Karo Laurendeau walked away with four honours at the Gala Country Awards, at André Mathieu Hall on Oct. 19, 2019, making her the top winner of the evening. She was awarded in the categories Best Album of Original Material, Song of the Year for “La fureur de vivre,” as well as Female Artist and Radio Show of the Year, the latter for Destination New Country. SOCAN asked her to tell us what those awards mean to her, and where she thinks Québec’s country scene is at in 2019.

The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) has announced that it will induct six influential songs from the Toronto music scene of the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, that will be celebrated at a special concert on Nov. 21, 2019, at Toronto’s Phoenix Concert Theatre.

The songs are:

  • “Let Your Backbone Slide,” by Maestro Fresh Wes, written in 1989 by Wesley Williams, Anthony Davis, and Peter Davis
  • “Rise Up,” by Parachute Club, written in 1983 by Billy Bryans, Lauri Conger, Lorraine Segato, Steve Webster, and Lynne Fernie
  • “(Make Me Do) Anything You Want,” by A Foot in Coldwater, written in 1972 by Paul Naumann and Danny Gordon Taylor
  • “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft,” by Klaatu, written in 1976 by John Woloschuk and Terry Draper
  • “Opportunity,” by Mandala, written in 1967 by Domenic Troiano
  • “I Would Be the One,” by Kensington Market, written in 1968 by Keith McKie

The inductions will be celebrated at an industry and public event,  DECADES: The Toronto Sound of the ‘60s, ‘70s & ‘80s, with tickets available on sale now via TicketWeb.

“We’re very excited to honour some of the amazing songs that were inspired by, and reflect, the unique city of Toronto –  from a group of talented songwriters, who bring different perspectives from three distinct decades,” said Vanessa Thomas, Executive Director of the Hall of Fame. “It will be a night filled with nostalgia, fantastic music, and heart. Many thanks to Crowe Soberman and Gowling WLG for their support of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame to produce this inaugural, not-to-be-missed celebration.”

The evening will feature performances by Maestro Fresh Wes, Lorraine Segato (Parachute Club), Alex Machin (A Foot in Coldwater), George Olliver (Mandala), Keith McKie (Kensington Market), and other surprise guests.

For more information on each of the six songs being inducted into the Hall of Fame, click here.

Hosted once again by MC Gilles, SOCAN’s 7th annual Gala Country took place on October 19 at André Mathieu Hall in Laval, Québec, where14 “Willy” Awards (named after famed Québec country singer Willie Lamothe) were handed out during an evening celebrating the success of Canada’s Francophone country music artists in the past year.

As part of SOCAN’s efforts to stress the importance of country music on the Quebec and Canadian music scenes, Geneviève Côté, SOCAN Chief of Québec Affairs, presented the Songwriter of the Year Award to Laurie LeBlanc, a Bouctouche, New Brunswick, artist who also won a two-week creative stay at the SOCAN House Nashville, and a $1,000 cash prize.

We caught up with him as he was leaving the stage (see left).




Among the evening’s other winners were:

  • Karo Laurendeau (Original Song Album, Song [“La fureur de vivre”], Female Artist, and Radio Show of the Year [Destination New Country];
  • Matt Lang (Breakthrough, Anglophone, and Male Artist of the Year);
  • Paul Daraîche (Show of the Year for Ma maison favorite);
  • Patrick Norman (TV Show of the Year for Pour l’amour du country;
  • Mack et Ro (Group of the Year);
  • Annie Blanchard (Covers Album of the Year for Welcome soleil;
  • Festival Western de St-Tite (Promoter of the Year); and
  • Yoan (People’s Choice Award).

For more details about the 2019 Gala Country, visit the Culture Country website.