Get ready for Toyota Searchlight 2021, our hunt for Canada's next great undiscovered talent

CBC Music's annual talent search returns with revved-up prizes for aspiring musical artists.

CBC Music's Toyota Searchlight 2021 is coming soon

CBC Music's Toyota Searchlight 2021 is our hunt for Canada's next undiscovered musical talent. (CBC Music)

Toyota Searchlight is CBC Music's long-running hunt for Canada's undiscovered musical talent. Could that undiscovered talent be you? Or a Canadian musician you know?

Starting on Monday, April 19, at 9 a.m. ET, all you have to do is upload an audio file or video to YouTube — what you consider to be your very best original song in any genre.

You'll be able to sign up using our new easy-to-use Toyota Searchlight entry form. 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. And with expanded prizes, Toyota jumps in as the title sponsor this year to support the search.

CBC Music's Toyota Searchlight 2021 grand prize is bigger than ever before:

1. Allan Slaight Juno Master Class and Juno Awards experience

By winning Toyota 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 (or its virtual equivalent), surrounded by the music industry's best. It will all cumulate in a live industry showcase, plus a trip to Canada's national music awards in 2022. (COVID restrictions may apply.)

2. A recording residency at the National Music Centre in Calgary

Studio time is expensive, but if you win Toyota 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.

3. Play MPE Distribution Deal 

Your single or album will get a full promotional distribution campaign sent out by the most widely used secure digital distribution system available in the music industry. Play MPE is used by all major labels, as well as thousands of independents, promoters and artists globally.

4. CBC-TV/radio/digital feature on your song/band

Your winning song and story will be turned into a  cross-platform Toyota Searchlight feature hosted by CBC Music Top 20 host Grant Lawrence. The feature will air nationally on CBC Television, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and on digital platforms.

5. Prize pack courtesy of Toyota Canada

  • $2,500 worth of recording studio time. 

  • $2,500 worth of musical equipment/instruments.

6. There will be 4 Toyota Searchlight runner-ups that will each receive these prizes courtesy of Toyota Canada

  • Play MPE distribution deal for your single.

  • $1,000 worth of recording studio time. 

  • $500 worth of musical equipment/instruments.

Check out more details on prizing and rules and regulations here. 

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

  • The submission period starts on Monday, April 19, at 9 a.m. ET and ends Monday, May 3, at 3 p.m. ET. This is when all entrants can register for Toyota Searchlight 2021 and upload a song. 

  • Round 1: Voting begins on all eligible songs on Tuesday, May 11, at 3 p.m. ET and ends Thursday, May 20, at 3 p.m. ET. You can vote once a day for your favourite artists to make it into the Top 100

  • Round 2: The Top 100 is revealed on Tuesday, June 1 at 3pm E.T. Fifty artists will make it through by popular vote, and the other 50 will make it through by internal judging by a team of music industry experts. Voting to see who makes it into the Top 10 will also begin on June 1 at 3 p.m. ET and will end on Tuesday, June 8, at 3 p.m. ET.

  • Round 3: The Top 10 is revealed on Tuesday, June 15, at 3 p.m. ET. Seven artists will be chosen by judges, three will make it through based on the popular vote. Public voting ends.

  • Final: Judges reveal one grand prize winner and four runners up on Tuesday, June 22, at 9 a.m. ET.

Toyota Searchlight 2021'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 May.

Toyota Searchlight 2021 is also a chance to engage and grow your online fanbase to support you — right to our winner's seat. Together, CBC Music and Toyota are proud to support Canadian music and help give aspiring artists right across the country for a chance to fulfil their artistic dreams. We are committed to supporting Canadian music, gender and racial diversity in the music industry, and recognizing the distinct communities where artists really come from. 

So why should you enter CBC Music's Toyota Searchlight 2021? 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 Toyota Searchlight 2021? Get your best original song uploaded to YouTube today and enter on Monday, April 19, at Good luck!

Everything you need to know about Toyota Searchlight 2021 can be found here.

CBC Music's Toyota Searchlight 2021 is brought to you in part by Toyota.

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