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Today our Spotlight – Her Music Awards with Holly Hudson. We got to sit down and have a quick chat with Holly recently about the Socan Foundations Her Music awards. Socan foundation is such a huge piece to helping musicians grow and develop so being able to shine a light on some of the programs is amazing. Check out the conversation we had with Holly.

Spotlight – Her Music Awards with Holly Hudson.
For those not aware, what is the SOCAN Foundation?

SOCAN Foundation is a registered non-profit, operating as part of the SOCAN Organization. SOCAN stands for the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada, and is a performing rights organization that represents over 100,000 songwriters, publishers and composers worldwide.

Despite SOCAN being a private company, it’s a member’s organization and its responsibility is to provide services to its members, which is how the SOCAN organization came to be in 1991. The Foundation has its own board that is separate from SOCAN, although there is often crossover. Also, the Foundation just celebrated 30 years!

Overall, SOCAN Foundation’s mission is to foster, sustain, and promote the creation of Canadian music. However, we work hard to provide opportunities for equity-seeking groups and eliminate traditional barriers to entry for the music industry. We do this through the three streams of services that we offer: grants, awards, and programs. What sets us apart from a lot of the different granting bodies in Canada is that we offer a lot of support specifically for composers, not just artists.

Why is it so important to highlight female and female-identifying artists?

Many parts of the music industry are male-dominated, from production to live, to venues, to the executive side. We wanted to create a space with this award to celebrate the accomplishments of female-identifying creators, which is why we put together an all-female jury committee. Some of our honourees are working in genres where men are more commonly lauded, like classical and screen composition. The Her Music Awards aim to amplify the music and careers of creators who are doing equally important work in these areas, as well as female-identifying artists who are mid-career and deserving of recognition.

How does the “Her Music Awards” benefit the winners?

The Her Music Awards are primarily a monetary prize. We give out two $5000 prizes to the grand prize winners, as well as five $1000 prizes to the honorable mention winners. The artists are free to use this money however they would like, and it can go a long way towards their artistic practice. The recognition the award garners is also a benefit to the winners and can help add credibility to their artist profiles. The awards also give the honourees the opportunity to connect with female leaders in the Canadian music industry and have their music exposed to a large network.

What tips would you give to artists out there?

I would encourage artists to look into the plethora of grants, awards, and programs that Canada has to offer. There is a lot of money available to artists who are working on developing their careers, and it is more easily accessible than you might think. From SOCAN Foundation to Canada Council, to FACTOR, to Radio Starmaker Fund, to municipal and provincial arts councils, there is a grant for almost any musical activity. There are grants for recording projects, marketing, showcasing, touring, professional development, and more. Many of these grants are reserved for emerging artists or first-time applicants, so it is always worth applying as you might have a better shot at being funded than you think.

What is one thing you wish more people/artists knew but don’t talk about?

I think it would be beneficial for more artists to look at their careers as entrepreneurial endeavors. Being an artist is a lot like being a business owner, and that means you should have a good foundation of business skills to succeed. Unfortunately, many creatives shy away from the business side of their career. However, investing in skills like learning financial management and budgeting, marketing, contract negotiation, understanding of performance rights and royalties, etc., can go a long way. At SOCAN Foundation, we have a program called the Incubator for Creative Entrepreneurship, which teaches these skills as well as provides a start-up grant of $3000 and a mentorship component.  This program is quite competitive but very worthwhile to the participants. Applications open in April, and you can subscribe to our newsletter at socanfoundation.ca to be reminded of deadlines.

With our Spotlight – Her Music Awards with Holly Hudson coming to an end I think it’s important to give a big thanks to Holly for taking the time to chat with us. If you are an artist out there this is one I hope hits home a little more for you. The Her Music Awards celebration is actually happening today so congrats to all the winners!

More information

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