The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada feted the country's songwriters and music publishers at its 15th annual awards last night (Nov. 15) in Toronto.

The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada feted the country's songwriters and music publishers at its 15th annual awards last night (Nov. 15) in Toronto.

The awards, hosted by singer/songwriter Gowan of Styx and held before an industry crowd of 400, recognized SOCAN members' achievements in 2003.

Vancouver-based songwriter Jim Vallance was the big winner of the evening, taking four awards in the SOCAN Classics category for songs achieving the 100,000-spins mark on Canadian radio. He won for "Run to You" and "Somebody," both recorded and co-written by his former partner Bryan Adams; "My Song," recorded by Glass Tiger; and "What About Love," recorded by Heart.

Other winners in the category included David Tyson and Christopher Ward's "Black Velvet" and "Lover of Mine," both recorded by Alannah Myles. Tyson also won for co-writing "Birmingham," recorded by Amanda Marshall.

Among the pop award recipients were Avril Lavigne for "I'm With You," Joni Mitchell for "Big Yellow Taxi," Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida for "Time" and Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger for "Why Don't You and I." Country award recipients included Brad Johner for "Free," Derik Ruttan for "What Was I Thinking" and Aaron Lines for "Living Out Loud."

This year SOCAN introduced three new awards -- the Lifetime Achievement Award, SOCAN Outstanding Partner Award and the International Achievement Award. The first went to Toronto composer/educator John Weinzweig. The International Achievement Award, which recognizes SOCAN members who have brought international recognition to Canada through their music, was awarded to Nickelback. The Outstanding Partner honor went to former BMI president/CEO Frances W. Preston.

Canadian veteran rocker Kim Mitchell received the National Achievement Award for success over the course of his three-decade career. During the '70s and '80s, Mitchell was frontman for the rock band Max Webster; he later had a successful solo career.

Toronto-based publisher Frank Davies received the Special Achievement Award for his contribution to Canada's musical industry and musical heritage over the course of his 35-year career. Davies was the chairman and co-founder of TMP -- The Music Publisher, Canada's leading independent publisher in the '80s and '90s, and was most recently chairman and founder of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

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