The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame/Le Panthéon des auteurs et compositeurs canadiens (CSHF/PACC) is a national, bilingual, apolitical, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Canada’s rich songwriting heritage.
The CSHF/PACC’s mandate is to honour, celebrate and educate Canadians about the outstanding accomplishments of Canadian popular music songwriters and those who have contributed significantly to their legacy. Few people, even Canadians, are aware of the depth of Canada's rich musical heritage and the enormous impact our country's songwriters have had on contemporary music around the world. Our songwriters have penned hits for Rod Stewart, Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, Gene Autry, Céline Dion, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Bing Crosby, Jacques Brel, The Counting Crows, Louis Armstrong and André Gagnon, to name but a few. The revelation of this news is always a source of great pride for Canadians and cause for admiration internationally.
Founded in 1998 by Canadian music publisher Frank Davies, the CSHF/PACC is a partnership of the Canadian Music Publishers Association (CMPA) and the Songwriters Association of Canada (the S.A.C.), with the assistance of the Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec (SPACQ). The Board of Directors consists of five music publishers and five songwriters appointed by the member organizations, up to five other directors nominated by a majority of the songwriter and publisher Directors, and one Chair appointed by both member organizations. The first formal Board meeting took place on October 19, 2000. The CSHF/PACC has an Advisory Board of 20 of Canada’s most influential music, arts and cultural leaders. The organization’s day-to-day operations are overseen by an Executive Director.
Strongly supported by the Canadian music industry, the CSHF/PACC received its initial funding in 1999 from Canada’s music publishers. The organization’s current core-funding patrons are: the CMPA, the SAC, the Toronto Centre for the Arts, the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings (FACTOR), SOCAN, Astral Media, SOCAN Foundation, and SPACQ. The CSHF acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s private radio broadcasters.
What We Do
Research and Preservation
The CSHF/PACC is currently compiling extensive research on songwriters, their songs and those individuals who have played an important role in supporting the careers of Canadian songwriters over the past 150+ years. Once completed, this database will be the only comprehensive resource on the history of songwriting in Canada.
Virtual Hall Of Fame
The CSHF/PACC worked with partners FACTOR, AV Trust Music Memories and the Department of Canadian Heritage in the development of an interactive online database of past CSHF Inductees and performances. The CSHF Virtual Hall of Fame was launched on March 1, 2008.
Physical Hall of Fame
In 2010, the CSHF/PACC and the Toronto Centre for the Arts (TCA) established a strategic partnership that would help expand the CSHF/PACC’s mandate by presenting regular and diverse music programming, on-going educational initiatives and a permanent ‘bricks & mortar’ home for the hall of fame located at the TCA.
There is currently no physical hall of fame dedicated to songwriters anywhere in the world. The CSHF/PACC’s plan, in partnership with the TCA, is to provide an ongoing interactive destination, dedicated to celebrating and educating people about Canada’s rich songwriting heritage. It is a platform to share valuable and unique audiovisual content and showcase archival gems such as original sheet music, photos, and instruments. The CSHF/PACC will harness the latest technology to create a dynamic, living, “breathing,” immersive multimedia exhibit using the significant existing space in the TCA.
The CSHF/PACC is developing a program to provide a tie-back song writing syllabus, tailored to Grade seven to twelve using content garnered by the CSHF/PACC and professional researchers and based on the Ontario School Board curriculum, to schools. The program recognizes the importance of the arts in creating balanced students. With the integration of Canadian songwriters into history, world studies, geography, English/French literature, music arts, business studies and technology classes, the CSHF/PACC hopes to deliver dynamic workshops to get students thinking creatively and build their confidence. The arts help to foster creative and confident youth, while at the same time offering them an emotional outlet that they may not have otherwise had. The program will put a fresh and creative spin on the standard curriculum.
Regular & Diverse Music Programming
"If You Could Read My Mind" is an innovative new master series created by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame that brings together great Canadian songwriters in an intimate, humorous, spirited exploration of the source of songwriting and the impact of songs on our culture.
Through conversation and music, "If You Could Read My Mind" contemplates the continuation of the Lightfoot lyric, ‘what a tale my thoughts could tell’ and digs deep to unearth why Canada is such a hot bed for songwriting talent.
The entire series is hosted by CBC Radio’s Laurie Brown and also features performances from new and emerging Canadian songwriters.
"If You Could Read My Mind" featured a two spectacular events in its inaugural 2010 season, each showcasing some of the best and iconic songwriters Canada has to offer.
CSHF/PACC Annual Gala
The CSHF/PACC celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of Canadian songwriters through an annual star-studded induction gala, which showcases the work of inductees and features performances by popular singer-songwriters and other recording artists from across the country and abroad. Songwriter inductees are determined by the CSHF/PACC’s Induction Committee based on extensive research and careful consideration of the songwriter’s body of work, chart and sales success, societal context, international, national or regional notoriety, Canadian residency, and their historical importance. Inducted songs are chosen on their single, stand-alone merit, and Legacy Award recipients for their significant contributions towards songwriting in Canada.
Since its inception thirteen years ago, the CSHF/PACC has held six highly successful induction galas: intimate and passionate nights of tributes and musical performances by the crème-de-la-crème of Canadian recording artists. Focusing on the unique craftsmanship of the songwriter, the CSHF/PACC gala positively articulates to the Canadian public the value of music and instills, in all who participate, a deep sense of national pride. Renowned songwriter inductee Raymond Lévesque said of his induction, “I could never thank you and the members of this Committee enough for this wonderful award celebrating my 50 years in show business. This was a night I will always remember.” Modern Era inductee Randy Bachman exclaimed onstage, “This award tops them all. Really, it’s all about the song.” Added his fellow inductee Burton Cummings, “I’ve never been so proud to be a Canadian as I am tonight.”
In the past eight years, the CSHF/PACC inductees have included Rush, Paul Anka, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, Gordon Lightfoot, Robert Charlebois, Claude Dubois, Jean-Pierre Ferland, Félix Leclerc, Raymond Lévesque, Gilles Vigneault, Bob Nolan, Claude Léveillée, Shelton Brooks, Serge Deyglun, Hank Snow, and an impressive list of songs like Spinning Wheel, Comme j’ai toujours envie d’aimer, Universal Soldier, En veillant su’l perron, O Canada, L’Adieu Du Soldat, Le ciel se marie avec la mer, Far Away Places, When You and I Were Young Maggie, Farewell to Nova Scotia, Gens du pays, A Guy is a Guy, Sweet City Woman, Heart Like a Wheel, Aimes-tu la vie comme moi? and La Manic. Legacy Award recipients have included musicologist Marius Barbeau, the fathers of CanCon Walt Grealis and Stan Klees, Canadian broadcasting pioneer Pierre Juneau, Canadian icon Anne Murray, French songstress Lucille Dumont, music impresario Sam Gesser, recording pioneer Samuel H. Berliner, piano legend Oscar Peterson, recorded-sound archivist Edward B. Moogk, and music impresario Guy Latraverse
Our inductees have been honoured through performances by Canadian and international treasured singer/songwriters, including Alexisonfire, DJ Champion, Les Claypool, Le Vent du Nord, David Foster, James Taylor, Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, Michael Bublé, Willie Nelson, Tom Cochrane, Marie Denise Pelletier, k. d. lang, Rufus Wainwright, Sarah Slean, Marie-Mai and Fred St-Gelais, the original Cast of Hair, Gordie Sampson, Luce Dufault, jacksoul, Isabelle Boulay, Patrick Bruel, Jackie Richardson, Jean Francois Breau, Jeff Healey, Molly Johnson, Ron Sexsmith, Boom Desjardins, Colin James, Blue Rodeo, Divine Brown, Jully Black, Louise Pitre and international opera sensation Measha Brüeggergosman. Supported by an extensive national marketing campaign and broadcast on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada, the galas have met with resounding applause from the media, music industry, performers, government, attendees and the Canadian public. The past CBC Television specials have garnered a total of eight Gemini nominations, including two wins – one for k.d. lang’s heartfelt rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and the other for Measha Brueggergosman’s showstopping cover of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now.