Canadian music organizations have been making a conscious effort for gender parity with their recent nominations and additions to their boards, thanks to consciousness-raising advocacy group Across The Board and increased conversation in the media, at panels and internally.
Performing rights organization SOCAN has stepped up with today’s announcement of its new board of directors for 2018-21, electing five additional women (now totaling eight out of 18 members), “bringing near gender-parity to the team,” it proudly declared in the headline of its press release.
SOCAN represents more than 150,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers and more than 100,000 organizations “Licensed To Play” music across Canada.
Based on votes cast by SOCAN members (music creators and publishers) from April 10 to May 9, 2018, the Board consists of 18 people – nine writer members and nine publisher members, with regional, cultural and genre specific representation — elected for a three-year term.
The following people will take office when KPMG, the scrutineer, officially presents the results at the SOCAN Annual General Meeting on June 19 in Toronto.
New additions are Patricia Conroy, Damhnait Doyle, Martine Groulx and Diane Tell, representing SOCAN music writer members (alphabetically) alongside incumbents Victor Davies, Edward Henderson, Stan Meissner, Glenn Morley and Marc Ouellette.
Representing SOCAN music publisher members, Cheryl Link (Peermusic Canada Inc.) has been added to incumbent directors Jennifer Mitchell (Casablanca Media Publishing / Red Brick Music Publishing), Earl Rosen (De Sade Songs), Rosaire Archambault (Éditorial Avenue Inc.), Denis Wolff (Ho-Tune Musique), Janice Staub (Hyvetown Music Inc.), Gary Furniss (Sony / ATV Music Publishing Canada), Patrick Curley (Third Side Music Inc.) and Vivian Barclay (Warner Chappell Music Canada).
“Congratulations to each of our newly-elected SOCAN Board of Directors,” said SOCAN CEO Eric Baptiste in a statement. “The SOCAN management team looks forward to working with this esteemed group as we work towards leading the global transformation of music rights, as SOCAN diversifies as a future-centric organization. We are also pleased that, with eight of our 18 board members now being female, the group reflects the gender parity and equal opportunity that the SOCAN management team and staff have enjoyed and fostered for many years.
“I would like to thank departing board members Jean-Robert Bisaillon, Safwan Javed, Ben Mink and Robert Ott for their service and dedication to SOCAN and the Canadian music ecosystem overall,” he added, “and, in particular, Gilles Valiquette for his 26 years of unwavering, continuous commitment as a member of the board, including serving as its chair for five years.”
After SOCAN’s annual general meeting, the new board will hold its first meeting during which it will elect the chair and other officers who will serve until the next election in 2021.