When you’re a solo artist or a relatively unknown group, the prospect of being programmed in a festival is a not-to-be-missed opportunity. You need to attract the attention of the people in charge of the music programming for these festivals, which isn’t always easy, because these influential people are being heavily solicited, and very often. Isabelle Ouimet, Executive Producer of M for MTL and the Santa Teresa Festival, explains the best way to go about approaching them.

SOCAN members William Prince, Marie-Ève Lapierre-Lemoyne, and Leela Gilday won the three songwriting honours at the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs), announced online for the second time – on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday April 11, 2021 – because of continuing self-isolation protocols in place to deal with the pandemic.

Prince won the English Songwriter of the Year Award, sponsored by SOCAN, as well as the Contemporary Album of the Year honour, for Reliever. During his performance on the CFMA April 11th show, Prince introduced his song “The Spark” by graciously thanking SOCAN for recognizing it with the SOCAN Songwriting Prize in 2020.

Marie-Ève Lapierre-Lemoyne  (aka Marie-Ève Laure) won French Songwriter of the Year for Onze, while Leela Gilday received the Indigenous Songwriter of the Year Award, for North Star Calling. In 2020, Gilday was also one of two winners (along with Haviah Mighty) of the inaugural SOCAN Foundation HER Awards.

Pharis and Jason Romero were the big winners, taking home three awards, for both Ensemble and Vocal Group of the Year, as well as Traditional Singer of the Year (which went to Pharis only).

For a complete list of winners, click here for those who won on April 10th, and here for those who won on April 11th. SOCAN congratulates all of our nominated and winning members on their great achievements!

In the midst of ongoing social distancing to combat the spread of COVID-19, SOCAN continues to conduct video interviews with our members online – in our video series, “Staying Home with…” Today, it’s grandson.

grandson (aka Jordan Benjamin) won the 2019 SOCAN Songwriting Prize for co-writing (and performing) “Blood//Water.” The song, whose hard rock and social comment is typical of grandson’s approach, was also certified Gold in the U.K., and Platinum in the U.S. and Canada. His single “Apologize” reached the Top Five on the Billboard Canadian Rock Chart , while “Dirty” was Top 10, and also reached No. 11 on the Billboard U.S. Alternative Chart. He’s toured with Smashing Pumpkins; worked with his early heroes Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine; and performed on Late Night with Seth Myers.

When we spoke with him in early 2021, he’d just released his current album, Death of an Optimist, and had a lot to say about making music to connect listeners to each other in the middle of ongoing pandemic self-isolation.