Parliament Hill in Ottawa was abuzz in the early evening of May 22, 2018, as Minister of Canadian Heritage the Honourable Mélanie Joly, and more than 200 Members of Parliament, Senators, and government staff turned out to attend SOCAN’s fourth annual Parliamentary reception.
Held at the East Block Courtyard of The Senate, the event has become the go-to reception on Parliament Hill, where federal officials learn more about SOCAN, and enjoy music from our members.
This year Rose Cousins represented our English-speaking membership, while Andréanne A. Malette played on behalf of our Francophone community of music creators. Each performed several songs, and acknowledged the importance of SOCAN to their careers, and to those of our almost 150,000 members.
Among the SOCAN representatives who met with decision-making officials were SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste; President and Chair of SOCAN’s Board of Directors Stan Meissner; SOCAN executives Andrew Berthoff, Geneviève Côté and Gilles Daigle; SOCAN team members Stephanie Falco and Craig Horton,; and SOCAN Board members Rosaire Archambault, Partick Curley, Glenn Morley, Marc Ouellette, Earl Rosen, and Gilles Valiquette.
The event focused on the cultural and economic impact of SOCAN members in the domestic market, and provided SOCAN with an important forum to emphasize the value that our songwriters, composers, #ComposersWhoScore, and music publishers bring to the global economy as well. The reception also allowed us to present our policy positions in an informal setting, to a wide range of politicians, decision-makers, and their advisors.
“We’re pleased to see that the federal government has announced, in its 2018 budget, that it will invest $5 million in the Copyright Board of Canada over next few years,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “We hope that these funds, dedicated to reforming the board, will lead to reduced delays in its decision-making. SOCAN is also pleased to see the House Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology embarking on a significant review of the Copyright Act, as well as the participation of the Canadian Heritage Standing Committee, who will also take part in the review. Our creator and publisher members are anxious to see progress on our much-needed copyright reform.”
Thanks at least in part to SOCAN’s formal meetings and informal conversations with her, Minister Joly has repeatedly made reference to the importance of music creators in her spoken and written comments. At the reception, she once again acknowledged the value of our members’ music and the important role that SOCAN plays in the music ecosystem.
Parliamentary Secretary of Canadian Heritage Sean Casey, Conservative Heritage Critic Peter Van Loan, NDP Heritage Critic Pierre Nantel, and Liberal Senator Terry Mercer also spoke of the important work that SOCAN does.
SOCAN’s efforts to communicate with our federal government, and the three major political parties, continue to pay off for our members.