For the fifth year in a row, the SOCAN Foundation announces the winners of its Young Canadian Songwriters Awards, sponsored by SiriusXM Canada. Five cash prizes of $5,000 are awarded to young creators from across the country in recognition of their exceptional work and potential. This year is special, as all five winners are women. As is now customary, five other music creators are awarded an honourable mention, accompanied by a $1,000 cash prize in recognition of the quality of their application, and to encourage them to continue in this direction.

“Each year, we look forward to seeing the best emerging songwriters showcased through the Awards for Young Canadian Songwriters, and this year’s talent continues to impress,” said Michelle Mearns, VP, Programming & Operations, SiriusXM Canada. “We’re so proud to sponsor these awards and help to support the next step in these young artists’ careers.”

Andelina Habel-Thurton, for Le grand retour de l’insomnie
Andelina is a self-taught singer-songwriter who draws her inspiration from the atmosphere of her hometown, Montréal. She’s written more than 100  tales of love, justice, and change, in French and English – which she’s been creating since she was 14, after receiving her first guitar. Her musical inspirations, ranging from Brazilian jazz to art-pop to country-folk, are faithful to her roots in both rural Québec and Trinidad. At 21, Andelina decided to make 2023 the year she begins sharing her personal, intimate music.

Brighid Fry, for “Matilda”
Brighid Fry, also known by her stage name Housewife, is a 20-year-old queer musician who has been active in Toronto’s indie scene since attending Girls Rock Camp at the age of eight. She she’s released five EPs and several singles with various bands and duos, including under her Housewife moniker, formerly known as Moscow Apartment. Fry starred in the musical short Polly and the Pockets, and her music has been used in numerous TV shows and films. She was recently named on Corporate Knights magazine’s list of 30 Leaders Under 30 for Sustainability. These days, Fry performs as a solo artist with a group of first-rate musical collaborators. Their award-winning songwriting has been described as timeless, memorable, thoughtful, insightful, mature, and fun.

Elizabeth Royall, for “Numb”
Elizabeth Royall is an indie/alt-rock singer-songwriter based in Ottawa. In 2019, she performed at the Maison de la Culture in a program featuring Francophone artists such as Dany Bédar, 2Frères, Stéphanie St-Jean, Steve Veilleux, and La Chicane. Her debut single, “Leave Me,” was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2020 International Songwriting Competition. While her first single was an indie-pop song about the fear of losing a loved one, she has since experimented with different styles, and found a new groove for herself. For Elizabeth, good music is characterized by punchy lyrics, powerful vocals, and a good guitar hook. That’s what she aims for with her own creations, and her inspirations are as diverse as Nirvana, Radiohead, Fleetwood Mac, Queen and Mazzy Star. Elizabeth is impatiently looking forward to releasing new music in 2024.

Fin McDowell, for “People I Barely Knew”
Fin McDowell is a singer-songwriter who touches audiences with her vulnerability and resilience. Born and raised in Calgary, Fin’s connection to music was instantaneous and undeniable. She is motivated by her desire to help others on their journey. By fearlessly facing her vulnerabilities, Fin creates an inviting space for listeners to reflect on their own experiences and find comfort in knowing they’re not alone. She draws inspiration from an eclectic mix of genres, ranging from folk to Celtic, contemporary to pop. She weaves her music with influences from Imogen Heap, John Mayer, Lennon Stella, Lizzy McAlpine, and Sara Bareilles.

Sofia Kay, for “Fuu”
Sofia Kay is a 17-year-old singer-songwriter from Toronto who reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Sofia signed her first publishing contract at the age of 13 with Brill Building Modern Copyrights/Kobalt. She recently co-wrote “Sugar Rush Ride” for K-pop group Tomorrow X Together (TXT). It’s the first single from the band’s album, and it reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and No. 9 on Billboard’s International charts. The song was performed by the band on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Sofia has an impressive résumé: since the age of 13, she’s won international songwriting awards such as the U.K. Songwriting Competition, the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, and Unsigned Only. Sofia released her first EP in the fall of 2023.

Congratulations to the winners of an honourable mention: Ariana Fig, for “Running Man”; DAPHNE, for “Consequences”; Dilly Cooner, for “When He Was With Me”; Ethan Surman, for “Cold in the Summertime”; and Kylie V, for “Catherine.”

Once again this year, the jury of renowned songwriters and industry professionals from a wide range of backgrounds – Alan Greyeyes, Desirée Dawson, Katrina Lopes, Renelle Desjardins, and Steeven Chouinard – sifted through hundreds of applications to find the candidates whose writing and composition stood out the most, and the diversity of musical styles was better than ever.

Deadlines for the 2024 SOCAN Foundation contests will be announced on the organization’s website in winter 2024.