SOCAN A&R Representative Racquel Villagante reached out to our members in Alberta with a week-long tour that connected them with us, and with each other.

On Nov. 13, Villagante drew a full house at a “SOCAN 101” information session at the ATB Financial (Alberta Treasury Branches) Branch for Arts & Culture in Edmonton, co-ordinated by Allison Myggland from Alberta Music. Attendee Mike Nash, from Edmonton band The Prairie States (who made the Top Three in Project Wild), was thrilled to learn about the SOCAN House in Nashville, and was also very interested in our song camps and song house events.

The next stop for a “SOCAN 101” was the Red Deer Memorial Centre, again co-ordinated by Myggland. Red Deer Arts Council members attended, in order to learn more about how we help to support music creators in their community. One of the songwriters who came out after teaching vocal lessons, Kayla Williams, said she was very grateful for info on how to claim royalties from live performances. After the presentation, Teresa Neuman from the council e-mailed Villagante to say, “The information presented was excellent, and we really appreciated the opportunity to host you and benefit from your expertise.”

The third and final info session was on Nov. 17 at the Alberta Electronic Music Conference (AEMCON), an annual event gathering artists, producers, DJs, and music industry people from all over the world. Our well-attended afternoon session was held in Studio Bell, at the National Music Centre in Calgary. One of the DJ/producers who attended, Tyler Martens of Stickybuds, called our Info Centre afterwards to say he was very appreciative of the learning experience. Calgary-based producer Jack Trades e-mailed to say he was “really excited to be working with SOCAN, and be a part of all the upcoming events and opportunities in the future.”

That night, Villagante attended the AEMCON-sponsored Beat Battle, hosted by 10at10. Thirty-two competitors showcased their production skills as they battled each other for a $1,000 prize. The winner was Creeasian, and first runner-up was Jon Mario of DayxNight, and all of the participating beat-makers enjoyed great support from organizers, judges, and fans.

After a strong week of SOCAN education and building new connections, SOCAN plans to continue supporting Alberta’s diverse, vibrant music scene.

SOCAN composers James Lowrie and Haotian Yu are among the six music creators chosen to participate in Soundstreams’ 2019 Emerging Composer Workshop (ECW). The other four participating composers are Yiguo Li (China), Angela Elizabeth Slater (U.K.), Harriet Steinke (U.S.), and Tze Yeung Ho (Norway/Canada). This year, the ECW mentors will be Norway’s Rolf Wallin and Canada’s Dorothy Chang, with the Rolston String Quartet as the resident ensemble.

The seventh annual edition of the ECW will take place Jan. 24 to Feb. 3, 2019, in Toronto. The emerging composers’ new pieces will be showcased and performed by the Rolston String Quartet, at a public concert at the Alliance Française in Toronto, on Feb. 1, 2019. Tickets are available here.

The Workshop is a 10-day intensive mentorship program that supports talented young composers and helps them to launch their careers. Soundstreams’ ECW adopts a holistic model that features a vibrant array of rehearsals, seminars, networking, professional development activities, and a public showcase of new works created during the Workshop. For more details, click here.

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.