Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: SOCAN Distributes Record-High Royalties

Plus: A Bob Mackowycz Memorial Fund, an Alanis anniversary, and a love-in for Richard Flohil's 90th birthday bash at Lula Lounge.

It's a record year for SOCAN.

The Canadian rights management organization has released its 2023 financials following its Annual General Meeting in Montreal. They show half a billion dollars ($523M) in collections and record-high royalty distributions ($442M) to songwriters, composers and music publishers.

Highlights of the 2023 results:

  • $523M total collections – an 8% increase over 2022.
  • 9% year-over-year increase in total international royalty collections ($119.9M).
  • 8% year-over-year increase in revenue collected in Canada.
  • 13% year-over-year increase in revenue from digital sources.
  • $ 442 million total distributions – a 22% increase over 2022.
  • Concert distributions increasing from $6 to over $17M.
  • Reproductions Rights royalty distributions increasing to $9.9M.
  • Expense-to-revenue ratio was maintained at 12%.

The report in full can be downloaded here.

– A Bob Mackowycz Memorial Fund has been set up by his family for the well-respected broadcaster and author best known for his work on Q-107 who died unexpectedly on May 30, at age 75. Donations support Canadian music workers and will be directed to The Unison Fund, a registered charity that provides mental health counselling and emergency financial support to music workers in times of hardship. You can click here to donate.


– Richard Flohil’s 90th-anniversary birthday bash at the Lula Lounge in Toronto’s west end on Monday night (June 24) was an old-fashioned love-in for the celebrated and well-loved impresario, raconteur and writer who has long been recognized as a bellwether of underground roots music in Canada. On this night, he amassed a great number of his favourites including Serena Ryder, Shakura S'Aida, Gloria Martin, Kevin Breit, Corin Raymond, Treasa Levasseur, Paul Reddick and, in spirit if not in person, David Gavan Baxter.

The hard-ticket show divvied up the gate between the performers and the Unison Benevolent Fund, which will see several thousand dollars come its way. He candidly admitted from the stage that he may have to appeal to that musicians' relief fund at some point, but for now, an oversized jar was passed around with friends readily giving what they could to fund his next fun-filled frolic to the U.K.

Co-hosting the show was longtime ally Holger Petersen and the ever-outrageous Jaymz Bee, whose outfit was loud enough to scare off a moose. And what’s a show without a surprise? Overlooking burlesque queen Sonya Cote bursting from a stage prop birthday cake that had our man of the evening sitting gobsmacked on stage drinking in the adulation, there was the short set fronted by Trombone Charlotte (McAfee-Brunner) whose exuberance and obvious talent made her a star in an instant this night. All in all, it was a night to remember.


Why Richard Flohil hasn’t been given a Hall of Fame, Walk of Fame or Lifetime Achievement Award as yet is a mystery to me. Meantime, he has made his own history, helped so many and proven himself to be a man of constant humour and wit the likes of whom there is no equal.

Below, with Delta Sugar, is Trombone Charlotte at the Lula Lounge on Monday night.

– Congrats to the Julian Taylor’s Jukebox team on winning the 2024 CRABO Award in the Best Syndicated Radio Show, as given by the National Campus & Community Radio Association.

– Canadian country imprint MDM Recordings has aligned itself with ADA Canada, the independent label and artist services arm of WMC, in a new deal that is global in reach. Now in its 16th year of operation, the imprint founded and run by Mike Denney reports an impressive 450M global streams and over 500K physical units sold. The label was previously distributed by UMC.


CAPACOA has released a series of statistics and infographics on Canada's performing arts industry that suggests the live performance sector contributed $3.6B to the GDP last year and accounted for 78K jobs in the same period. The infographics can be viewed here and the source data resources here.

– Alanis Morissette’s multi-platinum Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie is getting special treatment from the folks at Rhino Records with 2 2-LP editions pressed on black and clear vinyl to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1998 album. Originally released on Madonna’s boutique Maverick imprint, a digital version of the album augmented with four bonus tracks has been released. The vinyl editions will be released on Sept. 6. Alanis caught a lot of attention singing both national anthems before Game 7 of the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals on Monday night (June 24).


– Taking their name from a streetcar line in the band’s native Toronto, well-employed but less-known quartet The 501 East is finally stepping out of the shadows as session guns for hire and releasing Short Turn, an album imbued with Americana, jazz, funk and blues. You can get a taste of the band’s debut here.

Buju Banton

Buju Banton


Legendary Jamaican Artist Buju Banton Coming To Toronto On North American Arena Tour

The show will come as part of the reggae artist's first U.S. tour in 13 years. Don Toliver and Snotty Nose Rez Kids have also revealed upcoming Canadian dates.

A legendary Jamaican artist is making a major return to Canada.

Grammy-winning reggae and dancehall musician Buju Banton will perform at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on October 13, for his first Canadian show in over fifteen years.

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