SOCAN Awards 2018 honour and celebrate Canada's music creators and publishers

At the 2018 SOCAN Awards. Left to right: Award winners Burton Cummings, Daniel Caesar, Sarah McLachlan, and SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. (ALL Photos: Grant W. Martin Photography)
June 18, 2018

See the Winners List

The songwriters, composers and music publishers who create and promote some of the most successful songs in the world gathered in Toronto tonight with industry representatives from throughout Canada's music ecosystem for the 29th annual SOCAN Awards. The gala ceremony honoured Canada's music creators and publishers across an array of genres, including Rap, Pop, R&B, Rock, Film & Television, Dance, Folk/Roots, Jazz, Country, Classical and more.

This year, the iconic Burton Cummings and the legendary Sarah McLachlan were each honoured,  Cummings with the SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award, for more than 50 years of songwriting success and excellence, and McLachlan with the SOCAN Global Inspiration Award for her unparalleled accomplishments as a singer-songwriter, philanthropist, and advocate for women.


Shawn Mendes accepts his Songwriter of the Year honours at the 2018 SOCAN Awards.

McLachlan played a moving, solo-piano rendition of “Angel,” while Cummings, who was introduced by renowned producer Daniel Lanois, delivered an inspired two-song performance for a thrilling close to the show.

The SOCAN Awards featured many other memorable performances, from host Brett Kissel, Dear Rouge, Rose Cousins (who won the Folk/Roots Music Award), The Launch winner Logan Staats, Toronto rapper Sean Leon and the SOCAN orchestra led by screen composer, Steph Copeland .

Also receiving SOCAN Achievement Awards were global pop phenomenon Shawn Mendes, and Rihanna, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar co-writer Frank Dukes, both of whom earned SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Awards. Rockers Our Lady Peace were on hand to receive the National Achievement Award, as were Screen Composer of the Year Keith Power, and Neville Quinlan and Cheryl Link of peermusic Canada, the Publisher of the Year. Though unable to attend, the sensational Alessia Cara earned the International Achievement Award, a Dance Music Award and International Song Award for “Stay,” her hit with Zedd.


Folk/Roots Award winner Rose Cousins perfoms "Grace" at the 2018 SOCAN Awards.

Fast-rising singer-songwriter Daniel Caesar was presented with the SOCAN Breakout Award, and also earned an R&B Music Award for “Get You.” Jazz composer Christine Jensen won the Hagood Hardy Award, Jocelyn Morlock earned the Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award, and The City of Hamilton took home the Licensed To Play Award for the municipality's unwavering commitment to fair music licensing.

SOCAN Awards for most performed songs, including broadcast and streaming, were presented to Shawn Hook, who won a Pop Music Award for “Reminding Me” (featuring Vanessa Hudgens), and Virginia to Vegas, who won for both “Lights Out” and “Selfish.” The Glorious Sons accepted a Rock Music Award for the hit “Kill the Lights,” while Travis Wood and Gavin Slate were on hand to accept a Country Music Award for “Chills,” performed by the James Barker Band.

Many of SOCAN's #ComposersWhoScore won for their film and television projects, including the brothers Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna, who won both an International Film Music Award and an Achievement in Feature Film Music Award for their work on the animated movie Storks. Greg Fisher and Derek Treffry earned both the Domestic Non-Fiction TV Music Award and the International TV Series Music Award for their work on Border security: Canada’s Front Line.


SOCAN Awards 2018 host Brett Kissel opens the show with a performance of "Anthem."

“Canadian music creators and publishers continue to attain remarkable success, both at home and throughout the world,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “We’re pleased and proud to recognize the great achievements of our songwriters, composers, and music publishers, and we warmly congratulate all of tonight's SOCAN Award recipients for their exceptional accomplishments.”

Sponsors of the 2018 SOCAN Awards are Gowling WLG, Crowe Soberman, Yamaha Canada Music, Recording Artists' Collecting Society (ACTRA RACS), Hargraft, Long & McQuade, Music Canada, Ontario Media Development Corporation and Actra Fraternal Benefit Society (AFBS). Official charity partners are the Unison Benevolent Fund and the SOCAN Foundation. At the event, Unison was presented with all of the profits from the sale of SOCAN-branded merchandise over the last year.


Sean Leon performs at the 2018 SOCAN Awards.

The annual Gala de la SOCAN in Montréal, which celebrates and honours the work of SOCAN's Francophone members, will take place in October of this year.