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Laurin-Pratte, Procunier are top winners in SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Audio-visual Composers 

July 14, 2014

The SOCAN Foundation today announced 10 recipients of the fourth annual SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Audio-visual Composers.

This year’s competition attracted 54 entries, awarding $21,000 to 10 prizewinners. “This is a unique competition, the only one of its kind in Canada,” said Rick MacMillan, Manager, SOCAN Foundation. “It offers us an excellent opportunity to spotlight the many talented composers working in Canada’s vibrant film and television industries, including this year’s multiple prize-winners, Vincent Laurin-Pratte and Erica Procunier.”

The SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Audio-visual Composers recognize Canadian composers 30 years of age and under for specific musical works in four categories of music created exclusively for audio-visual support (film, TV, Internet). The competition was judged by a jury of three prominent media composers: Derek Treffry of Toronto, Michel Cusson of Montreal and Hal Beckett of Vancouver.

The jury members praised Laurin-Pratte’s silent-film style score for The Fatal Sip, which won the $3,000 first prize in the Fiction category. “The score-to-picture is excellent,” says Beckett, “hitting all the moments and straddling the line between comedy and melodrama. And very skillful orchestrated.”

Laurin-Pratte also captured first prize in the Animated category, for the film John Doe, which incorporates crude, two-dimensional cutout figures in a live-action environment. “One of the most common mistakes is to over-compose and do way more than is necessary, to the detriment of the overall package,” says Treffry. “This project does not fall into that trap. It is really well scored and respects the negative space, allowing the punctuations to be very effective.”

“The score-to-picture is excellent,” says Beckett
of Laurin-Pratte's score to
The Fatal Slip, “hitting all the moments and straddling the line between comedy and melodrama."

Other $3,000 first-prize winners were Antoine Binette-Mercier for Takedown: The DNA of GSP, a documentary about UFC star Georges St-Pierre (Non-fiction category); and Emily Klassen for the psychological thriller Separation Anxiety (Musical Theme category). “Really creative, astonishing and quite emotional music on a very aggressive topic,” says jury member Michel Cusson of Binette-Mercier’s score. “The overall effect is a complete success.”

Procunier took the $1,500 second prize in the Non-fiction category for the film Avalanche, as well as the $750 third prize in the Musical Theme category for Fist Plus Face.

Additional Award recipients include Iman Habibi (second prize) and Josh Cruddas (third prize) in the Fiction category; Marie-Ève LaBadie (third prize) in the Non-fiction category; Spencer Creaghan (second prize) and Benjamin Goldman (third prize) in the Animated category; and Hugo Mayrand (second prize) in the Musical Theme category.

About SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Audio-visual Composers
The SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Audio-visual Composers is open to Canadian citizens 30 years of age and under.

About SOCAN Foundation
Founded in 1992, SOCAN Foundation is dedicated to fostering musical creativity and promoting a better understanding of the role of music creators in today's society. The Foundation is an independent organization guided by its own board of directors. The board, which consists of composers, songwriters and music publishers, reflects concert music and popular music genres as well as the geographic and linguistic regions of Canada. It is closely aligned to the interests of the members of SOCAN – the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada.

Media Contact: Rick MacMillan, 416-445-8700, ext. 3815,



Best Original Score: Fiction

First Prize: $3,000 – Vincent Laurin-Pratte, 27, Los Angeles, CA — The Fatal Sip (director Thomas A. Sims IV)

Vincent Laurin-Pratte holds a B.A. and an M.A. in music composition from the University of Montreal, where he studied mainly under the direction of Alan Belkin, Isabelle Panneton and Pierre-Daniel Rheault. In 2013, he moved to Los Angeles, studying film music at the University of Southern California. He credits his good fortune to the opportunity he had to study with professors such as Jack Smalley, Bruce Broughton and Christopher Young. In the past few years, he has scored some 20 short films in a wide variety in genres. His contributions were acknowledged on two occasions by the SOCAN Foundation, from which he received first prizes in 2011 and 2013. He is also a concert music composer, whose works have been performed by numerous music ensembles from the Greater Montreal region, including the Orchestre philharmonique des musiciens étudiants de Montréal (OPMEM), the Choeur de l’Université de Montréal and the Vocalys ensemble from Trois-Rivières.

Second Prize: $1,500 – Iman Habibi, 28, Vancouver, BC — Zyra (director Jorelle Miranda)

Iman Habibi’s works have been programmed by prestigious concert organizations such as The Marilyn Horne Foundation (New York), The Canadian Opera Company (Toronto), Tapestry New Opera (Toronto), Vox Novus (New York), Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), the BC Scene Festival (Ottawa) and the Powell Street Festival (Vancouver). He has received numerous awards, including First Prize at the SOCAN Foundation’s Awards for Young Audio-visual Composers for two consecutive years (2011-2012), the International Composers’ Award at the Esoterics Competition (2012), and the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards for Emerging Artist in Music (2011). He completed his Master’s degree at the University of British Columbia under the instruction of Dorothy Chang. Other teachers include Jeffrey Ryan and Stephen Chatman. Also a talented pianist, he appeared as soloist with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra for the premiere of his piano concerto, and later played it with the Atlantic Music Festival’s Orchestra in the United States.

Third Prize: $750 – Josh Cruddas, 23, Toronto, ON — Mr. Monster (director Simon Hung)

Josh Cruddas’ scoring credits include work on the sci-fi film Spiral, produced in Los Angeles; additional music for the short horror film Shhh by Shervin Shoghain and Freddy Olmos (Watchmen, TRON: Legacy, District 9); and work as resident original music composer for the LA-based company Movie Trailer House. In 2011, he won third prize in the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Audio-visual Composers for Spiral, and his scores have received Best Music honours at various film festivals in the United States. Mr. Monster, Cruddas’ first feature film score, was produced in Los Angeles in 2013. His influences include Michael Giacchino, Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman and fellow Canadian composer Laurent Eyquem.

Best Original Score Non-Fiction

First Prize: $3,000 – Antoine Binette-Mercier, 27, Montreal, QC — Takedown: The DNA of GSP (directors Kristian Manchester and Peter Svatek)

Antoine Binette-Mercier fell in love with music composition while being a percussionist for the Harmonie des Cascades brass and reed band in Beauport, outside of Quebec City. He later underwent further percussion training with René Joly at Cégep de Sainte-Foy before studying composition at Laval University with Éric Morin. Before completing his degree, he began composing music for video games at the age of 22, and developed a lasting professional relationship with Apollo Studios, a major Canadian film music undertaking specialized in music for commercials. Having completed several Quebec film music projects over the past four years, he will be completing his part-time composition studies at the University of Montreal at the end of 2014. 

Second Prize: $1,500 – Erica Prunier, 30, Toronto, ON – Avalanche (director Thyrone Tommy)

Erica Procunier’s recent credits include the feature film And Now a Word from Our Sponsor (Zack Bernbaum) starring Bruce Greenwood and Parker Posey, and three seasons of the animated series By The Rapids (APTN). She launched her screen-composing career at Q Music Inc., working with Donald Quan through the Screen Composer’s Guild of Canada’s Apprentice-Mentor program. Other feature film credits include The Ache (Keith Locke) and The Turn Card (Matthew Kloske). She recently co-scored the award winning short comedy The Golden Ticket (Patrick Hagarty) along with composer Craig McConnell. Some of her other shorts include Time (Allen Legacy), The Vow (Lina Roessler), the action comedy Fist Plus Face (Travis Laidlaw), Attachments (Peter Mabrucco) and Boss of Me (Brett Blackwell). She has also composed music for theatre, games and web media productions. She holds a Masters of Music degree in composition from the University of Western Ontario.

Third Prize: $750 – Marie-Ève LaBadie, 28, Montreal, QC. – 22 novembre (director Eliane Ashkar)

Originally from Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Marie-Ève LaBadie discovered the clarinet, arranging and composition as a high school student. In 2003, she undertook college-level clarinet studies at École de musique Vincent-d’Indy with Marek Sowinski. In 2005, she obtained a B.A. in music composition from the University of Montreal, where she had studied with, among others, José Evangelista, Denis Gougeon and Alain Lalonde for composition, and Mathieu Lavoie for orchestration. She is currently completing a Master’s degree in composition (film music and multimedia) under the direction of Hugues Leclair and Pierre-Daniel Rheault.

Best Original Score: Animated

First Prize: $3,000 – Vincent Laurin-Pratte, 27, Los Angeles, CA – John Doe (directors Yizhou Li and Dustin Reno)

See bio listed under Best Original Score: Fiction

Second Prize: $1,500 – Spencer Creaghan, 22, London, ON – One Way (director Ying-Hsuan Chen)

Spencer Creaghan is an Award-winning Film and Modern Media Composer. He has written music for countless short and feature films, as well as plays, webseries, advertisements, bumper logos and video games, as well as a children’s theme park. His music has been heard in festivals such TIFF, Cannes Film Festival, and the Hamilton and Toronto Fringe Festivals. He has also written orchestrations for many Canadian-based symphonic metal acts. When not composing for media, he produces grandiose records fusing all genres, from pop, electronic, world and metal.

Third Prize: $750 – Benjamin Goldman, 22, Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, QC. – HyperSpace Madness (director Remi McGill)

Benjamin Goldman was born and raised in Montreal and began playing music at the age of five, often joining in on family jam sessions. Around this time, he began taking piano lessons with a local teacher, which laid the ground for his musical education. After acceptance to Vanier College, he began to pursue his dream of becoming a film composer. He enrolled in the college’s classical composition program, excelling in most courses under the tutelage of professors Chris Smith, Glen Ethier, Rick Braley and private instrument teacher Zaven Zakarian. He recently completed his second year at Concordia University in classical composition and plans to pursue a Master’s degree in film composition.

Best Original Musical Theme (opening or closing)

First Prize: $3,000 – Emily Klassen, 23, Kingston, ON – Separation Anxiety (director Elvis Deane)

Emily Klassen graduated with a psychology degree from Queen’s University and began composing in her free time using Garage Band when she was 22. Over time, she increased her commitment to this work and combined it with her love of film. She has scored music in a wide variety of genres since then, including many short films, several video games, a play and a feature length film (Separation Anxiety). She is the current composer for a mini-series distributed by web, DVD and limited-theatres (Finding Me: The Series).

Second Prize: $1,500 – Hugo Mayrand, 23, Montreal, QC – Les Jaunes (director Rémi Fréchette)

Hugo Mayrand grew up in Montreal in a musical family, and began his training at Le Plateau Elementary School and Joseph-François Perrault High School. After studying classical violin for six years, he switched to the guitar and moved to jazz. He spent four years in Sherbrooke, where he completed his college-level jazz guitar studies. He then discovered piano performance, orchestration and composition. After scoring a number of student short films, this new passion brought him back to Montreal to study classical composition at the Music Conservatory. He has produced orchestrations for artists such as Michel Cusson, Luc De Larochellière, Philippe B and Fortin-Léveillé-Donato-Nasturica, while directing a band that performs original Brazilian music and regularly scoring films by up-and-coming directors.

Third Prize: $750 – Erica Procunier, 30, Toronto, ON – Fist Plus Face (director Travis Laidlaw)

See bio listed under Best Original Score: Non-Fiction