The board of directors of SOCAN has appointed Jennifer Brown Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Brown had held an interim CEO role since April 2020, and she becomes the first woman to lead Canada’s largest music and visual arts rights organization, as well as the first to be appointed to the role from within the company.

“Jennifer Brown’s work at SOCAN is exemplary, her leadership abilities are remarkable, and her passion for the interests of our members and stakeholders is unsurpassed,” said Marc Ouellette, President of SOCAN’s Board of Directors. “It’s a great pleasure to see her rise to a role that she earned through decades of constant commitment and persistent determination to do what’s right for our more than 175,000 members, and nearly 300 employees.”

With more than two decades of strategic experience in rights management, licensing, advocacy, and support for music creators and publishers, Brown started her career with SOCAN in in 1995 as a representative in the company’s Membership department. She’s held progressive leadership positions, including Vice President of SOCAN’s Licensing department, before taking on the role of Senior Vice President of Operations & Reproduction Rights in 2018.

Admired by her colleagues for her intelligence, humility, and hands-on style, Jennifer Brown’s numerous accomplishments with SOCAN include establishing SOCAN’s Reproduction Rights presence, guiding the company’s Licensing department to record-setting results, establishing SOCAN’s cost-effective and strategic re-structuring, and the introduction of new and innovative customer-facing tools, all of which have resulted in improved licensing collection efforts and increased royalties distributed to SOCAN’s songwriter, composer, and music publisher members.

Jennifer Brown grew up in a household in which royalties from music creation and performance were a crucial source of income. The Family Brown would become one of the country’s more successful recording and performing groups, and her father, as the principal songwriter, achieved several songwriting awards.

“I know what it’s like to rely on fair royalties through hard work, and I’ve seen songwriting as a career first-hand,” Brown said. “I’ll continue to work to make SOCAN the organization that our members and licensed organizations so richly deserve.”

SOCAN also recently announced the appointment of Jean-Christian Céré as Chief Membership Officer, effective June 28, 2021, and Vanessa Thomas to the role of Vice-President, Member & Industry Relations, which came into effect on June 14, 2021.

SOCAN today announced the results of its 2021 Board of Directors election, based on votes cast by SOCAN members (music creators, publishers) from April 12 to April 30, 2021.

There are 18 seats on the SOCAN Board of Directors – nine writer members and nine publisher members, with regional, cultural and genre specific representation. Each is elected to a three-year term.

The following people were elected and will take office when scrutineers Grant Thornton officially present the results at the 2021 SOCAN Annual General Meeting, to be held online on July 13, 2021.

Representing SOCAN Music Writer Members (alphabetically by last name):

  • David Bussières
  • Victor Davies *
  • Damhnait Doyle *
  • Rhonda Head
  • Ed Henderson *
  • Stan Meissner *
  • Glenn Morley *
  • Marc Ouellette *
  • Diane Tell *

Representing SOCAN Music Publisher Members (alphabetically by company name):

  • Diane Pinet, Bloc-Notes Music Publishing
  • Jennifer Beavis, BMG Rights Management Canada
  • Jennifer Mitchell, Casablanca Media Publishing *
  • Daniel Lafrance, Éditorial Avenue
  • Mark Jowett, Nettwerk Music Group
  • Cheryl Link, Peermusic Canada Inc. *
  • Gary Furniss, Sony Music Publishing Canada *
  • Patrick Curley, Third Side Music *
  • Vivian Barclay, Warner/Chappell Music Canada *

(* incumbent)

“Congratulations to each SOCAN board member on their election to the 2021-’24 term,” said CEO Jennifer Brown, who was officially appointed to the role by SOCAN’s Board of Directors on June 28, 2021. “The SOCAN management team looks forward to collaborating as we chart new directions for the company together.”

Following SOCAN’s annual general meeting, the new board of directors will hold its first meeting, and elect the President of the Board and other officers.

In order to provide a platform for our members on the rise, we’re pleased to continue the SOCAN Satellite Sessions – an ongoing series of new, unseen member performances broadcast on @SOCANMusic Instagram (and later available across all our social media platforms). In celebration of Black Music Month, the first series of sessions will showcase Black music excellence; each week in June, well present musical performances by some of Canada’s most talented up-and-coming Black songwriters.

The fourth SOCAN Satellite Session features Allison Russell, streaming on @SOCANMusic Instagram starting on June 24, 2021.

Allison Russell has placed her hometown of Montréal at the heart of her first career solo album. The singer-songwriter, now based in suburban Nashville, has overcome her writer’s block to deliver the sublime, often painful, but redemptive Outside Child, in which she reclaims her story of being an abused child who found her “lifeline” in the Québécois metropolis.

“I’m happy to be back in Montréal,” says Allison Russell, born there to Scottish and Grenadian parents. “Today, my adoptive father – who was the source of the abuse I experienced as a child – and my mother have moved to Ontario. My ghosts have left town, so when I go back, it’s with my family, my musician friends, and it’s always nice to go back, really,” says the musician.

“That’s why the album starts with the song “Montréal,” she adds. “This record is really a tribute to my city. Montréal was my mother when my mother couldn’t take it anymore. In a way, the identity and cultural activity of Montréal saved me. The outdoor concerts at the Jazz Festival saved me, as well as my visits to the Museum of Fine Arts,” says the musician, who was fleeing the house to avoid her attacker.

Tune in to @SOCANMusic Instagram to see her exclusive video performance!