Want to get to know some of our 2021 SOCAN Award winners a little better?

Then click here and scroll down to check out some short video interviews with concert music and opera composer Ian Cusson; R&B/rap/pop singer-songwriter Harm Franklin; country singer and songsmith Madeline Merlo; teen pop phenomenon and songwriting force Tate McRae; and internationally successful singer-songwriter Lido Pimienta with Cheryl Link, Senior Creative Director of Pimienta’s publisher, peermusic Canada.

Ian Cusson (winner of the Jan V. Matejcek Award) discusses his composing throughout 2020, his work on diversity at the Banff Centre for the Arts, how he first discovered opera, and his very collaborative music-writing process.

Harm Franklin (winner of a Viral Song Award, for “Stunnin’”) talks about how he co-wrote the SOCAN Award-winning song, celebrated his success with another song, “Last Year,” and plans to mix Punjabi with English as he moves forward.

Tate McRae (winner of the Breakout Songwriter of the Year Award, and a Pop Music Award for “You Broke Me First”), the billion-streaming singer-songwriter, tells us how she co-wrote her breakthrough song, how her writing process works,  and how she retains control of her career.

Madeline Merlo (winner of a Country Music Award for “Champagne Night”) tells the amazing Cinderella story of how co-writing the SOCAN Award-winning song completely changed her life.

Lido Pimienta (winner of the Hagood Hardy Award for Global Music) with Cheryl Link of peermusic Canada inc. (which won the Publisher of the Year Award), discuss how they work together to discover and leverage opportunities to further the songwriter’s career.

Congratulations once again to all of these 2021 SOCAN Award winners!

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO), a leading Canadian orchestra, has earned the 2021 SOCAN Licensed To Play Award for its steadfast and continuing commitment to fair, legal, and ethical music licensing over its nearly century-long history – including 2020, when the world was faced with the global pandemic. The annual accolade is part of the 32nd annual SOCAN Awards, held virtually for the second time, starting May 27, 2021.

The TSO’s vibrant music programming and music-related initiatives encompass internationally recognized composers and music creators, including many SOCAN composer members. Each year, the TSO’s SOCAN-licensed events set the stage for many orchestral and popular concerts where music is heard and performed, and in 2020 the TSO innovated with online performances, each adhering to fair music licensing.

“We’re very proud to receive the Licensed To Play SOCAN Award,” said Toronto Symphony Orchestra CEO Matthew Loden. “We continue to program rich and diverse music artists, including composers who evolve our art form. The TSO’s Principal Librarian Gary Corrin has been unwavering in his commitment to composers, and our relationship with SOCAN – it’s one more way we can support the artists with whom we work.”

The Licensed To Play award recognizes a Canadian business that consistently ensures it is legally and ethically using music, and represents the mutual respect that music creators and businesses have for each other, allowing them both to continue to grow together.

“The TSO’s outstanding reputation of ethical and fair music licensing is an example of their sustained commitment to composers and music creators, and just one of the reasons they remain a leader in the orchestral world,” said Ian Cusson, Canadian composer, and recipient of the 2021 Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music SOCAN Award.

The TSO’s focus on digital performances during the pandemic encompassed SOCAN-licensed programming, including their TSO On Demand and Live-stream series. “This award recognizes that the TSO continues to program extraordinary musical talent, both in-person and digitally, with fair compensation,” said SOCAN Vice President of Royalty Collections, Kit Wheeler. “It’s an honour for SOCAN to continue our great partnership with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on behalf of our more than 175,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers.”

SOCAN works with businesses and their trade associations, as well as municipalities and others, to encourage them to stay up-to-date with their music licenses. Collectively, music licensing provides a major part of the livelihoods of songwriters, composers, and music publishers, through royalties. It’s a vital aspect of Canada’s music ecosystem.

The 2021 SOCAN Awards will be the second year that the annual event is being held online due to pandemic safeguards. On May 27, more than 50 SOCAN awards will be presented to the year’s most successful music creators and publishers in an event that’s often cited as a crowning achievement in the careers of songwriters, composers, and music publishers.

Learn more about the SOCAN Awards at SocanAwards.com.

Click here for a Complete List of 2021 SOCAN Awards Winners

Global superstar and SOCAN member The Weeknd has achieved yet another milestone by gaining five SOCAN Awards for his accomplishments in 2020, matching fellow SOCAN member Shawn Mendes as the most-awarded SOCAN member in a single year.

After dominating the Billboard Music Awards, The Weeknd adds the coveted SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award, the SOCAN International Song Award for the smash hit “Blinding Lights,” two SOCAN Pop Music Awards, and a SOCAN R&B Music Award.

Honouring Canada’s most successful songwriters, composers and music publishers, the 32nd annual SOCAN Awards are being held online for the second year.

Follow @socanmusic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (#SOCANawards) and go to socanawards.com to join in the celebration of more than 50 award winners announced today, and a special performance by JJ Wilde of Eddie Schwartz’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” Special virtual presentations will include SOCAN members Drake, Lido Pimienta, Shawn Mendes, OZ, Tenille Arts, and many more music creators and publishers who exemplify the incredible domestic and international success of Canadian music creation.

SOCAN Special Achievement Awards:

  • The Weeknd. The Weeknd is honoured for the second time with the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year – Performer Award. In addition to this most prestigious prize, he also takes home the SOCAN International Song Award, two SOCAN Pop Music Awards, for the international hits “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless,” and a SOCAN R&B Award for “In Your Eyes.”
  • Eddie Schwartz. His impact as a songwriter on the international music scene is undeniable, and his truly iconic song, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” holds a special place in music history. An anthem of empowerment and resilience, not only was the song Schwartz’s earliest hit as a songwriter for another artist, but it would see singer Pat Benatar achieve her first Billboard Top 10 single. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and Eddie Schwartz will be honoured with the SOCAN Cultural Impact Award.
  • SOCAN Guardian Award. The most significant act of government prioritizing Canadian music, the Broadcasting Act, made sure that the work of Canadian music creators was properly promoted for the prosperity of Canadian culture. The SOCAN Guardian Award honours the 24 industry and government leaders who championed Canadian content legislation, ensuring Canadian art and storytelling could be discovered and thrive. Their contributions of a half-century ago inspire us as we look to the future, and how we will continue to nurture Canada’s music creators in the digital era.
  • Keith Power. For his incredible music contributions to such television productions as Heartland and Hawaii Five-O, Keith Power is celebrated for a fourth time with the SOCAN Screen Composer of the Year Award, the SOCAN Domestic Television Music Award – Fiction Programming, and the SOCAN International Television Series Music Award.
  • Frank Dukes. Dukes continues to dominate the world of production, receiving his fourth consecutive SOCAN Songwriter of The Year – Producer Award. Producing for many of the biggest names in music, including the global chart-toppers “My Oh My” by Camila Cabello feat. DaBaby, and “Monster” by Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber.
  • Tate McRae. In 2020 Tate McRae’s single “You Broke Me First” became one of the biggest international hits of the year. This followed her amassing tens of millions of streams on her debut single “Tear Myself Apart,” co-penned with Billie Eilish and Finneas, and being added as the youngest musician to the 2020 Forbes “30 Under 30” list. Tate McRae is being honoured with the SOCAN Breakout Songwriter Award and a SOCAN Pop Music Award.
  • peermusic Canada Inc. For their investment in music creation and commitment to the long-term success of music creators in 2020, peermusic receives the SOCAN Publisher of the Year Award.
  • The SOCAN Licensed To Play Award goes to Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canada’s pre-eminent classical music organization, for providing much-needed online concerts, while continuing to recognize the value of music and importance of music rights by adhering to legal and ethical music licensing.

“In a difficult year, the incredible work of Canada’s music creators and publishers has never been more important and meaningful,” said SOCAN interim CEO Jennifer Brown. “2020 reminded us of the deep connection we have with music, and the huge role it plays in our mental and emotional health. We will continue to advocate for a country in which music creation is fairly valued and rewarded.”

Music fans can support music creators by donating to the official charitable partners of the SOCAN Awards, the Unison Benevolent Fund and the SOCAN Foundation, organizations that work to assist deserving musicians, music creators and music publishers in their lives and careers.

SOCAN Achievement Award winners are determined collaboratively between the SOCAN Board of Directors’ Membership Committee and the leaders of SOCAN’s Membership department. They receive “The SOCAN” – the world’s first and only music industry trophy that’s also a musical instrument, incorporating five custom bronze crotales created by world-class percussion instrument maker SABIAN of New Brunswick.

The annual Gala de la SOCAN, which celebrates and honours the work of SOCAN’s Francophone members, will be held in a similar event later this year.

A complete list of winners can be found at 2021 SOCAN Awards.