“Songs for Ukraine,” a new initiative to support creators in Ukraine, is being rolled out globally by CISAC in partnership with its 228 member authors societies throughout the world.

The project was conceived and created by the music authors society Artisjus in Hungary, and is part of the #CreatorsforUkraine initiative, raising funds and support from creators worldwide.

“Songs for Ukraine” (#SongsForUkraine) aims to promote the works of Ukrainian creators over digital platforms, broadcasting, and other services, with the overall goal being to increase royalty flow to Ukraine’s creative community. People are encouraged to share their favourite Ukrainian cultural discoveries on social media, using the hashtag #SongsForUkraine.

“’Songs for Ukraine’ is a simple but brilliant scheme to help Ukraine’s creators, by having their works played throughout the world. I would like to see platforms and broadcasters join the campaign and do all they can to support it,” says CISAC President, ABBA co-founder Björn Ulvaeus.

Says CISAC Director General Gadi Oron, “At a time when Ukrainians are going through horrific suffering, ‘Songs for Ukraine’ is one way for the global creative community to show its solidarity with the country’s creators. By playing, promoting and sharing Ukrainian songs and works of all repertoires, people can express their support and, at the same time, help Ukraine’s creators earn royalties.”

Among many societies promoting the initiative, KOMCA in Korea is working with the major local digital platforms, which have posted Ukrainian playlists on their homepages. Each playlist introduces top 100 Ukrainian repertoires.

Creators for Ukraine also asks for contributions to a fund created to support creators and refugees. SOCAN has already contributed $50,000 to the organization, and is now supporting the “Songs for Ukraine” initiative. Thousands of creators’ signatures to an open letter on Ukraine are also being collected from creators around the world, led by CISAC member societies.

Artisjus and the Ukrainian music CMO NGO UACRR, have compiled three playlists containing genre-diverse Ukrainian songs.

Playlist for Ukraine #1

Playlist for Ukraine #2

Playlist for Ukraine #3

Playlists and additional details can be found on this website.

The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) has presented the results of a national study, Closing the Gap: Impact and Representation of Indigenous, Black and People of Colour (IBPOC) Live Music Workers in Canada. Conducted over a period of 18 months, the study provides critical data, and better informs CLMA and its partners of the challenges and barriers that impede IBPOC workers in the Canadian live music industry. The findings also highlight the most pressing issues and obstacles and emphasize the urgent need to better serve IBPOC live music workers across Canada.

The national study validates the urgent need to advocate for racialized individuals working in the sector. IBPOC workers make up 16% of the total number of live music industry workers in Canada and on average make $11,700 less per year than white industry workers. The survey demonstrates that if IBPOC workers and artists earned the same as their white counterparts, they would add $202.2 million to the industry’s annual contribution to GDP. In total the absent GDP contribution of missing IBPOC workers and lost wages is an estimated $273.5 million.

Additional key findings include a need to immediately address gatekeeping. The top four reported employment positions among white live music industry workers are gatekeeping positions: venue owners, promoters, live event producers and festival programmers. IBPOC workers are significantly under-represented in certain live music workplaces with 61% of white entrepreneurs and owners reporting that IBPOC workers make up a minority of their workplaces. These results in addition to 82% of IBPOC respondents reporting that increased access to gatekeepers including producers, executives, bookers/promoters, and agents would be one of the most useful resources to advancing their careers, strongly indicates the need for increased IBPOC representation in gatekeeping positions to amplify diversity in the live music industry.

Sources of inequality include lack of representation, the highest reported barrier to IBPOC respondents’ sense of belonging in the live music industry, along with tokenization, which is cited as another major barrier. The scarcity of advancement opportunities and employment-related obstacles including hiring processes, nepotism, and high turnover rates were also widely identified by IBPOC respondents, while Black participants specifically mentioned a lack of supportive leadership as a major hurdle. Indigenous respondents most frequently reported fear of losing control and ownership over their stories, artistic projects and/or decision making, while mental/physical well-being (i.e., lack of health or other insurance benefits, little to no work/life balance), was reported as a significant impediment to career progression by all survey respondents.

The results of the study also emphasize concerns with genre categorization where terms such as “Indigenous Music” and “World Music” were highlighted by respondents as both providing a source of community and belonging, while also creating feelings of marginalization and tokenization. Intersecting inequalities: in particular, the confidence gap among women of colour was also identified in addition to complicated relationships to whiteness where only 42% of IBPOC respondents established that there are people in the Canadian live music industry holding leadership/executive-level positions from their communities, compared to 78% of white respondents.

Within the national survey there are several key recommendations presented to the Canadian live music industry (i.e., venue owners, promoters, agents, managers, festival organizers and more), government and funding bodies, IBPOC workers and calls-to-action for presenters. Among them, promoting industry shifts by including eligibility guidelines and assessment criteria that stipulate white-led organizations must include significant IBPOC representation in decision-making positions, along with increasing access and inspiring trust.

“The Canadian Live Music Association is proud to have championed and led this report, and we’re so grateful to our industry partners and funders for helping to make it happen. We’re neither shocked nor surprised at the findings,” said Erin Benjamin, President & CEO of the Canadian Live Music Association. “But now, with this report in hand, we can – all of us – accelerate and make every effort to rid systemic inequities from our industry, prioritize and fight for the change that the report calls for, that we know we need, that we know is right. This is our community, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that IBPOC live music workers have every opportunity to succeed. Today marks the end of creating the report and the beginning of closing the gap in Canada’s live music industry.”

The report was supported by FACTOR and the Government of Canada, Creative BC and the Province of BC, Ontario Creates, and SOCAN. For more information, visit the Closing the Gap website.

Desirée Dawson won the Music Video of the Year, and SOCAN members effectively showcased their music at various events, during the 2022 edition of South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference and Festival – which returned once again to live-in-person events and performances, from March 11-20, in Austin, Texas.

The British Columbia-based Dawson’s powerful, moving video for “Meet You at The Light” earned the honour, and her record of the same name is nominated for Adult Contemporary Album of The Year at the upcoming 2022 JUNO Awards.

Key showcases for SOCAN members included those presented by The Range, which featured Haviah Mighty, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Cartel Madras, and Just John; M for Montreal and Pop Montreal, which included sets from TEKE::TEKE, Cadence Weapon, Naya Ali, and Bad Waitress; and BreakOut West, where Altameda, Jay Wood, Meltt, The Velveteins, and The Garrys played their music.

In order to connect with and support our members, SOCAN held an informal lunch, where attendees included the aforementioned Dawson, Cadence Weapon, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, and Just John. Throughout the conference, we also as connected with some of our fellow Canadian music ecosystem representatives, including those from Breakout West, Manitoba Music, M for Montreal, Pop Montreal, The Orchard Music, Opposition Music, Range Magazine, Dine Alone Records, and the Osheaga festival.

Attending these events at SXSW 2022 were SOCAN’s Director, Creative, Cameron Kennedy; Creative Executive, Los Angeles, Racquel Villagante; Creative Executive, Vancouver, Houtan Hodania; and Vice President, Corporate Development, Steve Ambers.