Folk Music Ontario and SOCAN will present a songwriting masterclass with Allison Russell on Nov. 16, 2021, online via Zoom, to a limited audience that signs up for the event.  

On her debut album Outside Child, Russell – now based in Nashville – reclaimed her story of being an abused child who found her lifeline in her hometown of Montréal. Russell moved to Vancouver when she came of age, where she had her first experiences as a professional musician, co-founding the band Po’Girl. With her daughter’s father, JT Nero, she founded the folk/gospel/Americana duo Birds of Chicago in 2012. In 2021, she released her first solo album – after overcoming the writer’s block that emerged after the birth of her daughter. 

“I felt an urgency to write,” she says. “It became important to me to express vocally what I’ve been through, to end the cycles of violence – racism, sexism, sexual violence. It’s also very important to me to write my own story, and be able to tell people that it’s survivable.” 

Russell’s unique life story and songwriting experience promise to provide a fascinating and instructive look at the process of turning life into song, and overcoming the struggles of that activity.  

To register for her masterclass, click here. 

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.

Klô Pelgag was in a good position to win some Félix awards last night at the First Gala de l’ADISQ 2021 – after the seven honours she and her collaborators won at the online Industry Gala on Monday, Nov. 1. This time, she walked away with the trophies for Album of the Year – Alternative and Album of the Year – Critics’ Choice, both for Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs; Video of the Year for the single “Mélamine”; and International Collaboration of the Year for the song “Sorcières,” a duet with Pomme. She’s also nominated in three of the 12 main categories to be awarded during the televised gala, Nov. 7 on Radio-Canada.

Charlotte Cardin won her first three Félix awards ever, including the trophy for the Artist With the Most Success Outside Québec, presented by SOCAN. She also won Album of the Year – Anglophone for Phoenix, and the Félix for the Best Online Concert of the Year – Anglophone for her magnificent show, The Phoenix Experience. Another female artist distinguished herself as well: thanks to her album Acrophobie, Roxane Bruneau received the Félix for Album of the Year – Pop and Album of the Year – Popular Success, a category that combines physical album sales and streams on digital platforms.

Also of note, the Félix for the Album of the Year – Other Languages went to Marie Davidson & L’Œil Nu for Renegade Breakdown; the one for the Electronic Album went to CRi for Juvenile; the World Music honour went to Ramon Chicharron for Pescador de Sueños; for Folk, to Vincent Vallières for Toute beauté n’est pas perdue; for Jazz, to Jordan Officer for Jazz Vol. 1; for Traditional Music, to Bon Débarras for Repères; and for Rock to Les Cowboys Fringants for Les nuits de Repentigny.

Finally, a new category was inaugurated, Artist With the Most Success on the Web, and it comes as no surprise that SOCAN member Damien Robitaille triumphed, thanks to his omnipresence throughout the pandemic, with his daily song covers – which brought him unexpected worldwide fame.

A special place was also given to the new generation of artists throughout the gala, hosted by Pierre Lapointe for a third year. Among them were Antoine Corriveau, Ariane Roy, Comment Debord, Gab Bouchard, Laurence-Anne, Lumière, Ramon Chicharron, Robert Robert, Thierry Larose, as well as the all-female rap collective #Rapelles – with the moral and musical support of veterans Ariane Moffatt and Louis-Jean Cormier.

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