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Which Searchlight alumni were up for Junos in 2018?

Grant Lawrence

When it comes to Canadian music, few things warm our hearts more than seeing former Searchlight participants continue to do well in their careers.

In 2018, several former Searchlight runners-up received multiple Juno nominations in various categories. Below, we take a look at everyone who got a Juno nod.

The Jerry Cans

This dynamic band from Iqaluit has made a name for itself by blending traditional Inuit throat singing with upbeat folk and rock music. The Jerry Cans took part in Searchlight 2013, and their career has been on the up and up ever since. In 2017, the Jerry Cans' song "Northern Lights" was covered by hundreds of students across the country in our annual Canadian Music Class Challenge. This month, the Jerry Cans received their first Juno nominations of their career for breakthrough group of the year and contemporary roots album of the year.

Upon hearing the news, the Jerry Cans tweeted: "HOLY SHIT!!!!!! It's -34 in Iqaluit and my internet took like 12 mins to load this tweet....but....!!!!!

The Dead South

This well-hatted traditional roots band out of Regina first came to our attention when the Dead South surged through the early rounds of Searchlight 2014. Ever since, the bandmates have become a touring machine, known far and wide for their engaging live show that features choreographed moves. The Dead South received its first Juno nominations of its career for breakthrough group of the year and traditional roots album of the year.

Nuela Charles

Nuela Charles, a young and aspiring soul singer from Edmonton, emerged from Searchlight 2013 as one of the true stars of the competition. Since then, she has gone on to win several other awards and has been featured many times on CBC, including in her own First Play Live. This year, Charles is celebrating her first-ever Juno nomination in the category of adult contemporary album of the year.


This critically acclaimed, politically minded trip-hop/soul artist has had a few long runs in Searchlight. In 2014, IsKwé was crowned regional champion for Manitoba, and she went on to the national round. Since then, she has relocated to Hamilton, continuing to mine her Cree, Dene and Irish roots for inspiration in her modern sound. IsKwé was recently a judge for our Canadian Music Class Challenge and performed at a Canadian embassy party for the 2018 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. She received her first Juno nomination this year for Indigenous music album of the year.

The 2018 Juno Awards were handed out in Vancouver on March 25.

More to explore:

2018 Juno Awards: full coverage

Other Searchlight alumni: where are they now?

Searchlight 2018: key dates

Searchlight 2018: FAQs