SOCAN has launched the  2019 SOCAN Songwriting Prize, the pre-eminent competition celebrating the exceptional talent of Canadian songwriters over the past year, as voted on by music industry influencers.

This year’s nominated songs, released in 2018, span a wide range of genres, showcasing the varied musical styles of the nominees, and emblematic of the youthful diversity of Canada itself; pop, rap, alternative indie-rock, and electronic funk songs are vying for the title.

The SOCAN Songwriting Prize, and the equivalent Prix de la chanson SOCAN for Francophone songwriters, is the only major songwriting award in Canada where fans determine the results. Each winner receives $10,000, a Yamaha PSR-S975 keyboard, and a $500 gift card from Long & McQuade.

The 10 finalists for the SOCAN Songwriting Prize are:

  • “Bad Biology” – written by Elizabeth Ball, Kathleen Monks, Benjamin Reinhartz, James Anthony Rowlinson; performed by Dilly Dally.
  • “Blood//Water” – written by Chester Krupa Carbone, Kevin Hissink, Jordan Benjamin; performed by grandson; published by B Height Music, SONY ATV Music Publishing Canada.
  • “Chances” – written by Kevin Celestin, Shanice Mohamed, Anthony Pierre; performed by Kaytranada feat. Shay Lia; published by Casablanca Media Publishing Inc.
  • “Elephant Man” – written by Sam Lucia, Geoff Millar; performed by SO LOKI; published by Owake Records.
  • “Hang Ups” – written by Scott Helman, Thomas Salter, Gordie Sampson, Simon Wilcox; performed by Scott Helman; published by EMI April Music Canada, SONY ATV Music Publishing Canada.
  • “Payback” – written by Sarah Hagen, Maxwell, Pankiw, Isaiah Steinberg; performed by Bad Child.
  • “She’s The One” – written by Chloé Soldevila, Miles Dupire-Gagnon, Gabriel Lambert, Zachary Irving; performed by Anemone.
  • “Soundboi” – written by Dominique Dias, John Samuels; performed by Just John + Dom Dias.
  • “Tortoise” – written by Clairmont Humphrey II; performed by Clairmont the Second.
  • “Whatever Comes To Mind” – written by Seth Nyquist, Adrian Cook; performed by Mormor

Listen and vote now for your favourite, from June 3 to June 17, 2019, at, or on Twitter, using the hashtag #mySSPvote and identifying the performer’s name in the tweet. Fans can vote once daily through each platform, for each of the English and French prize competitions. The winning songs are scheduled to be announced the week of June 17, 2019.

“Canadian songwriters are among the most talented in the world,” said Michael McCarty, Chief Membership & Business Development Officer at SOCAN. “It’s SOCAN’s continued pleasure to honour the incredible talent of Canadian songwriting each year with the SOCAN Songwriting Prize, and the 2019 nominees are as musically varied as Canada is culturally diverse.”

The French and English finalists are determined by respective independent panels of 14 music-industry influencers, each nominating two songs, written by by Canadian songwriters and composers, within the eligibility period, that they feel were artistically superior (see Rules for complete criteria). All long-listed songs are then compiled, reviewed, and voted on by each panel to determine the final 10 short-listed nominees in English and French.

SOCAN doesn’t have a role in determining nominees or winners.

The 10 song finalists for the 2019 Prix de la chanson SOCAN, the Francophone counterpart to the SOCAN Songwriting Prize, exemplify an equally diverse variety of musical genres:

  • “Best I’ll Never Have (version française)” – written by Brandon Mignacca, John Nathaniel, Mariane Cossette-Bacon; performed by Brandon Mig; published by John Nathaniel Productions Inc.
  • “Fille de personne II” – written by Hubert Chiasson; performed by Hubert Lenoir.
  • “La valse des trottoirs” – written by Tommy Bélisle, Philippe Gauthier Boudreau, Thierry Malépart, Marc-Antoine Barbier, Félix Bélisle; performed by Choses Sauvages; published by Avenue Editorial.
  • “Manche ouverte” – written by Simon Bolduc; performed by Bolduc tout croche.
  • “On fouette” – written by Teddy Laguerre, Shawn Volcy, Marc Casseus, Valdimi Methelus; performed by Tizzo, feat.
  • “Pas né” – written by Obia Magloire Pierre-Louis, Amhed Saghir; performed by Obia le chef; published by Disques 7ième Ciel.
  • “Premier juin ” – written by Lydia Képinski; performed by Lydia Képinski.
  • “T’as pas cru” – written by Sarahmée Ouellet, Thomas Lapointe, Diego Montenegro, Ingrid Phd Prifti; performed by Sarahmée.
  • “Tercel” – written by Vincent Roberge, Félix Petit, Simon Saint Hillier; performed by Les Louanges; published by Éditions Bonsound.
  • “Zaybae” – written by Léo Fougère, Clément Langlois-Légaré, Tom St-Laurent; performed by FouKi; published by Disques 7ième Ciel.

For the latest updates, follow the SOCAN Songwriting Prize on social media at @SOCANmusic and on Twitter via the #SOCANprize hashtag.

SOCAN was a proud sponsor of the 21st annual LEO Awards, celebrating excellence in British Columbia film and television, as it has been for every edition since the beginning in 1998. The Celebration Awards  were presented on May 25 and 26, 2019, at the Sheraton Wall Centre, while the Gala Awards were presented on June 1, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver. SOCAN’s #ComposersWhoScore walked away with all eight musical honours.

Prizes were awarded as follows:

Best Musical Score in a Motion Picture
Schaun Tozer, for Rabbit

Best Musical Score in a Television Movie
Peter Allen, for Truly, Madly, Sweetly

Best Musical Score in a Short Drama
Sean William, for Small Fish

Best Musical Score in a Dramatic Series
Dan Mangan, for Unspeakable – “Heat Treatment” episode

Best Musical Score in a Feature-Length Documentary
Daryl Bennett, for I Am MLK Jr.

Best Musical Score in a Short Documentary
Andrew Harris, for After the Sirens

Best Musical Score in a Documentary Series
Christopher Nickel, for Wild Bear Rescue – “Wild, Wild Grizzly” episode

Best Musical Score in an Animation Program Or Series
David Parfit and Marc Junker, for Esluna: The First Monolith

The LEO Awards offer an excellent opportunity for SOCAN members who work in film and television to celebrate their accomplishments and network with producers, directors and local industry players. Attending from SOCAN were Sara Pavilionis and Racquel Villagante,

For more information and a complete list of winners visit the awards website.

In an exclusive interview with SOCAN, conducted at the 2019 Manito Ahbee Indigenous  Music Conference, Jade Harper – the Indigenous Music Export Co-ordinator for Manitoba Music – discusses the current state and global reach of First Nations music in Canada, and how her own Cree/Aninshnabe background plays into her music-industry work.