SOCAN Foundation and SOCAN together presented the first-ever edition of a Scoring Retreat for screen composers, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, 2019, at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta. The goal of was to provide young composers with an optimal framework to stimulate their creativity in actual work conditions, in the company of two mentors: one screen director and one screen composer.

The composer was the President of the SOCAN Board of Directors, Marc Ouellette, while the director was Michel Poulette. The latter brought two film excerpts from two different movies (Maina and Louis 19), each of about five minutes; after choosing which one they wanted to work with, each of the eight participants created accompanying music. Each one spent the two-and-a-half days individually writing that music, and each benefitted from three 30-minute sessions with both Ouellette and Poulette – one with each of them separately on the first day, and one with the two of them together on the second day.

On the last day, each composer spent 30 minutes in the studio to mixing their piece with an audio engineer, Ouellette and Poulette, after which their final clip was screened in the same studio. At the end of the retreat, each presented what they’d completed to the entire group

The participants were:

In an anonymous survey, one of the participants said, “I think everything was great. To me, the one-on-one was the best part. I think I’m going back home with more confidence. I’ve learned that I can trust myself more, and that my instincts are good.”

Attending for SOCAN Foundation were Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director, and Julien Boumard-Coallier, Administrator of Programs. Attending for SOCAN was Michael McCarty, Chief Membership and Business Development Officer.

See photos in the slideshow below…

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SOCAN was pleased to sign on to an open letter to federal lawmakers today, in which a coalition of like-minded organizations expressed desire to complete legislation that will see the term of copyright extended to the life of the copyright holder plus 70 years, under the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

The current law is only life plus 50 years, and Canada lags behind most nations, including the U.S., the U.K., and France. The letter was published as a full-page advocacy ad in The Hill Times, a leading publication followed closely by federal elected and appointed officials.

Adding 20 years to the life of copyright means a more robust creative sector, more Canadian cultural exports, and the growth of innovative businesses. The change will strengthen copyright, and help grow Canada’s music industry. We urge the government to enact term extension provisions so the tens of thousands of songwriters, composers, and music publishers we represent can continue making Canada globally competitive.

Other signatories to the letter were:

  • L’Association des professionnels de l’édition musicale (APEM)
  • The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA)
  • Music Publishers Canada
  • The Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC)
  • La Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ)
  • The Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.)


We caught a great show by 2019 SOCAN Pop Music Award winner bülow at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto, on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. Check out our photos from the event below!

And keep an eye on https://www.bulowmusic.com/ for upcoming shows!

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