SOCAN members William Prince, Marie-Ève Lapierre-Lemoyne, and Leela Gilday won the three songwriting honours at the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs), announced online for the second time – on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday April 11, 2021 – because of continuing self-isolation protocols in place to deal with the pandemic.

Prince won the English Songwriter of the Year Award, sponsored by SOCAN, as well as the Contemporary Album of the Year honour, for Reliever. During his performance on the CFMA April 11th show, Prince introduced his song “The Spark” by graciously thanking SOCAN for recognizing it with the SOCAN Songwriting Prize in 2020.

Marie-Ève Lapierre-Lemoyne  (aka Marie-Ève Laure) won French Songwriter of the Year for Onze, while Leela Gilday received the Indigenous Songwriter of the Year Award, for North Star Calling. In 2020, Gilday was also one of two winners (along with Haviah Mighty) of the inaugural SOCAN Foundation HER Awards.

Pharis and Jason Romero were the big winners, taking home three awards, for both Ensemble and Vocal Group of the Year, as well as Traditional Singer of the Year (which went to Pharis only).

For a complete list of winners, click here for those who won on April 10th, and here for those who won on April 11th. SOCAN congratulates all of our nominated and winning members on their great achievements!

The Artists and Repertoire team plays a crucial role at SOCAN. Sara Dendane has been added to the team as its Executive in our Montréal office, to continue the team’s efforts to recruit, retain, and re-patriate our songwriter, composer, and music publisher members. Sara fills the position left vacant by Widney Bonfils.

Dendane will develop and maintain creative and business relationships with established and emerging music creators and key players in the French and English music community in Québec and Canada. She will also play an important role in the recruitment and retention of all SOCAN members by participating in music business training, while actively working to create opportunities to connect our members with each other, and with the rest of the industry and publishers.

“I’m deeply motivated to bring talent to light, and find the means that match their ambition,” said Dendane as she began her new responsibilities. “So I’m thrilled to join the SOCAN team and be able to support creators and professionals, whether it’s helping them de-mystify the basics, or connecting them with the right people and opportunities to help them make magic.

“Today’s talent will be tomorrow’s history, and I’m delighted to continue the work of Guillaume Moffet and Widney Bonfils. I look forward to helping create a culturally innovative future, in a spirit of empowerment that cultivates diversity and inclusion. A future that resembles us, but above all, that brings us together.”

Prior to working for SOCAN, Dendane was a Manager and A&R Executive for the independent label Indica Records, supporting the careers of talented musicians and bands like Half Moon Run, Hein Cooper, Metric, and VALAIRE. As Marketing and Sponsorship Director for concert promoter [co]motion, she led the marketing and branding for LVL UP, a hip-hop and digital arts festival that attracted 22,000 spectators in its first year in Laval.

In addition to having her finger on the pulse of Québec’s emerging music scene, Dendane has an intimate knowledge of the Francophone market, and a vast network of contacts in the music community. She’s also co-founder of the Montréal chapter of Women in Music, a non-profit organization that aims to advance the equality and diversity of women in the musical arts, and is co-chair of the Francophone Music Advisory Committee for CARAS and the JUNO Awards.

Dendane’s flair for discovering new music and her commitment to the development of emerging talent, as well as her proven ability to build relationships and connections with various stakeholders in the music ecosystem, are just some of the qualities that earned her the position of A&R Executive in Montréal.

You can reach Sara at

When you’re a solo artist or a relatively unknown group, the prospect of being programmed in a festival is a not-to-be-missed opportunity. You need to attract the attention of the people in charge of the music programming for these festivals, which isn’t always easy, because these influential people are being heavily solicited, and very often. Isabelle Ouimet, Executive Producer of M for MTL and the Santa Teresa Festival, explains the best way to go about approaching them.