Published 03/10/2016

By Andrew Berthoff

You’ve seen the play-button sticker on store-fronts across Canada. Not only does it signify the right to play any music from around the world, but it demonstrates the close relationship and mutual respect that Canadian music-makers and business owners have for each another.

For Canada’s JUNO Awards, a Licensed to Play designation lets businesses wave the flag for the world’s music creators during Canada’s largest awards-festival. As an important player in Calgary’s arts and culture community and economy, JUNO Week will showcase more than 120 acts at 15 SOCAN-licensed live music venues throughout the city.

And the vast majority of those acts include a SOCAN member.

During JUNO Week the Licensed to Play program  will unite business owners and music fans with music creators, by showcasing their talents in venues where the true value of music is appreciated, and the songwriters are compensated fairly.

SOCAN is a long-time friend and fan of the JUNOS, and will continue to support events and our showcasing members throughout JUNO Week, through various sponsored events, like this year’s JUNO Songwriters’ Circle. Our partnership with CARAS, the umbrella non-for-profit organization that supervises the JUNOS, also underscores our commitment to fair and legal music licensing at major music events.

Since the introduction of the momentum-building program in 2014, the Licensed to Play initiative is not only becoming a partner for major music events like the JUNOS, it’s effectively demonstrating the collective lengths that SOCAN and like-minded businesses will go to in order to ensure that our community is doing what’s right for music creators.

While this is a great feat, there’s a lot more work to do, raising awareness of the value music brings to businesses, communities and the economy.

Here’s how you can help:

If you’re an event promoter or the owner of a live-music venue, your license to play music shows customers and musicians your dedication and support for fair compensation. You show them that music is your business, and that your establishment is one of the cornerstones of Canada’s thriving arts and culture community.

And if you happen to be a songwriter, composer or music fan, be sure to spread the word and show your support to these business owners and the 45th Annual JUNO Awards. If you’re at a business that uses music, ask them (nicely!) if they are Licensed to Play with SOCAN. Share your Licensed to Play sticker sightings on Twitter (@SOCANmusic), like us on Facebook (SOCANmusic), and make sure to use the hashtag #L2P!