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25th Anniversary SOCAN Montreal Gala Celebrates Music Creators and Publishers

Montreal – The 25th annual SOCAN Awards Montreal Gala, one of the Canadian music industry’s most important events, was held  last night in the Grand Salon of the Hyatt Regency Montreal hotel. Hosted by Michel Rivard, this anniversary edition of the awards ceremony expressly sought to showcase successes of music creators and publishers from Québec and beyond.

Over 100 awards in 20 different categories were presented, including five honours for extraordinary achievement: Excellence, Homage, Global Inspiration,International and Songwriter(s) of the Year.

The late “Gentleman of Country” Georges Hamel, a legend of the Québec country music scene, received the Award of Excellence, with his widow Réjeanne Leblancaccepting in Hamel’s name. During his 40-year career, the singer-songwriter recorded 44 albums that sold more than two-million copies, penned over 200 songs, received five Félix awards (ADISQ) and was granted the medal of the National Assembly.

One of the most famous managers in Canadian music history, René Angélil, received the Global Inspiration Award for his distinguished career and extraordinary influence. His son Patrick Angélil accepted the trophy on his behalf.

A passionate music lover, tireless worker and visionary businessman, Michel Bélanger was presented with the Homage Award. Bélanger is the president and founder of the Audiogram record label, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year.

The International Achievement Award was awarded to Montréal-based Half Moon Run’s four songwriters, Conner Molander, Dylan Phillips, Devon Portielje and Isaac Symonds. The band has experienced worldwide success since the release of its first single, “Full Circle.”

Marie-Mai and Fred St-Gelais, a prominent duo in Québec’s pop scene with already five platinum records, were named Songwriters of the Year honouring their many triumphs, including an impressive number of songs (four) on the Top 50 BDS chart in 2013.

The five special achievement award winners were presented with The SOCAN, the first and so far only major music industry honour that is equal parts musical instrument and trophy. The SOCAN was created in partnership with SABIAN of New Brunswick and New York’s Society Awards.

Luc Plamondon was presented with his 29th and 30th SOCAN Classic Awards, making him the most award-winning music creator in the history of the Montreal SOCAN Awards.

“This is a period of profound transformation and challenges for the music ecosystem,” said SOCAN’s Chief Executive Officer Eric Baptiste. “The SOCAN Montreal Gala has allowed us to go above and beyond our role as champions of musical creators’ rights. With the Gala, we celebrate them and their many past and present successes. Even more so on its 25th anniversary, the event recognizes the new talents that become tomorrow’s successful creators and shape the future of our industry.”

Other honourees of the 25th SOCAN Gala in Montréal included Paul Daraîche, recipient of the Country Music prize; Klô Pelgag, who took home the SOCANBreakout Award; Koriass, for the Urban Music award; Karim Ouellet, who received both Online Streaming and Pop/Rock Music awards (“L’amour”); Daniel Bélanger, who was bestowed four SOCAN Classic awards (“Ensorcelée”, “La Folie en quatre”, “Opium” and “Sèche tes pleurs”) and a Pop/Rock Music award (“Si tel est ton désir”);Marjo and Jean Milaire, who earned two SOCAN Classic awards (“Je sais, je sais” and “Provocante”); Denis Gougeon, the Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award; Lorraine Klaasen, the Hagood Hardy Award; and, finally, the Festival d’été de Québec, the Patron of Music Award for excellence by a business using licensed music creatively and ethically, while appreciating its strong value.

Several other music creators and publishers were also honoured during the 2014 SOCAN Gala, including the writers and composers behind the biggest Québec Anglophone disco hits of the 1970s and 1980s, which have since risen to SOCAN Classic status, and other classics that played over 25 000 times on the radio, along with the writers and composers of this year’s most popular songs, television music and film music.

SOCAN thanked Donati Maisonneuve Avocats and Stingray for their sponsorship of the gala.

For a complete list of winners of the 25th annual SOCAN Awards Montreal Gala, click here.