More than 700 of the who’s who of Canada’s songwriters, composers, music publishers and industry leaders gathered tonight for the 30th anniversary of the SOCAN Awards, the annual celebration of achievement in music creation, publishing and licensing.
Hosted by CBC’s Amanda Parris, the gala at the Sheraton Centre Toronto opened with an unforgettable performance by songwriters Carly Rae Jepsen, Josh Ramsay and Tavish Crowe of the global smash “Call Me Maybe.” The trio were then honoured with the Most-Performed Song in the organization’s 30-year history as SOCAN.
Chad Kroeger of Nickelback and Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies were honoured for their historic achievements. As the Most-Performed Songwriter in SOCAN history, Kroeger was celebrated for his remarkable accomplishments in music creation with an inspired performance by Dallas Smith of his hit song “How You Remind Me.”
Robertson was presented with the SOCAN Cultural Impact Award for the influence that “The Big Bang Theory” theme has had on pop culture worldwide. The audience was treated to a show-stopping rendition of the song, followed by fan favourite “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies.
Jack Lenz was honoured as the Most-Performed Screen Composer in SOCAN history. Over his career, Lenz’s music has been featured in Due South, Designer Guys, The Passion of the Christ and Goosebumps, to name only a few.
At the show, the incomparable Buffy Sainte-Marie was inducted into SOCAN’s Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame for her life’s work in creation that now spans almost 60 years. Melissa McClelland, Fred Penner and Josh Q delivered unforgettable performances of Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier,” “Up Where We Belong” and “Til It’s Time For You To Go,” and Canadian media personality George Stroumboulopoulos made the presentation.
The SOCANs featured additional memorable performances, including Elijah Wood X Jamie Fine (SOCAN Pop Award winners), Meghan Patrick (SOCAN Country Award winner) and 2019 JUNO nominee, anders.
The SOCAN Songwriter of the Year – Producer was awarded to Frank Dukes, his second consecutive win in the category for his work on hits like “Havana,” “Better Now” and “Pray For Me.” Dukes also took home three SOCAN Awards in the Pop Music category and one in Rap Music.
Grammy-nominated producer Murda Beatz accepted the SOCAN International Achievement Award and a SOCAN Award in the Rap category for “Nice For What,” co-written and performed by Drake. Though unable to attend due to touring in Europe, Drake received the award for SOCAN Songwriter of the Year – Performer.
For her recent meteoric global triumphs, Jessie Reyez was presented with the SOCAN Breakout Songwriter Award, and received two SOCAN Dance Music Awards for her work with Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa and Sam Smith.
Ralph Murphy was honoured with the SOCAN Special Achievement Award for his prodigious achievements in songwriting and his lifetime commitment to passing along his great wisdom to aspiring music creators.
For the third consecutive year, Keith Power earned the SOCAN Composer of the Year Award for his work in television and feature films, such as Hawaii Five-0; Heartland; MacGyver; and Magnum, P.I.
The SOCAN Publisher of the Year Award was presented to Red Brick Publishing for their tireless efforts to ensure bright futures for music creators.
Bell Media took home the prestigious SOCAN Licensed To Play Award, in recognition of the company’s exemplary dedication to Canadian music programming and unwavering commitment to fair music licensing.
Representing the collective appreciation and thanks of nearly 160,000 members of SOCAN who depend on Canada’s music-using organizations and businesses of every size to stay current with their music licenses, the Licensed To Play Award was presented by acclaimed screen composer Janal Bechtold.
“Music creators and publishers are the heartbeat of the Canadian music industry, not only are they achieving personal success, but they are an important source of international culture and pride for all of us,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “We are once again thrilled to celebrate the incredible accomplishments and contributions of Canadian songwriters, composers, music publishers and music users, and extend our heartfelt congratulations to all of tonight’s SOCAN Award recipients.”
The annual Gala de la SOCAN in Montréal, which celebrates and honours the work of SOCAN’s Francophone members, will be held in September.