SOCAN has launched a six-month diversity review with Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario, a leader in organizational equity audits and change programs for arts organizations, as part of its goal to create and foster an even more equitable company.

Inspired to action by Black Out Tuesday, SOCAN responded with the creation of an employee-led team to consider equity issues and make recommendations for equitable hiring and opportunity practices, training and awareness, and support for SOCAN members from diverse communities.

“The goal of our diversity review is to establish the baseline from which SOCAN can improve as an employer and leader in Canada’s creative landscape,” said Interim CEO Jennifer Brown. “By tapping even further into both operational and creative talent in Canada’s racialized and marginalized communities, SOCAN will become a more inclusive and equitable workplace. Making meaningful and positive changes requires a willingness to take an honest look at past processes.”

The review includes the comprehensive study of equity and inclusion standards in all aspects of SOCAN’s governance and operations, and the development of a corresponding diversity, inclusion, and equity action plan.

The action plan will comprise a framework that will cultivate a workplace culture that inspires and fosters diversity and inclusion, placing attention on the particular needs of each equity-seeking group.

For the third consecutive year, Meghan Patrick earned the SOCAN-sponsored Songwriter of the Year honour at the 2020 Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) Awards, held October 4, 2020, as the first ever live, drive-in country awards show took place on The Raceway at the Western Fair District in London, Ontario.

Patrick won the award for co-writing “Wild As Me” with Jordan Rager and Michael Whitworth. She also earned two other awards, for both Album (for Wild As Me) and Female Artist of the Year. This is her third consecutive win in the Female Artist category, and her second in the Album category.

Other multiple winners at the eighth annual CMAO Awards included Tim Hicks (for Male Artist of the Year and the Nielsen Compass Award); James Barker Band (for Single and Video of the Year, both for “Keep It Simple”); and The Reklaws (Group or Duo of the Year, and the Fans’ Choice Award).

Les Rats d’Swompe win the Francophone Artist or Group of the Year, The Abrams won Roots Artist or Group of the Year, and Aaron Allen won the Rising Star Award.

For a complete list of winners, click here.

The SOCAN Foundation has distributed nearly $75,000 among 29 award recipients of its annual competitions. With more than 300 submissions, the Awards for Young Composers and Emerging Screen Composers were evaluated by juries of music industry professionals from across the country.

“These awards are an integral part of the SOCAN Foundation’s mission to support talented young SOCAN members as part of their professional and creative development,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, SOCAN Foundation Executive Director. “In the current pandemic context, these awards are especially valuable as music creators are facing greater challenges, and have limited opportunities across the country.”

The SOCAN Foundation Awards for Emerging Screen Composers is designed to recognize Canadian screen composers who are 30 years of age or under for original musical themes or scores created exclusively for audio-visual support (TV, film, etc.). Cash prizes worth $26,000 in total were presented to the winners of the competition’s four categories. Jury members included recognized film composers Viviane Audet, Mark Korven, and Erica Procunier.


Grand Prize
Alexandro Manzon for La Camicia (The Shirt)

Best Original Score—Animated
1st Prize—Iva Delic for Dream Cream
2nd Prize tie—Benjamin Goldman for Teddy Bear Protection, and Joey Reda for Cycle

Best Original Score—Fiction
1st Prize—Spencer Creaghan for The House Abandon
2nd Prize—Simon Piché-Castonguay for Take me to a nice place

Best Original Score—Non-fiction
1st Prize—Dillon Baldassero for Zone Rouge
2nd Prize tie—Claudie Bertounesque for Mélissa et le Jackalope, and Camille Poliquin for Ainsi soient-elles

Best Original Theme (opening or closing)
1st Prize—Spencer Creaghan for Dog Cried Wolf
2nd Prize—Simon Piché-Castonguay for Germain s’éteint

SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers is designed to recognize Canadian composers who are 30 years of age or under for original concert music works. As of this year, the new names of the award categories are as follows: Grand Prize (formerly the John Weinzweig Award); the Chamber Ensemble Awards (formerly the Serge Garant Awards); the Solo and Duet Awards (formerly the Pierre Mercure Awards); the Electroacoustics awards (formerly the Hugh Le Caine Awards); and the Choral Awards (formerly the Godfrey Ridout Awards). Cash prizes in the total amount of $46,250 were awarded to the finalists in the competition’s five categories. Jury members included Rodney Sharman, Nicole Lizée, and Jean Lesage.


The $3,000 Grand Prize for the best overall work went to Félix-Antoine Coutu for Têtard, tête à tête.

The Choral Awards, for works of any number of voices with or without instrumentation and/or electroacoustics.
1st Prize—Félix-Antoine Coutu for Têtard, tête à tête
2nd Prize—Scott Ross-Molyneux for Seaside
3rd Prize—Arie Verheul van de Ven for I Crossed the Border from Niagara Falls to Buffalo by Foot
Young Composer Award—Ian Chan for Wander

 The Electroacoustic Awards, for live or recorded electroacoustics, where the intended performance is, at least in part, through loudspeakers. Works in this category may be multi-media, and may include acoustic instrument(s) or voice(s), live or recorded. The principal element in the work must be electroacoustic.
1st Prize—Simon Coovi-Sirois for Trois perspectives sur une entropie positive
2nd Prize—Carmen Vanderveken for Danse tribal
3rd Prize—Brooklynn Whidden for Hilarious
Young Composer Award—Seth Gordon for Cloudbusting

 The Solo and Duet Awards, for solo or duet compositions, with or without voices and/or electroacoustics.
1st Prize—Liam Ritz for TURN: SPIN
2nd Prize—Roydon Tse for Release
3rd Prize—Francis Battah for Six Préludes
Young Composer Award—Jules Bastin-Fontaine for …cette route cette vallée désormais/tu ne les verras plus de sa présence illuminées… 

 The Chamber Ensemble Awards, for compositions requiring a minimum of three performers to a maximum of 12 performers, with or without voice and/or electroacoustics.
1st Prize—Christina Volpini for upon unknown arts
2nd Prize—Liam Ritz for Colour Palette #1: images of Gros Morne
3rd Prize—Matthew Knights for Distorted Reality; Imaginatively Amended
Young Composer Award—Haotian Yu for Ritual II

 The Large Ensemble Awards, for compositions requiring no fewer than 13 performers up to a full symphony orchestra, which may include vocal participation, and may be scored to include electroacoustics.
1st Prize—Liam Gibson for Monstera Deliciosa
2nd Prize—Bekah Simms for Bestiary I & II
3rd Prize—Christina Volpini for as within, so without
Young Composer Award—Leo Purich for L’Histoire de Moz, Musical Tale for Orchestra and Narrator

For more information on SOCAN Foundation award winners, click here.