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Get ready for Searchlight 2018, our hunt for Canada's next undiscovered talent

By
Grant Lawrence

Searchlight has returned for 2018! The competition is CBC Music’s long-running annual hunt for Canada’s next undiscovered talent. Is that you? It could be, if you have a great original song.

Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at midnight, all you have to do is enter an audio file of what you consider to be your best original song. You’ll be able to sign up using our new Searchlight entry form, which will be easy to use and is found right here on CBCMusic.ca.

Here’s how it’s all going to roll out:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 23: Searchlight 2018 opens — time to submit your song.
  • Tuesday. Feb. 6: 3 p.m. ET is the deadline to submit your song.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 13: Opening round voting begins — mobilize your audience to vote.
  • Thursday, March 1: The long list top 100. Are you on the list? Keep your fans voting.
  • Thursday, March 8: The short list top 10. Voting closes, and our judges will take over to debate who wins.
  • Monday, March 19: The winner will be announced.

Searchlight 2018 will be a combination of audience voting and votes from our celebrity judges, a cross-section of the best that the Canadian music industry has to offer. This year’s judges will be announced soon.

Searchlight 2018 is a chance to engage your online fanbase to support you — right to our winner’s stage. But if you don’t have a big social media presence, don’t sweat it: our judges will be listening for standout songs throughout the contest to make sure the best music makes it through.

So why should you enter Searchlight? Because your song could be showcased on CBC Radio One, CBC Music and Radio 3. You could also be showcased on CBC digital and CBC Television, and our prizes this year are our best ever. Check them out:

Allan Slaight Juno Master Class and Juno Awards experience

By winning Searchlight, you will have earned your spot in Canada’s premiere talent development program — the Allan Slaight Juno Master Class — for a week in Toronto surrounded by the music industry’s best, culminating in a live showcase. Then it’s off to the 2019 Juno Awards in London, Ont., to perform at JunoFest and take in all the Juno festivities, including the awards!

National Music Centre residency in Calgary

You’ll spend a week in Calgary at the National Music Centre’s new building, 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 masterpiece.

CBC Music Festival performance

You’ll also receive another trip to Toronto to perform alongside Canada’s best artists in front of thousands of fans at the 2018 CBC Music Festival at Echo Beach on Saturday, May 26, 2018.

Check out the full prize information here.

Are you ready for Searchlight 2018? Get your song ready to enter on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at cbcmusic.ca/searchlight and good luck! The deadline to enter is Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, at 3 p.m. ET.

Check out our winners from the last couple of years:

More to explore:

Searchlight 2018 Rules and Regulations

Searchlight 2018 Key Dates

Searchlight 2018 Prizes

Searchlight FAQs