Nominees now accepted for Emerging Musician Program

Know an emerging musician who could use a $100,000 boost to their career? Submit them for the RBC Emerging Musician Program.

Open to musicians between the ages of 15 and 35, the contest is among Canada’s most successful for helping aspiring performers elevate their careers. The winner will get studio time at Metalworks Studios, introductions to established artists, sessions with influencers, exposure to audiences and the media and artist development and funding.

Some winners and finalists will receive the ability to perform in a February 2020 showcase at the Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg, with flights and accommodations from Canada’s Walk of Fame, the contest’s main sponsor.

Last year’s winner, Lu Kala, said the prize is a life-changing event.

“Being selected as the first prize winner for the 2018 RBC Emerging Musician Program was the best thing that could have happened to me,” Kala said. “Being a full-time independent artist isn’t easy and this prize provided me with the freedom to focus solely on my music for a year. I was able to travel internationally, write, record and perform my music. It has opened many doors for me. My single was heard by some of the most influential people in the Canadian music industry and soon after that, it was played on the radio Canada wide. I am so grateful to this program for the opportunities it provided.”

Other winners include Ivory Hours, who have toured Canada three times since winning the prize in 2015; NEFE, the 2014 winner, opened for Burton Cummings for his Walk of Fame Festival performance in Massey Hall; and Taylor Kurta, the original prize winner, who has gone on to open for Bob Ezrin, David Foster and Carly Rae Jepsen.

“The RBC Emerging Musician Program has had a remarkable impact on songwriters and musicians across Canada over the last six years,” said Jeffrey Latimer, CEO of Canada’s Walk of Fame. “The contest opened to residents of Quebec last year and, because of this, we saw our submissions skyrocket by 50 percent. We are hoping to see that number increase even further in 2019 with the addition of more performance and mentorship opportunities. By taking our 2019 winners to showcase at Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg, we are allowing Canadians across the country to experience performing opportunities on diverse stages – not just in Toronto.”

In all, there will be five winners selected, including the grand prize winner. Those other four winners will receive a cash prize ($6,000 for second place, $4,000 each for the other three winners), an invitation to perform at the Canada’s Walk of Fame event later in 2019; participation in a private music industry mentoring sessions with A&R professionals, agents and an established artist.                        

More information on the contest, including how to enter, is available here.  

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

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