Serena Ryder’s 2022 JUNO Award-winning album The Art of Falling Apart was inspired by her own keynote address, which acknowledged the need to face mental health issues as a first step toward wellness, and the perception of music as medicine. With this in mind, she speaks to the subject of dealing with social media feedback, as a songwriter releasing her deepest work into the world.
Parliament Hill in Ottawa was rockin’ on Nov. 16, 2022, as Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, spoke of the important work that SOCAN does, and more than 200 Members of Parliament, Senators, and government staff attended the 2022 edition of SOCAN’s annual Parliamentary reception, this year held at Queen St. Fare.
The always-popular event allows federal officials learn more about SOCAN, and listen our members’ music, live. This year, Savannah Ré played songs from her JUNO Award-winning EP Opia; Aysanabee offered music from his freshly released Watin album; and Lili-Ann De Francesco performed her new single “Touch” for the first time, ahead of its release on Nov. 23, 2022. Each of them talked about how crucial SOCAN is to their livelihoods, and to those of our almost 180,000 members.
SOCAN partnered with Music Canada to present the reception this year, which was hosted by their respective CEOs, Jennifer Brown and Patrick Rogers. Jennifer Sloane, Chair of Music Canada, and Marc Ouellette, President of the SOCAN Board of Directors, both addressed the crowd to highlight the strength of the Canadian music ecosystem
We took the opportunity to emphasize the cultural and economic impact of SOCAN’s songwriters, composers, screen composers, and music publishers, both domestically and globally, and presented our policy positions to a wide range of federal government decision-makers.
On Facebook, Minister Rodriguez posted, “I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: Our music and musicians are the best in the world! At Music Night on The Hill, I was able to reaffirm our support for the music industry here at home. Thanks for the welcome and great performances!”
The SOCAN Foundation has announced the winners of the fifth annual SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Canadian Songwriters, sponsored by SiriusXM Canada. Five cash prizes of $5,000 were awarded to young creators from across the country, in recognition of their exceptional work and potential. For the first time, this year five additional songwriters are recognized in the honourable mention category, each receiving a $1,000 prize for their notable submissions.
“We’re pleased to be able to shine a light on the next generation of Canadian songwriters, and provide them with financial support at a critical time in their careers,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of the SOCAN Foundation. “For the fifth year in a row, the quality of the music we’ve received demonstrates just how much talent there is in the emerging Canadian music scene.”
The grand prize winners are:
Anna Johnson for “Boys on Bikes”
17-year-old Anna Johnson has been working on songwriting during the pandemic. Her most recent original songs have been described as haunting, and she continues to define her unique style as a songwriter. She’s performed as a guest vocalist with the Edmonton Pops Orchestra and at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Johnson was the Youth Grand Winner of the 2018 K-Days Talent Search; played at Crescendo with the John Cameron Changing Lives Foundation; and has performed in many stage musicals. She’s is working on a body of work for a future release.
AVIV for “Drowning in the Culture”
Music was always an inevitability for the young Toronto singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist AVIV, who pens D.I.Y. pop that feels universal – everyone can relate to it. She started learning piano at age six and guitar at age 12; after being gifted a keyboard for her 14th birthday, she taught herself how to write songs. When the pandemic hit, AVIV found herself trapped at home, bored, and quickly realized that her life-long love of music could become something more than a hobby.
Avril Jensen for “van gogh”
Initially trained on the violin, the 18-year-old singer-songwriter now sings and accompanies herself, switching between guitar, piano, and ukulele. Following an indie approach, the artist’s pop signature unfolds in French and English, and sits at the intersection of acoustic and trap music. Comfortable in the studio, and already autonomous behind the console, she sees her art as a playground that offers many narratives. Jensen loves to learn… about almost everything, and at all times. Often falling into the maze of the internet, as if into some sort of vortex, she draws much inspiration from her spontaneous research on many subjects. Passionate about astronomy, sci-fi, and an avid TV series fan, she also names Van Gogh’s paintings, and the music of Billie Eilish, Tsar B, Dean, and Klô Pelgag as influences that fuel her songwriting. Every song of hers stands as a short story.
Danie for “Summer”
Danie is a 20-year-old singer-songwriter. She likes to think of her music as genre-less and boundless, with sprinkles of soul, color, and intimacy. Danie grew up in the Kennebecasis Valley, New Brunswick, and now calls Toronto home. You can hear Danie’s music on Season 4 of Kim’s Convenience, and see her in the original Netflix series Grand Army. She has many more works in the making, with an official YouTube Artist Channel coming soon. “Summer” is about the repetition of life, the inevitability of change, and the bittersweet feeling that comes with accepting that. She released “Summer” in March of 2022, and had the privilege of being interviewed by Larry McClain from Two Story Melody. This song holds a special place in her heart.
Velours Velours for “Tournesol”
Velours Velours is Raphaël Pépin-Tanguay’s artistic outlet. Active on the local live circuit since 2022, the project has quickly carved out a place for itself with music lovers in Québec. After performing with Étienne Coppée, Velours Velours recently released its first EP, co-produced with Philippe Brach. The project’s youthful, flavourful pop music offers a colourful and comforting universe, with infinite possibilities. The enchanting grooves tell tales of Pépin-Tanguay’s daily life, and contemplate his surroundings, from the backstreets of the city to the salt waters of the Gaspé Peninsula.
Congratulations to the honourable mention prize winners: DeeDee Austin for “Buried Truth,” Brighid Fry for “In the Grass,” Allegra Jordyn for “Technicolour,” Fin McDowell for “Losing Game,” and Mia Kelly for “Garden Through The War.”
For more information on SOCAN Foundation Award winners, please click here.
The registration deadlines for the 2023 SOCAN Foundation awards will be posted on the organization’s website in the early months of 2023.