The SOCAN Foundation today announced the recipients of the inaugural SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards, an award created to recognize and celebrate the artistic merit demonstrated by Black music creators. The five winners will each receive $5,000, made possible by SiriusXM Canada.
More than 300 applications from artists across Canada covering a wide variety of musical genres were submitted for the 2020 Awards.
“Congratulations to all the winners for their extraordinary talent in music creation,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of the SOCAN Foundation. “The musical pieces submitted are indicative of the extent of the contributions made by the Canadian Black music community that is enriching Canadian culture while contributing in a significant way to social and economic inclusion.”
Winners were selected by a jury and advisory council of prominent Black artists and industry leaders, including jury Chair DJ Agile. Furthermore, four of the five winners of the SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards are first-generation Canadians.
“SiriusXM would like to congratulate the five winners of the inaugural SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards,” said Paul Cunningham, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, SiriusXM Canada. “We were blown away by the outstanding talent and submissions from Black music creators from across the country.”
The SOCAN Foundation, in partnership with Sirius XM Canada, will virtually celebrate the winners of the 2020 SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards with a series of short videos on its Instagram page @socanfdn from January 12th to 14th.
Launched September 2020, the Black Canadian Music Awards aim to recognize and celebrate Black songwriters and composers. The Awards support the SOCAN Foundation’s objective to develop equitable and inclusive programming as diverse as the communities in which we live.
The five winners are TOBi, Naya Ali, RAAHiiM, Hunnah and Dylan Sinclair. To learn more about the 2020 winners and jury, click here.
The SiriusXM Black Canadian Music Awards were created as a response to the high-profile racial tensions that developed in early 2020, and to address issues arising from our societies’ systemic racism. It was the SOCAN Foundation’s way to acknowledge and denounce history’s injustices by celebrating the talent of Black Canadian music creators. What is meant by Black music? For the SOCAN Foundation, the term “Black music” is meant to be an inclusive category representing all music being created, produced or inspired by black people and by persons of African descent, including African music traditions and African popular music as well as the musical genres of the African diaspora, particularly Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latin, Afro-Brasilian and Afro-American music. That definition and the Award’s broad guidelines are the result of consultations with a small group of members of the Black music community and members of the SOCAN Foundation team.