Six SOCAN members were among 135 appointments to the Order of Canada on Dec. 29, 2021, for their achievements as Canadian musicians and composers.

Appointed as companions of the Order of Canada were:

  • Liona Boyd, for her significant and sustained contributions to Canada’s musical landscape as “The First Lady of Guitar.”
  • Ian Tamblyn, for his enduring contributions as a folk music icon, adventurer, and cultural ambassador for Canada.

Appointed as members were:

  • John Estacio, for his expertise as a composer and for his contributions to Canadian opera.
  • Yves Lambert, for his role in the revival, modernization and promotion of traditional French-Canadian music.
  • Andrew Paul MacDonald, for his contributions to contemporary Canadian classical, jazz, and electronic music, as an educator, composer and performer.
  • Reg Schwager, for his indelible contributions to the Canadian jazz scene as a leading guitarist and composer.

Though not a SOCAN member, Jackie Richardson was appointed as an honourary member of the Order of Canada, for her contributions as a Canadian jazz legend, and as a leader and mentor to young performers in her community.

Duff Roman, also not a SOCAN member, was appointed as a member of the Order, for his contributions to the Canadian music industry as a broadcaster and executive, and for his steadfast promotion of Canadian talent.

All of the above will be inducted into the Order of Canada during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, to be  scheduled once public health measures allow.

SOCAN congratulate all of these appointees on this great achievement!

SOCAN is grieving the loss of Terry McManus, best known as the leading founder of the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC), on Dec. 18, 2021, at the age of 75. Though McManus spent much of his life in the Canadian music ecosystem as a SOCAN member songwriter, at one point specializing in children’s’ songs, he also became an artist manager, representing The Birthday Massacre, “Survivorman” Les Stroud, and JoJo Worthington, and mentoring hit Nashville singer-songwriter Deric Ruttan. As an educator, he taught Music Industry Arts at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, for 40 years, and also online at Algonquin College. And he wrote a self-published book, Husband Father Brother Son, about men and their relationships.

In the mid-1980s, a group of songwriters led by McManus were concerned with the degree of participation that members of the profession were having in the music industry, and so – with the help of lawyer Stephen Stohn, and esteemed songwriters like Eddie Schwartz and Rich Dodson – he led the founding of the Songwriters Association of Canada (then under the name Canadian Songwriters Association). The organization quickly established an industry presence, and ever since, has nurtured aspiring songwriters via workshops, song assessments, demo evaluations, the creation of a Canadian Song Depository (now the Song Vault), a Canadian copyright registration service,  the Bluebird North songwriter circle series, and more.

In 1970, McManus began working for the Ontario Arts Council as a music officer, co-ordinating their new pop music program, setting up mobile recordings for little-known acts across Ontario, and organizing the first rock concert at Toronto’s Ontario Place Forum.

As an artist, the first two songs he recorded were “Sunshower in the Spring” and “Gimme a Hand.” The former was a single, released in 1971, which did well on the Canadian charts, as did the follow-ups “Carolyn” and “Love is Wine” in 1972 – and all three singles went to No. 1 in the Canadian Prairies. In late 1972, jazz musician Tommy Banks signed McManus as a solo artist, and appointed him the A&R director of his new record company, Century II, in Edmonton, where he worked with a number of acts, including Roy Forbes (aka Bim). McManus began to expand his writing in order to include the work of jazz musicians Banks, Earl Seymour, and Lenny Breau into his recordings.

Ultimately, McManus moved to London, Ontario, to teach in the then-new Music Industry Arts Program at Fanshawe College. Although he was teaching full-time, he continued to write, trying his hand at children’s songs; the result was an album, Scrub-A-Dub U, on Raffi’s label Treble Clef in 1978, and several songs on Fred Penner’s TV show, starting in the mid-‘80s. In 1981 McManus was asked by London promoter Don Jones to perform an opening set of material to entertain children at Mr. Dressup appearances, and they began writing songs together, resulting in the 1982 album Wake Up Mr. Dressup with Friend Terry McManus. By 1985 Access TV in Calgary approached McManus to write material for their kids’ show The Magic Ring, which resulted in 81 songs being used in 39 shows from 1985-1991.

In the 1990s, McManus began writing essays about men and their relationships, many of which were published in The Globe & Mail. That led to a self-published book, Husband Father Brother Son. Eventually the editors of the Chicken Soup book series requested one of his essays about marriage for their Chicken Soup; Divorce and Recovery book.

In 2000 McManus wrote, recorded and released a musical tribute to John Lennon called “Missing John,” which reviewed as “one of the best Beatle tribute songs ever recorded.” In the early 2000s, McManus started to compile his extensive music industry experience into an educational text for Fanshawe College students, The Canadian Music Industry Primer. The book has now been adopted by Algonquin College for its Music Industry Arts Course and endorsed by several Canadian music organizations.

In 2007 McManus began managing industrial/goth band The Birthday Massacre, who became one of the top bands of their genre in the world. They’ve toured North America, Europe, Australia, and Russia, and in 2009, won the Virgin Mobile Book the Band Contest with more than 270,000 worldwide votes.

SOCAN extends its deepest condolences to McManus’ wife Irene; children Teevan, Johanna, and Anthony; grandchildren Benjamin, Stella, and Lucy; and his extended family, friends, and fans. The McManus family has created a scholarship/bursary in Terry’s name, for a student in the Music Industry Arts program at Fanshawe College. To contribute, please visit

SOCAN is mourning the loss of Ottawa-based singer-songwriter and longtime SOCAN member Les Emmerson, whose hippie/anti-establishment anthem “Signs” became a staple of 1970s rock radio, and then Classic Rock radio for several generations. The leader of The Five Man Electrical Band had contracted COVID-19, and died in hospital on Dec. 10, at the age of 77. He was reportedly double-vaccinated, but had underlying health issues.

Over the years, Emmerson earned three SOCAN Classics Awards, signifying more than 100,000 radio airplays, for “Absolutely Right,” “I’m a Stranger Here,” and “Signs,” the last of which was also inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Emmerson began his music career in 1965 when he joined the Staccatos, who scored a few hits with “Small Town Girl” and “Half Past Midnight,” but never broke through to a mass audience – despite once playing for Queen Elizabeth and 20,000 people at Lansdowne Park on Canada Day in 1967. The following year, the band was recruited by Coca-Cola to split a promotional album, A Wild Pair, with The Guess Who. (It was mailed free to any customers who sent in enough proof of purchases.)

The Staccatos underwent a name change to Five Man Electrical Band as they moved from pop to rock. “Signs,” originally a four-minute B-side to a single, would be the song that, slowly but surely, broke them in the U.S. A shorter, three-minute version hit first in Detroit in 1971, then kept spreading like wildfire. “Signs” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard singles chart, and sold more than 1.5 million copies.

The song was re-worked on American rock band Tesla’s live album Five Man Acoustical Jam, giving the group one of its biggest hits. Electronic producer Fatboy Slim also sampled the song to create his 2005 single “Don’t Let the Man Get You Down.” With the “Signs” being aired in regular rotation, to this day, on Classic Rock radio stations, the royalties never stopped. “If all I’d ever done in life was write this one song, I’d have a very nice living,” Emmerson told The Ottawa Sun in 2004.

The Five Man Electrical Band enjoyed sustained success in Canada in the early ‘70s, with hit songs on the radio, like “Absolutely Right” (1971, chart peak No. 3), “Money Back Guarantee” (1972, chart peak No. 17), “I’m a Stranger Here” (1972, chart peak No. 2) and “Werewolf” (1974, chart peak No. 28). Emmerson started his solo career while still a member of band. His first solo hit, 1972’s “Control Of Me,” reached No. 5 in early 1973, and the follow-up, “Cry Your Eyes Out,” reached  the Top 20 later that year. In 1975, the band broke up, and Emmerson’s only solo single after that was 1977’s “Borderline.”

He would later reunite with some bandmates, playing annual fundraisers for an Ottawa pediatric children’s hospital. Emmerson also re-recorded “Signs” with a lineup of Canadian musicians, and recorded “Signs4Change” to support Friends of the Earth Canada, and raise awareness for climate change.

SOCAN offers its heartfelt condolences to his wife of 34 years, Monik Emmerson; daughter Kristina Emmerson-Barrett; and Emmerson’s extended family, friends, and fans.