SOCAN Honours Robert Charlebois, Michel Corriveau, Monique Leyrac, Éditorial Avenue, Leonard Cohen, many more

From left to right: Geneviève Côté (SOCAN Chief of Québec Affairs), Mélanie Joly (Minister of Canadian Heritage), Daniel Lafrance (Éditorial Avenue – Publisher of the Year Award), Stan Meissner (SOCAN Chairman of the Board), Claude Dubois (two SOCAN Classic Awards), Monique Leyrac (Special Achievement Award), Luc Plamondon (two SOCAN Classic Awards), Robert Charlebois (Lifetime Achievement Award and Cultural Impact Award), Eric Baptiste (SOCAN CEO), France D’Amour (three SOCAN Classic Awards), Mariane Cossette-Bacon (Popular Song Awards), Cristobal Tapia de Veer (International Award), John Nathaniel (Songwriter of the Year Award), Alexe Gaudreault (Popular Music Award), Michel Corriveau (Screen Composer of the Year). (Photo: Benoit Rousseau)
October 17, 2017

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A who's-who from the Québec music ecosystem gathered to celebrate the careers and accomplishments of songwriters, screen composers and music publishers at the 28th Montréal SOCAN Awards Gala at La TOHU on Oct. 16, 2017, with nearly 50 awards presented during an emotionally and musically thrilling evening.

For the first time in the gala's history, two special achievement awards were presented to one exceptional music creator, the legendary Robert Charlebois, who received the SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award for his truly remarkable career, as well as the SOCAN Cultural Impact Award, alongside his collaborator Claude Péloquin, for their monumental song "Lindberg," performed in a wonderful rendition on the night by Canailles.

Hosted by Stéphane Archambault, the 400-strong guests saw Luc Plamondon present the SOCAN Special Achievement Award to Monique Leyrac, for her incredible career as one of the greatest performers of her generation. Plamondon also broke his own record for SOCAN Classics (exceeding 25,000 radio spins in Québec), winning his 35th and 36th awards for "La Légende de Jimmy" and "La fille aux bas nylon."

Rarely in the spotlight, yet a true master of pop music, John Nathaniel received the prestigious SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award, and his song "Éclat," co-written with Alexe Gaudreault and Mariane Cossette-Bacon also won a Popular Music Award.

The SOCAN Publisher of the Year award was presented to Éditorial Avenue and company founder Daniel Lafrance, saluting his leadership and massive contribution to the music community. The international success of screen composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer earned him the SOCAN International Achievement Award, marking the first time that a composer for film and television has been awarded the prize. Prolific screen composer Michel Corriveau was awarded the inaugural SOCAN Screen Composer of the Year prize for his work in Les Pays d'en haut (SRC), Prémonitions (AddikTV), Versailles (Canal+), and the feature film Anna.

"SOCAN members provide the soundtrack to our lives and important fuel to our economy, so it's integral to celebrate and honour songwriters, screen composers and music publishers," said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. "Québec's musical ecosystem is moving to a new era, and SOCAN is pro-active on all fronts, working closely with organizations of every size to ensure that music creators and publishers are compensated fairly in this new environment. Tonight, we celebrate the very reason why we do everything we do for our members: their creativity, their emotion, their sweat, their intelligence, and their art."


The 2017 Montréal SOCAN Awards Gala was rich with live performances, creating numerous lifetime memories, including a medley of Robert Charlebois's biggest hits, presented by Daniel Boucher, Émile Bilodeau, Diane Tell and Jérôme Charlebois, just before Louise Forestier handed Charlebois his SOCAN Lifetime Achievement Award.

Claude Dubois, whose songs "Si Dieu existe" and "J'ai souvenir encore" are revered SOCAN Classics, was moved by Ariane Brunet and Alexandre Poulin's delicate rendition of "J'ai souvenir encore."

The SOCAN Global Inspiration Award was presented to the late towering legend of song, Leonard Cohen, and accompanied by a deeply moving trilingual – French, English and Innu – rendition of his immortal song "Everybody Knows" by Beyries, Vincent Vallières, and Matiu.

The virtuoso pianist Jean-Michel Blais wowed the audience with the creative technique that helped him to earn the prestigious SOCAN Hagood Hardy Award, celebrating instrumental music.


The power trio of Andréanne A. Malette, Stephane Moraille and Geneviève Leclerc paid homage to newly-minted SOCAN Classics, including "La Légende de Jimmy," "Animal," "Cash City" and "Closer Together." The Box's Jean-Marc Pisapia could not resist jumping on stage to sing his band's hit during the gala's high-energy closing number. In all, 11 new songs were inducted as SOCAN Classics.


Ten Francophone Pop Music Awards were handed out during the gala to the songwriters and music publishers of the most played songs in Québec in 2016, including "33 Tours," "Polaroid," "Belle infirmière," "Karim et le loup," and "Miami."

The gala also saluted the exceptional contributions to the industry and overall economy of screen composers and their publishers. Among the evening's winners were Jean-Phi Goncalves and his publisher Éditions TM who won the Domestic TV Music Award – Non-fiction for "Le Tricheur." Anthony Rozankovic and his publisher Cinéflix Média Inc. and Ole Media Management LP walked away with two trophies for their work on the series "Mayday." Finally, James Gelfand and Louise Tremblay, as well as Les Éditions de Musique JB received the Feature Film Award for their work on Michel Poulette's "Swept Under."


The essential contributions of music-using organizations in Québec were represented with the SOCAN Licensed To Play Award, presented this year to ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur. The Québec ministry of education was recognized for its ongoing commitment to ensuring that legal and ethical music licensing obligations are being met through its constituents across the province.