Longtime hit-making SOCAN member Terry Sawchuk and veteran Canadian music industry executive Brian Hetherman have partnered to form 49th Entertainment, in order to amplify Canadian talent to U.S. and global audiences, in collaboration with Warner Music for North American distribution. With Sawchuk in Nashville and Hetherman in Toronto, this strategic alliance is a full-service initiative that encompasses a music label, artist management, music production, and a fan community engagement platform.

Sawchuk, who’s collaborated with the likes  of Alanis Morissette, Jake Owen, Sara Bareilles, and Phil Collins, is most recognized for co-writing the Billboard No. 1, triple-Platinum song “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” which was named Country Radio’s Song of the Decade in 2021.

Hetherman, the CEO of Curve Music/Cerberus Management, has previously served in such roles such as A&R director at MCA/Universal, Head of Universal Music Publishing, and CEO and Vice President of FACTOR. He’ll oversee operations in Canada. “Teaming up with Terry,” he says, “offers a unique opportunity for artists to make significant impacts in the U.S. and beyond, while also reinforcing our dedication to the Canadian music sphere.”

“The whole goal of it was to work with Canadian artists and save them the time, and the thousands of dollars of fees, and green card application, and 16 years of what I had to go through, to break through in the U.S., and globally,” says Sawchuk. “There is an easier way… There was an opportunity for us to soften the blow to access the international market, and do the hard work to find the talent and develop it.”

Sawchuk anticipates infusing 49th Entertainment – named after the 49th parallel that runs between Canada and the U.S. – with cutting-edge super-fan engagement methods and technology. “With all the noise of social media now, people want value. People will pay to have an experience with an artist,” he says. “I see it as a new opportunity to really engage, and bring that value. Like, when Prince came out in 1978, and you heard this new guy on the radio, if somebody told me that I’d be able to Zoom with him at Paisley Park, I would have mortgaged my house to do it! Nobody gives you that value; that’s not being delivered. It really comes down to the individual artist, how well they know themselves, and what they want their fans to experience.”

The first signing for 49th Entertainment is 19-year-old country-rock artist Carson Janik. Hailing from the Windsor-adjacent municipality of Tecumseh, Ontario, Janik had already made waves on the radio by the age of 14. Says Janik, “I’m thrilled to join forces with 49th Entertainment, and to have the opportunity to collaborate with industry veterans like Brian and Terry. I’m eager to dive in and give my all. This is going to be an exciting journey.”