In interviews with SOCAN during the 2018 Indigenous Music Awards weekend in Winnipeg, music industry representatives Alan Greyeyes, ShoShona Kish, and David McLeod discuss the ongoing growth and construction of Indigenous music infrastructure in Canada; the affinity of Indigenous artists for industry partners from their own communities; and the explosive penetration of Indigenous arts and culture in film, TV, and radio.


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The 2019 JUNO Awards and JUNO Week have once again been designated Licensed To Play with SOCAN, standing up with host city London, Ontario, for fair and legal music licensing for music creators and publishers.

After confirming that more than 20 live music venues – where more than 100 acts will play in the JUNO Week festival – are licensed with SOCAN, JUNO Week was given a special Licensed To Play designation.

The City of London has already stood up, and continues to do so, for fair remuneration for songwriters, composers, and music publishers: All of its city-owned recreational facilities – including community halls, swimming pools, arenas, and other recreational services – are licensed with SOCAN.

“London has a vibrant and diverse music community that supports national partners and industry. Having JUNO Fest venues Licensed to Play through SOCAN demonstrates the dedication of London’s music scene to fully support live music,” said Cory Crossman, Music Industry Development Officer, Culture Office, City of London.

“The Licensed To Play designation is a badge of honour that shows that the JUNOs, and London, are committed to being an ethical and legal part of the Canadian music ecosystem,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “Music rights and fair licensing are a partnership, and it’s gratifying to see that the JUNOs, the JUNO Week venues, and the City of London share SOCAN’s commitment to do what’s right for those who create and publish music.”

Licensed To Play is a long-term program that encourages businesses to show that music is an instrumental aspect of the customer experience. Collectively, music licensing provides a major part of songwriters’, composers’, and music publishers’ livelihoods through royalties. It’s a vital aspect of Canada’s music ecosystem.

This is the third time that JUNO Week has been declared officially Licensed To Play by SOCAN. Canadian Music Week, the City of Hamilton, the East Coast Music Awards, BreakOut West, and M for Montréal have also received the special designation since the Licensed To Play program launched in 2014.


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Iconic songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in a special ceremony at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto, on April 1, 2019.

If the measure of a songwriter’s success is the accumulation of merits and awards, then Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Oscar, Golden Globe, half-dozen JUNOs, Officer of the Order of Canada, and countless other honours surely grant her a place among the elite. If success is judged by commercial hits, again, Sainte-Marie easily makes the grade, as the composer of “Until It’s Time for You to Go” and “Up Where We Belong,” along with her anti-war anthem, “Universal Soldier,” which was inducted to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.

However, Sainte-Marie and her songs have always been about so much more than global accolades and commercial success. As an advocate for societal, environmental, and Indigenous issues, she proves the power of songs such as “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone,” “Power In the Blood,” and “Generation” can raise awareness, influence attitudes, and change perceptions.

“I’m honoured to be recognized in the company of so many Canadian songwriters that have inspired me,” says Sainte-Marie. “As a songwriter, I never set out to be courageous or political, I just wanted to tell my stories as authentically as possible, and bring light to the truth.”

“Buffy Sainte-Marie brought a completely new sound to audiences with her use of electronic techniques, adapting the rhythms and melodies of her Indigenous heritage with rock,” says Vanessa Thomas, CSHF Executive Director. “She’s gifted with the ability to pen songs that pulsate with cultural resonance, and can pierce right to the heart of current issues; yet they endure, and transcend both boundaries and time. We’re thrilled to celebrate her induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.”

Below, in an interview with SOCAN from the 2016 JUNO Awards, Sainte-Marie discusses some of her approach to touring, her renewed presence on the scene, and her songwriting process.


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