SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) is the Canadian copyright collective for the right to communicate to the public and publicly perform musical works. SOCAN administers these rights on behalf of its members (composers, lyricists, songwriters, and their publishers) and those of affiliated international organizations by licensing the use of their music in Canada. The fees collected are distributed as royalties to its members and to affiliated organizations throughout the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties received from those organizations to its members for the use of their music worldwide. SOCAN has offices in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Dartmouth.
SOCAN publishes Words & Music/Paroles & Musique, a quarterly magazine geared for its membership but also available to the general public, Music Means Business!/Le rythme de vos affaires!, SOCAN’s customer newsletter, as well as numerous brochures, all available on its website at www.socan.ca.
SOCAN holds an annual gala in November, presenting awards to its members for achievements from the preceding year or for their career’s work. A gala is held in Toronto for its Anglophone members and in Montreal for its Francophone members. Throughout the year, SOCAN also honours members that have achieved top chart status, presents of the ECHO Songwriting Prize/Prix de la chanson ÉCHO, awarded to the songwriter(s) of the musical work receiving the most votes from the public. SOCAN is active throughout the year with its sponsorship of music industry events and conferences that advance the causes of Canadian songwriters, composers and music publishers.
The organization was founded in 1989 when the Composers, Authors and Publishers Association of Canada and the Performing Rights Organization of Canada Limited merged into one organization.