The 13th annual edition of the Gala alternatif de la musique indépendante du Québec (GAMIQ) was held Nov. 25, 2018, at Montréal’s Café Campus. All told, 29 Lucien Awards – the trophy named in honour of the frontman of legendary band Aut’Chose, Lucien Francoeur – were presented during the event. The evening was also the occasion of a well-deserved homage to Grim Skunk, on the band’s 30th anniversary of making no-compromise rock music.

No artist came out on top in terms of their number of wins, because this year, the gala made a conscious effort to distribute the awards in a more targeted way. Among the most coveted awards, Milk & Bone won Artist of the Year, and rap duo Seba & Horg won Song of the Year for their hit “Vintage à l’os.” The Breakthrough Artist Award went to Les Louanges, the Pop Album of the Year was presented to Lydia Képinski’s Premier juin, and the Artist of the Year – Public Choice went to Fouki.

The evening was hosted by duo Sèxe Illégal, while the musical accompaniment was in the very eclectic hands of Crabe. As usual, several performances underscored Québec’s rich and  diverse independent music scene, including those by Random Recipe, Sonido PESAO, Donzelle, Alex Burger, K-Iri, L’amalgame, VICTIME, Marie-Gold, Silver Dapple, Robert Fusil et les chiens fous, Renard Blanc, Tu/Lips, and Of Course, who performed between the award presentations, which celebrate the vitality of Québec’s emerging music scene.

Here is the full list of award winners at the 13th annual GAMIQ:

Artist of the Year: Milk & Bone
Artist of the Year – Public Choice: Fouki
Pop Album of the Year: Lydia Képinski – Premier juin
Indie Rock Album of the Year: Mon Doux Saigneur – Mon Doux Saigneur
Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year: Eman X Vlooper – La Joie
Folk Album of the Year: Maude Audet – Comme une odeur de déclin
Rock Album of the Year: Keith Kouna – Bonsoir shérif
Electronic Album of the Year: Ouri – Ouri/Mind Bath
Pop EP of the Year: Rosie Valland – Synchro
Rap/Hip-Hop EP of the Year: Marie-Gold – Goal: Une mélodie
Indie Rock EP of the Year: Duu – Contre-Cycles
Folk EP of the Year: Helena Deland – Altogether Unaccompanied Vol. I & II
Rock EP of the Year: Fuudge – Man!
Electronic EP of the Year: Apashe – Requiem
Punk Album or EP of the Year: Oktoplut – Démon Normal
Metal Album or EP of the Year: Get the Shot – Infinite Punishment
Post-Rock/Post-Punk Album or EP of the Year: Victime – La femme-taupe
World Music Album or EP of the Year: Papagroove – The Hunt
Jazz Album or EP of the Year: Hugo Blouin – Charbonneau ou Les valeurs à’ bonne place, Volume 1
Experimental Album or EP of the Year: Martin Lizotte – Ubiquité
Artist of the Year: Milk & Bone
Concert of the Year: Grim Skunk
Breakout Artist of the Year: Les Louanges
Song of the Year: Vintage à l’os – Seba & Horg
Video of the Year: WD-40 – La Forêt
Album Illustration of the Year: Poni  – Album complet
Radio Station of the Year: CISM
Venue of the Year: Quai des Brumes – Montréal
Digital Media of the Year:
Festival of the Year La noce – Saguenay
Homage 2018: Grim Skunk

Poet and lyricist Claude Péloquin died last Sunday at the age of 76 in the palliative care unit of Marie-Clarac hospital in Montréal-North. He suffered from generalized cancer.

A singular poet, writer, screenwriter, director, and prolific lyricist, Claude Péloquin’s name is stamped indelibly on the great Québecois songbook. His most recognized work is undeniably “Lindberg,” which he co-wrote with Robert Charlebois, and for which he was honoured with SOCAN’s Cultural Impact Award at our 2017 Montréal Gala. Written in 1967, the song was like an earthquake, the aftershpocks of which are still being felt today – it was the beginning of the modern era of music in Québec. Péloquin and Charlebois would continue to collaborate frequently until the ’80s. He released five albums under his own name, notably Laissez​-​nous vous embrasser où vous avez mal, in 1972, alongside composer Jean Sauvageau, a cult album that included his classic “Monsieur l’indien,” a song in which his free, rebellious spirit shone through so brightly.

In 2013, Péloquin met singer-songwriter Yann Perreau and gave him a pile of lyrics, and carte blanche. The resulting album, À genoux dans le désir, saw Péloquin’s poetry married to Perreau’s music in a magnificent way. It was a meeting of two free creators from different generations, and SOCAN re-united them once more in 2017 on the red carpet of its Montréal Awards Gala. In this never-before-seen video interview, Péloquin and Perreau talk about “Lindberg,” their collaboration on À genoux dans le désir, and the importance of SOCAN in their careers.

SOCAN expresses its heartfelt condolences to Claude Péloquin’s family and friends.

Ally Sou, Poesy, Steph Copeland

Ally Sou, Poesy, Steph Copeland

In January of 2019, SOCAN is re-launching its “Song Camp Mondays” initiative, whereby SOCAN members are chosen to participate in a three-person, one-day writing session in the Sound Lounge at the SOCAN Toronto office, or those Sound Lounges at our new offices in either Vancouver, or – for the first time – Los Angeles.

Three applicants, who must be SOCAN members, will be selected at random, to come in for a co-writing session, which will be held at least once a month. SOCAN members can apply right now, here, for sessions that start in January 2019. Submissions are open to all SOCAN songwriter members, regardless of musical genre, skill level, geographical location, or whether the applicant has a publisher or not.

“Song Camp Mondays” are designed to help Canadian songwriters build their relationships, gain experience collaborating, and advance their craft by bringing the song camp experience to as many SOCAN writers as possible.

“It was an absolute pleasure participating in SOCAN’s Song Camp Mondays, meeting and working with brilliantly talented songwriters, musicians, and producers from all different backgrounds,” says songwriter/producer Cody Taylor. “It’s an experience nobody should ever turn down. I would do it again, hands down.”

“I’ve always been so shy to ask my fellow musicians if they’d like to collaborate with me, so when I was approached to be a part of the SOCAN Song Camp Mondays, I was pulled out of my comfort zone in the greatest way imaginable,” says singer-songwriter Bukola Balogun. “I was blessed with the opportunity to collaborate with such talented songwriters/producers, and was able to leave the camp with a brand new song, some new ideas, but most importantly, new friends.”

“I had a super-inspiring time at SOCAN headquarters writing with some special local artists,” says music creator Chase Horseman. “[SOCAN Vancouver A&R representative] Racquel [Villagante] is a whiz at matching synergetic talents and creating an open atmosphere, where we could all be ourselves. In one afternoon we finished a song for Mady, played around with some other ideas, and all became friends. Lots of love for SOCAN and the team!”

MO3 (Moses Adediran), Desiree Dawson, Francis Arevalo

MO3 (Moses Adediran), Desiree Dawson, Francis Arevalo

Each “Song Camp Mondays” session will run from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Sound Lounge of one of our offices. There will be a break for a pizza lunch at 1:00 p.m., which includes a brief “SOCAN 101” session to explain how to register the song, and other ways to get paid. The Sound Lounges are equipped with gear, but participants are welcome to bring their own instrument(s) and gear of choice for songwriting. At least one participant must bring an audio interface required to connect computers to outboard recording gear.

Participating songwriters must be willing to split ownership of the newly created song in equal shares – regardless of the individual parties’ contributions to the final work. They must also be prepared to work collaboratively and co-operatively, and come into the session with an open mind, willing to work with their two co-writers, regardless of genre and skill level. Of course, if participants are enjoying the co-writing process, they’re free to continue the co-writing relationship after the session.

SOCAN members can apply only once for “Song Camp Mondays”, as their applications will be retained on file, to be randomly chosen to participate at any point in the future. Please note that SOCAN won’t provide any payment for travel or lodgings to successful applicants for Song Camp Mondays.