Governance - SOCAN

Governance

We believe good governance is fundamental to our organization’s success and helps to positively shape and influence our direction.

Our Guiding Principles

The following principles apply to the organization and the transaction of the affairs of SOCAN:

  • SOCAN shall protect, preserve and promote the rights of its membership and those of foreign affiliated performing and reproduction right societies whose rights it administers in Canada.
  • SOCAN shall ensure that it is wholly owned and controlled by its Members who are composers, lyricists, songwriters and publishers.
  • SOCAN shall ensure that its Board of Directors is composed only of Members.
  • SOCAN shall seek appropriate tariffs and enforce its rights as provided in the Copyright Act
  • SOCAN shall license performing and reproduction rights, collect royalties for those licences and distribute them in a cost-effective manner.
  • SOCAN shall make fair and equitable distributions of the royalties collected.
  • SOCAN shall ensure that all of its Members are treated equally.
  • SOCAN shall ensure that it is open, accessible to its Members and that it will keep its membership informed as to its rules, policies and activities.
  • SOCAN shall advocate and work to improve copyright laws both in Canada and internationally.

Member Conflict Resolution

SOCAN is committed to fairness, transparency, and accountability within its organization and with its members. A dedicated ombudsperson offers all members an enhanced Conflict Resolution Procedure for disputes and complaints. SOCAN’s ombudsperson is Mireille Tabib, a former Associate Judge for the Federal Court for 20 years and a skilled mediator. SOCAN’s Conflict Resolution Procedure, and the appointment of Tabib ensure that SOCAN continues to honour its commitment to transparency and accountability with its members.

The ombudsperson acts as an independent third party and can step in to handle certain SOCAN member disputes and complaints, in English and French. Any SOCAN member can submit a formal complaint to SOCAN.

MARC OUELLETTE
PRESIDENT & CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Lesley Barber
Composer
Jennifer Beavis
DIRECTOR , BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT CANADA
David Bussières
Songwriter

Board of Directors

The SOCAN Board of Directors is responsible and accountable for ensuring that our members receive the best value from SOCAN.

Our Board is comprised of 18 elected members, who represent an equal number of music creators and publishers, and reflect the geographic and bi-cultural distinctiveness of Canada, along with a balanced representation of music genres.

The Board meets four times annually to discuss SOCAN’s strategic direction, policies, distribution rules, and annual budget. Every three years, we invite more than 35,000 earning SOCAN members to elect a new Board.

Learn more about the SOCAN board of directors’ elections

Jean-François Denis
YMX Media
Darren Fung
Composer
GARY FURNISS
PRESIDENT OF SONY/ATV PUBLISHING IN CANADA
Mark Jowett
Nettwerk Music Group
Jason Klein
Anthem Entertainment
Troy Kokol
Songwriter
Laurence Lafond-Beaulne
SONGWRITER
Daniel Lafrance
Éditorial Avenue
CHERYL LINK
PEERMUSIC CANADA INC.
STAN MEISSNER
COMPOSER
JENNIFER MITCHELL
PRESIDENT OF CASABLANCA MEDIA PUBLISHING
GLENN MORLEY
COMPOSER
Diane Pinet
President of Bloc-Notes Music Publishing
SARAH SLEAN
SONGWRITER
JENNIFER BROWN
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Robert Bennett
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
JEAN-CHRISTIAN CÉRÉ
Chief Membership Officer
LESLIE CRAIG
VP Royalty Services

Executive Team

The SOCAN executive team upholds the organization’s vision, providing the necessary leadership required to execute the activities and initiatives behind the services to members, customers, and clients. The team leads twelve separate departments: Membership, Information Technology, Distribution, Licensing, International Relations, Visual Arts 7 Crafts, Legal, Communications & Marketing, Finance, Reproduction Rights, Dataclef Business Development Services, and Workspace & Environment/Human Resources.
Allison Dell
Senior Vice President, People & Culture
TREVOR JACKSON
VICE PRESIDENT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
CAMERON KENNEDY
Vice President, Creative & Member Relations
MIKE KING
CHIEF ADMINISTRATION OFFICER
ANDREA KOKONIS
CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER & GENERAL COUNSEL
Annita Lala
Chief Operating Officer
Martin Lavallée
Head of Reproduction Rights
Nicole Pratt
Vice President, Reproduction Rights Operations
CATHARINE SAXBERG
VICE PRESIDENT - INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
KIT WHEELER
VP Royalty Collections

Committees

Five committees exist to support the work of SOCAN's Board of Directors.

Executive Governance Committee

The Executive Governance Committee is made up of the Board of Directors’ elected officers and committee chairs. The purpose of the Committee is to ensure that the Board’s governance system and processes are effective, efficient and enhance corporate performance, enable efficient and effective Board work, and provide continuity for SOCAN operations between board meetings.

In co-operation with the executive team, the committee reviews and develops agendas and reviews content for the Board meetings. The committee also creates a work plan of activities and strategic discussions for the year, supporting the current strategic plan and including reviews of SOCAN’s annual budget, advocacy policies, etc. The work plan makes it easier for both management and the Board to monitor progress toward meeting our strategic objectives.

The EGC also has the responsibility to act as the Board’s compensation committee with regard to the CEO. In this capacity, the EGC manages the annual CEO evaluation process, which includes performance agreements with annual targets, etc. Additionally, the EGC coordinates a Board effectiveness evaluation and a peer assessment process to ensure that the Board of Directors operates to its fullest potential.

Membership Committee

The purpose of the Membership committee is to monitor, identify and recommend member service opportunities, consider all of SOCAN’s diverse constituencies within our membership, determine retention and growth strategies for SOCAN’s membership, and develop policies and strategies to ensure a high-integrity link between the Board and SOCAN members.

In order to ensure that SOCAN serves the needs of its membership, we regularly conduct member surveys. The Membership committee oversees the questionnaire, reviews the results of the survey, and implements management’s recommendations to address issues raised. The Membership Committee also oversees SOCAN’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the organization of the SOCAN Awards in both Toronto and Montreal, as well as reviewing our overall communication strategies, policies and activities.

Reproduction Rights Committee

The SOCAN Reproduction Rights Committee ensures that SOCAN’s governance of reproduction rights’ systems and processes are efficient and deliver the best value to our rights’ holders. Additionally, the committee annually reviews SOCAN’s reproduction rights’ services/licensing rates/commissions, bringing forward changes, where required, to the SOCAN Board of Directors for approval.

The SOCAN Reproduction Rights Committee was formed as a result of SOCAN’s acquisition of SODRAC in July 2018. The Committee comprises members of SOCAN’s board alongside members of SODRAC’s board at the time of the transaction.

Risk Identification and Management Committee

The purpose of the Risk Identification and Management Committee is to assist the Board of Directors in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities. The committee ensures that management implements appropriate systems to identify, monitor, and mitigate significant business risks, and incorporates priorities and new initiatives outlined in SOCAN’s strategic plan.

The committee monitors SOCAN’s capital fund and investments to ensure that returns are maximized, within a level of risk determined by the committee, with advice from external financial consultants. The committee also reviews the audited financial statements and then recommends them to the Board for approval, reviews quarterly revenue and expense forecasts to ensure that any issues are being monitored and addressed, and reviews and recommends the SOCAN annual budget to the Board of Directors for approval. The annual financial results are reviewed with SOCAN’s external audit firm to ensure that all information is accounted and reported accurately.

The committee also works with SOCAN’s internal auditor, reviewing ongoing internal procedures within SOCAN, as well as reviewing SOCAN external audits, monitoring compliance among licensees and working with management to fine-tune SOCAN’s business continuity planning and IT security.

Three members of the Risk Committee also form half of SOCAN’s Pension Committee, with the other half made up of the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administration Officer.

Tariff, Licensing and Distribution Committee

The Tariff, Licensing and Distribution Committee assists the Board of Directors to ensure appropriate tariffs are proposed to the Copyright Board, oversees SOCAN’s licensing strategies, and recommends fair and appropriate distribution rules to the Board for approval.

The committee annually reviews SOCAN’s tariffs, proposing changes when required; monitors the use of music in the marketplace and proposes new tariffs where appropriate; reviews SOCAN’s current licensing strategies and monitors their results; reviews and recommends approval of negotiated agreements with licensees; regularly reviews SOCAN’s Distribution Rules, distribution methods and documentation, monitoring their fairness, efficiency, results and effectiveness, and proposing changes where necessary; and reviews member concerns regarding the application of tariffs and distribution rules.

The committee helps SOCAN analyze the effects of the evolving shift in music consumption from traditional media (TV, cable, radio) to digital and online, trying to better understand how this will impact licensing revenues and royalty distributions, and ensuring fairness and accuracy, as well as recommending the creation of new distribution pools for specific online uses, where required.

The committee works to ensure that SOCAN’s licensing and distribution policies continue to be efficient, creative and responsive. These strategies are aligned to cost-effectiveness and providing new and value-added services.

Annual Reports

SOCAN’s Annual Report includes key financial highlights, business highlights and activities, corporate social responsibility updates, and our members’ achievements for the year. The Report’s release coincides with SOCAN’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). The Financial Report is available each year as a pdf.