This year's Searchlight contest will open January 23, 2018 at 12:01 AM ET.
Q: How do I enter Searchlight?
A: To enter the contest, you need to sign up and either Create or Log in with your Searchlight or Artist account. The entry submission period is from January 23, 2018 at 12:01 AM ET to February 6, 2018 at 2:59 PM ET. You will be required to upload an MP3 of your very best original song that is less than 10MB in size, as well as your artist bio, photo(s), and other required information in our online registration form found at cbcmusic.ca/searchlight.
Q: I don’t have any original songs, can I submit a cover?
A: Unfortunately not, only an original song that you or someone in your band wrote (lyrics and music) is acceptable this year.
Q: Can I enter if I already have a record deal?
A: Yes, but your label must consent to our rules and regulations in order for you to do so. The onus is on you to ensure you are not breaking any copyright laws by entering.
Q: How should I name my mp3 file?
A: Please use this naming convention: Searchlight-bandname-songname-date
Q: Do I lose rights to my song?
A: No, the song will always be yours. By entering, you agree to our rules and regulations though, which allows the CBC to use your song for broadcast and editorial purposes.
Q: Why do I need to upload an MP3?
A: We consider all songs submitted to Searchlight for radio play. For this reason alone, we require MP3s and songwriting credits from every entry.
Q: Why should I ask people to vote for my song?
A: Because advancing in the contest will be partially based on popular vote. The rest of the artists that advance in Searchlight, and the ultimate winner, will be determined by a judging panel.
Use your social channels, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc, and ask people to vote for your song. Don’t forget to tag it #Searchlight2018, but don’t worry if you don’t have a big social reach. The judges will be listening for great songs throughout.
Q: Can I submit a co-written song, even if the co-writer is not part of my band and does not appear on video?
A: Yes, as long as the song belongs to you.
Q: Who decides if my song goes through?
A: In the opening rounds, audience votes and CBC Music producers will be judging your song. In the National Top Ten Round, our celebrity judges will decide the ultimate winner.
Q: How long do I have to enter my song?
A: Song Submissions open on Tuesday January 23, 2018 at 12:01 AM ET and close on Tuesday February 6, 2018 at 2:59 PM ET. After submissions close, you will not be able to submit your song.
Q: So I entered Searchlight, where does my music go from here?
A: Our radio producers will be sharing your music with CBC Radio 1 stations across Canada, as well as with CBCMusic.ca, Radio 2 and 3, CBC TV programs, and CBC digital. From there, our celebrity judges, CBC Music producers, and music industry professionals across Canada will be listening to your music as well.
Q What files must we upload to enter Searchlight 2018?
A: To submit an eligible entry you must submit an MP3 file of an original song.
Q: When will the winner of Searchlight be announced?
A: The winner will be announced on Monday March 19, 2018.
Q: What will the winner of Searchlight get?
A: The winning group/musician of Searchlight 2018 will receive a prestigious placement at the week-long 2018 Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class in Toronto, Canada’s premiere artist development program, as well as an industry showcase to cap your week. The winning group/musician will also win a trip to the 2019 JUNO Awards to perform at JUNOFest and take in all the festivities, including the awards show. As well, the winning group/musician will win a week-long recording residency at Studio Bell in the National Music Centre in Calgary. Finally, the winning group/musician will win a performance at the 2018 CBC Music Festival at Echo Beach in Toronto.
Q: Can I enter more than one of my bands?
A: While we understand how busy one Canadian musician can be, we ask that you only enter Searchlight 2018 one time, with one band.
Q: Can we submit more than one song?
A: We’re sure you have tonnes of great tunes, but we ask that you only submit your very best original song for Searchlight 2018.
Q: Are there any hashtags we can use to promote our song once it is published?
A: Yes, please use #Searchlight2018 in your tweets, Facebook messages, and Instagram posts, and feel free to tag us in any of those posts, too!
Facebook: CBC Music
Q: Can we use back tracks?
A: Yes you can.
Q: Are there any key dates I need to keep in mind?
Tuesday Jan. 23 at 12:01 AM ET – Submission period opens
Tuesday February 6 at 2:59 PM ET – Submission period closes
Tuesday February 13 – Round one contest opens
Wednesday, February 28 – Round one contest closes
Thursday, March 1 – Round two finals open
Wednesday, March 7 – Round two finals close
Thursday, March 8 – Round three opens
Wednesday, March 14 – Round three closes and contest closes
Monday, March 19 - Grand Prize Winner announced
Q: Who can I contact if I encounter problems uploading the files, or have questions about Searchlight?
A: You can contact a CBC producer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How do I reset my CBC Music artist account password?
A: Please follow this link: https://cbchelp.cbc.ca/hc/en-us/articles/115000122494-How-do-I-reset-my-CBC-Music-artist-account-password-
** A notice about the security of your submission and use of the Google Chrome web browser
As of Chrome version 56, you may notice that there is a notification in the address bar (left of the URL for cbcmusic.ca) that indicates that the site is not secure. Google is definitely not misinforming users; however, this is not entirely true.
Anywhere where you submit any sort of information (sensitive or otherwise) to CBC Music, whether it's your password when logging in, or when you're submitting your entry for Searchlight, that information is submitted securely using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encrypted connection (via the HTTPS protocol).
If you'd like to know more, feel free to follow these steps in Chrome:
1) Open "Developer tools" in Google Chrome by clicking settings (3 vertical dots), "More tools", "Developer tools"
2) Select "Network" (between "Sources" and "Timeline")
3) Select the "XHR" request filter (between "All" and "JS")
4) Attempt to log in, or submit a form
5) Notice in Developer tools that several rows are recorded. These are the secure requests to our systems.
6) Notice that the URL for these requests contains "https" at the beginning"