Emily Steinwall and Hubert Lenoir Win 2022 SOCAN Songwriting Prize

"Welcome to the Garden" takes the English award, while "Secret" earns the French honour

Photo: Becca Hamel (left), Matt Forsythe (right)

BY Allie GregoryPublished Jun 15, 2022

The SOCAN Songwriting Prize has announced its 2022 winners: Toronto's Emily Steinwall is taking home the English prize for "Welcome to the Garden," while Quebec City's Hubert Lenoir has earned the French prize for "Secret."

Along with the honour of the fan-voted win, the Songwriting Prize comes with a $5,000 cash prize, a Yamaha Workstation and a $500 gift card from Long & McQuade.

Steinwall said of her win in a statement:

Just as a flower and the Earth are one, synergistically connected and inseparable, an artist cannot exist without the community of people from which they grow. We cannot be separated from our history or environment. This is the message I hope comes across with "Welcome to the Garden." Thank you to everyone that took the time to vote, without whom I would not have received this award. I think this is a clear indication that music grows from the ground up — its roots in community, its meaning and value in how it resonates with others. Thank you so much to SOCAN and all of the sponsors for creating this award to encourage and celebrate young songwriters.

"There's so much to love about 'Welcome to the Garden,'" SOCAN Songwriting Prize panellist (and, full disclosure, Exclaim! Features Editor) Matt Bobkin said of Steinwall's win in a press release, "and not just because it's 10 minutes long: the daring blend of jazz, psych and progressive rock; the lush arrangements mirroring lyrics that praise the power of womanhood, community and nature; and the many stellar performances, from the vocals to the climactic sax solo. It pushes forward plenty of ideas, narratives and sounds that are too often ignored or pigeonholed in popular music, and it's amazing to think that this is only the beginning for a visionary like Emily."

Other 2022 finalists, who will each receive a $500 cash prize and $50 Long & McQuade gift card, include Status/Non-Status, Dorothea Paas, Savannah Ré, Jon Vinyl and DijahSB. Among the French award finalists were Ariane Roy, Clay and Friends, Connaisseur Ticaso, Étienne Coppée, Laurence-Anne, Les Louanges, Lou-Adriane Cassidy, P'tit Belliveau and Robert Robert.

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