SOCAN congratulates all of its members who’ve been short-listed for the 2019 Polaris Music Prize! All of the solo artists on the short list, announced July 16, 2019, are SOCAN members, and all of the listed bands include at least one singer-songwriter who’s a SOCAN member.

The short list, by artist and album, is (in alphabetical order):

  • Marie Davidson – Working Class Woman
  • Elisapie – The Ballad of the Runaway Girl
  • Dominique Fils-Aimé – Stay Tuned!
  • FET.NAT – Le Mal
  • Haviah Mighty – Thirteenth Floor
  • Jessie Reyez – Being Human in Public
  • Les Louanges – La nuit est une panthère
  • PUP – Morbid Stuff
  • Shad – A Short Story About a War
  • Snotty Nose Rez Kids – Trapline

For more information, visit the Polaris Music Prize website.

Across The Board – an advocacy movement to pursue gender parity on the Boards of Directors of organizations that impact the Canadian music industry – has found that the participation of women on those boards had more than doubled, to 40 percent, by the end of 2018.

Beginning in 2017, Across The Board conducted a study across 30 Canadian music industry boards, finding that women only held 19 percent of the seats. In December of 2018, the organization distributed a survey to compile information on the progress of its gender parity initiative.

SOCAN currently stands well above the industry mark, as 44 percent of our Board of Directors are women. Additionally, SOCAN has achieved 50/50 gender parity on our executive team, while no fewer than 64 percent of our managers, throughout the organization, identify as female.

Further, the Executive Directors of both the SOCAN-owned Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and The SOCAN Foundation, identify as female, and women make up more than 60 percent of SOCAN’s full-time employees.

We’ve pro-actively ensured that our hiring practices are fair and equal. Our leaders and human resources team take an inclusive approach to attracting, securing, and retaining the very best talent regardless of gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. SOCAN strives for inclusivity, equality, and equitability

“We’re pleased and proud to be moving towards, and beyond, complete gender parity,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “But there’s still work to be done. We continue to adhere to Across The Board’s cornerstone initiative of recruiting women as board members, executives, managers, and employees, as we pursue diverse and balanced leadership and staff throughout SOCAN, and throughout the Canadian music ecosystem.”

SOCAN tested, implemented, and received feedback on its Live Performances API (Application Program Interface) from two teams of app developers at the 2019 Wallifornia Music Tech Hackathon in Liège, Belgium, on July 2-3.

The teams’ goal for the 24-hour hackathon was to build apps that impact and interact with our own SOCAN Live Performances API – which already helps SOCAN capture information about a Live Performance, such as date, location, participants, and a setlist of the songs played, so that SOCAN can pay collected royalties to the appropriate party. The API integrates into different apps and services used by our partners, and speeds up the time to receive and process this information.

For the hackathon, SOCAN’s Program Lead for SOCAN Labs, Ryan Maule brought a new version of our API that not only was able to capture performance information for SOCAN, but also that of one of our sister music rights organizations (MROs), from Finland, Teosto.  This was the first demonstration of an inter-MRO API being used in public, and one of which both of our organizations are proud.

The first team, Simpler SOCAN, created a multi-platform (desktop and mobile web app) solution which allowed a music venue to easily provide information about live performances happening at their location, while the mobile component also allowed the public to see a list of the live performances taking place.  The team created a series of web forms to help facilitate the collection and submission of information back to SOCAN, or Teosto.

The second team, Facebook Royalties Management App, allowed artists and performers to log in to their app with Facebook credentials, extract (or “scrape”) event data to collect the necessary information about the performance, attach a setlist and then easily to submit to either SOCAN or Teosto.

Though neither of these apps won the hackathon, having our SOCAN API tested “in the wild” by developers, and be successfully implemented, gave us great feedback on, and stress testing of, our platform.  It also proved out that our new inter-MRO capabilities work, and is the start of helping to increase processing time and payments, across the industry, for live performances.