The SOCAN Foundation has unveiled a new Equity X Production Mentorship Program for new music producers, developed as a result of research by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative that identified a significant disparity between the number of men and women working in the field.

The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released a report in 2019 that uncovered the unfortunate fact that only 2.1% of producers who worked on the the Top 100 Billboard songs from 2012 to 2018 were female. The data showed that for every woman producer, there were a staggering 47 males filling the same role.

“The Equity X Production Mentorship Program strives to address the lack of diverse representation among producers,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of the SOCAN Foundation. “As many as 25 women and gender minorities will be selected to participate in a three-day retreat, where they’ll gain the capabilities and talent to start their journeys toward becoming confident and skilled music producers.”

The program is made possible with generous support from the RBC, Ableton, and Signal Community Forum. The learning-intensive retreat will take place in Toronto, Jan. 9-11, 2020.

“We’re proud to support the SOCAN Foundation and have a hand in creating a program that focuses specifically on emerging producers, giving them access to critical education and resources,” said Joanne Gordon, Vice President, Media & Entertainment, RBC Royal Bank. “As a longstanding supporter of the arts, we’re thrilled to be able to continue to bridge the gaps that keep art from coming to life, and this program is a key part of making that happen.”

Participants accepted into the program will receive many benefits, including access to small group and individual production skills training, mentorship from industry leaders, and accommodation and travel support for participants accepted from outside Toronto.

Applications to the Equity X Production Mentorship Program are being accepted until Dec. 15, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Visit for more information about the program, eligibility guidelines and online application materials.

The first Canadian blues record to ever to sell gold (100,000 units, at the time), “I’ve Got Everything I Need (Almost)” – written by The legendary Downchild Blues Band’s leader and co-founder, Don Walsh – will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019.

The song skyrocketed to international fame when it was covered by The Blues Brothers’ Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi, who were heavily influenced by the Canadian group, which was founded in 1969.  Eighteen albums later, after countless awards, and sold-out tours around the world, Downchild Blues Band (now known simply as “Downchild”) are considered the trailblazers of blues in Canada, and one of the premier blues bands in Canadian history, and a catalyst for the genre’s renaissance in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

The song induction will take place during the band’s 50th Anniversary Party in Ottawa, featuring special guests Dan Aykroyd, Tony D (of MonkeyJunk), Suzie Vinnick, and Andy J. Forest.

“It’s such an honour to have ‘I’ve Got Everything I Need (Almost)’ chosen to be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame,” said Walsh. “When you write a song, you have no idea what kind of effect it will have on people, and for some reason this song really connected with fans… “As a songwriter, it’s the ultimate to have one of your songs selected to be in the Hall of Fame, alongside some of the greatest songwriters of our time, not only in Canada but internationally – like Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell,  Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young. It just doesn’t get any better than that!”

Downchild first released “I’ve Got Everything I Need (Almost),” on their Straight Up album in 1973. Their label GRT remixed the cut in 1974 as a 45 RPM single, titled “Almost,” as a follow-up to their infectious first single, the Top 40 hit “Flip, Flop and Fly.” “Almost” quickly became a favourite of radio stations. The song led Downchild to tour clubs and colleges extensively in Canada.

The Blues Brothers version was released on their 1978 album Briefcase Full of Blues, and their performance on Saturday Night Live propelled “Almost” to Billboard’s No. 1 position in February 1979. From there it went two-times platinum, bringing the song to millions of listeners. The international success of the song paved the way for artists such as Jeff Healey and Colin James to forge their own blues identities at home in Canada.

We caught an explosive opening set by Snotty Nose Rez Kids, then the last-ever show by The Sorority at Velvet Underground in Toronto, on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. Check out our photos from the event below!

And keep an eye on for upcoming shows!