SOCAN Awards Shine Bright Lights on Canada’s Music Creators and Publishers

Artists at SOCAN awards captured by GTA weekly Toronto news
Classic and future stars shining backstage at the SOCAN Awards. Left to Right: Ruth B, Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance and Carly Rae Jepsen. (CNW Group/SOCAN)

Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance, Nineteen85, Ruth B and Andy Kim among those celebrated, with a surprise performance by Snow and Maestro Fresh Wes

Songwriters, composers and music publishers behind some of the biggest songs in the world gathered in Toronto tonight – with a who’s-who of Canada’s music ecosystem– for the 2017 SOCAN Awards. The gala ceremony honoured Canada’s music creators and publishers across a wide variety of genres, including Pop, Rock, Film & Television, Urban, Dance, Folk/Roots, Jazz, Country, Classical, and more.

This year, the legendary Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance were honoured, as one of the greatest songwriting teams in music, with the SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award for more than 35 years of songwriting success and excellence.  The SOCAN Cultural Impact Award was presented to Andy Kim for the 1969 hit “Sugar, Sugar,” and world-renowned singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith charmed the audience with his rendition of the classic song.

Also in attendance to receive SOCAN achievement awards were pop/rock superstars Hedley (National Achievement Award), Paul “Nineteen85” Jefferies (Songwriter of the Year Award for his work with international superstar Drake), and Screen Composer of the Year Keith Power, who, in front of movie-clip visuals, performed a live orchestral medley of award-winning film and TV scores.

The SOCAN Awards featured an abundance of memorable performances, starting with Derin Falana & Tay of The Remix Project.  Shaun Frank and Delaney Jane discussed the writing of The Chainsmokers’ Billboard chart-topping hit “Closer” before performing the song and Jess Moskaluke gave a brilliant rendition of her JUNO Award-winning “Take Me Home” with cowriter Kelly Archer.  Ruth B delivered a stunning cover of Bryan Adams’s“Heaven” and 2017 JUNO Award winners July Talk dazzled the audience with a heartfelt version of Leonard Cohen’s “If It Be Your Will.”

Former International Achievement Award winner Carly Rae Jepsen was on hand to present SOCAN Classic Awards to Snow and Maestro Fresh Wes before they closed the show with a surprise, high-energy performance of their respective massive hits, “Informer” and “Let Your Backbone Slide.”

SOCAN Awards for most performed songs, inclusive of broadcast and streaming, were presented to Coleman Hell and Tyler Shaw, who each won Pop Music Awards for their respective songs, “2 Heads” and “Wicked.” The Strumbellas, took home a Rock Award for the folk-rock smash radio hit “Spirits”; Billy Talent, accepted a Rock Music Award for “Afraid of Heights”; singer-songwriter Donovan Woods, received the Folk/Roots Award for his contributions in the genre; SonReal, won an Urban Award for “Can I Get A Witness?”; and one of SOCAN’s #ComposersWhoScore, Robert Carli, won for his work on Murdoch Mysteries. Global hits “One Dance” by Drake, Paul“Nineteen85” Jefferies, and Noah “40” Shebib, and “Starboy” by Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, Martin “Doc” McKinney, Jason “Daheala” Quenneville, and Henry “Cirkut” Walter were each honoured with Pop Music Awards.

“Canadian music creators and publishers continue to achieve great success, both domestically and internationally,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “It is vital that we continue to recognize the achievements of our songwriters, composers, and music publishers, and we’re honoured to congratulate all of tonight’s SOCAN Award recipients for their outstanding accomplishments.”

Hosting the awards was Canadian radio and television personality Arisa Cox, best known as the host of Big Brother Canada. The evening was sponsored by Gowling WLG, KPMG, Long & McQuade, Music Canada, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and Yamaha Canada. The Unison Benevolent Fund was the official charity partner.

SOCAN will award Francophone music creators and publishers at a gala in Montréal in October.

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