SOCAN A&R Representative Racquel Villagante took part in a Tune Up/The Bout panel, co-presented by Women in Music Canada, at a “Monetize Your  Music” event held March 5, 2020, at The Hideout in downtown Toronto.

The gathering, also sponsored by Music Ontario and Music Publishers Canada, included a panel of royalty experts;  a presentation by the Canadian Federation of Musicians presentation; a lightning round of one-on-one Q&As with representatives of various rights organizations; and a post-event cocktail reception for networking directly.

The event drew more than 100 people, mainly artists, songwriters, producers, and their managers. The panel was moderated by Margaret McGuffin of Music Publishers Canada, and there were speakers from SOCAN, ACTRA-RACS, CONNECT Music Licensing, The Canadian Federation of Musicians, MROC, and RE:SOUND.

Attending music makers got to connect with the rights and royalties people in their corner. They learned how organizations collect royalties on their behalf when their music is publicly performed, reproduced, and synchronized, and how those companies pay them. They also were educated on how to ensure their works are properly registered with these organizations, and advocate with them, to make sure they’re getting properly paid for the use of their music.



The cancellation of the 2020 JUNO Awards was met with sadness and disappointment by all at SOCAN.

“We stand with our friends at CARAS,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “SOCAN had been looking forward to celebrating the success of nearly 250 of our music creator and music publisher members who had been part of a JUNO nomination, and many others who were scheduled to perform at the event. We look forward to better days ahead for all in the Canadian music industry.”

SOCAN was one of the many sponsors and supporters of the 49th JUNO Awards and JUNO Week, which were scheduled to be held in Saskatoon before their necessary cancellation due to the COVID-19 situation.

“Our congratulations still go out to SOCAN members on their success, and to CARAS for the incredible effort that their staff and contractors put into the 2020 JUNOS,” Baptiste added. “We offer whatever help that we can provide as they work through the situation. The Canadian music industry is very much a family, and it’s important that we stand together during this crisis.”

SOCAN is currently reviewing various options and asking its members for their input regarding the SOCAN Awards in Toronto on March 30th.



SOCAN mourns the loss of East Coast folk singer-songwriter, SOCAN member, and former member of the SOCAN Board of Directors Laura Smith, who died on March 7, 2020, of pancreatic cancer, at the age of 67. Smith passed away peacefully at her home in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, surrounded by family and friends. A GoFundMe campaign started for Smith’s care raised $45,000, nearly twice its goal, and Smith’s musical peers across the country had expressed their love and support for her.

On Feb. 28, 2020, Hugh’s Room Live in Toronto hosted a tribute to Smith, Celebrating An Icon, featuring Paul Mills, Tony McManus, Grit Laskin, Tannis Slimmon, Allison Lupton, Eve Goldberg, David Woodhead, John Sheard, and Lenny and Wendy Solomon. An all-star, sold-out tribute concert, My Bonny: Celebrating the Music of Laura Smith, at Casino Nova Scotia’s Schooner Showroom in Halifax on March 29, 2020, will go ahead as scheduled, with a lineup that includes Heather Rankin, Bruce Guthro, Lennie Gallant, Lucy MacNeil, Myles Goodwyn, and more.

Born and raised in London, Ontario, Smith made her debut on the local coffeehouse circuit. She moved to Toronto in 1975, then to Cape Breton in 1984. Her second album, B’tween the Earth and My Soul, brought her national acclaim and earned two East Coast Music Awards (for Female Artist and Album of the Year) and two JUNO nominations (for Best New Solo Artist and Best Roots and Traditional Album). In 1997, earned a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Performing Arts Program or Series. Her 1995 single “Shade of Your Love” was one of the year’s biggest hits on adult contemporary radio stations in Canada.

An adaptation of the Scottish folk song “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean,” which she shortened to “My Bonny,” became one of her most popular songs, and she recorded a version of it with The Chieftains on their album Fire in the Kitchen. In 2003, Smith was honoured with a Doctor of Humanities in Literature from Mount Saint Vincent University. In the 2000s, she spent two seasons onstage in Prince Edward Island, in the role of Marilla in the musical Anne & Gilbert, at the Victoria Playhouse in Victoria-by-the-Sea, and the Jubilee Theatre in Summerside, respectively. Although her career was hindered by debilitating accidents, and a resulting dependence on painkillers, Smith completed her first recording in 16 years, Everything Is Moving, in 2013.

There are plans for a memorial and wake, and SOCAN extends its deepest sympathies to Smith’s family, friends, and colleagues throughout the Canadian music community.