SOCAN today announces the finalists for the 2018 SOCAN Songwriting Prize, presented by YouTube Music, the most prestigious competition that celebrates the extraordinary talent of emerging Canadian songwriters over the past year.

This year women from across the country make up the large majority of the writers of the 10 nominated songs in English. The SOCAN Songwriting Prize is the only major music creation award in Canada that allows music fans to decide the winners of $10,000, a Yamaha PSR-S970 keyboard, and a $500 gift card from Long & McQuade.

The 10 English finalists for the SOCAN Songwriting Prize presented by YouTube Music are:

  • “Dreams Tonite” – written by Alec O’Hanley, Molly Rankin; performed by Alvvays; published by Rough Trade Publishing Canada
  • Money” – written by Leandra Earl, Eliza Enman-McDaniel, Jordan Miller, Kylie Miller, Garrett Lee; performed by The Beaches; published by Done with Dolls Inc., Besme, administered by Kobalt Music Group Ltd.
  • “Main Girl” – written by Charlotte Cardin; performed by Charlotte Cardin; published by Red Brick c/o Corico Arts.
  • “Cotton Candy” – written by Jessie Reyez; performed by Jessie Reyez; published by BMG Rights Management Canada.
  • “Chills” – written by James Barker, Gavin Slate, Travis Wood, Donovan Woods; performed by James Barker Band; published by Warner Chappell Music Canada, Ole Media Management LP II.
  • “Play the Field” – written by Josée Caron, Lucy Niles; performed by Partner; published by Partner Mus.
  • “Walkaway” – written by Jasmyn Burke, Morgan Waters; performed by Weaves.
  • “Magic”– written by Eoin Killeen, Timothy Law, Patrisha Sanna Campbell; performed by Birthday Boy and Trish.
  • “Healers” – written by Benjamin McCarthy, Iskwé, Ryan Somerville; performed by Iskwé.
  • “Lingua Franca” – written by Neil Bednis, Christopher Laurignano, Fraser McClean, Melanie St. Pierre; performed by Casper Skulls.

From May 24 to June 7, 2018, music fans are encouraged to listen to and vote for their favourite song from the nominees by visiting or through social media, on Twitter using the hashtag #mySSPvote and identifying the performer’s name in the tweet. Fans can vote once daily through each platform for each of the English and French prize competitions.

The winning songs are scheduled to be announced the week of June 11, 2018.

“The finalists for the 2018 SOCAN Songwriting Prize reflect the diversity of Canada and the unique perspectives of music creators,” said Mike McCarty, Chief Membership & Business Development Officer at SOCAN. “SOCAN is privileged to support and encourage Canadian songwriters and composers throughout the year, and the SOCAN Songwriting Prize is truly special because it allows music creators to receive recognition for their work directly from their fans. This is a great opportunity to showcase these emerging music creators and their remarkable talent.”

The French and English finalists are determined by respective independent panels of 15 music-industry influencers who nominate two songs that they feel were artistically superior by emerging Canadian songwriters and composers, within the eligibility period (see Rules for complete criteria). All long-listed songs are then compiled, reviewed and voted on by each panel to determine the final 10 short-listed finalists in each category.

SOCAN has no role in determining nominees or winners.

The 10 song finalists for the 2018 Prix de la chanson SOCAN, the Francophone counterpart to the SOCAN Songwriting Prize, exemplifies a wide variety of musical genres:

  • “56k” – written by Simon Trudeau Cliche, Jeff Martinez, Marc Vincent; performed by LOUD; published by Productions Silence D’Or.
  • “La fin du monde” – written by Philippe Bouchard, Gabriel Desjardins; performed by Philippe Brach; published by Éditions Équispec.
  • “Ça va ça va” – written by Philémon Cimon; performed by Lou-Adriane Cassidy
  • “Fou” – written by Andréanne A. Malette, Manuel Gasse; performed by Andréanne A. Malette; published by Productions Nia Inc., David Murphy et cie.
  • “Gallaway Road” – written by Maude Audet; performed by Maude Audet; published by Éditions Dare to Care.
  • “Au-delà des mots” – written by Amelie Beyries, Maxime Cote; performed by Beyries; published by Beyries Mu Inc., White Turtle Pubg (David Murphy et cie).
  • “Primitif” – written by Emerik St-Cyr Labbé; arranged by Etienne Dupre, Eliott Bundock Durocher, David Marchand, Mandela Dalgeish Coupal; performed by Mon Doux Saigneur; published by Éditions Dare to Care.
  • “Petite valise” – written by Émile Proulx-Cloutier; performed by Émile Proulx-Cloutier; published by Éditions de La Tribu.
  • “Tout ce vacarme” – written by Simon Beaudoin, Christian David, Antoine Dumoulin Drolet, Sebastien Jean Houle, David Lagace, Christian Renaud; performed by La Famille Ouellette; published by 9338-4642 Québec inc (Disques St-Laurent).
  • “Je cours” – written by Felix Dyotte; performed by Félix Dyotte and Évelyne Brochu; published by Coyote Records.

For the latest updates, follow the SOCAN Songwriting Prize on social media at @SOCANmusic and on Twitter via the #SOCANprize hashtag.

Previous winners of the SOCAN Songwriting Prize: PUP, “DVP” (2017); Fast Romantics, “Julia” (2016); Dear Rouge, “I Heard I Had” (2015); Alejandra Ribera, “I Want” (2014); Mo Kenney, “Sucker” (2013); Kathleen Edwards, “A Soft Place to Land” (2012); Katie Moore, “Wake Up Like This” (2011); Brasstronaut, “Hearts Trompet” (2010); D-Sisive, “Nobody With a Notepad” (2009); The Weakerthans, “Night Windows” (2008); Abdominal, “Pedal Pusher” (2007); Propagandi, “A Speculative Fiction” (2006).

Previous winners of the Prix de la chanson SOCAN: Klô Pelgag and Karl Gagnon,”Les ferrofluides-fleurs” (2017); Laurence Nerbonne, “Rêves d’été” (2016); Antoine Corriveau, “Le Nouveau vocabulaire” (2015); Patrice Michaud, “Mécaniques générales” (2014); Keith Kouna, “Batiscan” (2013); Koriass, “St-Eustache” (2012); Galaxie, “Piste 1” (2011); Vulgaires Machines, “Parasites” (2010); Bernard Adamus, “La question à 100 piasses” (2009); Karkwa, “Oublie pas” (2008); Tricot Machine, “L’Ours” (2007); Éve Cournoyer, “Tout arrive” (2006).

Parliament Hill in Ottawa was abuzz in the early evening of May 22, 2018, as Minister of Canadian Heritage the Honourable Mélanie Joly, and more than 200 Members of Parliament, Senators, and government staff turned out to attend SOCAN’s fourth annual Parliamentary reception.

Rose Cousins

Rose Cousins (Photo: Dave Chan)

Held at the East Block Courtyard of The Senate, the event has become the go-to reception on Parliament Hill, where federal officials learn more about SOCAN, and enjoy music from our members.

This year Rose Cousins represented our English-speaking membership, while Andréanne A. Malette played on behalf of our Francophone community of music creators. Each performed several songs, and acknowledged the importance of SOCAN to their careers, and to those of our almost 150,000 members.
Among the SOCAN representatives who met with decision-making officials were SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste; President and Chair of SOCAN’s Board of Directors Stan Meissner; SOCAN executives Andrew Berthoff, Geneviève Côté and Gilles Daigle; SOCAN team members Stephanie Falco and Craig Horton,; and SOCAN Board members Rosaire Archambault, Partick Curley, Glenn Morley, Marc Ouellette, Earl Rosen, and Gilles Valiquette.

The event focused on the cultural and economic impact of SOCAN members in the domestic market, and provided SOCAN with an important forum to emphasize the value that our songwriters, composers, #ComposersWhoScore, and music publishers bring to the global economy as well. The reception also allowed us to present our policy positions in an informal setting, to a wide range of politicians, decision-makers, and their advisors.

Andréanne A. Malette

Andréanne A. Malette (Photo: Dave Chan)

“We’re pleased to see that the federal government has announced, in its 2018 budget, that it will invest $5 million in the Copyright Board of Canada over next few years,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “We hope that these funds, dedicated to reforming the board, will lead to reduced delays in its decision-making. SOCAN is also pleased to see the House Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology embarking on a significant review of the Copyright Act, as well as the participation of the Canadian Heritage Standing Committee, who will also take part in the review. Our creator and publisher members are anxious to see progress on our much-needed copyright reform.”

Thanks at least in part to SOCAN’s formal meetings and informal conversations with her, Minister Joly has repeatedly made reference to the importance of music creators in her spoken and written comments. At the reception, she once again acknowledged the value of our members’ music and the important role that SOCAN plays in the music ecosystem.

Parliamentary Secretary of Canadian Heritage Sean Casey, Conservative Heritage Critic Peter Van Loan, NDP Heritage Critic Pierre Nantel, and Liberal Senator Terry Mercer also spoke of the important work that SOCAN does.

SOCAN’s efforts to communicate with our federal government, and the three major political parties, continue to pay off for our members.

The SOCAN Foundation, part of the SOCAN Group of organizations, in partnership with TD Bank Group, presented its very first Indigenous Songwriter Award to Jasmine Netsena at the 2018 Indigenous Music Awards on satirday, May 19, 2018.

SOCAN member Netsena, from Fort Nelson, BC, received the award – which included a $10,000 cash prize, and airfare and accommodations to attend the award ceremonies in Winnipeg – from Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of SOCAN Foundation, and Tim Laronde, Regional Manager of Indigenous Banking at TD.

“I feel honoured to be selected for this award, and very grateful to everyone who worked to make this happen,” said Netsena.

“This new award recognizes artistic excellence in songwriting achieved by Indigenous music creators in Canada, and we’re proud to be able to partner with TD and the Indigenous Music Awards to celebrate Jasmine Netsena,” said Wall-Andrews. “It’s part of our ongoing, mutual effort with TD to foster, promote and diversify opportunities for music creators of Indigenous descent. We’re aiming to build inclusive grant and awards programming as diverse as the communities in which we live.”

The Jury encompassed SOCAN Members ShoShona Kish (Ontario), Alan Greyeyes (Manitoba), Celina Kalluk (Nunavut), and Moe Clark (Québec), and reviewed nearly 200 submissions.

Applications to the 2019 TD Indigenous Songwriter Awards will open in the late fall of 2018; visit for more information about programs and awards.