Toronto, August 5, 2020 – The votes are in! “The Spark,” written and performed by William Prince of Winnipeg has won the 15th annual English SOCAN Songwriting Prize, the most prestigious award for music creation as determined in a public vote.
Music fans from across Canada cast their votes from July 16 to 30 for the 10 finalist songs as determined by a panel of music experts.
“Songwriting has been a part of my life for so long. The Spark goes back to my earliest days of learning how to communicate love and hope through music,” said William Prince. “Winning the SOCAN prize is terrific affirmation of the beginning of my life’s work and motivation to keep working on the next chapters. Thank you to SOCAN and everyone that took time to vote.”
In a first in SOCAN Songwriting Prize history, each of the remaining nine nominated songs were awarded $500 for the writers.
With so many fantastic songs, at a time when music creators have been particularly hard hit by the effects of COVID-19, SOCAN decided to present cash prizes to all finalists, providing some timely relief for several of Canada’s most talented emerging songwriters.
“‘The Spark’ is an incredible song and William Prince is an incredible and deserving talent,” said Jennifer Brown, interim CEO of SOCAN. “The SOCAN Songwriting Prize is about identifying and celebrating Canada’s next and best music creators and the 2020 nominees are testament to that fact. This year, we are thrilled to be able to monetarily award the excellence of all 10 nominees.”
Brad Wheeler, music & arts journalist and SOCAN Songwriting Prize panelist, had this to say about nominating “The Spark” for the prize: “William Prince isn’t the first songwriter to use fire as a metaphor – Billy Joel started it, and don’t let him tell you otherwise – and he won’t be the last. But ‘The Spark’ is gently consuming, with a natural rhythm that takes you by the hand and leads you down the path you need. It’s a love song. Maybe all of his songs are. This one’s built to last though, with ‘our song’ possibilities.”
The SOCAN Songwriting Prize is the only major songwriting award in Canada where fans vote to determine the winner. Ten outstanding songs created by Canadian songwriters over the past year are nominated by a panel of 15 esteemed music industry experts. The general public is then invited to vote once a day for their favourite song for two weeks to determine the winner.
SOCAN plays no role in determining the nominees or winners, apart from ensuring that they are members of SOCAN. A mirroring competition for songs in French, the Prix de la chanson SOCAN, is conducted separately.
The winner of the Prix de la chanson SOCAN is “Maintenant ou jamais” – written by Félix Dyotte; published by Dare To Care; performed by Evelyne Brochu.
The other nine songs nominated in the English category were:
The 2019 winner of the SOCAN Songwriting Prize was grandson for “Blood//Water” written Chester Krupa Carbone, Kevin Hissink and Jordan Benjamin. Additional winners are available to view on the SOCAN Songwriting Prize website.
Proof Inc. (for SOCAN): Lyndsay Wallis, 416-969-2724, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOCAN: Nicole Van Severen, 416-445-8700 x 3460, email@example.com