A crowd of SOCAN members gathered – online-only, for the third year in a row – to attend the SOCAN Annual General Meeting on June 20, 2022, learning about SOCAN’s major achievements in 2021.

After the duo of Neon Dreams opened the event with a captivating acoustic performance of “Life Without Fantasies,” SOCAN Board of Directors President and Chair Marc Ouellette briefly summarized the work of the Board, newly elected in 2021 – including a full governance review that’s currently still underway.

SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown then spoke of returning SOCAN’s attention to its core business of serving our members’ needs above all else. Brown also shared SOCAN’s record-breaking 2021 financial results – including a total of $353 million in royalty distributions, and a total of $310 million in domestic revenue collections (a six percent increase). She later pointed out that internet revenues have increased 176 percent since 2017, and also reported SOCAN’s efforts in striving toward diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.

Chief Financial Officer Rob Bennett looked at the numbers in greater detail, explaining how major growth in internet revenue largely made up for the decrease in live performance royalties during the second year of the pandemic. He also talked about an all-time high of $106 million in international revenue, and a 32 percent increase in international reproduction rights revenue from 2021.

Chief Membership officer Jean-Christian emphasized SOCAN’s renewed mission to offer impeccable service, focused on members’ needs, via three elements: ensuring that the SOCAN team has all the necessary knowledge to support members and answer their questions effectively; ensuring that all our employees are effectively mobilized, with a well-balanced distribution of tasks; and ensuring that we’re efficient and transparent, with our Query team answering members as soon as possible, and a new e-mail communications plan to keep them even better informed.

As for SOCAN’s wholly-owned subsidiary companies, SOCAN Foundation Board member Ed Henderson discussed how the Foundation worked to foster SOCAN members’ music, and support diversity, equity, and inclusion through many online initiatives and grant programs – such as the HER Music Awards, the Black Canadian Music Awards, and the Indigenous Songwriter Awards.

Nicholas Fedor – the Executive Director of another wholly-owned SOCAN subsidiary, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) – reported a record of more than 1.16 billion cumulative media impressions for a series of 14 televised CSHF broadcast inductions. He also mentioned that Mustafa and Ariane Roy won the 2021 Slaight Music Emerging Songwriter Awards.

A question-and-answer session ensued, with queries about what measures SOCAN is taking to improve the workplace for its employees (several); whether concerts will recover to 100% capacity in 2022 (likely not that soon, but we’ll have to wait and see); if the 2021 financial report numbers are adjusted for inflation (not for 2021, maybe for 2022); how close SOCAN is to getting domestic and international cue sheet registration backlogs completed (we’re working on it); what we can do about some radio stations paying a small fraction of what they used to (radio was hit hard by the pandemic, as many small, local advertisers disappeared, so it’ll depend on the rate and depth of its recovery).

For a more complete accounting of SOCAN’s activities in 2021, see our full Annual Report.



Steve Marriner won the SOCAN-sponsored Songwriter of the Year honours, as well as Acoustic Act (Steve Marriner/David Gogo), Harmonica Player, and Recording of the Year (for Hope Dies Last) at the 25th annual Maple Blues Awards, presented by the Toronto Blues Society on June 20, 2022, at Koerner Hall in downtown Toronto.

Sue Foley and Colin James took home two awards each, she for both Guitarist and Entertainer of the Year, he for both Male Vocalist and Electric Act of the Year. The Blues With A Feeling Award for lifetime achievement went to Shakura S’Aida, for her long-standing career and commitment to blues music. The New Artist of the Year Award went to Hamilton band The Lowdown Dirty Mojos.

Canadian blues artists, industry, and fans gathered to celebrate the return of in-person live music, cheering on performers and winners at the gala, hosted by Ottawa ‘s Angelique Francis. The show featured performances from house band The Maple Blues Band, and guest performers Bobby Dean Blackburn, Kat Danser, Sue Foley, Angelique Francis, Crystal Shawanda, and Colin Linden.

For a full list of winners, click here.



SOCAN has announced its 2021 fiscal results, including $416 million in collections for licensed music and $353 million paid to the more than 180,000 songwriters, composers, publishers and visual artists the organization represents.

Collections increased by six percent, despite several revenue streams continuing to be impacted by the pandemic.

Cost efficiencies remained crucial in 2021, and SOCAN kept gross expenses below 2019 levels and saw a less than one percent increase year-over-year.

Highlights of SOCAN’s 2021 results:

  • Total collections: $416-million (6% increase over 2020).
  • Domestic collections: $310-million (+6% year-over-year).
  • Total collections from internet use of music: $135-million (+30%).
  • Strong Reproduction Rights results, with Internet audio-visual more than doubling, synchronization up 37 percent, and international reproduction rights revenue +32 percent over 2020.
  • Total international collections: six percent increase to $106-million.

Internet collection increases have been driven by a rapidly expanding world market for music delivered via the internet. Stabilization in internet music revenue is starting to occur due to market saturation, while internet audio-visual is still seeing significant increases with the introduction of new services in Canada, most recently Disney+ , Amazon TV, and Apple TV+.

“Internet royalties now make up nearly 40 percent of the quarterly SOCAN domestic distributions, which is why the Online Streaming Act currently being tabled by the federal government is so important,” said Jennifer Brown, SOCAN CEO. “It’s imperative that streaming services contribute to the Canadian cultural ecosystem by promoting Canadian songs and ensuring fair compensation for our members’ work.”

Even with overall increases, the average SOCAN writer-member received only $67 in royalties from online streaming in 2021.

In 2021, SOCAN sharpened its focus on service to members by making key additions to the leadership team, expanding the Reproduction Rights department to enhance dedicated service to clients and members, and divesting from wholly-owned companies. SOCAN’s position as a member-centric organization, committed to service excellence, working in partnership with staff and stakeholders to maximize rights and royalties, remains top priority, now and in the future.

As SOCAN looks toward recovery in the live music sector, which continues to face pandemic-related challenges with concert revenue down 75 percent versus pre-pandemic levels, the non-profit company has partnered with the Canadian Live Music Association to deliver Aid#ForTheLoveOfLive, benefiting 30 small live venues across Canada.

“Supporting our members also means supporting the health and sustainability of the venues that provide the stage for that important connection with fans,” Brown added. “Canadian music creators thrive when our live music venues thrive, and Aid#ForTheLoveOfLive aims to provide a small helping hand at a difficult time.”

Eligible live music venues can apply at www.aidfortheloveoflive.com until July 13, 2022.

For an overview of SOCAN’s 2021 activities and financials, please visit www.socanannualreport.ca.