Dylan Menzie earned the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year honour, as well as those for Entertainer of the Year and and Buzz Album Art of the Year (for Lost in Dreams, which tied with Lawrence Maxwell’s Almost Natural), at the 2021 Music P.E.I. Awards, held the afternoon of March 28, 2021, at an invitation-only event at the Delta PEI Convention Centre in Charlottetown that followed COVID-19 rules.

Catherine MacLellan was the other big winner of the day, earning awards for Song (for “This Storm,” co-written with Tara MacLean), Solo Recording, and Contemporary Roots Recording of the Year (both for Coyote).

Double-winner Vishtèn took home the trophies for both Francophone Artist and Livestream of the Year; double-winner Kinley took the honours for both Digital Achievement and Video of the Year; Rachel Beck won Album of the Year (for Stronger Than You Know); and Logan Richard was recognized as the New Artist of the Year, on the strength of his album Everyday.

A finale, with performances by MacLellan, Menzie, and others was held at the Convention Centre the same night.

Fort a complete list of winners, click here.

The Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA) has announced that Andrew Cash, a former Member of Parliament, SOCAN member, and JUNO Award-winning Canadian independent artist, has been appointed as the organization’s President.

“After an exhaustive search, we’re thrilled to announce Andrew Cash as the new President of CIMA,” says Tim Potocic, Chair of CIMA’s Board of Directors and President of Sonic Unyon Records. “Andrew brings enormous strength to our organization with his unique combination of music, government, policy, and community activism experience. We’re excited for the future, with him leading the way.”

At CIMA, Cash plans to build on the relationships, skills, and experience he’s gained in his past work to help lead Canada’s independent music sector to a robust recovery when the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

“Our members are at the forefront of Canada’s new economy as home-grown generators of intellectual property, green jobs and exports,” says Cash. “I look forward to working with all parts of Canada’s music ecosystem, along with our partners in government and the private sector, to ensure our industry has what it needs for a robust post-pandemic recovery.

“As a former artist and arts entrepreneur, I’m particularly eager to help the people at the foundation of our sector – Canadian artists – get back on their feet stronger than ever. The musical talent, digital know-how, and entrepreneurial spirit needed to make this happen are in place. CIMA will play an active role in helping artists and Canada’s independent music sector bounce back to full strength.”

SOCAN congratulates Andrew Cash, and looks forward to working with him in his new capacity, for the betterment of all Canadian music creators.

The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) will induct the 54.40 song “I Go Blind” with a live virtual presentation to lead singer Neil Osborne, airing on Breakfast Television, on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

The Canadian hit and SOCAN Classic song, written and recorded by the Vancouver alt-rock band, enjoyed success twice: the first time as recorded and released by the group in 1986, and the second time a decade later when a cover by Hootie & The Blowfish unexpectedly became a Billboard Top Five hit.

“Although the song’s meaning has taken on different significance for each generation, its anti-apathy message and challenge to seek truth and purpose continues to resonate in 2021,” said Vanessa Thomas, CSHF Executive Director.  “‘I Go Blind’ was embraced by Canadians when it was released in 1986, but the global popularity that Hootie & The Blowfish gave to the song helped to shine a deserving spotlight on its lyrics and great song writing.”

“I Go Blind,” written by 54.40 members Neil Osborne, Philip Comparelli, Brad Merritt, and Darryl Neudorf, continues to enjoy success, with a delightful rootsy re-recording appearing on 54.40’s 2016 unplugged album La Difference.

54.40 was signed by Warner/Reprise Records, but the label disappointingly chose to distribute “I Go Blind” in Canada only, in 1986.  Undeterred, 54.40 forged on with other projects, steadily increasing their fan base and album sales over the ensuing decade. Then, “I Go Blind” found a new lease on life, when in 1994 Hootie & The Blowfish recorded a faithful cover as the B-side to the single “Hold My Hand.” After this version was featured on the hit television sitcom Friends and the show’s soundtrack album, it skyrocketed to the top of the charts.

By February 1997, “I Go Blind” was charting on not just one, but several Billboard charts. It peaked at No. 2 Adult Top 40 and hit No. 13 (Hot 100), No. 17 (Mainstream Top 40 Airplay) and No. 22 (Adult Contemporary), and reached No. 13 on Canada’s RPM chart. The royalties enabled 54.40 to build their own Vancouver recording studio. It also appeared on Hootie & The Blowfish’s Scattered, Smothered and Covered album in 2000.

Formed in 1981 in Vancouver, 54.40 has had a string of Gold and Platinum albums, a B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame Star, and has been inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame. The band has won two West Coast Music Awards, two SOCAN Classic Song Awards,  and several JUNO nominations.