SOCAN member Drake won 12 awards out of 17 nominations at the 2019 edition of the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) on May 1, 2019, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, bringing his career total to 27 trophies – which makes him the top award winner in the almost 30-year history of the event.

Among Drake’s 2019 Awards were Top Male Artist, Top Artist, and Top Billboard 200 Album – and it was the second time that he’s won the latter two awards in the past three years.

While accepting the Top Billboard 200 album for Scorpion, Drake said he’d fulfilled his wish to make a double album, and won’t be making another one. “Thank you to everybody who gave me their time and their energy,” he said, “who stayed away from their family and their friends while we were trying to complete this.” He also added, in a reference to the April 28 episode of Game of Thrones, and while making a stabbing motion with his trophy, “Shout-out to Arya Stark for putting in that work last week, ay!”

After he won Top Artist, he said, “I just want to thank my mom for her relentless effort in my life. I want to thank my mom for all the times you drove me to piano. All the times you drove me to basketball and hockey – that clearly didn’t work out. All the times you drove me to Degrassi. No matter how long it took me to figure out what I wanted to do, you were always there to give me a ride, and now we’re on one hell of ride.”

Jack de Keyzer

Jack de Keyzer (Photo: David McDonald)

Out of more than almost 19,000 entries from 140 countries, SOCAN members The Trews (Colin MacDonald, John-Angus MacDonald, and Jack Syperek, along with co-writer Derek Hoffman) and veteran guitarist Jack de Keyzer both earned first-place prizes at the 2018 International Songwriting Competition (ISC).

The Trews won in the rock category for their song, “Times Speeding Up,” while de Keyzer won in the blues field for “My Love Has Gone.”

Several SOCAN members earned other 2018 ISC awards, as follows:

Second  Place

  • Christian – Matt Adams (of the band West of Here), for “The Other Side”
  • Folk/Singer-Songwriter – Garrett Vandenberg, for “Stubborn Thing”

Third Place

  • Performance — Will Bowes, for “Mad at the World”
  • Teen – Sofia Kay, for “Astronomy Rose”
  • Unsigned Only – Jocelyn Alice, Jayson DeZuzio (ASCAP), Marco Borrero (ASCAP), and Sabrina Bernstein (BMI), for Alice’s “You’re the Worst”

For a complete list of 2018 winners and honorable mentions, and to hear the winning songs, visit the ISC website. SOCAN congratulates all of our winning members on their achievements!

A piano concerto written in the 1940s by an 18-year-old Canadian composer, described as a genius by Sergei Rachmaninoff, is about to receive its Ontario première more than 70 years later.

Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico joins the Kindred Spirits Orchestra and conductor Kristian Alexander in the first Ontario performance of the Piano Concerto No. 4 by André Mathieu (1929-1968), on May 11, 2019, at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, in Richmond Hill, ON.

Montreal composer André Mathieu was a child prodigy, considered the “Canadian Mozart.” Having composed his fourth concerto at only 18, he gave several performances of it. However, no complete score seemed to exist until noted Quebec pianist Alain Lefèvre was given recordings made by Mathieu. Lefèvre engaged composer Gilles Bellemare to re-construct the work from the recordings, and a few handwritten pages. Lefèvre subsequently recorded it in 2008, and performed it in Montréal and the U.S.  Lynn René Bayley of Fanfare called the concerto “truly a work of genius.”

“Rachmaninoff on steroids,” is how Petrowska Quilico describes the concerto. “It’s challenging to play, but is a very expressive work, with lush harmonies, that I think will appeal to a wide audience. The pianist also has the benefit of leeway, in places, for his or her own interpretation.”

“André Mathieu has a unique style and exceptional talent for mixing orchestral colours,” said Kristian Alexander, Music Director of Kindred Spirits Orchestra. “I hope his inspired writing will continue attracting audiences across Canada and abroad.”