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FAQs

Structure

Since some of the directors of SOCAN Foundation are also SOCAN directors, arenít there inherent conflicts? Shouldnít the board of a Foundation be independent of one of its chief benefactors?
The SOCAN Foundation is an arms-length body that is in effect an external committee of SOCAN. The SOCAN Foundationís bylaw currently requires that the board include seven SOCAN directors. Their expertise is invaluable to SOCAN Foundation and their connections to the SOCAN board also bring a certain continuity that has value, especially in dealing with the many initiatives that directly benefit large segments of SOCAN members. Directors are also aware that they must wear ďdifferent hatsĒ when sitting at each board table. Most importantly, there are clear ďconflict-of-interest guidelinesĒ that must be adhered to by the directors of each organization.

Revenue

How much revenue does SOCAN transfer to SOCAN Foundation each year?
The fund transferred each year from SOCAN to SOCAN Foundation is equal to .75% of SOCANís average Balance For Distribution, also known as NIAFD (Net Income Available for Distribution), for the three preceding years. The figures for the first two years are actuals, while the figure for the third year is a forecast as of September 30.

Where did SOCAN Foundationís endowment come from?
SOCAN purchased the shares of PROCAN (one of SOCANís predecessors) in 1990 for $3-million, establishing a capital fund for Music Promotion Foundation (MPF), a funding body which had been created by PROCAN. MPF changed its name in 1992 to SOCAN Foundation.

How much is SOCAN Foundation ís endowment capital?
The endowment is currently valued at around $4.5-million.

Should SOCAN Foundation seek revenue from other sources—companies or individuals for example?
The SOCAN Foundation Charitable Fund was launched in 2012 expressly for that purpose.

Grant recipients

Whatís the difference between project funding and Annual Operations Grants?
The SOCAN Foundation board has thus far chosen to provide Annual Operations Grants to only a small number of organizations, each of which receives an annual grant to be applied to a wide array of projects. These are national music-creator or music-publisher associations that have a proven track record in terms of support for songwriters and composers. Project funding, on the other hand, relates to a specific project, with a beginning and an end.

Why does SOCAN Foundation provide such high-level funding to these organizations?
The SOCAN Foundation board views these organizations as the leaders in their respective music-creator and music-publisher communities. All provide a wealth of career-enhancement services and activities for SOCANís member songwriters and composers. The Screen Composers Guild of Canada, for example, represents some of the highest-earning members of SOCAN, and presents national seminars, workshops and other activities, and has been a regular and supportive player during Copyright Board hearings when SOCANís tariffs are under review. The Canadian Music Centre provides an invaluable service for the classical music community, as a library and Canadian music information centre for orchestras, choirs and other performers around the world. The Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.), this countryís national voice for the Anglophone songwriting community, is engaged in dozens of educational activities across Canada, improving the working environment for music creators. SPACQ, the French-language counterpart of S.A.C. and also a strong advocate of creatorsí rights, speaks for the community of francophone songwriters across Canada. Another group, the Canadian League of Composers, receives much smaller support, but this organization is also important to SOCAN as a key voice during Copyright Board hearings on the classical music concert tariffs. The Canadian Music Publishers Association protects the rights of both publishers and music creators. And its counterpart in French Canada, the Professional Music Publishers Association, plays a similar role in that community. In short, SOCAN membersí future depends to a great degree on the success of these and other organizations receiving Annual Operations Grants.

Does SOCAN Foundation require promotional consideration from its grant recipients?
SOCAN Foundation does not require grant recipients to promote SOCAN Foundation. We simply ask that proper printed credit (including the SOCAN Foundation logo) appears in any printed and online materials and that SOCAN Foundation is appropriately acknowledged during speaking opportunities.

Does SOCAN Foundation consider the political statements of its grant recipients?
No. Grants are not conditional on toeing any political line. SOCAN Foundation occasionally finds that grant recipients express political or industrial viewpoints that do not complement those of SOCAN Foundation or of SOCAN. Nevertheless, the SOCAN Foundation board feels that grant recipients should be free to express their views.

Does SOCAN Foundation require that its grant recipients pay SOCAN licence fees?
Yes, providing they are required to by law. In fact, the SOCAN Foundation board will not consider applications from concert presenters or other SOCAN customers in cases where licence fees are due but remain outstanding. As well, once a grant has been approved by the SOCAN Foundation board, payment of the grant is not made until all licence fees relating to the event (if a licensable event), or the presenter of the event, have been received by SOCAN.

How many SOCAN Foundation grant recipients default on delivering their promised activities?
Each year SOCAN Foundation cancels approximately 15-25 grants, in those cases where grant recipients fail to meet the conditions of their grants (such as neglecting to carry out an event or paying outstanding SOCAN licence fees). As well, SOCAN Foundation frequently cancels portions of grant amounts approved, for example in cases where the accrued amounts are based on estimates, and are higher than expected (such as travel expenses relating to the Composer Outreach Residencies program).

Does SOCAN Foundation contribute to social support for individual composers?
No, SOCAN Foundation does not provide social assistance to individual composers.

How many grants does SOCAN Foundation typically make in a year?
In 2013, SOCAN Foundation board approved 499 core-funding (now Annual Operations) and project-grant applications for a total of more than $1.5-million. In addition, SOCAN Foundation runs two competitions, the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers and the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Audio-visual Composers.

Why does SOCAN Foundation support education, training and research in the fields of composing and copyright?
SOCAN Foundationís mandate includes, in part, a desire to ďhelp create and sustain an environment in which composers, lyricists, songwriters and music publishers may be encouraged and educated.Ē Much of the core-funded associationsí activities lie in the area of education for their members. As well, SOCAN Foundation offers an Education Grants program.

What other types of granting programs does SOCAN Foundation offer?
In addition to Education Grants mentioned above, SOCAN Foundation also offers Events & Projects Grants, Festivals Grants, Publications Grants, support for International Showcasing and a Composer Outreach Residencies program.

Why does SOCAN Foundation provide grants largely through organizations, rather than directing funds towards individual SOCAN members?
SOCAN Foundationís revenue for its granting programs is very small in comparison with the funds available to, say, the Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts. For this reason, SOCAN Foundation chooses to fund initiatives that will benefit a wide range of songwriters and composers. With rare exceptions (such as the International Showcasing Program), grants are not payable to individual music creators.


Foundations in other countries

Do other countriesí performing rights organizations have foundations like SOCAN Foundation?
Yes. ASCAP and BMI in the U.S. and PRS in the U.K., among others, have foundations.

How are some of those foundations funded, in comparison with SOCAN Foundation?
Some have charitable status, and receive regular donations directly from their parent organizationsí members, as well as donations from other sources. In addition, many performing rights organizations provide various types of assistance to their membership and to their local music industries (such as through sponsorships), funded directly by their performing right revenue.


Philosophy and raison d'être

Could SOCAN Foundation undertake activities that were contrary to the interests of SOCAN?
SOCAN Foundationís vision and that of SOCAN are very closely aligned; both are engaged in enhancing the careers of music creators. Activities contrary to the interests of SOCAN would not be undertaken.

Iím a SOCAN member. Why are SOCAN Foundationís activities important to me? Why has the SOCAN board decided to earmark royalties for SOCAN Foundation that would otherwise go to its members?
SOCANís board of directors (representing the membership at large) has determined that it is important to support SOCAN Foundationís mandate and current activities, which benefit Canadian culture in general and the songwriting/composing community in particular. A distinct Canadian culture that is compensated through strong copyright protection, is a vision that SOCAN and SOCAN Foundation support.

Application and grant-approval process

If my organization applies to SOCAN Foundation for funding through one of its granting programs, when can I expect to hear the board ís decision?
Following each board meeting, the SOCAN Foundation manager contacts all grant applicants in writing to inform them of the boardís decisions.

How much should my organization request when applying for funding through one of SOCAN Foundationís granting programs?
As stated in SOCAN Foundationís application forms, all applicants are required to submit budgets for projects for which they are seeking funding. Your budget revenue should indicate the amount you require from SOCAN Foundation in order to balance your budget. Amounts of grants approved by SOCAN Foundation vary from $500 to as much as $12,000 for large festivals with strong Canadian-music components.