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SOCAN Foundation Awards Nearly $125K to Young Canadian Composers & Songwriters

The SOCAN Foundation has awarded almost $125,000 in total to 36 young music creators across Canada in three separate competitions.

“These awards recognize the next generation of emerging songwriters, composers, and screen composers from across the country,” says Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of the SOCAN Foundation. “The awards are also designed to celebrate and cultivate these emerging music creators as they expand their careers.”

The 2019 edition of the SOCAN Foundation Young Canadian Songwriter Awards, presented in partnership with Sirius XM Canada Inc., has awarded a total of $25,000 (five awards of $5,000 each) to songwriters 21 years of age and under, across Canada.

The award recipients are:

  • Mahmoud Ismail (Mah Moud), for the song “Sigada”
  • Lou-Adriane Cassidy, for the song “Poussière”
  • Emily Gifford (GRAE), for the song “Your Hands”
  • Kasia Thorlakson (Kasia Leigh), for the song “Love Song #1”
  • Arianna Ohlsson for the song “Heaven”

The competition was evaluated by a jury of accomplished Canadian songwriters comprised of Basia Bulat, Jocelyn Bruno (Dramatik), Tarun Nayar (Delhi 2 Dublin), Frank Kadillac (Neon Dreams), and Fanny Bloom.

The annual SOCAN Foundation Awards for Emerging Audio-Visual Composers are designed to recognize Canadian screen composers who are 30 years of age or younger, for original music themes or scores created exclusively for to support TV programs, films, etc. A total of $27,000 in prizes was awarded to the winners in four categories in the 2019 edition. Jury panel members were well-known Canadian screen composers Nathalie Bonin, Schaun Tozer, and Laurel MacDonald.

The winners are:

Best Original Score — Animated

  • 1st Prize: Yao Wang, for Brides of the Well
  • 2nd Prize: Brandon Liew, for Starting Point
  • 3rd Prize: Stéphanie Hamelin Tomala, for Orboros

Best Original Score — Fiction

  • 1st Prize: Stéphanie Hamelin Tomala, for Final Curtain
  • 2nd Prize: Virginia de Vasconcelos Kilbertus, for Astronaut
  • 3rd Prize: Evan Macdonald, for Nothing Has Changed

Best Original Score — Non-Fiction

  • 1st Prize: Evan MacDonald, for Canadian Immigration Matters
  • 2nd Prize: Nick Grimshaw, for Karo
  • 3rd Prize: Shaun Chasin, for The Queen’s New Clothes

Best Original Theme (opening or closing)

  • 1st Prize: Isaias Garcia, for In the Mind’s Eye
  • 2nd Prize: Spencer Creaghan, for Wife Me
  • 3rd Prize: Joey Reda, for A Vulture’s Story

The SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers are designed to recognize Canadian composers 30 years of age or under, for original concert-music works in six categories. Awards totalling $42,750 were presented to the finalists, and the jury panel members were composers Elisabeth Raum, Dinuk Wijeratne, and Alissa Cheung.

The 2019 winners are:

John Weinzweig Grand Prize for the best overall work
Eugene Astapov, for Hear My Voice

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

  • 1st Prize: Roydon Tse, for And the Ocean was Gone
  • 2nd Prize: Francis Choiniere, for A Clear Midnight
  • 3rd Prize: Tristan Zaba, for Encroachment

Young Composer Prize: Leo Purich, for Flexible Fugue for Choir (SATB) and Piano

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 multi-media and may include acoustic instrument(s) or voice(s), live or recorded. The principal element in the work must be electroacoustic.)

  • 1st Prize: Carmen Vanderveken, for At Play: 3 short pieces
  • 2nd Prize: Xavier Madore, for Les loges de la suite
  • 3rd Prize: Bekah Simms, for Skinned & Skinscape

Young Composer Prize: Kai Kubota-Enright, for Isaac

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

  • 1st Prize: Stephanie Orlando, for Scatterbrain
  • 2nd Prize: Alison Yun-Fei Jiang, for Isles
  • 3rd Prize: Liam Ritz, for Drei Klavierstücke

Young Composer Prize (ex æquo): Leonid Nediak, for Fantasie No. 2, and Thomas Cardoso-Grant, for artifact ii

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

  • 1st Prize: Eugene Astapov, for Hear My Voice
  • 2nd Prize: Nolan Hildebrand, for HEATDEATH
  • 3rd Prize: Corie Rose Soumah, for Reflet

Young Composer Prize: Jules Bastin-Fontaine, for Trio en hommage à Bruckner

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

  • 1st Prize: Luis Ramirez, for Chido
  • 2nd Prize: William Kraushaar, for APOCALYPSIS 15
  • 3rd Prize: Jared Miller, for Ricochet – Reverb – Repeat

Young Composer Prize: Leo Purich, for Variations and Fugue on Mozart

Thanks to a partnership with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, three young composers will have an opportunity to hear their works in concert. These works will be “Variations and Fugue on Mozart,” by Leo Purich; “Chiaroscuro,” by Dan Jeremy Reyes; and “Prairie Frost,” by Stuart Beatch. One of these artists will also be offered a residence.

For more information, go to www.socanfoundation.ca.

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.