SOCAN member Eric Ethridge has won the overall Grand Prize in the 2018 Unsigned Only competition, for his song “Girl on Fire.” The fast-rising country singer-songwriter is the third SOCAN member Grand Prize winner since the competition launched in 2012, following in the footsteps of Wes Mack and Faouzia. In addition to winning $20,000 USD in cash, and $20,000 USD in merchandise and services, Ethridge also receives one-on-one mentoring from a group of upper-echelon music industry executives.

Ethridge has been gaining momentum for the past few years: he’s earned a mention in Rolling Stone, won the CCMA Discovery Program, reached the Canadian Country charts, and debuted on SiriusXM’s The Highway. His debut EP topped the iTunes Country chart, and peaked at No. 3 on the all-genres chart. A doctor-turned-country-artist, Ethridge has written and recorded songs that have been streamed more than three million times since his EP was released in July of 2018.

Said Unsigned Only in a media release, “The Grand Prize winner needs to be an artist who possesses extraordinary talent, and is ready to take the next step in his or her career. We’re always on the lookout for that artist, who not only creates music that will be in demand, but who also makes music that’s enduring. Ethridge embodies these traits, and he’s one of the most exciting artists Unsigned Only has been privileged to discover.”

Other first-place SOCAN member winners are:

  • Reign, who won in the Electronic Dance Music category, for “Make Me”;
  • Royal Foundry, who carried the day in the Rock category, with “Lost in Your Head” (co-written by Beth and Jared Salte); and
  • frequent songwriting contest winners Big Little Lions, who took the top prize in the Screenshot category, for “Find Your Tribe” (co-written by Helen Austin and Paul Otten).

Jayde won second place in the Screenshot category, for “Perfect Strangers.”

In addition to these winners, 12 other Canadian artists have won an Honorable Mention in their respective categories. SOCAN congratulates all of our winning members on these achievements. For a complete list of winners, and to hear the winning songs, click here.

SOCAN composers of all kinds are invited to apply now for Soundstreams’ 2019 Emerging Composer Workshop (ECW). The Workshop is a 10-day intensive mentorship program that supports talented young composers and helps them to launch their careers. The sixth edition of the ECW will take place January 25 through February 3, 2019, in Toronto.

The workshop focus is on strings this year, and participants will be tasked with composing a piece for a string quartet. The Rolston String Quartet will be this year’s ECW resident ensemble. Soundstreams’ ECW adopts a holistic model that features a vibrant array of rehearsals, seminars, networking, professional development activities, and a public showcase of new works created during the Workshop.

This year, the ECW mentors will be the award-winning, eclectic, prolific composer Dorothy Chang, and leading contemporary Nordic composer Rolf Wallin.

ECW welcomes both domestic and international submissions; six composers will be chosen to participate. Thanks to Soundstreams’ generous sponsors and donors, there are no tuition fees to attend the workshop, and participant accommodations are provided free of charge.

The submission deadline for applications is September 20, 2018 (at 11:59 pm ET). For more details, or to apply, click here.

Lord Byrun

Lord Byrun, Grand Prize winner of the 50th edition of the Festival international de la chanson de Granby.

On Aug. 22, 2018, at the finale of the 50th annual edition of the Festival international de la chanson de Granby, Regina-born Lord Byrun won the Grand Prize. The other three finalists were Jessy Benjamin, Laura Lefebvre and Simon Eliott. Besides offering the audience and judges outstanding performances, each finalist walked away with several prizes and awards.

Each year, SOCAN also offers an award, to one of the 24 semi-finalists whose songwriting talent stands out during the multi-week competition. This year, SOCAN presented the Paroles & Musique Award, with a $1,000 cash prize – previously known as the Prix Coup de coeur SOCAN – to Laura Lefebvre. The 20-year-old’s song “Émile” captured the jury’s attention and won her the honour.

Besides awarding this prize, SOCAN is very active throughout FICG. This year, in collaboration with Amélie Larocque (AMÉ), SOCAN facilitated a professionalization workshop for all the competitors. The workshop touched on subjects such as copyrights, the music industry, and AMÉ’s songwriting process, in keeping with one of SOCAN’s priorities to to offer as many tools as possible to foster the success of songwriters.

Congratulations to Laura for her Paroles & Musiques Awardl, and to Grand Prize winner Lord Byrun, as well as all the contestants of this 50th edition of FICG. For more information, visit