Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame to Induct Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn in First Ceremony Since 2011

Rob Verhorst/Redferns
Neil Young

The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) Induction ceremony will finally return Sept. 23 at Toronto's Massey Hall, after performing rights organization Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) purchased it in late 2011. 

The four inductees are Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Beau Dommage, and Stéphane Venne. 

"I'm very enthusiastic about this because having the Hall of Fame in the SOCAN family was my idea when I saw that the old Hall of Fame was going nowhere," SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste told Billboard. "I was really happy that [music publisher and CSHF founder] Frank Davies reached out to me. Fantastic.

"I believe that we have so much to celebrate, both in terms of the current success of our young class of members but also great Canadians that have made cultural contributions to Canada, of course, but to the world. So, very excited about this."

Presented by Richardson GMP, the bilingual induction ceremony -- which will be recorded for broadcast at a later date on CBC Music, in association with ICI Musique -- will feature tributes and performances from other Canadian artists, including Arkells, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Damien Robitaille, Daniel Lavoie, Don Ross, Élage Diouf, France D'amour, Florence K, Julie Payette, k.d. lang, Randy Bachman, William Prince and Whitehorse.  

More acts will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for the show go on sale to the public on Friday, May 19 at 10 a.m. (EST) at www.cshfinduction.ca and www.masseyhall.com.

Founded in 1998 to honor Canadian songwriters and their songs, the last induction ceremony was in 2011 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. "That's the only one I attended because I was still a bit new in my position at the time," says Baptiste. 

A few years after the sale, SOCAN began virtually inducting songs online by announcing them with a press release and including them in a searchable database going back to 2003. The announcements would also include a link to the "Covered Classics" series, a collaboration since 2015 between the CSHF and CBC Music/ICI Musique which invited Canadian acts to cover the newly inducted songs. 

Stats on the site reads that there has been 50 songwriters and individuals inducted, 152 inducted songs and seven induction ceremonies. The inductees are selected by the CSHF Induction Committees (one anglophone and the other francophone), comprising individuals "that have a deep historical knowledge of Canadian music and songwriters."

"The purpose of the committees is to set recommended guidelines for induction eligibility, supervise the research process required to recommend inductees, recommend songwriters and songs for induction, and to oversee all such other matters that may constitute ‘induction' issues; all subject to approval by the CSHF Board of Directors."

This year's event sponsors are ole, SOCAN Foundation, CBC Music, ICI Musique, SOCAN and Gowling WLG, along with the Province of Quebec, Quebecor and Boucher Guitars.