SOCAN’s CEO and executives were on the scene throughout Canadian Music Week, June 6-11, 2022, participating in three of the conference panel discussions at the InterContinental Hotel on Front Street in downtown Toronto, as the event came back to a live-in-person presentation for the first time in three years.

On Wednesday, June 8, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (all times ET), in the Ballroom, SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown took part in a panel discussion on the State of the Industry: A United, Dynamic and Resilient Canadian Music Ecosystem, looking back at how the industry has been affected by pandemic restrictions, and looking ahead at how we can better support everyone within the music ecosystem.

“In the past two years we saw an 80 percent decline in concert revenues,” said Brown. “But we also saw the online opportunity, and we were there really quick to license it. We tried to make it as easy as possible. By August 2020, we were putting out online concert distributions… We wanted to get that money out. It was really important that we maintain the paycheck.”

Looking ahead, Brown anticipated a recovery in concert and radio royalties to come, and to licensing music in gaming, virtual reality, and concerts and events within those platforms. “I really see SOCAN as a service provider,” she said. “We don’t need to compete with the start-up that is actually building the app that almost every songwriter’s going to register their songs with; we just need to build the piece that gets that fee and gets that registration.”

On Thursday, June 9, from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m., in the Ballroom, SOCAN Creative Executive Houtan Hodania , along with other panelists, shared his thoughts in the session Show Me The Money! How To Make a Living as a Music Creator. This panel focused on the many revenue streams available to music creators, and on the organizations that collect and distribute the funds.

“As a music creator, you’re an entrepreneur,” said Hodania. “You should take it upon yourself to at least understand the basics of the industry and where your money comes from – making sure that you know the different organizations, and making sure that you’re signed up. That education will definitely go a long way.

“Nowadays more than ever, with TikTok, songs can blow up out of nowhere. You never really know where it’s being played, when it’s being played, when it’s going to go viral – so just make sure that you’re registering it… Look at Stranger Things, they picked up that song by Kate Bush, ‘Running Up That Hill.’ That song came out in, what, the ’80s? It never hit the Top 10 until this week. You never know, so make sure you’re taking care of business.”

Finally, on Friday June 10, from 9:55 to 10:40 a.m., in the Ontario Room, SOCAN Vice President, Royalty Collections, Kit Wheeler, joined other panelists for The Future of Live Streaming Concerts: Hybrid and Beyond. The panel discussed how artists can leverage live streaming shows, whether they do a pre-show, full show and/or post-show; what the new tools are for making live streaming shows more collaborative, engaging, and financially lucrative; and what the financial opportunities are for songwriters, publishers, and artists



Desirée Dawson, who makes music to get us “feeling and healing,” is a 2022 JUNO nominee who won the CBC Searchlight contest in 2016; has participated in the Allan Slaight JUNO Masterclass; was a juror in the inaugural Black Canadian Music Awards presented by The SOCAN Foundation; and most recently, had her song “Meet You At The Light” win best music video at 2022 SXSW festival. Here, Dawson discusses some ways that she’s honed her songwriting process – as you can, too.



In partnership with SOCAN, the Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) has launched AID: #ForTheLoveOfLIVE, a relief initiative in support of Canadian independently owned and operated live music venues, with a capacity of 500 or fewer, that are struggling due to devastating losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Through AID: #ForTheLoveOfLIVE, a total of $30,000 will go to eligible music venues that have experienced significant financial challenges due to the pandemic. The last two years have been especially devastating to small, independent live music businesses who are vital contributors to our Canadian culture and economy. 

“As the live music community works to recover from the prolonged impacts of the pandemic, the health and sustainability of small venues is more important than ever,” said Erin Benjamin, President & CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association. “These venues are fundamental to a healthy live performance ecosystem, and AID: #ForTheLoveOfLIVE will help. Our thanks to SOCAN for recognizing the challenges that our beloved live music spaces are facing. We need live music more than ever, so that we can continue to connect fans to the artists, musicians, and songwriters we love, and who change our lives with their incredible work.” 

Live music venues are a lifeline for the many artists for whom touring and live performance are important sources of income. Small live music venues must be strong to enable the Canadian music ecosystem to thrive. 

“As an artist, especially in my early days, small live music venues were fundamental to my growth and development; without them, I’m not sure I’d have the career that I have today. This relief fund will support those key rooms so that artists of the future — and the venues we all love — can make it through this difficult time,” said Julian Taylor, singer-songwriter, musician, and double JUNO nominee.

Independently owned and operated venues under 500 capacity in Canada are invited to apply for AID: #ForTheLoveOfLIVE between June 13 and July 13, 2022. Venues will be selected by blind, random lottery between July 14 and August 1, and announced on August 4. A total of 30 venues will receive $1,000 each to help with their recovery.

“SOCAN cares about the entire Canadian music industry,” said SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown. “Live performances are vital to our members’ careers, and the strength of concert venues is essential to the Canadian music ecosystem. SOCAN wants to do what we can to support these concert venues, and we’re pleased to be working in partnership with the CLMA on this program.” 

AID: #ForTheLoveOfLIVE was announced at Canadian Music Week’s Live Music Industry Awards at Toronto’s El Mocambo on June 10. 

To learn more visit https://www.aidfortheloveoflive.com/