SOCAN would not be what it is today were it not for Gilles Valiquette, and that’s only one of the reasons why he was awarded the Special Achievement Award during the 30th SOCAN Awards Gala on Sept. 22, 2019, at Montréal’s La Tohu. Elected to the SOCAN Board of Directors in 1982, he stayed on as a Director until 2018, and was our President from 1998 to 2003. The prolific singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist was committed to the rights of music creators, and demonstrated this commitment by also sitting on the boards of SPACQ, SODRAC, and SODEC. With a dozen albums to his credit, the artist is also a producer, arranger, and founder of the Musitechnic school. He’s received five SOCAN Awards during his career, not to mention that his SOCAN Classic “Je suis cool” was inducted in the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011. SOCAN’s Eric Parazelli met with him prior to the gala, where he discussed the fight for the creators’ rights, the evolution of SOCAN, and the challenges ahead.