SOCAN members Danny Michel and Ken Yates each claimed two honours at the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Awards, held Nov. 19, 2017, at the Bronson Centre in Ottawa.

Michel earned the Oliver Schroer Pushing The Boundaries Award, and he and collaborator Rob Carli were also named Producers of the Year, both for their work on Michel’s album Khlebnikov. The album was written, and its basic “bed” tracks were recorded, during an Arctic expedition aboard a Russian icebreaker of the same name, at the invitation of astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Michel’s fellow singer-songwriter Ken Yates captured the Best New/Emerging Songwriter honour, as well as the English Songwriter of the Year Award, both for his second full-length album, Huntsville.

Luc de Larochellière won the French Songwriter of the Year award, for his album Autre Monde, while Chelsea June and Jaaji Okpik – better known as the duo Twin Flames – won the award for Aboriginal Songwriters of the Year, for their album Signal Fire.

For more information, and a full list of nominees and winners, visit the CFMAs website.

Musician, entrepreneur and SOCAN member Miranda Mulholland adderssed an Economic Club of Canada luncheon event and panel, “Redefining Success in a Digital Marketplace,” held Nov. 22, 2017, at the Westin Ottawa, co-sponsored with Music Canada.

Mulholland delivered comments on how music creators are faring poorly in the new digital landscape, and suggested new ways forward. Among them were a recommendation that the federal government remove the “safe harbor” provisions for tech companies like YouTube, which she says creates the value gap; that it reverse the ruling that allows major radio stations to pay no royalties on the first $1 million they earn in advertising revenue; that recordings used in TV and film productions be entitled to royalties, the same as music composed specifically for the soundtracks. She argued against the current culture of “permission-less innovation,” undertaken without care for consequences, which only asks “can I?” create the innovation that harms certain parties, but not “should I?”

Before introducing Mulholland, The President of SOCAN’s Board of Directors, Stan Meissner, said that SOCAN continues to outpace the present and anticipate the future as we lead the global transformation of music rights. Meissner talked about how SOCAN advocates and consults with the government on behalf of our members, and how we’re forging new alliances with RightsTech companies such as Muzooka, Songistry, and IBM Watson, to ensure that our members continue to get fair compensation for their hard work in the new digital/streaming environment.

“We’re working to influence effective solutions, to ensure that Canadian songwriters, composers, music publishers, and businesses using music can compete effectively,” said Meissner. “As we move through these challenges we know it’s equally important to continue to identify opportunities to find new revenue streams, and improve upon the current streams.”

At a panel discussion following the speech, screen composer Ari Posner, singer-songwriter Alan Frew (both SOCAN members), and Roanie Levy, President and CEO of Access Copyright, discussed how the digital marketplace has affected their industries and their individual careers.

Posner said that video streaming services have devalued music, just as audio streaming ones have, citing “a 95 to 98 per cent difference from terrestrial television” in royalties received for his work. Frew admitted that as a veteran rocker, he’s “stumbled through” the disruptive technological change in music delivery, urging young songwriters to pay close attention in order to protect their interests, and made a rousing call to action to his fellow music creators, which gained a round of applause. Levy pointed out that the value gap is just as real for a behind-the-scenes songwriter as it is for a recording artist, and that royalties tend to pay for the necessities of life, like mortgage payments or winter tires.

Asked if he had faith in the future, Frew said, “I do, to the extent that we have advocates willing to step up to the plate for us, like Miranda and Stan.”

Music Canada President Graham Henderson concluded the event with a passionate plea to decision-makers to correct the grievous problem that the Value Gap presents to music creators.

SOCAN presented a No. 1 Song Award to Theory of a Deadman, on Nov. 15, 2017, in Vancouver, for their song “Rx (Medicate)” – which spent six weeks (and counting) on top of the Mediabase US Active Rock chart (based on radio airplay), starting on Oct. 8, 2017. The song has also achieved more than 13 million streams, and as of Nov. 16, 2017, remains in the Top Five on both the Canadian Rock and Modern Rock charts.

SOCAN surprised the band by presenting the award at the release party for their new album Wake Up Call, at the studio of 604 Records, the band’s Canadian record label.

SOCAN West Coast Division Account Executive (Radio) Coralie Hummel, and Team Lead, Member Accounts, Sara Pavilionis presented the award to Theory of a Deadman just after they played an acoustic set and held a question-and-answer session via a live stream for their fans.

“Rx (Medicate)” is co-written by all four band members – Dean Back/Blinky Publishing, David Brenner/April Fool Publishing Inc., Tyler Connolly/Team Toque Publishing Inc., and Joe Dandeneau – and co-published by Canadiana Music.

SOCAN congratulates the writers, publishers, 604 Records, and the entire Theory of a Deadman team on their achievement!