AUGUST 30, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – The SOCAN Foundation, the separate organization funded by SOCAN that promotes musical creativity and the role of music creators in today’s society, today announced that it has awarded financial prizes to young music creators across Canada in three separate competitions totaling nearly $100,000. With more than 500 submissions, the competitions were evaluated by juries of esteemed music industry professionals from across the country.

“These awards serve as a celebration of emerging music creators from across the country, supporting the SOCAN Foundation’s mandate to nurture young talent and provide opportunities for their development,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, Director of the SOCAN Foundation.

SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Canadian Songwriters, created in partnership with Sirius XM Canada Inc., celebrate emerging and talented songwriters in Canada. A total of $25,000 (five prizes of $5,000) were awarded to Hannah Bussiere, Ontario, for her song “Star Stuff;” Phoenix Emery, British Columbia, for “Just Exist;” Nicolas Gémus, Québec, for “Bunker de tes bras;” Madeline Jay Lough, British Columbia, for “Foggy;” and Ava Wild, Saskatchewan, for “White Toothed Bastard.”

The jury of professional songwriters and industry influencers comprised Tanika Charles, Ontario; Martine Groulx, Québec; Maneli Jamal, Ontario; Darryl James, Ontario; Catherine Leduc, Québec; and Danielle McTaggart, British Columbia.

SOCAN Foundation Awards for Audio-Visual Composers,
 created in partnership with RBC, recognizes Canadian composers 30 years of age and younger for original musical themes or scores created exclusively for audio-visual support (TV, film, etc.). A total of $24,500 was awarded to the winners in four categories. The Jury consisted of successful Canadian A/V composers Stephanie Copland, Ontario; Evelyne Datl, Ontario; and Guy Tourville, Québec.


Award Recipients

Best Original Score — Animated
1st: Greg Mulyk, Alberta, “Sophia”
2nd: Evan MacDonald, Québec, “Wrapped”
3rd: Vincent L. Pratte, California, “The First Dance”

Best Original Score — Fiction
1st: Josh Cruddas, Ontario, “10000 Miles”
2nd: Matthew Van Driel, Ontario, “Project: CNY”
3rd: Spencer Creaghan, Ontario, “Gül”

Best Original Score — Non-Fiction
1st: Benjamin Goldman, Québec, “Pearl Harbor: The Accused”
2nd: Lora Bidner, Québec, “The Voices of Rape Victims”

Best Original Theme (opening or closing)
1st: Joe Coupal, Ontario, “True and The Rainbow Kingdom”
2nd: Vincent Turcotte, Québec, “Hakim Chajar – Inspiration Chef”
3rd: Spencer Creaghan, Ontario, “Nobody Famous”


SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers

This annual competition recognizes Canadian composers 30 years old and younger for original concert music works in the following five categories: Large Ensemble, Chamber Ensemble, Solo or Duet, Vocal, and Electroacoustics. A total of $44,000 was awarded to the finalists among the five categories. The John Weinzweig Grand Prize of $3,000 for the best overall work was awarded to Thomas Nicholson for his work “About.”  Jury members were Tim Brady, Québec; Anna Hostman, Ontario; and Jordan Nobles, British Columbia.


The Award Recipients of the 25th SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers:

The Godfrey Ridout Awards for works of any number of voices with or without instrumentation and/or electroacoustics.

1st (tie): August  Murphy-King, Ontario, “Aanenson Reflections”
1st (tie): Maria Atallah, Ontario, “Hymn to Inana”
2nd: David Storen, British Columbia, “In Passing”
3rd: Joel Balzun, Alberta, “Home Songs”
Young Composer Award: Isaac Page, Ontario, “A Mari Usque Ad Mare”


The Hugh Le Caine Awards for live or recorded electroacoustics, where the intended performance is, at least in part, through loudspeakers. Works in this category may be multimedia and may include acoustic instrument(s) or voice(s), live or recorded. The principal element in the work must be electroacoustic.

1st: Thomas Ciszak, British Columbia, “l(a”
2nd:  Adam Pietrykowski, Québec, “Garbage In/Garbage Out”
3rd: Léa Boudreau, Québec, “Dementia”
Young Composer Award:  Jason Mile, Ontario, “Southern Wind”


The Pierre Mercure Awards for solo or duet compositions, with or without voices and/or electroacoustics.

1st: David Storen, British Columbia, “Nameless Voices”
2ndJoel Balzun, Alberta, “Louise”
3rdEmilie Girard-Charest, Québec, “S’offrir”
Young Composer Award: Liam Ritz, Ontario, “Sonata for Solo Marimba”


The Serge Garant Awards for compositions for a minimum of three performers to a maximum of 12 performers, with or without voice and/or electroacoustics.

1st: Thomas Nicholson, New Brunswick, “MOTTE”
2nd: Alison Yun-Fei Jiang, Ontario, “Birds, Reincarnate”
3rd: William Kuo, British Columbia, “flieht wie ein Schatten for 12 instruments”
Young Composer Award: Kohen Hammond, Ontario, “Serious Distance”


The Sir Ernest MacMillan for compositions for no fewer than 13 performers up to full symphony orchestra, which may include vocal participation and may be scored to include electroacoustics.

1st: Thomas Nicholson, New Brunswick, “About”
2nd: Dominique Lafortune, Québec, “Re-Tailles”
3rd:  Riho Esko Maimets, Talinn, “Oremus”
Young Composer Award: Patrick Armstrong, Ontario, “Convergence for String Orchestra”

More details about the winners can be found on the SOCAN Foundation Website:

Details of 2018 SOCAN Foundation award submissions will be announced in February 2018.

About SOCAN Foundation
Founded in 1992, SOCAN Foundation is dedicated to fostering musical creativity and promoting a better understanding of the role of music creators in today’s society. SOCAN Foundation is an independent organization guided by its own board of directors. The board, which consists of composers, songwriters and music publishers, reflects concert music and popular music genres as well as the geographic and linguistic regions of Canada. It is closely aligned to the interests of the members of SOCAN – the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada.

Media contacts:

SOCAN Foundation: Charlie Wall-Andrews, 1-800-442-3836, (en) or (fr).