By Darlene Barss

CBC Searchlight, CBC Music’s nationwide search for the best up-and-coming musicians across Canada returns for its fifth year. As in 2016, the top 4 finalists will vie for the grand prize on a prime-time televised broadcast on the CBC TV network, competing in front of a live audience and the celebrity judges.

The Searchlight winner will receive a Grand Prize package with an estimated value of over $46,000. It includes a 10 day residency at the Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity where with the help of a celebrity, they will write and record a new song. They will perform at Banff Centre’s “Performance in the Park” in June 2017 and they will have an opening slot at the Festival in Toronto in May, 2017 and a live studio performance on CBC Radio One’s q radio show. They will also receive recordings and videos. It is a pretty big deal. Find out more about it on CBC Music in the Searchlight section.

I have not had a chance to go through all the 1,258 entries but have made a playlist of 50 artists that I have checked out so far and  have voted for them. There are a few more on the following list that have also gotten a vote or two from me but are not on Spotify.

Vancouver: The Ruffled Feathers, Colourful Language, Sorry Edith, Miss Quincy & The Showdown, JADE, blue dirt girl, Alonso, The Lunas

Greater Vancouver Area: Carousel Scene, Cassandra Maze

Vancouver Island:  Deep Sea Gypsies

Interior and Northern B.C.:  Gleneagle

Calgary and Southern Albert: The Galacticas, Ruben Young, Nick Miciak, The New Electric, Trouble The Youth, LUNAR WILDE, The Static Shift, Midwest Mindset, Fighting Our Last Days (FOLD), Hayden McHugh

Edmonton and Northern Alberta: Two Bears North, Arlo Maverick, Carter & The Capitals, White Lightning, Daisy Groff, Something Mechanical, Savage Playground, Damian La Grange, The Red Cannons, Our Good Wolf

Saskatchewan: Ava Wild, Glenn Sutter, The Wolfe, The Whiskey Jerks, The League of One, Ryan Hicks, Jordan Welbourne, DGS Samurai Champs, The Great Fuss

Manitoba: June Killing Stones, Katie Lynn, IgLa, Sebastian Owl, CASATI, Emily and the Moon, W’ah-zo

Toronto City: Abigail Lapell, FUTURE PEERS, FEATURETTE

The Greater Toronto Area: The Achromatics

Central Ontario: The Do Good Badlies, The Argues

Hamilton: Azalea

Kitchener-Waterloo: The Waverlys

Ottawa: The Wilderness

Windsor and London: Ivory Hours, Kate Channer

Montreal: Glass Hour, BangTangShui, What If Elephants

Quebec: The Nolas

New Brunswick: Jared Lutes

Halifax and Mainland Nova Scotia: Cassie Josephine and Gabriel Minnikin, StoneHouse, Devarrow

The North: The Jerry Cans




Voting for Round 1 is done on Monday, February 27, 2017, at 2:59 p.m. ET. The majority of the artists that move on are picked by the judges but 1 of each region is by vote. I wish the there was more balance to this but it is what it is.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 3:00p.m. ET until Monday, March 13, 2017, at 2:59 p.m. ET is the “Round 2 Voting Period”.

Some of my current favourites are Ava Wild, Abigaill Lapell, The Jerry Cans, The Ruffled Feathers, Miss Quincy & The Showdown, Two Bears North, and Devarrow. Who are your favourites? Do you have artists you know that are in Searchlight? Have you discovered any new artists we should know about?