SOCAN members gathered at the Newmont Stage of the BMO Theatre Centre in Vancouver, joined by more online, to attend the first hybrid SOCAN Annual General Meeting on June 26, 2023, and learn about SOCAN’s major achievements in 2022. With the theme of “Back to Live,” the event was also streamed live in both English and French, for members who couldn’t attend in person.

Logan Staats, SOCAN, AGM, 2023

Logan Staats

After SOCAN Creative Executive, West Coast, Racquel Villagante introduced him, Mohawk singer-songwriter Logan Staats offered a powerful, emotional opening performance of his song “Deadman.” SOCAN Board of Directors President and Chair Marc Ouellette then reported on various milestones for the organization, including SOCAN’s thorough review of its governance.

SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown spoke of SOCAN’s 2022 financial record-setting results – including total royalty collections of a record $484 million, a 16% increase from 2021;  a record $110 million of that in international revenue; $363 million distributed to music creators and publishers, including royalties processed from more than 160 billion performances; and the fact that digital distributions now represent nearly 44% of total distribution.

SOCAN Chief Financial Officer Rob Bennett discussed SOCAN’s domestic revenue of $374 million in performing and reproduction rights in 2022, a 21% increase from 2021, which he credited to the strong return to live performance, and the continuing growth of digital revenue. He also said that reproduction rights revenue for 2022 was $15 million, which is 37% higher than the anticipated target.

There was a vote to amend the SOCAN bylaws so that the Board of Directors includes one more seat at the table for a screen composer, one less seat for a composer of new classical music, and removal of the seat for a publisher of new classical music – which was passed. SOCAN also held a conversation about creating the position of an ombudsperson (or similar conflict resolution mechanism for members) – as proposed by Québec music publisher David Murphy, who spoke to the audience in support of the the ombudsperson option.

Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of the SOCAN Foundation, talked about how in 2022 the organization started its new Indigenous Song Camp, and continued its Equity X Production  Mentorship Program for female-identifying producers, Black Canadian Music Awards, Her Music Awards for mid-career female-identifying artists, and TD Incubator for Creative Entrepreneurship.

Nick Fedor, Director of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF), spoke about celebrating the careers of music creators like Alanis Morrisette, Daniel Lavoie, David Foster, Sylvain Lelièvre, and many more, especially at the 2022 CSHF Gala at Massey Hall in Toronto. He also reported the great success of a new initiative, Song & Score Week.

Bill Henderson, Chilliwack, SOCAN, AGM, 2023

Bill Henderson

SOCAN Chief Membership Officer Jean-Christian Céré talked about seeking new staff who share SOCAN’s desire to improve the experience of its members. Membership department highlights for 2022 include further developing of SOCAN Academy, adopting a CISAC standardized cue sheet to better track on-screen music uses, collecting royalties on music used in TV commercials for the first time, and improving the online application processes.

A lively question-and-answer session followed, and as a finale, Bill Henderson was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Henderson was presented with the honour, and – with his longtime band Chilliwack – delivered a captivating closing performance of their songs, “I Believe,” “My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone),” “Alright,” and “Fly at Night.”

At the post-AGM reception, attending members connected with both SOCAN staff and each other, over drinks and hors d’œuvres.

For a more complete accounting of SOCAN’s finances and activities in 2022, see our online Annual Report.