Brett Kissel was the big winner at the 2020 Canadian Country Music Association Awards (CCMAs), where he took home four honours – for Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year (for Now or Never), the Fans’ Choice Award, and an industry award for Creative Director of the Year (also for Now or Never), shared with Connor Scheffler.

Dallas Smith and Tenille Townes each earned three awards: he for Entertainer, Top Selling Canadian Album (Timeless), and Top Selling Canadian Single of the Year (“Like a Man”); and she for Female Artist and Video of the Year (for “Jersey On The Wall (I’m Just Asking)”), as well as the SOCAN-presented Songwriter of the Year Award, for “Jersey” as well, co-written with Gordie Sampson and Tina Parol.

The Washboard Union won in the Group or Duo category for the third consecutive year, and in the Roots Album category for the second year in a row (for Everbound). Similarly, Lindsay Ell won her second stright annual honour for Interactive Artist or Group of the Year. Warner Chappell Music Canada was the Music Publishing Company of the Year.

SOCAN presented the Industry Awards virtually, on Sept. 26, 2020, inclduing seven artist-category honours, while eight more awards in those fields were broadcast nationally on Global TV on Sept. 27, 2020. Amidst the worldwide pandemic, the latter created a memorable night of performances, which were filmed in Ontario and Nashville over four days this summer.

Before the awards, on Sept, 26, SOCAN A&R Representative Racquel Villagante hosted an online Songwriter Masterclass with Lindsay Ell, Kelly Archer, Dave “Dwave” Thomson, and Deric Ruttan. All of them recounted their experiences in the previous two CCMA /SOCAN Song Camps, in the Dominican Republic in 2019, and Muskoka in 2020. The quartet shared some key philosophies behind their songwriting careers, tips and tricks for songwriting in groups, and particularly for doing co-writing sessions on ZOOM – as we do our SOCAN Song Camp Mondays. They also tackled some frequently asked questions, like Nashville rules for percentage splits, where they get the inspiration for their songs, who they consult when they’re “done” a song and want honest feedback, and overcoming writer’s block. Lindsay Ell mentioned that she’s started a songwriting group in which anyojne can participate, even those who aren’t professionals, to use songwriting as a means of therapy that she believes should be accessible to all.

SOCAN congratulates all of its members who won Canadian Country Music Awards this year!

The application period for the 27th edition of the Ma première Place des Arts competition is underway until Nov. 1, 2020. Ma première Place des Arts is a competition organized by SACEF (Société pour l’avancement de la chanson d’expression française) that allows contestants the opportunity to get personalized mentorship; to perform in Salle Claude-Léveillée of Place des Arts; to participate in an actual televised event; to receive comments on their work; benefit from promotional visibility; and participate in workshops alongside industry professionals; not to mention networking opportunities with established artists and other industry movers and shakers. All while enjoying the chance to win several grants and other prizes designed to help them launch their career.

The 26th edition paused after venues were shut down on March 13, 2020, but will resume with performances by artists Ally Neah, Dominik Deschamps, William Beauchamp and Sophie Morin De Moor; by singer-songwriters Catherine Dagenais, Rose bouche, Mariko, Marc Gravel, Laurent Corbec, Abel and Allyson Pétrin; and by the bands Fides, Les 3 de pick, Opium and De plume et d’encre, during the semi-finals, to  be held on February 23, 24 and 25, 2021, respectively. The finals of the 26th edition will be held on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at Cinquième salle.

You can find out all the details about the contest, and the work done by SACEF, by visiting the Ma première Place des Arts website.

Says Billboard magazine of “Love Me”: “The track blends LIGHTS’ crystalline vocals with [Felix] Cartal’s dancefloor sensibilities, resulting in a collaboration that would fit neatly in any heart-shaped box of candy.” The thoughtful pop star and the electronic dance music professional tell us the stories of how they first met, and how they created the winning song.