Searchlight: The hunt for Canada's best artist starts today
Submissions will be accepted online until midnight ET, March 29
The hunt for Canada's best new musical artist kicks into high gear today with the official launch of Searchlight 2015.
CBC Music and Radio One have teamed up for the nation-wide talent search that is one-part showcase and one-part contest.
Musicians of any genre can enter their music in the contest, and fans can tune in to their local CBC Radio One afternoon show to vote on their favourite act.
The regional winners will move on to a national contest, hosted by Q on CBC Radio, where fans can still vote for their favourites, but the bands will also have to impress a panel of celebrity judges who will help decide the ultimate winner.
Meet the judges
Dan Boeckner’s resumé reads like an indie music fan’s desert island playlist. Between Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits and now Operators — his latest synth-tinged, hook-laden musical project — the British Columbia-born, Montreal-bred musician has established himself as one of the most respected and creative minds in Canadian rock. Boeckner was twice shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize and has more than 10 critically acclaimed releases under his belt.
A longtime anchor in Toronto's hip-hop scene, Saukrates has collaborated with some of the most well-known names in the genre, including Drake, Nelly Furtado, Nas, Common, Redman and Xzibit. As a producer with multiple Juno nominations to his name, Saukrates has worked with such Canadian mainstays as k-os, Swollen Members, Jully Black, Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, Classified and Shad. You can even look up just about any Canadian major label rap release from the past 20 years and find him present, as performer or producer. His most recent release, Amani, was nominated for a 2015 Juno Award.
Prince Edward Island native Jenn Grant is one of Canada’s most beloved singer-songwriters. Now based in Halifax, she has charmed audiences at home and abroad with five celebrated albums of varying styles that have jumped effortlessly between irresistible pop songs and intimate folk ballads. In just the last few years alone, she has won multiple East Coast Music Awards and, most recently, earned nominations for two 2015 Juno Awards, including songwriter of the year.
How to enter
Musicians and fans can head to CBCMusic.ca/Searchlight to enter and hear the many acts who have already entered.
Voting starts on March 30, and the winner will be announced live on Q on May 15.
The winner will get $20,000 in gear from Yamaha Canada Music and a gig at the CBC Music Festival in Toronto. But many acts will win just by entering. The exposure to fans and other bands have helped people to find more and better gigs, new opportunities to collaborate, sponsorship or even record deals.
With files from Mike Miner, CBC Music