Contest Opportunity: CBC Music's Searchlight 2023

Contest Opportunity: CBC Music's Searchlight 2023

Deadline to Apply: July 6th, 2023

Deadline: July 6, 2023

Searchlight is CBC Music's long-running hunt for Canada's next breakthrough musical act. Whether you've already released an album and want to take your career to the next level, or you're hoping to put out your very first EP, Searchlight is for stars in the making. Is that person you? Or maybe another Canadian musician you know?

Starting on Monday, June 19, at 11 a.m. ET, sign up for CBC Music's Searchlight with our easy-to-use entry form and upload an audio file or video to YouTube — what you consider to be your very best original song in any genre. 

This year, there are several changes to CBC Music's Searchlight 2023 that we want to give you a heads up on:

Only the artists that make the Top 100, Top 10 and winners lists will be showcased to the public. 

There will be no voting on submissions to advance songs: the Top 100 artists, Top 10 artists and winners will be chosen by our judges. 

In addition to the grand prize winner, there will be four secondary winners for: outstanding Indigenous artist, outstanding country artist, top teen, and a songwriting prize.

Please note that you will be judged on the following:

  • Your potential for success in the Canadian music industry.
  • Your vocal performance, quality of music and lyric composition.
  • Our judges' impression of your song and your career to date.
  • Your social media engagement and streaming numbers.

Please also note that the quality of your song will be judged on audio, not video. 

CBC Music's Searchlight 2023 grand prize is bigger than ever before, including:

1. An Allan Slaight Juno Master Class and Juno Awards experience

By winning CBC Music's Searchlight, you will have earned your spot in Canada's premier talent development program — the Allan Slaight Juno Master Class — for a week in Toronto, surrounded by the music industry's best. It will all culminate in a live industry showcase, plus a trip to Canada's national music awards in 2024. 

2. A recording residency at the National Music Centre in Calgary

Studio time is expensive, but if you win Searchlight, you'll spend five days in Calgary at the National Music Centre's Studio Bell, where you will be given access to more than 300 musical instruments, a recording studio and a recording engineer to create your next album.

3. A Yangaroo distribution deal 

Your single or album will get a full promotional distribution campaign, including professional guidance, marketing and consultation from Yangaroo staff for the creation of the release. You'll also be featured on the Yangaroo website and social media channels.

4. A gift certificate courtesy of Long & McQuade

You'll receive a $1,000 gift certificate from "Canada's music store," Long & McQuade, which can be used for instruments, equipment rentals, repairs and lessons. 

5. The four secondary category winners (top teen, outstanding Indigenous artist, the winner of the songwriting prize and outstanding country artist) will receive:

A $1,000 gift certificate from "Canada's music store," Long & McQuade, which can be used for instruments, equipment rentals, repairs and lessons.

A curated full-service music promotion distribution campaign from Yangaroo for one audio release (single or album).

A one-hour meeting with a mentor from Canada's Music Incubator (CMI) to help address your immediate music business challenges or questions. 

Here's how it's all going to work:

The song submission period begins on Monday, June 19, at 11 a.m. ET and ends Thursday, July 6, 2023, at 3 p.m. ET. This is when all entrants can register for CBC Music's Searchlight 2023 and upload a song. 

The Top 100 will be revealed on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023, at 8 a.m. ET. The Top 100 list will be chosen by our judges and producers.

The Top 10 will be revealed on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, at 8 a.m. ET. All 10 artists will be chosen by our judges and producers.

Our judges will reveal one grand prize winner and four secondary category winners on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023, at 8 a.m. ET.

The CBC Music's Searchlight 2023 winners will be decided by a panel made up of our producers and industry judges: a cross-section of the best that the Canadian music industry has to offer. 

CBC Music is proud to support Canadian music and help give aspiring artists across the country a chance to fulfil their artistic dreams. We are committed to supporting Canadian music, gender and racial diversity in the music industry, and recognizing the distinct communities where artists really come from. 

So why should you enter CBC Music's Searchlight 2023? Besides our amazing grand prize, your song could be showcased on CBC Radio One, CBC Music, Radio 3, CBC digital and CBC-TV at any point during the contest.

Enter Contest here