-Gold – Goal: Une mélodie
Indie Rock EP of the Year: Duu – Contre-Cycles
Folk EP of the Year: Helena Deland – Altogether Unaccompanied Vol. I & II
Rock EP of the Year: Fuudge – Man!
Electronic EP of the Year: Apashe – Requiem
Punk Album or EP of the Year: Oktoplut – Démon Normal
Metal Album or EP of the Year: Get the Shot – Infinite Punishment
Post-Rock/Post-Punk Album or EP of the Year: Victime – La femme-taupe
World Music Album or EP of the Year: Papagroove – The Hunt
Jazz Album or EP of the Year: Hugo Blouin – Charbonneau ou Les valeurs à’ bonne place, Volume 1
Experimental Album or EP of the Year: Martin Lizotte – Ubiquité
Artist of the Year: Milk & Bone
Concert of the Year: Grim Skunk
Breakout Artist of the Year: Les Louanges
Song of the Year: Vintage à l’os – Seba & Horg
Video of the Year: WD-40 – La Forêt
Album Illustration of the Year: Poni  – Album complet
Radio Station of the Year: CISM
Venue of the Year: Quai des Brumes – Montréal
Digital Media of the Year: Ecoutedonc.ca
Festival of the Year La noce – Saguenay
Homage 2018: Grim Skunk