Photo: Shawnee Kish, winner of CBC Music's Searchlight 2020 (credit : Blondy Photography)
Photo: Shawnee Kish, winner of CBC Music's Searchlight 2020 (credit : Blondy Photography)

CBC Music's Searchlight Returns With Toyota As Chief Sponsor

Toyota Canada has come aboard as the chief sponsor of this year's CBC music talent search - and the prizing has increased accordingly.

Prizes for CBC Music's Toyota Searchlight 2021 will now be extended to the four runners-up of the annual music competition - and there will be a bigger Grand Prize for the act that wins it all.

The Grand Prize package includes a fall 2021 in-person or virtual equivalent attendance to the Allan Slaight Juno Master Class in Toronto for up to four band members as well as a trip to the 2022 Juno Awards. Both excursions, pending government Covid 19 guidelines and restrictions, will include return airfare and accommodation, with a per-diem offered for the Slaight Juno Master Class and a Toronto music industry showcase performance, assuming venues are open again during the week-long event.

Grand prize winners will also receive a five-day studio residency at Calgary's National Music Centre worth $2500 that will also include return airfare, accommodation plus access to the NMC's 300 instruments and a studio engineer provided for the sessions, for as long as 10 hours daily, as well as an additional $2500 worth of music equipment, provided by Toyota Canada.

For the first time this year, the Grand Prize winner will also receive a full-service global music promotion distribution campaign for one release (single or album) by digital distributors Play MPE, which will include distribution across all territories to radio programmers, music curators, media, bloggers, music supervisors and more, and a dedicated e-blast to Play MPE's 39,000-strong music industry professional global marketing e-mail list.

The Searchlight Grand Prize winner will also be subject of a feature blog post on Play MPE book and be interviewed by host David G. on the service's YouTube channel, as well as a promotional post across all Play MPE social media channels. 

Hosted by Grant Lawrence, The CBC will also nationally air the winning song and the winning act's story as a Toyota Searchlight feature on CBC Television, CBC Radio One, CBC Music and their various digital platforms.

The four runners-up will receive two  Play MPE Global Music Promotion Distribution Packages to promote their single to be used within a year of their victory, and a Toyota Searchlight Prize Pack of $1000 worth of studio recording time at the performer's studio of choice, plus $500 worth of musical equipment/instruments in partnership with Yamaha Music and a $500 sync licensing fee for a 1-year license for Searchlight promotion across the CBC and sponsor channels.

Canadian artists are encouraged to submit an original song between April 19 and May 3, 2021. The winner will be selected by a combination of public vote and a music industry panel and will be announced on CBC Radio One's Q with Tom Power on Tuesday, June 22.

“Our musicians need support more than ever and Searchlight has a strong track record of scouring the country to find a diverse range of emerging voices to elevate," said Steve Jordan, Senior Director, CBC Music, in a statement: "With Toyota Canada on board, Searchlight’s reach and mission will be supercharged, and even more Canadian talent will get a much-needed boost.”

Cyril Dimitris, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Toyota Canada, who will also serve as a judge in the competition, added in a separate statement: 

“Toyota Canada is proud to support Canadian music and emerging talent. Through our partnership with CBC Music’s Searchlight, we’re excited to help aspiring artists fulfill their passions."

The three most recent winners have been Shawnee Kish (2020), Shopé (2019) and aquakultre (2018).

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