In a tie victory, Tara MacLean and Andrew Waite both won the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year honour on Feb. 6, 2020, at St. Paul’s Church in Charlottetown, in advance of the 2020 Music PEI Awards gala later that week.

Waite took home the trophy for his song “Cash It In,” while MacLean earned her recognition for “Ghosting Me.” The awards were presented during the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Concert, which also included performances from Dennis Ellsworth, Irish Mythen, and Rick Sparkes, and was hosted by Matt Rainnie.

At the awards gala itself, held Feb. 9, 2020, at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel, five-piece dream-pop band Sorrey was the big triple-award winner, earning Album, Pop Recording, and Video of the Year. Double-award winners included MacLean, Cory Gallant, Paper Lions, and Irish Mythen. The awards were hosted by Music PEI President and JUNO-winning singer-songwriter Catherine MacLellan.

For a complete list of winners, click here and scroll down the page.



Original Gros Bonnet (OGB), winners of the 2019 edition of the Francouvertes competition, kicked off the 2020 edition of the annual competition with a short-but-explosive performance at Montréal’s Lion d’Or on Feb. 10, 2020. This year’s spokespersons are Laurence Nerbonne and Émile Bilodeau, taking over from Sarahmée and Karim Ouellet.

Francouvertes announced the 21 contestants in its major Québec competition, and, SOCAN will once again support it by presenting the “J’aime mes ex” series of concerts – during which 10 Francouvertes alumni will perform as opening acts of the first round, and semi-final round, of the contest.

SOCAN will also present the Paroles & Musique Award, a $1,000 cash prize awarded to one of the semi-finalists for their songwriting talent, along with a one-week writing residency at the SOCAN House in Paris. These prizes are part of a myriad of rewards, grants, and concert opportunities that will be awarded this year.

There will be seven preliminary evenings held at the Lion d’Or, every Monday from Feb. 17 to Mar. 30, 2020.

Preliminary round

  • Mélodie Spear—Guillaume Bordel—Embo/phlébite (Feb. 17)
  • Ariane Roy—MoKa—Aramis (Feb. 24)
  • Jessy Benjamin—La Faune—Narcisse (Mar. 2)
  • Vendou—Petite Papa—dope.gng (Mar. 9)
  • Jeremy Lachance—Désarroi—La Fièvre (Mar. 16)
  • Kanen—thais—Valence (Mar. 23)
  • Mclean—Mille Piastres Please—Trop Belle (Mar. 30)

The semi-finals will be held on March 13-14-15, still at Lion d’Or, and the final round will be held at Club Soda on May 4.

The ten “exes” that will open each evening as part of the “J’aime mes ex” series presented by SOCAN are:

  • Olivier Bélisle (Feb. 17)
  • Alfa Rococo (Feb. 24)
  • Gab Paquet (March 2)
  • Marie Gold (Mar. 9)
  • Émilie Proulx (Mar. 16)
  • Jipé Dalpé (Mar. 23)
  • Louis-Jean Cormier (Mar. 30)
  • Mehdi Cayenne (Apr. 13)
  • Laurence-Anne (Apr. 14)
  • Lou-Adriane Cassidy (Apr. 15)

To find out more, visit francouvertes.com.



The SOCAN Foundation is proud to announce the two recipients of the inaugural HER Music Awards sponsored by RE:SOUND. During the evening of Feb. 6, 2020, Haviah Mighty (Toronto, ON) and Leela Gilday (Yellowknife, NT) each received a $5,000 prize during a full-house reception held in downtown Toronto.

“The HER Music Awards are designed to celebrate and support female-identified people building momentum, as music creators on the verge of taking their creative careers to the next level,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of SOCAN Foundation. “This program is also designed to empower award recipients, and to help them reach their full potential.”

The recipients were selected by a jury composed of Cris Derksen, Frannie Holder, and Martine Groulx. All applications were evaluated on the basis of the quality of their musical work, career potential, as well as the impact that receiving an award would have on their personal development as an artist.

“Women are making incredible music all over this world right now!” said Leela Gilday. “Hearing it, lifting it up, working with women, and honouring women in music will enrich all of us. I hope to use the award to continue to blaze trails for more young women, so that one day a young female musician can look around and say, ‘There used to be gender bias in the music industry?’”

“I became aware of the HER Music Awards shortly before applying,” said Haviah Mighty. “As a mid-level, female Canadian musician, I felt this award was right up my alley. Still, I was surprised to hear that I’m a recipient, and very grateful to have been considered. I’m committed to continuing to push the conversation of female perspective in these ways, and think it’s amazing that more and more music outlets (and others) are acknowledging the female contribution. Our stories as Canadian women are diverse, and should be a part of the stories we tell as a country.”

These awards are one of the many SOCAN Foundation competitions that, for more than 25 years, have allowed the organization to financially support promising Canadian artists, while underscoring their merit and their outstanding artistic expression.