CBC Music’s Annual Searchlight Initiative Returns April 19

CBC today announced an expanded version of its annual musical talent search, CBC MUSIC’S TOYOTA SEARCHLIGHT 2021, featuring additional prizing for the Top Five acts and a larger grand prize to help kickstart the finalists’ music career, courtesy of Toyota Canada, the National Music Centre, Play MPE global music promotion and Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class. Launching Monday, April 19, the Top Five and grand prize winners, as selected by a combination of public votes and an industry panel, will be announced on CBC Radio One’s Q with Tom Power on Tuesday, June 22. Canadian artists are encouraged to submit an original song across any genre to CBC MUSIC’S TOYOTA SEARCHLIGHT 2021 contest at CBCMusic.ca/searchlight between April 19 – May 3, 2021.

The winner of CBC MUSIC’S TOYOTA SEARCHLIGHT 2021 will earn a grand prize package tailored to take an artists’ career to the next level. This year again includes a five-day residency at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, with access to recording studios, professionals, and a historic instrument collection that spans more than 450 years of technology and innovation. New to this year, the grand prize winner will receive a curated full-service, global music promotion distribution campaign for one release (single or album) from Play MPE. Additionally, Toyota Canada is providing $2,500 worth of studio recording time and $2,500 worth of music equipment. More information on prizing for the four runners up provided by Toyota Canada and Play MPE can be found here.


  • Submissions: start on Monday, April 19, at 9 a.m. ET and end Monday, May 3, at 3 p.m. ET. This is the period when all entrants can register for 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.
  • Round 2: Top 100 revealed and voting begins on Top 100 Tuesday, June 1, 3:00 p.m. ET and ends on Tuesday, June 8 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
  • Round 3: Top Ten revealed on Tuesday, June 15 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
  • Final: Judges reveal Grand Prize Winner and Runners Up on Tuesday, June 22

CBC MUSIC’S TOYOTA SEARCHLIGHT 2021 is an annual search to find the next great Canadian artist. Recent winners include: Shawnee (2020), Shopé (2019) and aquakultre (2018). Canadians can join the conversation online by using #Searchlight2021 and #ToyotaMusic and following CBC Music on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.