Guidelines

Induction Guidelines Statement:

The purpose of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) is to raise the awareness of Canadians and others regarding the richness of our musical heritage and to celebrate excellence in the art of Canadian songwriting by honouring those writers and songs which have had a profound influence on our lives and cultural identity, as well as those individuals who have contributed significantly to the preservation and/or development of this legacy.

Guidelines:

With the foregoing statement in mind, the Board of Directors of the CSHF have developed the following guidelines to set out the general criteria for induction eligibility in any one of three categories – songwriters, songs and those others who have made significant contributions to the legacy of music:

Songwriters

Songwriters must be Canadian by birth or citizenship or have landed immigrant status and may be living or dead. Songwriters must have written or co-written the music and/or lyrics to a song or catalogue of songs in one or more of the following categories:

  • Having entered into popular culture and been sustained through oral tradition for a significant period of time;
  • Having achieved substantial regional, national and/or international status whether culturally, commercially and/or socially;
  • Having recorded a historical event or helped to define an era of popular culture;
  • Having created or helped to create a genre of music.

Songwriters must have made a significant contribution through a song or catalogue of songs published, or otherwise made available to the public in some form, for at least twenty-five years. By virtue of their induction to the CSHF, a songwriter inductee’s entire catalogue of work is also recognized and inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Songs

An eligible song is a musical work that is comprised of lyrics and music, or music alone without lyrics, and written wholly or in part by a Canadian (that is, Canadian by birth or citizenship or having landed immigrant status), living or dead, and may qualify in one or more of the following categories:

  • Having entered into popular culture and been sustained through oral tradition for a significant period of time;
  • Having achieved substantial regional, national and/or international status whether culturally, commercially and/or socially;
  • Having recorded a historical event or helped to define an era of popular culture;
  • Having created or helped to create a genre of music.

An eligible song may be an adaptation of an earlier musical work provided the adaptation is itself sufficiently original so as to qualify for copyright protection as a new musical work.

A translation is not eligible for song induction independent of the induction of the original musical work. However, if the translated lyrics are not a straight translation of the original lyrics but instead articulate a new and original meaning and sensibility such that the translated lyric is itself a new work capable of copyright protection as an adaptation separate from the original musical work (including a straight translation of that work) then the adapted musical work may qualify for song induction.

Songs may have been written by eligible songwriter inductees and are subject to the same timelines and guidelines regarding eras as apply to the songwriters.

Beginning in 2015, the CSHF shall induct songs throughout the year. Each song induction is honoured using newly created audiovisual material. The results are showcased on the Hall of Fame website, promoted in other ways through partnerships and events, and highlighted at the induction ceremony.

Recognition by Era

Songwriters and songs shall be recognized by era. All inductees are honoured equally and the eras simply provide a context for induction by allowing the CSHF to honour inductees, annually or otherwise, within a given span of years. The eras are:

  • Pioneer Era – up to 1938
  • Radio Era – 1939 to 1969
  • Modern Era – 1970 to twenty-five years prior to the current year)

Others

With respect to the induction of those individuals who have contributed significantly to the development and recognition of Canadian songs and songwriters (such as, but not limited to, publishers, performers, broadcasters and other members of the media, collectors and compilers of traditional material, performers of Canadian songs, etc.) the Board will review any recommendations made to them by the Anglophone and Francophone Induction Committees. These awards are presented at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

Frank Davies Founder’s Award:
The CSHF was the vision of Frank Davies who founded the organization in 1998. The Frank Davies Founder’s Award is given to individuals who have dedicated a lifetime to building the Canadian music industry.

Legacy Award:
The Legacy Award is presented to individuals who have contributed significantly to the development, promotion and preservation of Canadian songs and songwriters.

Board Approvals:

The induction committees recommend to the Board for approval songwriter and song inductees. The number of inductees, if any, in any given year shall be at the discretion of the Board. The Board shall also have the option to override guidelines in exceptional circumstances.