Songwriters Association of Canada
Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC). A collective of composers, lyricists, songwriters, and supporters of Canadian song, founded in 1983. The organization is headquartered in Toronto. Its mission is to aid the development of the Canadian songwriting community through creative and business ventures as well as advocacy. Membership is open to all amateur and professional songwriters. The organization is divided between voting members (songwriters) and associate members (supporters), and counted roughly 1300 members nationwide in 2009, at which time it was the only national organization in Canada composed of and managed by songwriters exclusively. The SAC's stated objectives are to ensure opportunities for networking and for individuals to better their craft, to provide opportunities for community-building among members, to ensure that members are compensated fairly for the use of their work, and to foster a propitious environment for music creation in Canada.
SAC Services and Events
The SAC provides many services to its members including a song assessment service and Date with a Demo, through which an artist can get feedback on a work from an industry professional; the Canadian Song Vault (formerly the Canadian Song Depository), a registration and archival service for copyright purposes; and the Members' Community, an online social networking service. In 2005, the organization launched the Regional Writers Group program, which supports the creation of local songwriting communities. The SAC also publishes Songwriters Magazine.
To promote established and emerging songwriters, the SAC has created a number of events. Foremost among these is Bluebird North: Where Writers Sing and Tell, a major showcase of Canadian songwriters. It started as a concert series, named for Nashville's famous Bluebird Café, in Vancouver in 1995 under producer Ron Irving and grew to be a cross-Canada tour by 2001. It has featured Randy Bachman, Annette Ducharme, and Gary Fjellgaard, as well as members of Prairie Oyster and Jacksoul. Other events include the workshops SongShow and PowerSongShop; and SongStage, concerts that give emerging songwriters a chance to perform.
Proposal on Fee for Internet File Sharing
Starting in 2007, the SAC made national headlines by advocating for legalized peer-to-peer music file sharing. In the groundbreaking document "A Proposal for the Monetization of the File Sharing of Music from the Songwriters and Recording Artists of Canada," the organization put forward a plan to levy an optional fee on Internet use that would go to artists and allow users to share music unrestrictedly. This caused much debate and, in 2008, a revised version of the document was produced advocating a blanket fee on all Internet use.
SAC Board of Directors; Members
The SAC is run by an elected board, which consists of 12 members including a president (Eddie Schwartz, 2006- ) and two vice-presidents. Past presidents include Stan Meissner (2000-2006) and Ian Thomas (1998-2000). In 1998 the SAC created the position of executive director, which has been filled by Brad Clark (1998-2006) and Don Quarles (2006- ). The organization's members include Jill Barber, Russell de Carle, Colin James, Colin Linden, Lynn Miles, Haydain Neale, Pascale Picard, Jimmy Rankin, Sam Reid, and Ron Sexsmith.