As a SOCAN member, of course you’ll be compensated for public performances of your music, worldwide. But SOCAN membership also makes you eligible for valuable benefits that can help you manage your career, both at home and on the road. To take advantage of any of the benefits listed below, visit

Front Row Insurance Brokers’ Musical Instruments and Studio Liability Group Program
Front Row Insurance Brokers allows you to take advantage of excellent rates, coverage, and deductibles to protect the tools of your trade – musical instruments and studio gear. Premiums range from $125 for $10,000 of coverage, to $2,050 for $200,000 worth of coverage. Front Row Insurance Brokers also offers worldwide coverage of equipment at no extra charge, low deductibles (from $1,000 to $500 for each event), earthquake and flood coverage, and 30 days coverage (up to $10,000) for newly-acquired or borrowed instruments. Front Row Insurance Brokers has an online quoting tool that allows members to get a quote and obtain coverage 24/7, quickly and efficiently, from home or on the road. Additionally, Front Row Insurance Brokers has been setting aside $10 from the premiums for each use of the SOCAN member discount, to donate to the SOCAN Foundation, which fosters Canadian music creation. (The $10 discount and donation is excluded in Quebec, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.)

(Virtual) SOCAN Song Camp Mondays
The SOCAN Song Camp Mondays initiative is about supporting the artistic development of Canada’s music creators by connecting three songwriters for a day-long writing session. The song camps, usually held at our “Sound Lounge” writing rooms in Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver, have gone online during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our Virtual Song Camp Mondays now connect members from across the continent, and around the world,  from the comfort of their own homes or home studios.

SOCAN Houses in Los Angeles, Nashville, and Paris, France
SOCAN offers its members accommodations in three cities, exclusively for all SOCAN writers, composers and publishers who are visiting those places to further their career, craft or business. The SOCAN House Los Angeles is a private apartment nestled in the beautiful city of Silverlake, only steps away from the famous Sunset Boulevard.  The SOCAN House in Nashville is located in the heart of an up-and-coming creative community, while still close to the downtown core. The SOCAN House in Paris is an apartment in the 9th arrondissement, near the Pigalle metro station, just a stone’s throw from the legendary Moulin Rouge, La Cigale, Les Trois Baudets, and “guitar street”.

Budget Car and Truck
SOCAN Members can receive between five and 25 percent off the lowest available discountable time and mileage retail rate, at participating Budget locations in Canada and the US. You can rent from Budget at more than 1,100 locations in North America.

AVIS Rent-A-Car
SOCAN members can receive between five and 25 percent off the lowest available discountable time and mileage retail rate, at participating AVIS locations worldwide. Avis is available at more than 4,700 locations in 171 countries, around the world.

Bandzoogle Website Builder
Bandzoogle makes it easy to build a professional website and EPK for your music. The all-in-one platform offers powerful design options, a commission-free music & merch store, mailing list management, website analytics, integrations with social networks, reliable cloud hosting, custom domains, and more. SOCAN members get a six-month free trial, plus 15 percent off any subscription.

MasterWriter Songwriting Software
SOCAN members receive a 20 percent discount on MasterWriter songwriting software, a powerful suite of songwriting tools assembled in one program.

Berklee Online
SOCAN members receive a 10 percent discount off of all courses and certificate programs at Berklee Online, the award-winning online extension school of the word-renowned Berklee College of Music.

Actra Fraternal Benefit Society (AFBS) Health Insurance for SOCAN Members
The Arts & Entertainment Plan® provides health insurance benefits for SOCAN members who would otherwise be without this important safety net. SOCAN members have access to this health insurance solution, consisting of extended health care, dental care, prescription drug coverage, life and accidental death & dismemberment insurance, and travel emergency medical coverage.

Actra Fraternal Benefit Society (AFBS)  Home and Auto Insurance
SOCAN members have access to preferred rates on home and auto insurance through AFBS’ Group Home and Auto Insurance Program. The program has been in place for 15 years and provides coverage for your home, home business, vehicle and more.

SOCAN Group Banking Program with RBC
SOCAN members can access benefits and discounts on a wide range of RBC banking products and services, including VIP banking, personal financing solutions, specialty savings accounts, investments and investment services, and special VISA cards. The program offers advice, support, savings, and rewards.

Canadian Musician magazine
SOCAN members are eligible to receive a 10 percent discount on the current subscription offer to Canadian Musician magazine, Canada’s magazine for professional and amateur musicians. Published since 1979, CM covers prominent Canadian artists, the latest gear, techniques, and the business of music.

Music Books Plus
SOCAN members now get a 10 percent discount off the retail price on all items featured on the website of Music Books Plus, a great source for music and audio books, videos, DVDs, software, and sheet music. The company carries more than 13,000 titles on the music business, songwriting, arranging, theory, directories, pro audio, video, live sound, recording, lighting, midi, instruments (from keyboards to guitar to violin to harmonica), plus biographies, fakebooks, and songbooks.

Words & Music is pleased to extend its helpful “how-to” series for our members, “The Breakdown,” into the realm of short, question-and-answer videos.

 In this episode, former SOCAN A&R Representative Racquel Villagante talks with Shane Gill, the Head of  Music for Opposition, BBTV’s music division, which has built a name in the music industry working with clients Lyrical Lemonade, 21 Savage, Juice WRLD and more. Opposition helps music artists to succeed on their own terms, by growing their fanbases, mastering digital streaming, and monetizing their content.

Our question this time is, “How do I better connect with audiences during live-streams?”

Jenie Thai isn’t panicking… yet.

Like practically every performing Canadian musician who’s found their livelihood decimated by COVID-19’s shutdown of the live music industry, the acclaimed blues pianist is in survival mode,  weathering a hand-to-mouth existence.

Jennie Thai

Jennie Thai

One of the tools she’s employing to help make ends meet derives from a concept that’s been around since the earliest days of classical music: Patronage. Its modern-day social media application, Patreon, is allowing fans who are interested in supporting Thai to pay a monthly stipend ranging from $1 to $300, with the musician offering exclusive creative content in exchange.  That varies from unreleased music made while recording her Night Fire album to – for the highest donation – a private Zoom concert.

“I decided to go for Patreon because when the pandemic started, I realized pretty quickly that there was going to be no income for who knows how long,” Thai said recently. “I have some pretty loyal fans, so I just decided to see what would happen if I essentially moved my career online.”

Thai calls the venture “an interesting journey” and admits there have been learning curves a-plenty involving technology and fan engagement.

Thai’s Patreon site numbers 44 subscribers so far: is she able to make a living? “No,” she laughs. “It equates to about $900 CAD a month, which is pretty amazing. I’m making some money that’s really helped out, and I’m always brainstorming new ideas.”

Thai admits that CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit ) – the temporary, supplementary income program created by the Federal government – has been a lifesaver. She says she’s also fortunate that her fiancé, Andrew Scott, is an in-demand session drummer.

Thai, who was scheduled to tour with Downchild this summer, hopes that high Toronto rents won’t force her, and Scott, to work outside music. “This is the only job we’ve had for the last 10 years,” she says.

Julian Taylor

Julian Taylor

Julian Taylor, who recently released The Ridge, feels Thai’s pain. He also recently launched a Patreon account, although he’s been busy focusing more on live-stream opportunities.

“When the album came out, I applied for Canada Performs sponsored by the NAC [National Arts Centre] and SIRIUS XM, and got that,” Taylor says. “They allowed me to put up a tip jar, whether it was GoFundMe or PayPal, hired me do a live-stream performance on my own Facebook page, and I was able to make tips from that performance.”

Taylor said he received tip jar income that was reduced from his usual fee, “but it is sustainable,” although he admits that the amounts paid by admirers to watch him perform online “have calmed down.

“I think you can only go to the well so often, which is why I’ve slowed down,” says Taylor, who – aside from  performing at the recent 500-car capacity drive-in RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa this summer – has spent his time performing for the Virtual Music Festivals that have supplanted the in-person versions of Mariposa, Hillside, and others. He’s also made inroads with U.S. publications, offering them to host virtual shows and promote his tip jar concept on their sites. But he admits his stint as the afternoon drive host on Toronto radio station ELMNT-FM is “the only thing keeping me alive.”

Toronto’s Mike Evin is also going back to basics with his online approach: the pianist is teaching music lessons but is also thinking of expansion. “I’m starting an online songwriting side-hustle that I think I’ll call, ‘Songwriting with Mike,’” he says. Evin admits that conducting any tutorials on Zoom offers challenges as a musician.

Mike Evin

Mike Evin

“There’s the time lag – and you can’t play music at the same time with someone over Zoom or any kind of platform,” Evin explains. “Whereas, when you’re together in person, you can demonstrate something, play together, and really get a vibe off each other.”

Technical difficulties aside, Evin appreciates the potential reach of online lessons. “I could be working with anyone in the world right now because it’s an unlimited playing field,” he says. “It’s not just limited to your local neighbourhood, or people where you live. That led me to have the confidence to say, well, I don’t have to work for someone else’s teaching business: I can use my contacts and my fan base through my own music as a singer-songwriter.”

As for the multi-media world, which includes films, TV shows, videogames, and commercial spots, Michael Perlmutter – the founder of music supervision firm Instinct Entertainment – says production has slowed dramatically for those songwriters and artists hoping to get songs placed, or “synched,” onscreen.

“For music supervisors, activity has certainly slowed down,” says Perlmutter, also the founder of the Guild of Music Supervisors Canada. “The American productions aren’t coming here.  Canadian productions – only a couple have started up.”

There are a few bright spots in terms of potential income generation. “I think the one thing that hasn’t slowed down as much is the advertising world,” he says. “Videogames are always being made – and labels and publishers are still licensing music for that.  And I think animation is going to be a big deal.”

However, Perlmutter is concerned that “because there’s not as much new programming out there” that the values of future back-end performance royalties may suffer, and that film and TV production music budgets may be negatively impacted by added COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“Everything is changing, week by week,” he says.