Musicians are coming together from their homes for an all-Canadian, star-studded benefit in support of front-line workers fighting the spread of COVID-19. The one-hour special will feature a mix of music and stories of hope and inspiration.

Stronger Together/Tous Ensemble will be broadcast on the CBC, CityTV, CTV, Global, ICI ARTV, SériesPlus, VRAK, and V television networks, and streamed online on platforms across Canada on Sunday, April 26, at 7:00 p.m. ET. The event will raise funds to help Food Banks Canada provide more nourishment for those in need across the country during the pandemic.

The lineup includes SOCAN members Céline Dion, Marie-Mai, Alessia Cara, Michael Bublé, Bryan Adams, Jann Arden, Sarah McLachlan, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Barenaked Ladies, and Arkells, among others.

Also making special appearances are author Margaret Atwood, astronaut Chris Hadfield, skater Tessa Virtue, TV stars Eric McCormack, Jason Priestley, Howie Mandel, Rick Mercer, Russell Peters, and Will Arnett.

Meghan Patrick and The Reklaws lead lead the nominations for the 2020 edition of the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) Awards, with six apiece, closely followed by James Barker Band with five, and Tim Hicks and Tebey with four each, while Carroll Baker will receive the Impact Award. The eighth annual awards gala is slated for Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020 at Centennial Hall in London, Ont.

Among their nominations, Meghan Patrick and The Reklaws are tipped for the Songwriter(s) of the Year Award, sponsored by SOCAN – as are James Barker Band, Tim Hicks, and Tebey, as follows:

  • Jessica Mitchell, for “Somebody Gonna Get Hurt,” performed by Jessica Mitchell featuring Tim Hicks
  • Meghan Patrick, Jordan Rager, and Michael Whitworth, for “Wild As Me,” performed by Meghan Patrick
  • Stuart Walker, Jenna Walker, Brad Rempel, and Ben Stennis, for “I Do Too,” performed by The Reklaws
  • Tebey, Kylie Sackley, and Matt Rogers, for “The Good Ones,” performed by Tebey & Marie-Mai
  • Tim Hicks, Emma-Lee, and Karen Kosowski, for “What A Song Should Do,” performed by Tim Hicks

Hosted by Jason McCoy and Jennifer Campbell, the 2020 CMAO Awards, presented by Slaight Music with support from Ontario Creates, will celebrate the talent and achievements of Ontario’s country music industry across 19 categories, including the Impact Award, Nielsen Compass Award, and Holly and Steve Kassay Generous Spirit Award.

Tickets are $69 to $225 CAD (plus HST and fees) and are available online at, or by phone at 1-888-999-8980.

Jeff King, Chief Operating and Corporate Development Officer of SOCAN, has been named Chair of the Board of DDEX, the international standards-setting organization dedicated to improving the exchange of data and information across the music industry. He succeeds Paul Dilorito, the former Director of Innovation and Partnerships at PRS for Music.

“I’m honoured to have been elected to the role of Chair at such a pivotal time in the music industry, when the mandate to standardize metadata has become even more critical to identify and deliver global digital royalties back to music creators,” said King. “On behalf of myself and the DDEX Board, many thanks to Paul Dilorito for his work with us over the years and his leadership in so many areas of the organization.”

Named COO of SOCAN in 2011, King is responsible for strategy, licensing, distribution, international, information technology and corporate planning. As Canada’s largest rights management organization, SOCAN connects more than four million creators worldwide and more than a quarter-million businesses and individuals. Additionally, King led acquisitions expanding SOCAN’s capabilities with subsidiaries in -Seattle and New York that provide back-office and content-fulfilment services to the music ecosystem. Since first joining SOCAN in 2001 as Director of Distribution, Jeff rose through the organization, leading initiatives that significantly heightened member and licensee satisfaction. As Vice President of Licensing, Jeff developed a robust strategic plan to expand SOCAN’s customer base and increase efficiency. As Vice President of Membership, Jeff led the development of a number of industry-leading e-commerce tools and the creation of SOCAN’s Information Centre. Jeff holds an BA Honours from Wilfrid Laurier University and has been keynote speaker at several international conferences on innovation and free trade.

The DDEX Board is made up of executives from the 19 charter members of the organization, which in addition to King include representatives from Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobalt Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Spotify AB, the Universal Music Group, the Warner Music Group, and our colleague music rights organizations ASCAP, BMI, GEMA (Germany), PRS for Music (England), and SACEM (France). DDEX develops international standards in the digital value chain, from initial recording through distribution and reporting, as well as other types of business transactions in particular sectors of the industry. The standards are being used by all the major players in the digital music industry as well as most smaller organizations and startups. DDEX members participate in regular working group meetings to refine current standards and develop new ones.