In the midst of continuing social distancing measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, SOCAN continues to conduct online video interviews with our members in our video series, “Staying Home with…” Today, it’s renforshort.

Fast-rising singer-songwriter renforshort has released her six-song sophomore EP, off saint dominique, a collection of reflective and catchy tracks that range from hyperpop to acoustic ballads to pop-punk. On June 4, 2021, she debuted a live performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert of “fall apart,” which at that point had received more than a million cumulative global streams in less than two weeks. In 2021, renforshort was crowned an Apple Up Next Artist (Canada), a Vevo DSCVR artist, a YouTube “Trending Artist on the Rise,” and the first artist selected as part of Samsung Music Galaxy Thursday spotlight series. She’s been announced as one of the faces of Balmain’s new campaign, the Balmain Sneaker Hub, and Guitar World magazine calls her a “pop-rock phenom.”

In our conversation, she discusses the difference between her debut and sophomore EPs, the source of her success, and her songwriting process.

The 16th annual SOCAN Songwriting Prize celebrates the exceptional talent of the next generation of great Canadian music creators with 20 sensational songs.

As songwriting becomes increasingly collaborative, 2020 challenged music creators in ways never experienced. For some, it meant more time to focus on their personal craft development and, for others, it meant collaborating in new savvy ways. But for all, it meant continuing to create the music that played an invaluable part in carrying us through a difficult year.

The 20 finalists for 2021 SOCAN Songwriting Prize embraced the challenge and delivered emotionally poignant, fun-loving, and inspired work, rich in musical and cultural diversity.

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 with online voting at

As financial stresses continue to disproportionately impact music creators, the SOCAN Songwriting Prize will, for the second year, award cash prizes to all 20 nominees. Each grand prize winner receives $5,000, a Yamaha keyboard and a $500 gift card from Long & McQuade. Each nominated song not receiving the grand prize will be awarded a $500 cash prize.

The 10 finalists for the SOCAN Songwriting Prize (English):

  • “Black Woman” – written by Emanuel Assefa, Ryan Bakalarczyk, John Fellner, Kardinal Offishall; performed by Emanuel; Kardinal Offishall published by BMG Rights Management Canada.
  • “Dancing In My Room” – written by Carter Britz, Aidan Fuller; performed by 347aidan; published by Kobalt Music Publishing
  • “delicate” – written by Jonah Yano, Schott Zhang; performed by Jonah
  • “Dream” – written by Clairmont Humphrey II; performed by Clairmont The
  • “Frontin’ Like Pharrell” – written by Kahdijah Payne; performed by
  • “homebody” – written by Michael Brandolino, Alexander DiMauro, Karah McGillivray, Tom Peyton, Robert Sowinski; performed by
  • “No Smoke” – written by Vanessa Kalala, David Charles Fischer, Christopher Larocca, Hrag Sanbalian; performed by LU
  • “Purple Carousel” – written by Sydanie Nichol, Casey Manierka; performed by
  • “Solid” – written by Savannah Ré Simpson, Johann Deterville, Akeel Henry; performed by Savannah Ré; Savannah Ré published by Sony Music
  • “Western Skies” – written by Billy Raffoul; performed by Billy Raffoul; published by Warner Chappell Music Canada

From June 17 to July 1, 2021, music fans can listen to and vote for their favourite song by the nominees by visiting Fans can vote once daily in each of the English and French prize competitions.

The winning songs are scheduled to be announced the week of July 5, 2021.

“In a very challenging year, the 2021 SOCAN Songwriting prize finalists showed that great works of art can emerge from hard times,” said Jennifer Brown, SOCAN interim CEO. “As the pandemic continues to impact music creators disproportionately, we are pleased to maintain a prize structure that supports as many SOCAN members as possible.”

Every year two independent panels, each comprising 15 music industry influencers, nominate long lists of 30 English and 30 French songs by emerging Canadian songwriters and composers released in the previous year that they feel were artistically superior and meet eligibility criteria. All long-listed songs are then voted on by the panels to determine each list of 10 finalists in English and French.

SOCAN does not have a role in determining nominees or winners.

The 10 song finalists for the 2021 Prix de la chanson SOCAN, the Francophone counterpart to the SOCAN Songwriting Prize:

  • “Accident” – written by Laurence-Anne Gagné-Charest; performed by Laurence-Anne.
  • “Demande-moi” – written by Maude Audet; performed by Maude Audet; published by Les éditions Bravo musique
  • “Income Tax” – written by Jonah Richard Guimond; performed by P’tit Belliveau; published by Édition
  • “Le cœur a ses raisons” – written by Gary Derussy, Sarahmée Ouellet, Clément Langlois-Légaré, Thomas Lapointe, Diego Montenegro; performed by Sarahmée.
  • “Les amants de Pompéi” – written by Thierry Larose; performed by Thierry Larose; published by Les éditions Bravo musique
  • “OK” – written by Micheal Mlakar, Adel Kazi-Aoual, Émile Desilets, Clément Langlois-Légaré, Pascal Boisseau; performed by Clay and Friends
  • “Oui Toi” – written by Léo Fougères, Clément Langlois-Légaré, Tom St-Laurent, Adel Kazi-Aoual; performed by FouKi; published by
  • “Ta main” – written by Ariane Roy, Pierre Emmanuel Beaudoin, Vincent Gagnon, Dominique Plante, Cédric Martel, Roxane Azzaria; performed by Ariane
  • “Tempérance” – written by Emerik St-Cyr Labbe; performed by Mon Doux
  • “Tu m’connais trop bien” – written by Gabriel Bouchard; performed by Gab Bouchard; published by Les éditions Bravo musique

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

Two great classics of the Franco-Ontarian group Cano, “Dimanche après-midi” (written by André Paiement) and “Baie Sainte-Marie” (co-written by Marcel Aymar, David Burt, John Doerr, and Wasyl Kohut) will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on Saturday, June 19, 2021, as part of the Gala Trille Or,  to be broadcast on UNIS TV at 8:00 p.m. ET. A medley of the two songs will be performed during the gala by the duo Geneviève et Alain, with Cano members Marcel Aymar, John Doerr, and Jason Hutt.

“It’s with great joy and pride that we induct these two great songs that are bona fide monuments in the Franco-Canadian universe,” said Nicholas Fedor, Director of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. 

Cano quickly became an emblem of the Francophone presence in Ontario with the album Tous dans l’même bateau, released in 1976. It was in the grooves of this debut album that one could hear the songs “Baie Sainte-Marie” and “Dimanche après-midi,” the latter a sonic postcard sent from Sturgeon Falls, the Northern Ontario town where André Paiement grew up.

André Paiement wrote the lyrics for “Dimanche après-midi,” inspired by his summer job as sacristan at the village’s French Catholic church, the biggest and most imposing one in the area. It was he who rang the bells and worked, as it were, as a handyman in this holy place. “Like me, my older brother was a beadle,” recalls Paul Paiement. “André would get up in the morning, go to the church, open the doors, and then ring the bell, which could be heard throughout the city. Since there was nothing to do, because all the businesses in town were closed except the mill, he would sit on the walkway between the church and the rectory to smoke a cigarette while waiting for mass to end. There were four masses on Sundays! We didn’t attend all of them… We would wait for people to come out, and then we would pull on the ropes to ring the bells. That’s the story the song tells.”

Over the course of the original recording, singer and songwriter André Paiement addresses someone he clearly misses, and to whom he speaks to in poetic language. “Si tu étais ici / Je ferais cesser l’orage / La pluie qui claque sur le pavé / J’ai envie d’aller marcher.” (“If you were here / I’d make the storm stop / The rain slamming on the pavement / I want to go for a walk”). With the church celebrations over, it’s not hard to imagine him wandering the streets of Sturgeon Falls, umbrella in hand, thinking of the one he loves. “The person he’s longing for in the song is his girlfriend, I’m pretty sure he wrote that for his first love,” says Paul Paiement. “They were together for a long time. She was a local girl… Her name was Viviane, but I must admit that I can’t guarantee that she was the one he had in mind when he wrote that song.”

The country accents and pop structure of “Dimanche après-midi” delicately contrasts with the other predominantly prog-rock pieces that make up Cano’s repertoire. “I think it was influenced by Buffalo Springfield, one of Neil Young’s first bands. It’s in the same acoustic vein. As a matter of fact, I have a recording of André singing Buffalo Springfield’s ‘I Am a Child.’”

“Baie Sainte-Marie,” the eighth and final track of a record that set a precedent in the history of Francophone music outside Québec, transports us to the shores of Nova Scotia. When “Baie Sainte-Marie” was released in 1976, Cano was on the verge of a major breakthrough across Canada. Marcel Aymar, Cano guitarist and vocalist, wrote the song in memory of his father, but it’s the result of a collective creative process. “It’s really the first song that we composed as a gang,” remembers Marcel Aymar. “I brought my ideas, the melody and lyrics. And from there, we worked on the arrangements. Cano’s songs were rarely limited to three or four minutes!”

David Burt, John Doerr, and Wasyl Kohut are the ones who, back at the band’s rehearsal space, added their seasoning to the track. The piece opens with the cries of seagulls, that one can imagine seeing at the water’s edge, and echoes in the sounds that Kohut re-creates on the violin. However, “Baie Sainte-Marie, probes depths that have nothing to do with the ocean. It’s a song that brings Aymar back to the shores of Meteghan, and the scent of the fish he knew in his childhood, but through the tenderness he has for his father. “Le vent de l’Acadie, c’est mon père / Dans mon père / Je peux tellement me voir / Je veux le remercier /Pour ce qu’il m’a donné” (“The Acadian wind is my father / In my father / I can see myself / I want to thank him / For what he gave me”). It’s a tribute, a declaration of filial love, to the one he left behind to live his own life.