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Get ready for Searchlight 2019, our hunt for Canada's next great undiscovered talent

Grant Lawrence

Searchlight is returning for 2019! The yearly competition is CBC Music’s long-running hunt for Canada’s undiscovered musical talent. Could that be you? Or a Canadian musician you know?

Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at midnight, all you have to do is upload an audio file or video to YouTube of what you consider to be your very best original song in any genre. You’ll be able to sign up using our new Searchlight entry form, which will be easy to use and can be found on as of Jan. 15. Get a head start by uploading your best song (audio or video) to YouTube now, even before the competition officially opens. Please note that you will be judged on the audio of your song only, not the video.

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:

Allan Slaight Juno Master Class and Juno Awards experience

By winning 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, culminating in a live showcase. Then it’s off to the 2020 Juno Awards to perform at JunoFest and take in all the Juno festivities, including the awards show.

A week in a recording studio at the National Music Centre in Calgary

Studio time is expensive, but if you win Searchlight, you’ll spend a week 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.

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 2019 CBC Music Festival at Echo Beach.

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

  • Tuesday, Jan. 15: Searchlight 2019 opens — time to upload your song to YouTube and enter Searchlight.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 29: 3 p.m. ET is the deadline to submit your song.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5: Voting begins on all eligible songs.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 20: Voting and judging begins on the Searchlight 2019 Top 100.
  • Thursday, Feb. 28: The Searchlight 2019 national Top 10 is announced.
  • Thursday, March 7: The Searchlight 2019 grand prize winner will be announced on q on CBC Radio One at 10 a.m. ET.

Searchlight 2019 will be a combination of audience voting and choice picks from our producers and 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 2019 is also a chance to engage and grow your online fanbase to support you — right to our winner’s stage.

So why should you enter Searchlight 2019? 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.

Are you ready for Searchlight 2019? Get your best original song uploaded to YouTube today and enter on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Good luck!

Check out last year's winner, aquakultre, performing on CBC's the East Coast Music Hour:

More to explore:

Searchlight 2018 winner aquakultre

Searchlight 2018 top ten finalists

Searchlight alumni nominated for 2018 Juno Awards