Get ready for Searchlight 2020, our hunt for Canada's next great undiscovered talent

CBC Music's annual talent search returns with incredible prizes available for aspiring musical artists.

CBC Music's annual talent search returns with incredible prizes available for aspiring musical artists

Searchlight 2020 is CBC Music's hunt for Canada's best undiscovered talent. (CBC Music )

Searchlight is returning for 2020! 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. 14, 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. 14. Get a head start by uploading your best song (audio or video) to YouTube now, 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.

2019 brought an unbelievable break. Major thanks to CBC Music for the look.- Shopé, 2019 Searchlight winner

The Searchlight 2020 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 2021 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 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.

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 2020 CBC Music Festival at Echo Beach in May.

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

  • Tuesday, Jan. 14: Searchlight 2020 opens: time to upload your song to YouTube and enter Searchlight.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 28: 3 p.m. ET is the deadline to submit your song.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 4: Voting begins on all eligible songs.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 19: Voting and judging begins on the Searchlight 2020 Top 100.
  • Thursday, Feb. 27: The Searchlight 2020 national top 10 is announced.
  • Thursday, March 5: The Searchlight 2020 grand prize winner will be announced on q on CBC Radio One at 10 a.m. ET.

Searchlight 2020's winner will be decided by 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 in February.

Searchlight 2020 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 2020? 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.

Here's what last year's winner Shopé had to say in a year-end post:

"Exactly 10 years ago, I set out to make a living off my music. It was a long shot and took guts leaving medicine. But I believed living with a 'What if' was far worse. Many years seemed like a waste, but I kept going because I knew I wasn't crazy! With the end of the decade, 2019 brought an unbelievable break. Major thanks to CBC Music for the look."

Are you ready for Searchlight 2020? Get your best original song uploaded to YouTube today and enter on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Good luck!

Check out last year's winner, Shopé, performing at the CBC Music Festival: