SOCAN rocks Parliament Hill with advocacy, music

SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste makes a few brief comments at the 2017 SOCAN reception on Parliament Hill. (All Photos: Dave Chan)
May 18, 2017

Parliament Hill in Ottawa was abuzz in the early evening of May 16, 2017, as Minister of Canadian Heritage the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Members of Parliament, senators and government staff turned out in throngs to attend SOCAN’s third annual Parliamentary reception.

In only three years, the reception – held at the East Block Courtyard of The Senate – has become a “go-to” event on Parliament Hill, where powerful federal officials learn more about SOCAN and enjoy music from a few of our members.

Minister of Canadian Heritage the Honourable Mélanie Joly speaks passionately about music rights at the 2017 SOCAN Parliament Hill reception.

This year rapidly rising star Charlotte Cardin represented our Francophone community, and Canadian rock icons Sloan represented our English membership, each playing several songs, and acknowledging the importance of SOCAN to their careers, and to those of our almost 150,000 members.

Charlotte Cardin dazzles the large crowd gathered for SOCAN on Parliament Hill.

SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste; President and Chair of SOCAN’s Board of Directors Stan Meissner; SOCAN executives Andrew Berthoff, Geneviève Côté and Gilles Daigle; Membership team members Stephanie Falco and Guillaume Moffet; and SOCAN Board members Craig Horton, Glenn Morley, Earl Rosen and Gilles Valiquette all met with decision-making officials, while more than 350 Members of Parliament, Senators and political staff attended the reception.

Left to right: President and Chair of SOCAN’s Board of Directors Stan Meissner; SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste; and Conservative Heritage Critic Peter Van Loan.

The event not only focused on the cultural and economic impact of SOCAN members in Canada, but also gave SOCAN a crucial platform to emphasize the value that our enterprising songwriters, composers and music publishers bring to the global economy. The reception also allowed us to present our policy positions in an informal setting, to a wide range of politicians, decision-makers, and their advisors.

Sloan see the good in everyone gathered for SOCAN on Parliament Hill.

“This is an important year for SOCAN due to a number of government initiatives that will have a direct impact on our creators, including the Government of Canada's new cultural policy and the revision of the Copyright Act,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste. “We work to ensure that our creators are appropriately protected by copyright laws and policies that enhance their chances of success.”

Thanks at least in part to SOCAN’s formal meetings and informal conversations with her, Minister Joly has repeatedly made reference to the importance of music creators in her spoken and written comments since the election of the Liberal government. At the reception, she once again acknowledged the value of our members’ music.

NDP Heritage Critic Pierre Nantel and Conservative Heritage Critic Peter Van Loan also spoke of the important work that SOCAN does. In short, SOCAN's efforts to communicate with our federal government, and the three major political parties, continue to pay off for our members.