Singer-songwriter, recording artist, screen composer, and classical composer Sarah Slean has joined SOCAN’s Board of Directors, after a seat was vacated by the departure of Damhnait Doyle, who decided that a new career opportunity would not allow her enough time to fulfill her duties.
Slean is a four-time JUNO and two-time Gemini Award nominee, who’s written and released 11 albums in more than 10 countries as a songwriter and recording artist, but the most unique aspect of her artistry is its breadth.

Over her 25-year career, she’s performed internationally with world-renowned artists such as Rufus Wainwright, Alanis Morrisette and Feist; shared the stage with dozens of professional orchestras; composed award-winning chamber music; written orchestral arrangements for Dan Mangan, James Ehnes and Hawksley Workman; scored music for the screen (Hospital ShowUndeniably Young); created songs for television (CTV’s Cardinal); and is currently working on the stage adaptation of the Canadian Screen Award-winning film Maudie.

She’s a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Composing Residency, and her TV work includes the second season of Detention Adventure for CBC/HBO (alongside Ari Posner and Amin Bhatia), for which they earned a Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Music, Fiction. Her most recent recognition was a JUNO Award nomination for the Best Classical Album: Choral or Vocal.

“SOCAN is arguably the most important music organization in this country, and I’m truly excited to join the board at such a pivotal moment in its evolution,” said Slean. “As a lifelong artist with 25 years’ experience in a variety of musical worlds, I hope to bring a unique and artist-focused perspective to the work ahead. Over those 25 years, I experienced the total digital transformation of the music ecosystem in real time, but no matter how swiftly the tech changes, artists are, and will always be the lifeblood of our industry. I’m passionate about helping SOCAN develop new and better ways to serve them. I look forward to collaborating with my excellent colleagues on the board and thank the voting members for their trust.”

Slean’s appointment was a result of the most recent SOCAN Board election results, and in accordance with the company’s bylaws.

“It’s been an honour to serve Canadian songwriters and their concerns the last three-and-a-half years,” said Doyle. “I’m departing the board to join the CBC Music team, and as sad as I am to leave SOCAN, I’m thrilled that Sarah Slean is joining. I know she’ll be an excellent addition to the board. I also have enormous faith in SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown, and her vision for the future of the company. SOCAN’s future is bright.”

Said SOCAN Board of Directors President Marc Ouellette, “Despite her departure, SOCAN’s Board colleagues are both delighted with the new career opportunities that are taking place for Damnhait, and also very pleased and motivated to welcome renowned songwriter Sarah Slean into their ranks.”

SOCAN member Klô Pelgag kept to her skyrocketing trajectory by winning her second Songwriter of the Year award, in addition to the trophy for the Online Show of the Year – Francophone – which, in addition to the awards she won during the Premier Gala, brought her total to six This makes her the only other artist to win six “artistic” trophies in a single year, alongside Céline Dion. When adding the “industry” honours as well, she earned a total of 13 Félix Awards in 2021!

Paroles & Musique Editor Eric Parazelli interviewed her on the day after the 2021 ADISQ Gala, that was topped by the kind of colourful and daring performance that only Pelgag can deliver. He asked her about her relationship to awards, the pandemic, teamwork, self-confidence, commercial radio, and the importance of social conscience, of which she reminded the gala audience during her acceptance speech.

CRi, ADISQ 2021


It was almost back to business as usual on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, when the Gala de l’ADISQ was presented before a live audience in Montréal’s Place des Arts. SOCAN member Klô Pelgag continued her skyrocketing trajectory by winning her second Songwriter of the Year award, and the trophy for the Online Show of the Year – Francophone, which, in addition to the awards she won during the Premier Gala, brought her total to six. That makes her the only other artist to win six “artistic” trophies in a single year, alongside Céline Dion.

Roxane Bruneau also won two honours, Song of the Year for “À ma manière” (co-written with Mathieu Brisset and published by Les Éditions Musique Variole enr.) and Female Artist of the Year, for a total of four awards in both galas.

One big surprise was the victory of CRi as Breakout Artist of the Year category, making him the first electronic music artist to win in that category. FouKi also defied all expectations by winning the Male Artist of the Year Award, while veteran rapper Connaisseur Ticaso won for Rap Album of the Year, his first Félix, but he wasn’t on hand to receive it.

Many were also surprised to see Alex Burger win Country Album of the Year for Sweet Montérégie, ahead of established artists like Irvin Blais and relative newcomers Émilie Daraîche and Léa Jarry. This award marks Burger’s arrival in the Québec country community with a bang, after being mostly known for his work in the rock realm, so far.

Louis-Jean Cormier, ADISQ 2021

Louis-Jean Cormier

Louis-Jean Cormier won the Album of the Year – Adult Contemporary award for Le ciel est au plancher, while veteran Daniel Bélanger won in the Instrumental Album of the Year category for Travelling. One victory that wasn’t a surprise was that of Cowboys Fringants in the Group of the Year category.

The gala offered viewers many wonderful performances by SOCAN members Alex Burger, Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà, Charlotte Cardin, CRi, Damien Robitaille, David Goudreault, Dominique Fils-Aimé, Élage Diouf, FouKi, Guylaine Tanguay, Irvin Blais, Klô Pelgag, Léa Jarry, Roxane Bruneau, Scott-Pien Picard, Simon Leoza, and Vincent Vallières.

For a complete list of winners, visit the ADISQ website.