-- Some of the 30th annual SOCAN Montreal Awards winners (left to right): Florent Vollant (SOCAN Classics), Geneviève Côté, SOCAN's Chief Quebec Affairs Officer, Banx & Ranx (International Award), Coeur de pirate (Songwriter of the Year), Ousmane Traoré - Dubmatique (SOCAN Classics), Eric Baptiste, SOCAN’s CEO, Steve Marin (Non-Performing Songwriter of the Year). Photo: Benoit Rousseau/SOCAN
Many of Québec's top songwriters, screen composers and music publishers gathered at Montreal’s La Tohu cultural centre to celebrate the 30th-anniversary edition of the SOCAN Awards Gala, where more than 50 trophies were presented to honour La belle province’s creative talent.
Hosted by Pierre-Yves Lord, the gala opened with the presentation of four new SOCAN Classics to Luc Plamondon, making him the first member to achieve 40 Classic awards. He was doubly honoured with performances by Bruno Pelletier, France D'Amour and Martin Giroux who sang three of those classics from the musical Notre-Dame de Paris.
Several Special Achievement trophies included the Cultural Impact Award that recognized the song Je ne suis qu'une chanson, written in 1979 by Diane Juster for Ginette Reno, who insisted on giving the award herself to Juster after a performance of the song by Mélissa Bédard.
Composer and pianist André Gagnon received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Gilles Valiquette received the award for the significant role he played in defending the rights of creators through his 26 years on the SOCAN Board.
Michel Rivard, Andréanne A. Malette and Richard Séguin paid Valiquette homage by singing four of his most popular songs: La vie en rose, Met un peu de soleil, Quelle belle journée, and Je suis cool, while a marquee of artists saluted him on the venue's big screens.
Among other significant awards handed out throughout the evening were the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year, given to Cœur de pirate; the new Non-Performing Songwriter of the Year award, given to Steve Marin, creator of many 2 Frères hits; the SOCAN Screen Composer of the Year award, given to the creative duo James Gelfand & Louise Tremblay, and the SOCAN International Award, presented to Montréal's producer duo Banx & Ranx.
The SOCAN Publisher of the Year award went to David Murphy et Cie.
"For 30 years, SOCAN has worked tirelessly to make sure that our members are paid fair and square for their music and will continue to do so every day with passion, vigilance and enthusiasm, said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “More than ever, SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in the vibrant Québec music ecosystem and is passionate about its continuing success."
The winners of the 2019 Songwriting Prize (French), Tizzo, Shreez, and Soft performed their hit On fouette, which won them the $10,000 cash prize attached to the popular public-vote contest held last summer.
In the music category awards, the Hagood Hardy went to AfrotroniX; the Prix Jan V. Matejcek Award for new classical music went to Keiko Devaux; the Country Music award went to the new phenom Matt Lang; the Electronic Music award was given to Montréal's ambassador of the electronic scene, Marie Davidson; and there was a tie for the Hip-Hop/Rap award, which went to both popular FouKi and Alaclair Ensemble.
Popular Music and Screen Composition
A total of 10 Popular Music Awards were handed out to the songwriters and publishers of the most heard Francophone songs of 2018: Fille de personne II, by Hubert Lenoir; Toutes les femmes savent danser, by Loud, Ajust, Ruffsound, Realmind, Tim Buron & Pierre-Luc Rioux; Prémonition, by Cœur de pirate; À hauteur d'hommes, by Vincent Vallières & François Plante; Ici et ailleurs, by Andréanne A. Malette; Desert Song, by Ludovick Bourgeois & Fred St-Gelais; Lies (v.f.), by Domeno, Zagata & Richard Beynon; Best I'll never have (v.f.), by Brandon Mig, John Nathaniel & Marianne Cossette-Bacon; La nuit gronde, sung by Kaïn and written by Steve Veilleux; and Au sommet, sung by 2 Frères and written by Steve Marin. The Anglophone Popular Music Award went to Charlotte Cardin and Jason Brando O'Farrell Ciciola for their song Main Girl.
The gala also saluted screen composers and publishers. Among the evening's winners were SOCAN Awards Gala regular, Anthony Rozankovic, and his publishers, Cinéflix Média Inc., and Anthem Entertainment, each receiving the Music for Television (International) award and the Television Music award – Fictional Programming for Mayday. Screen composers Jean-Phi Goncalves (Le tricheur), Scott Price (Les Gags) and Rudy Toussaint (How It's Made) earned trophies for a third consecutive year. Raymond Fabi received the award in the Youth Programming category for Arthur, and Anik Jean won her first Film Music award for her work in the movie Bon Cop Bad Cop 2.
Festival Western de St-Tite was titled with the SOCAN Licensed to Play Award, saluting the event's platform for the artists from Québec and Canada who play during the event, and its directors “excellent collaboration…with SOCAN's Licensing department.”