SOCAN is on the scene at the 2024 edition of Canadian Music Week (CMW) conference, June 1-8, at the Westin Harbour Castle hotel on Toronto’s waterfront. Below is a summary of sound advice and useful information gleaned from CMW panels on Tuesday, June 4.

Syncing Media: Navigating the Future of Music Synchronization
Moderator Mark Frieser, of Sync Summit/Sync Exchange, said that music supervisors are very risk-averse, and don’t want to spend time trying to find out where and how to contact all the rightsholders of a song, so songwriters need to have all of the share splits on their songs resolved when they write. Tim Burnett, of Heavy Hitters Music, said that with the rise of audiovisual streaming services, “Demand for music is skyrocketing, but budgets are getting smaller.” He also talked about the importance of back-end royalties that come after a TV show that includes your music is aired: “If you get an up-front payment of, say, $10,000, you can make two or three times that on the back end… The great part about the sync business is that your song has a life beyond its initial release period.”  Amelia McCloskey, of AM Licensing, advised sync-aspiring songwriters to “think global, think big… ride through the challenges and stay true to your passions.” Gabi Henriques, of Ultra Publishing / Helix Records agreed, adding, “If you have your artistic vision, run with it.” Said Steven Scharf, of Steven Scharf Entertainment, “It’s really about the right song with the right fit” for a screen production. Songwriter Justin Gray, of Songistry, said, “If you’re resilient, tenacious, and patient, you’ll be OK. Real creators [of movies]  appreciate other real creators [of music].”

Meet the  Music Supervisors
Prompted by moderator Janet Baker, of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, about what songwriters need to do to get their work into screen productions, Atlanta-based Celeste Debro, of Creative Control, said, “It’s very important to have the song information correct for music supervisors, so they can easily contact the rightsholders to license the song… Make sure you know every single person on the song, and can get in touch with them.” Susan Jacobs, of Supervision LLC, agreed, adding, “these things move really fast sometimes,” so the song has to be easy and ready to use, or music supervisors will move on to another one. Jacobs and Baker discussed how some songwriters, and especially the estates of deceased songwriters, refuse to license certain of their songs, especially if they were written for personal reasons. Valerie Biggin, of The Song Rep Music Supervision, said that she’s seen some producers who are attached to using a particular song write personal letters, or make personal phone calls, to the songwriters to turn that “no” into a “yes.” Ela Tengirsek, of Ela Music Supervision, said that her main way of discovering new music to use is by going to a lot of live gigs by lower-profile acts. Although some of the participants don’t accept unsolicited song submissions, the ones that do said the best way to pitch them is via e-mail, with a short intro, and a sample of three to five songs that can be downloaded – but not on any platform where the link expires after a given time period (such as WeTransfer).

The 2024 Canadian Sync Awards
The Canadian Sync Awards celebrate the craft of music supervision in filmed media in Canada. The 2024 edition took place on June 3, 2024, at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. The winners were:

The Huey Award
Alexandra Rimmington

The GMSC Impact Award
Patrick Watson

Best Sync – Soundtrack, Feature Film or Documentary Film
Music Supervisor: Everton Lewis, Jr.

Best Sync – Soundtrack, Episodic Series (Drama)
Heartland (Season 17)
Music Supervisor: Andrea Higgins

Best Sync – Soundtrack, Episodic Series (Comedy)
Bria Mack Gets A Life (Season 1)
Music Supervisors: Everton Lewis, Jr., Cody Partridge

Best Sync – Scene, Feature Film or Documentary Film
Sympathy For The Devil
“I Love The Night Life (Disco Round)” by Alicia Bridges
Music Supervisor: Cody Partridge

Best Sync – Scene, Episodic Series
Robyn Hood (Ep. 101)
“Crying” by Begonia
Music Supervisors: Heather Gardner, Telan Wong, Gavin Alexander

Best Sync – Commercial / Advertisement
iPhone 14 – Action Mode
“Get Out My Way” by Tedashii
Music Supervisor: Everton Lewis, Jr.

Best Sync – Sports Program / Sports Promo
2023 IIHF World Jrs. – Canada vs Germany
“Take A Chance On Me” by ABBA
Music Supervisor: Cody Partridge

Best Sync – Soundtrack, TV Movie
A Scottish Love Scheme
Music Supervisor: Heather Gardner

Best Sync – Soundtrack, Short Film or Short Form Episodic Series
The Tweetations Revue
Music Supervisor: Everton Lewis, Jr.

Best Sync – Interactive (Video Game / App / VR)
Dead By Daylight
“Fear Of The Dark” by Iron Maiden
Music Supervisor: Jean-Frédéric Vachon

Sync Artist or Songwriter of the Year

Best Sync Team – Sync Agency
The Greater Goods Co.

Best Sync Team – Indie Record Label
Arts & Crafts Productions Inc.

Best Sync Team – Major Record Label
Universal Music Canada

Best Sync Team – Indie Music Publisher
Third Side Music

Best Sync Team – Major Music Publisher
Universal Music Publishing Group Canada