Montréal, May 7, 2023 – Tonight marked the long-awaited return of the SOCAN Gala at Montréal’s La TOHU. More than 500 songwriters, composers, screen composers, producers, music publishers, and music industry professionals gathered to celebrate the 33rd annual SOCAN Gala, during which over 100 trophies were awarded to highlight the work of Québec’s creative talent over the past two years.
Hosted with glamour and humour by the flamboyant drag queen Barbada, the SOCAN Gala began with a powerful and moving performance by Jeanick Fournier of the timeless “Un peu plus haut, un peu plus loin,” celebrating the incredible work of Jean-Pierre Ferland, recipient of this year’s Cultural Impact Award.
Many other Achievement Awards were presented during the gala, including the Special Achievement Award to Ginette Reno for her illustrious career; the Lifetime Achievement Award to the great Plume Latraverse; and the Songwriter (Performer) and Songwriter (Non-Performer) awards, were given, respectively, to two successful creative duos: Roxane Bruneau and Mathieu Brisset, as well as hit-makers Banx & Ranx. The Screen Composer Award was presented to two outstanding creators, Nathalie Bonin and Cristobal Tapia de Veer, celebrated for their incredible composition work on both the small and big screen over the past two years. The Publisher Award went to Bloc Notes Music Publishing, an outstanding publishing house in the music ecosystem of Québec and Canada. And the International Award went to Montréal-based music production duo Demy & Clipz, responsible for, among other things, the worldwide hit “La Corriente” by Grammy-winning mega-star Bad Bunny.
“The annual 2023 SOCAN Gala was a wonderful snapshot of our accomplished and very important members from Québec: touching, creative, and full of talent,” said SOCAN CEO Jennifer Brown. “Québec’s music community is dynamic and gifted, and must continue to thrive. SOCAN recognizes and understands the specific challenges it faces, and we’re fully committed to our mission: to license the use of our members’ music, collect the money due to them, and return the royalties they’ve earned for their work. We believe that together, we can do great things. More than ever, SOCAN is proud to be a key player in Québec’s vibrant music ecosystem, and is passionate about its continued success.”
Breathtaking Performances and SOCAN Classics
Several musical performances marked the gala with unique and moving moments. Among them, Mara Tremblay, Catherine Durand, Marie-Pierre Arthur and Martin Deschamps joined their voices to pay tribute to Plume Latraverse by performing a selection of his most emblematic songs. Ines Talbi, Marie-Denise Pelletier and Lunou Zucchini embraced the task, with respect and humility, of reminding us how Ginette Reno has impacted Québec with her greatest songs. The excellent “chameleon band” Qualité Motel performed a daring medley where they adapted, to their unique sound, a selection of award-winning works from the various categories dedicated to screen music. Pierre Kwenders, Ingrid St-Pierre and Stéphanie St-Jean paid tribute to Paul Piché, who was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame during the Gala – much to the delight of the artist himself, and everyone in attendance. The extremely talented Chloé Lacasse was the Gala’s musical director.
This year’s event also marked the return of the SOCAN Classic Awards..Trophies were presented to “Toune d’automne” by Cowboys Fringants; Corneille’s “Parce qu’on vient de loin”; Daniel Boucher’s “La Désise”; Ariane Moffatt’s “Point de mire”; Jean Leloup’s “Balade à Toronto”; Daniel Bélanger’s “Rêver mieux”; “Amalgame” by The Respectables; and Noir Silence’s “On jase de toi.”
In the specialized music categories, global music was honoured with the Hagood Hardy Award, given to Pierre Kwenders; the Jan V. Matejcek Award for New Classical Music went to Linda Bouchard; the Country Music Award went to the energetic Sara Dufour; the intriguing Ouri won the Electronic Music Award; veteran Souldia won the Hip-Hop Music Award; and the Viral Music Award, presented by Gowling WLG, went to Patrick Watson – for his song “Je te laisserai des mots,” which has accumulated more than 4.8 billion views worldwide on TikTok. The Breakthrough Award went to dance sensation Rêve and rising star Jay Scøtt; and the first-ever Breakthrough Female Screen Composer Award went to the talented Anaïs Larocque.
Popular Music and Screen Composition
A total of eleven Popular Music Awards were presented during the evening, to the songwriters and publishers of the most popular French-language songs of 2021 and 2022: “À ma manière,” “Si jamais on me cherche,” “Guérir nos mémoires,” “Copilote,” “Tokébakicitte,” “L’écho,” “T’es belle,” “Où sera le monde…”, “Je suis comme toi,” “Elle n’entend plus battre son cœur,” and “Vous êtes ici.” Two Anglophone Popular Music Awards were given to “Flowers Need Rain,” sung and played by Preston Pablo and Banx & Ranx, as well as “Lost” by Jonathan Roy. The International Song Award went to “Tu t’en iras,” co-written by La Zarra, Zacharie “Soke” Raymond, Yannick “Kny Factory” Rastogi, and Benny Adam.
The Gala also saluted the precious talent of screen composers and publishers. Among the evening’s winners, Michel Cusson walked away with two awards: one for his collaboration with Miklos Simpson on District 31 in the category Fiction or Dramatic Series, the other for Unité 9 in the category Television Music – International. Composers Jason Sharp (The Decline), Tim Rideout (L’échappée), Luc Pronovost (Destination Ski), Nicolas Savard-L’Herbier (Cochon Dingue), and Raphael Reed (Crisis) all won trophies recognizing their invaluable contributions to these productions.
The Post-Synchronization Award, given for the first time at the Gala – to the SOCAN reproduction rights client whose work has been reproduced in the greatest number of post-synchronizations on digital or traditional audio-visual platforms in 2021 – went to composer Philippe Leduc.
Partner In Music Award
Finally, the essential contribution of SOCAN-licensed companies or organizations for the fair use of music was recognized with this year’s Partner in Music Award, given to Télé-Québec and Sphère Média for the long-running TV show Belle et Bum, and its ongoing commitment to showcasing a diverse roster of up-and-coming musicians. The show celebrated its 20th season this year.
For all the details on the 33rd annual SOCAN Gala, visit galasocan.com.
SOCAN is a rights management organization that links more than four million creators and publishers of music and visual artists around the world with more than a quarter of a million businesses and individuals in Canada alone. More than 185,000 songwriters, composers, music publishers are its direct members, and more than 100,000 organizations are Licensed To Play music across Canada. With a concerted use of progressive technology and unique data, SOCAN is dedicated to upholding the fundamental truths that music has a value and its creators and publishers deserve fair compensation for their work. To find out more: www.socan.com
In Québec, a song is consecrated SOCAN Classic once it has accumulated 25,000 radio plays over a period of at least 20 years.