In order to provide a platform for our members on the rise, we’re pleased to continue the SOCAN Satellite Sessions – an ongoing series of new, unseen member performances broadcast on @SOCANMusic Instagram (and later available across all our social media platforms). In celebration of Black Music Month, the first series of sessions will showcase Black music excellence; each week in June, well present musical performances by some of Canada’s most talented up-and-coming Black songwriters.

The fourth SOCAN Satellite Session features Allison Russell, streaming on @SOCANMusic Instagram starting on June 24, 2021.

Allison Russell has placed her hometown of Montréal at the heart of her first career solo album. The singer-songwriter, now based in suburban Nashville, has overcome her writer’s block to deliver the sublime, often painful, but redemptive Outside Child, in which she reclaims her story of being an abused child who found her “lifeline” in the Québécois metropolis.

“I’m happy to be back in Montréal,” says Allison Russell, born there to Scottish and Grenadian parents. “Today, my adoptive father – who was the source of the abuse I experienced as a child – and my mother have moved to Ontario. My ghosts have left town, so when I go back, it’s with my family, my musician friends, and it’s always nice to go back, really,” says the musician.

“That’s why the album starts with the song “Montréal,” she adds. “This record is really a tribute to my city. Montréal was my mother when my mother couldn’t take it anymore. In a way, the identity and cultural activity of Montréal saved me. The outdoor concerts at the Jazz Festival saved me, as well as my visits to the Museum of Fine Arts,” says the musician, who was fleeing the house to avoid her attacker.

Tune in to @SOCANMusic Instagram to see her exclusive video performance!

The board of directors of SOCAN has appointed Jennifer Brown Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Brown had held an interim CEO role since April 2020, and she becomes the first woman to lead Canada’s largest music and visual arts rights organization, as well as the first to be appointed to the role from within the company.

“Jennifer Brown’s work at SOCAN is exemplary, her leadership abilities are remarkable, and her passion for the interests of our members and stakeholders is unsurpassed,” said Marc Ouellette, President of SOCAN’s Board of Directors. “It’s a great pleasure to see her rise to a role that she earned through decades of constant commitment and persistent determination to do what’s right for our more than 175,000 members, and nearly 300 employees.”

With more than two decades of strategic experience in rights management, licensing, advocacy, and support for music creators and publishers, Brown started her career with SOCAN in in 1995 as a representative in the company’s Membership department. She’s held progressive leadership positions, including Vice President of SOCAN’s Licensing department, before taking on the role of Senior Vice President of Operations & Reproduction Rights in 2018.

Admired by her colleagues for her intelligence, humility, and hands-on style, Jennifer Brown’s numerous accomplishments with SOCAN include establishing SOCAN’s Reproduction Rights presence, guiding the company’s Licensing department to record-setting results, establishing SOCAN’s cost-effective and strategic re-structuring, and the introduction of new and innovative customer-facing tools, all of which have resulted in improved licensing collection efforts and increased royalties distributed to SOCAN’s songwriter, composer, and music publisher members.

Jennifer Brown grew up in a household in which royalties from music creation and performance were a crucial source of income. The Family Brown would become one of the country’s more successful recording and performing groups, and her father, as the principal songwriter, achieved several songwriting awards.

“I know what it’s like to rely on fair royalties through hard work, and I’ve seen songwriting as a career first-hand,” Brown said. “I’ll continue to work to make SOCAN the organization that our members and licensed organizations so richly deserve.”

SOCAN also recently announced the appointment of Jean-Christian Céré as Chief Membership Officer, effective June 28, 2021, and Vanessa Thomas to the role of Vice-President, Member & Industry Relations, which came into effect on June 14, 2021.

Quebec Culture and Communications Minister Nathalie Roy announced on Sunday, June 20, 2021, that only made-in-Québec music will be used from now on in the buildings of Quebec government ministries and public bodies. The Québec government’s decision is designed to  officially promote the use of Québec music, in harmony with its aims to increase the value of Québec culture, and promote local economic activity.

The Culture and Communications Ministry had already established a policy to play Québec music only on its communications platforms, but the government wanted to see other ministries and organizations follow suit. Besides increasing the influence of Québec music through government agencies and communications channels, the new policy is intended to help Québec music makers earn increased performance royalties.

SOCAN worked to ensure that background music suppliers used are legally licensed to play, so that copyright holders receive what they have rightfully earned for the use of their work.

“We love the idea of using regional music anywhere music is being played,” said SOCAN’s Interim CEO Jennifer Brown. “With this initiative, the Québec Culture and Communications department is supporting Québec music creators in a practical way, setting an example for all those committed to the development and good health of our music ecosystem.”

The Minister also announced that a $1,115,000 grant will be provided to ADISQ (The Quebec Recording, Concert and Video Industry Association) as part of a cultural sector economic stimulus plan, “Écoute mon album” (“Listen to My Album”).

Thanks to this financial support, 80 short TV and web videos bill be produced by ADISQ to further promote albums and EPs released during the pandemic, as well as the artists who worked on them. These videos will be watched on TV and online, starting in the Winter of 2022, thanks to major partnerships between ADISQ and a variety of broadcasters.

By supporting both initiatives, the Québec government has expressed its willingness to take part in an economic stimulus program for the music sector, and provide Québec talent with a broader platform. “Québec is a true incubator of musical artists who are finding their inspiration in our society, our roots, our land, and our dreams,” said Culture and Communications Minister Nathalie Roy. “Québec music is not only unique and rich, but Québecois people themselves listen to it, love it, and share it. I’m proud to see our government initiate practices that are going to make even more room for our music in our daily lives, thanks to its help.”