What is Searchlight?

Searchlight is CBC Music’s long-running hunt for Canada’s undiscovered musical talent, judged by a combination of audience voting and a panel of celebrity judges, who represent a cross-section of the best that the Canadian music industry has to offer. Could that be you? Or a Canadian musician you know? If so, enter now.

Voting Reopens Feb 20

Voting for round one has now closed. We will reveal the Top 100 on Feb 20th, please come back to vote for your favourites!


This year, CBC Music has partnered with the Juno Awards to search for that one artist or band that could be a Juno Award winner very soon. The Searchlight 2019 grand prize includes the Allan Slaight Juno Master Class and Juno Awards experience, a week in a recording studio at the National Music Centre in Calgary and a chance to perform at the 2019 CBC Music Festival. 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 Now

If you are submitting an artist without a last name, please leave the last name field blank

If you are submitting on behalf of your band, please provide your first and last name

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CBC Music’s Searchlight 2019 Contest (“Contest”)

From Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 at 12:01 a.m. ET to Thursday, March 7, 2019, at 6 a.m. ET (“Contest Period”)

Entry submission period begins on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at 12:01 am ET and ends Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, at 2:59 p.m. ET
(“Submission Period”)

Organized by
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (“CBC”)
and with
Canadian Association of the Recording Arts (“CARAS”)
National Music Centre (“NMC”)



No purchase required. To enter the Contest, visit the CBC Music Searchlight 2019 Contest page at http://www.cbcmusicsearchlight.ca (the “Website”) and submit during the Submission Period, an Entry Form including your own audio recording of yourself (“Artist”) or your band, your choir or your group (“Band”) performing an original song composition (original words and music composed by you/your band/choir/group) (“Your Song”), your address (see below), the Artist name and each Band member name (as applicable) and any other information requested on the Entry Form, and “click” to accept the Contest Rules.

Submission of the Entry Form including the above-noted information signifies that you have read and agree to the official Contest Rules. Questions marked with an asterisk in the Entry Form are required to be eligible for the Contest.

To be valid, Submissions must be received no later than Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 2:59 p.m. ET.

Limit of one entry per Artist/Band. If you attempt or are suspected of attempting to enter more than once, or use robotic, automatic, programmed or any other methods of participation not authorized by the Contest Rules, it shall be deemed as tampering and will void your entries, votes or other results of such participation.

You must have the permission from all Band members (and their parent/guardian if under the age of majority in your province) to enter Your Song in the Contest.

No submissions will be accepted after the deadline for any reason. Any entries received after the deadline will be void.

Your Submission

Your entry includes all information provided in the entry form on the CBC website (the “Entry Form”) as well as Your Song (collectively, your “Submission”). Your Submission will be subject to “Your Content Submission Guidelines” under the cbc.ca Terms of Use available at http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/submissions.html.

Your Song cannot be modified, changed or substituted once the Entry Form has been submitted.

Your Song should be less than 10 minutes in length and must be of a quality fit for radio play.

Please upload your song to YouTube - you will need an account, which is free to use.

If you have an Mp3 file, please provide us with a link to download your file in the location provided in the entry form. You may also use this Mp3 file to create your YouTube video using one of the services below:


Once entered, any editing or deletion of the YouTube video will void your entry. The video cannot be edited or changed after the entry has been submitted.

Your Song must be an original composition (words and music) by the Artist/Band and performed by the Artist/Band.

Your Song must be the original work of the Artist/Band and must not infringe on third-party rights.

You declare that your Submission (which includes Your Song as well as all information submitted as part of your Entry Form) is true, accurate and legal, particularly with regard to third-party rights including copyright, rights to image, reputation and privacy, the Criminal Code and any other legislation applicable in such matters.

You represent and warrant that you hold all required rights and authorizations to Your Song. You have consent from any people appearing and/or performing in Your Song (including parental consent for minors) and all authorizations required to grant the licence specified herein to CBC. You agree to comply with standards of proper conduct in your Submission, Your Song, as specified in the Submission Guidelines available on the cbc.ca site. CBC reserves the right to decide whether to post Your Song, at its sole discretion.

Your Submission will become the property of CBC and will not be returned to you.

Any Submission deemed by CBC to be inappropriate, not suitable for its audience, or not up to a standard required for radio play and/or performance as part of this Contest or otherwise, will be disqualified at the sole discretion of CBC. Submissions may not show clothing items bearing visible business, designer or sports logos or design. Submissions must not: (i) contain threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic or sexually explicit content, profane or indecent information of any kind; (ii) violate or encourage anyone to violate any law or regulation; (iii) contain advertising or commercial messages; (iv) hate speech; (v) harassment; (vi) personal attacks, insults; (vii) threats or suggesting committing a criminal act; (viii) attempts to mobilise people for any purpose outside of a CBC event.

By submitting your Submission (which includes Your Song), you grant CBC a royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, irrevocable, unrestricted, worldwide license to publish, reproduce and distribute your Submission in all media, in whole or in part, on all digital platforms, and by any other means of communication controlled or authorized by the CBC. You waive all moral rights to your Submission and authorize CBC to use the Artist/Band name(s), picture(s) and voice(s), where applicable, in conjunction with the use of Your Song, and the Contest. Collective agreement provisions may apply. The Long List, Short List, and the Grand Prize Winner may be posted on the CBC, the CARAS and the NMC websites for an indefinite period after the close of the Contest. For more details, see our broadcast waiver at: http://m.music.cbc.ca/blogs/2012/1/CBC-Music-broadcast-waiver.

By entering the Contest, you agree to the use of Your Song as part of CBC’s online broadcast programs, such as podcasting, that may be digitally transmitted to a user and intended for "on demand" streaming or time-shifted playback and/or storage (without the ability to manipulate or otherwise control Your Song embodied in these programs). You also agree that CBC has the right to use Your Song for broadcast on TV, radio and online and that this does not and will not infringe the rights of any third-party including, but not limited to, copyright, trademark, privacy and personality rights. By entering this contest, you agree to the waiver, rules and regulations as stated here and grant to CBC an unlimited mechanical copyright license, to the extent required, to reproduce Your Song for these purposes.

For the avoidance of doubt, you will retain all ownership rights in and to Your Song, subject to any agreement entered into with CBC stating otherwise. You understand that Your Song may be shared by you and others on the Internet through social media or otherwise and that CBC is not responsible and cannot control such redistribution.

If the Artist/Band is represented by a music label, the Artist/Band must have the consent of the label and the label must agree that the Artist/Band may consent to the terms of the Contest. It is Artist/Band’s responsibility for obtaining this consent.


Contest is open to all Canadian residents (to be eligible, the majority of Band members must be Canadian residents) aged 13 or older as of the Contest opening date. For any Artist/Band member over 13, but who has not reached the age of majority in their province, as of the Contest opening date, parent or guardian consent is necessary to enter the Contest and participate in the prize. Where appropriate, the terms “C/contestant” and “W/winner” mean parent or guardian of that person.

If a minor contestant has not received consent to enter the Contest or a minor winner does not have parental/guardian consent to participate in the prize, or, where applicable, does not have a parent/guardian to accompany them in the prize, the prize shall be forfeited and a new potential winner may be selected by CBC in its sole discretion.

Employees of CBC, contest Parties and its affiliates, as well as such employees’ immediate family (father/mother, brother/sister, son/daughter) or persons living under the same roof are not eligible to enter the Contest.

Any Band member not listed in the Entry Form and performing on Your Song will not be considered eligible for the Contest.


There are three rounds of the Contest:

Round 1: Opening Round (Tuesday, Feb. 5 - Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019);
Round 2: the Long List / Top 100 (Wednesday, Feb. 20 - Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019);
Round 3: the Short List / Top 10 (Thursday, Feb. 28 - Tuesday, March 5, 2019);
FINAL: Grand Prize Winner announced (Thursday, March 7, 2019, 10 a.m. ET).

Winners of Round 1 (the “Opening Round”) and Winners of Round 2 (the “Long List”) will automatically move on to the next round. Winners of Round 3 (the “Short List”) will be contacted and must be willing and eligible to accept the prize. One (1) Grand Prize winner (the “Grand Prize Winner”) will be awarded from the Short List. Winners will be determined based on the results or a judging panel decision, as further described below.

ROUND 1: Opening Round

Once accepted as an eligible Submission, Your Song will be posted on the Website (the “Posted Songs”), and will be subject to public voting beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at 3 p.m. ET until Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, at 2:59 p.m. ET (the “Opening Round Voting Period”).

The public can vote once per Posted Song per day during the Opening Round Voting Period.

Round 1 Posted Songs will also be evaluated by a judging panel comprised of CBC Music representatives (the “CBC Music Judging Panel”) based on the “Judging Criteria” (set out below).

There are up to 50 Long List positions available to be awarded from the CBC Music Judging Panel decision based on Judging Criteria (as described below) and up to 50 Long List positions available to be awarded based on public voting results.

At the end of the Opening Round Voting Period, the 50 Posted Songs with the highest scores from the CBC Music Judging Panel, and the 50 Posted Songs with the most public votes, will automatically advance to Round 2: the Long List.

The number of Submissions to make the next round of the Contest may be less than 100, and will be determined by CBC in its sole discretion.

ROUND 2: the Long List

Once announced as a Round 1: Opening Round winner, Your Song will be posted for the Long List round on the Website (the “Long List Round Songs”) and will be subject to public voting from Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. ET until Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, at 2:59 p.m. ET (the “Long List Round Voting Period”).

The public can vote once per Long List song per day during the Long List voting period. Long List songs will also be evaluated by a judging panel comprised of judges from CBC Music and judges selected by CBC Music (the “Searchlight Industry Judging Panel”) based on the Judging Criteria.

There are 7 Short List round positions available to be awarded from the Searchlight Industry Judging Panel decision based on Judging Criteria (as described below) and 3 Short List round positions available to be awarded based on public voting results.

At the end of the Long List voting period, the seven (7) Long List songs with the highest scores from the Searchlight Industry Judging Panel, and the three (3) Long List songs with the most public votes will automatically advance to the next round of the Contest (Round 3: the Short List).

ROUND 3: the Short List

Once announced as a winner of Round 2: the Long List, Your Song will be subject to judging by the Searchlight Industry Judging Panel from Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, at 3 p.m. ET until Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at 2:59 p.m. ET (the “Short List Round Voting Period”).

The one (1) Short List song with the highest scores from the Searchlight Industry Judging Panel, and, subject to meeting all eligibility criteria and requirements, will be the Grand Prize Winner.

Winners will be contacted using the telephone number or email address provided in the Entry Form on March 5 or 6. If a winner cannot be reached within 48 hours following the first attempt of contact, declines the prize, is unable to fully participate as the Grand Prize Winner, fails to return the required release forms, or is otherwise ineligible, the offer will be forfeited and CBC has the right, at its sole discretion, to select another Grand Prize Winner.

FINAL: Grand Prize Winner announced

There is one (1) Grand Prize available to be awarded (as described below), based on the Searchlight Judging Panel’s decision using the Searchlight Judging Criteria.

The Grand Prize Winner (the winner of the Round 3: the Short List) will be announced on CBC Radio 1’s q, on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

Judging Panels and Judging Criteria

For all judging portions of the Contest, the selected judges will give Your Song a score out of 10 using the following criteria (“Judging Criteria”):

General impression of the song
Quality of music and lyric composition
Potential for success in the Canadian music industry

Every judging panel will, in its sole discretion, determine the amount of attention it pays to any individual Submission. In the event of a tie (public voting or judging scores), the winner of the tie will be decided by the judging panel of that contest round, in its sole discretion.


The Grand Prize Winner will receive (the “Grand Prize”):

A spot in the Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class artist development program from Oct. 20-26, 2019, at Coalition Music in Toronto, Ontario ( the “Master Class”) (Approximate value: $100,000). Includes, for up to four Band members:
Master Class registration fees, return economy airfare from the major Canadian airport closest to the Band members’ home origin to Toronto to attend the Master Class, accommodations at a hotel to be chosen by the CARAS in its sole discretion, and a per diem.

Daily Master Class workshops with industry leaders and Canadian artists (chosen by Master Class organizers).

A performance spot at a music industry showcase night in Toronto. Dates and location TBA.

A trip to the 2020 JUNO Awards (dates TBA). The trip includes:

  • Return economy airfare from the major Canadian airport closest to the Band members’ home origin to the city location of the 2020 JUNO Awards.
  • Accommodations in that city at a hotel to be chosen by CARAS in its sole discretion.
  • a JUNO Weekend package, including tickets to the JUNO Welcome Reception, the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards, and the 2020 JUNO Awards Broadcast.
  • Performance slot at 2020 JUNOfest, the two-day music festival taking place during JUNO Week.

Appearance in mini-docs profiling the Master Class participants’ experience in the Master Class, to run on JUNOTV.ca.

The opportunity to be considered (at the sole discretion of Master Class organizers) for a performance spot at the 2020 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards.

A five-day (four night) residency at the National Music Centre (NMC) in Calgary, Alberta, for up to four Band members (the “Residency”). The Residency includes: access to the NMC’s recording facilities for up to 10 hours each day; access to an engineer, a technical assistant, and to the NMC’s instrument collection; return economy airfare from the major Canadian airport closest to the Band members’ home origin to Calgary, and; accommodations in Calgary at a hotel to be chosen by NMC in its sole discretion. The Residency must be initiated by Dec. 3, 2019. (approximate value of prize: $27,000).

A performance slot at the CBCMusic.ca Festival at Echo Beach in Toronto, Ontario, on Saturday, May 25, 2019, with compensation pursuant to the terms of CBC’s collective agreements with the Canadian Federation of Musicians (the “CBC/CFM Agreement”) or ACTRA (“CBC/ACTRA Agreement”), as applicable. For up to 4 Band members, includes return economy airfare from the nearest major Canadian airport to the Band’s home origin to Toronto, transfers to and from the Toronto airport, and double accommodation at a hotel to be chosen by CBC in its sole discretion (approximate value: $10,000).

Grand Prize Winner must be available and willing to participate in all the dates and activities as set out in the Grand Prize description above.


5.1. By entering the Contest, you:
5.1.1 Declare you have read, agree to and have complied with the Contest Rules;
5.1.2 Declare you meet all criteria to enter the Contest and to accept and participate in the prize (if awarded);
5.1.3 Consent and agree that your name, city/province of residence, image, statements and/or voice and Your Song may be shared with CARAS and NMC and may be used for promotional and other purposes related to this Contest free of charge by CBC, CARAS and the NMC;
5.1.4 You, your heirs, your successors and your assigns, release CBC, CARAS and NMC, as well as its/their respective directors, officers, affiliates, volunteers and employees (the “Contest Parties”) from all liability for any damage or loss arising from your participation in this Contest, the use of Your Song, and from the awarding, acceptance or use of the prize (if awarded).

5.2 Each Artist/Band that advances through any Round of the Contest (each a “Winner”), hereby declare their eligibility as stipulated in Section 2 of these Contest Rules. Each Winner, and anyone accompanying the Winner in connection with the Prize, shall sign a release agreeing that their name, image and/or voice may be used for advertising purposes related to the Contest free of charge, and hereby releases CBC from all liability for any damage or loss arising from participation in the Contest or from the awarding, acceptance or use of the prize.

5.3. The prizes described above will be accepted as is and may not be exchanged or refunded for an amount of money, sold or transferred. No substitutions will be allowed. Any unused portion of a prize will be forfeited.

5.4. If the prize cannot be awarded as described in these Rules, the Contest Parties reserve the right to substitute a prize or prize component with another of comparable value, as determined in their sole discretion.

5.5 Refusal to accept a prize or a portion of the prize releases the Contest Parties from any obligation toward the Winner with respect to that prize/portion of the prize.

5.6. If a contestant makes any false statement, (s)he will be automatically disqualified from the Contest.

5.7. You may be required to provide proof of your name/identity/age as requested by CBC in its sole discretion. If you fail to provide adequate proof you will be automatically disqualified from the Contest.

5.8 CBC reserves the right to cancel any vote deemed unlawful or illegitimate and to make adjustments accordingly in calculating the number of votes received by the participant.

5.9 The Contest Parties assume no liability for any loss, damage or injury, including without limitation: (i) lost, stolen, delayed, damaged, misdirected, late, destroyed, illegible or incomplete entries; (ii) loss, theft or damage to software or computer or telephone data, including any breach of privacy; (iii) fraudulent calls; (iv) inability of any person to participate in the Contest for any reason including mistaken addresses on mail or email; technical, computer or telephone malfunctions or other problems with computer on-line systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, or software; congestion on the internet or at any website, or any combination of the foregoing; (v) damage to any person’s computer, including as a result of playing or downloading any material relating to the Contest; (vi) any delay or inability to act resulting from an event or situation beyond their control, including a strike, lockout or other labour dispute at their location or the locations of the organizations and businesses whose services are used to administer this Contest; or (vii) prizes that are lost, damaged or misdirected during shipping.

5.10 CBC and CARAS and NMC and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, consultants, agents, volunteers and employees shall not be responsible for any damages, compensatory, direct, incidental, consequential or otherwise, with respect to or in any way arising from damages to participants occasioned by participating in the Contest or downloading any information associated with the Contest.

5.11 You agree that in the use of this Contest, including but not limited to chat areas, and the registration and use of social media accounts, usernames or groupnames, you will not use obscene, libelous or slanderous language, or language which infringes upon a third party’s trademark, trade name or other intellectual property right or right to privacy.

5.12 Contestants found tampering with or abusing any aspect of the Contest, including but not limited to acting in violation of the Contest Rules, attempting to participate in the Contest more than the maximum number of times allowed, to be acting with the intent to disrupt the normal operation of the Contest, as determined by CBC, will be disqualified. The discovery of any use of robotic, automatic, macro, programmed, third party or like methods to participate in the Contest will void any attempted participation effected by such methods and the disqualification of the contestant utilizing the same in CBC's sole and absolute discretion.

5.13. When the Contest Rules allow entry via Facebook, Twitter or any other social network, the terms of use of these social networks apply and the social network, as well as its directors and officers, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with the Contest.

5.14. CBC reserves the right to cancel or suspend the Contest should a virus, bug or other cause beyond their reasonable control corrupt the security or proper administration of the Contest. Any attempt to deliberately damage any website or to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, CBC reserves the right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent permitted by law, including criminal prosecution.

5.15. Personal information collected at the point of entry, such as full name, date of birth (where applicable) and contact information, is collected by CBC and will be used by Contest Parties solely for the purposes of administering the Contest and will not be used for any other purpose without your express consent. By providing this information, you consent to it being used for the stated purposes. Please see CBC’s privacy policy at http://www.cbc.radio-canada.ca/en/reporting-to-canadians/acts-and-policies/management/corporate-secreteriat/2-9-2/.

5.16. If the identity of a contestant is disputed, the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry will be deemed to be the contestant. The individual assigned to the email address for the domain associated with the submitted email address is considered the authorized account holder. A selected contestant may be required to provide proof that (s)he is the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the selected entry. All entries must be submitted from a valid e-mail account that may be identified by reverse domain name search. The sole determinant of time for the purposes of receipt of a valid entry in the Contest will be the Contest server.

5.17. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. All entries that are incomplete, illegible, damaged, irregular, have been submitted through illicit means, using any robotic, automatic programmed method that artificially increases the odds of winning or do not conform to or satisfy any condition of the Contest Rules may be disqualified by the CBC. CBC is not responsible for any errors or omissions in printing or advertising the Contest.

5.18. CBC reserves the right to amend the Contest Rules or to terminate the Contest at any time without any liability to any contestant. Any amendments to the Contest Rules will be posted on the Website. Should you wish to withdraw your Submission as a result of any changes to the Contest Rules you may do so by contacting the CBC using the Contest email address listed on the Website.

5.19. By entering and participating in the Contest, you agree to abide by the Contest Rules and the decisions of CBC, and/or the judging panels, which decisions are final and binding on all contestants.

5.20. The Contest shall be deemed to be entered into pursuant to, and your agreement to enter and abide by the rules of the Contest shall be construed, performed and enforced in accordance with, the laws of the Province of Ontario and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein. By your submission of the registration form you agree to attorn to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Ontario.

5.21. Contest Rules are available at www.cbcmusic.ca/searchlight.

5.22. If you have any accessibility requirements or special needs, please contact the contest coordinator, as noted below.

Date: Jan. 10, 2019
Name of contest coordinator: Kai Black
Title: Executive Producer, CBC Music