Canadian Music Competition 2017 / Frequently Asked Questions

Historical Information

The information contained on this page is related to an older edition of the competition. It is made available for archival purposes only. For the most current information, please go to Canadian Music Competition 2021.

How does the National Audition work? Did you remove a round?

The new formula for the National Audition reinforces the educational side of the Competition. Instead of having a Regional Audition in front of two judges and a Provincial Audition in front of three judges we put in place a Great National Audition in each region. Previously, when a candidate’s progress stopped at the Regional Audition he would had seen two judges whether as now he can present his repertoire in front of five judges and get some feedback from all of them. Even with two rounds instead of three, the educational experience for all candidates will be significantly reinforced.

Why are there alternating instruments?

The main categories of the Competition (Strings, Piano and Voice) are coming back on a yearly basis. The Winds and Percussion (Group 1) as well as Guitar and Harp (Group 2) will be open on an alternating basis. This way, candidates will have access to a balanced jury that is representative of the selected instruments that year. However, the Chamber Music category will be open every year so that all instruments are eligible. As of now, the organ category won’t be coming back to the competition.

Why is the registration fee $500?

Many factors explain this new overall fee. Registration costs have been standardized and local chapter’s extra fees have been abolished throughout the country. For some, the price will be lower or the same whether for others the price will be higher. In return, chapter’s support has been redirected to candidates instead of going to the National Office. By doing so, the percentage of each chapter’s financial support that was redirected to the National Organization has been lowered so that candidates can be helped directly. This new adhesion formula will foster the support of local chapters that promote the exposure of candidates in their regions and on a national level. They do so by granting scholarships that help as many candidates as possible from every region in Canada to participate in the Competition. Please note that the amount of $500 includes the registration fees ($300) and a suggested donation of $200 (at the discretion of the candidate) for which an income tax receipt will be emitted by the Canadian Music Competition. The real cost of a candidate participating in the CMC is minimum $1000 and we wish that candidates contribute 50% of this amount; all the while knowing that the donation part is at the discretion of the candidate. This new structure guarantees appropriate funding to the National Organization and, as of this year, helps us enhance the experience of all CMC candidates, especially during the National Audition. The financial goal for the 2017 annual campaign has been fixed to $160 000 and candidates will reap the benefits of this campaign.


I need financial assistance, who should I contact?

Candidates must address financial assistance needs to the representative of their chapter. Scholarships will be given according to available amounts in each local chapters. These amount can vary depending on the region (rule 10.1). You will find contact information on our website by selecting your chapter, then under “My chapter”, “Contact Us”. A motivation letter written by the instrument teacher in regards of the candidate financial situation may be requested.

I got a very high mark at the Provincial Final. Will I receive a scholarship?

For the National Audition, scholarships will be awarded at the discretion of the Regional chapters and Provincial committees (rule 10.1).

Why wasn’t I awarded a National Final scholarship even if I came in 1st place in my category?

For National Final scholarships, candidates are divided into four age groups (all instruments combined): 7 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, 15 to 18 years, and 19 to 30 years. Scholarships are awarded from the highest mark in each of these groups. Candidates do not receive scholarships based on their rank in their category (rule 10.2).

Competition procedure

When will I be contacted by the Competition?

Right after you register, you will receive an email confirmation that you have to keep. This email contains, among other information, the submitted repertoire that you will have to perform at each round. If there are any problems with your registration, we will contact you. We will contact you again by email once the official schedule is online. As most communications are sent by email, make sure to provide us with a valid email address.

This is my first time participating in the CMC. How does it work?

The Competition takes place over two rounds: the National Audition and the National Final. On your audition day, you will be welcomed by CMC volunteers to whom you must provide your music scores. If you wish, you can buy the program, which contains the detailed schedule of the competition, the names of the participants and their repertoire. Volunteers will guide you to the practice studios or the music hall. You need to be in the hall and ready to play when it is your turn. The CMC coordinator will call your name and invite you onto the stage. This is your moment! After your performance, the judges will be given a few minutes to write their comments. We will then introduce the next participant. During the National Audition, the results are announced at the end of each session (a session lasts 2 to 3 hours). We announce the names of the participants who have made it through to the next round and we provide the marking and comment sheets. Then you have the opportunity to meet the adjudicators. At the National Final, the process is slightly different: the results are announced on four occasions, during results announcement ceremonies representing each age categories. It’s then and there that we give candidates their marking and comment sheets. Participants also have the opportunity to meet the judges at the end of the results announcement. If you are not present, the documents will be sent by mail.


Who do I have to notify if I have to cancel my registration?

Please notify the National Office by email ( or by phone 514-284-5398 / 1-877-879-1959) as well as your chapter’s president (rule 12).


When will the national tour schedule be official?

The tentative detailed schedule will be online in mid-January. The official schedule will be online around mid-February. Participants and their parents will receive an email when the official schedule is posted on our website.


Do I have to play my pieces by memory?

Memorization rules vary according to the instrument, the piece and the round. Please refer to rule 5.7 for additional information.

Copies of scores

How many copies of the music scores do I have to bring to each round?

6 copies for each rounds. Please refer to rule 8.1 for additional information.

Why do I have to write down the bar numbers?

Candidates must write down the bar numbers at the beginning of each line to facilitate the judges’ work and to enable them to be more specific in their comments (rule 8.2).


Does the CMC provide services of a collaborative pianist?

No. Each participant has to hire his own collaborative pianist. For the National Final, we provide a list of suggested pianists on our web site.


Can I make changes to my repertoire after the registration deadline?

Yes, you can submit changes to your repertoire until the repertoire change deadline, i.e. January 25, 2017. Please refer to rule 5.10 for additional information.

Can I change the performance order of my pieces?

Yes, simply present your scores in performance order. However, it is not permitted to switch pieces in between rounds (rule 5.8 and 5.9).

I did not have the opportunity to play all my pieces last year. Can I use the same repertoire this year?

Pieces that have not been played last year can be submit again. For example, repertoire that was submit by a candidate for a round he did not qualified for. However, if repertoire was performed but the candidate was disqualified, this piece cannot be submitted again. Please refer to rule 5.1 for additional information.

Can I register two movements of the same work in two different rounds?

No. It is not permitted to play a movement of a piece in one round and then another movement of the same piece in another round. The same principle applies to opera arias. Please refer to rule 5.2 for additional information.

Is there a minimum timing for each round?

No, there is no minimum timing. Moreover, it is not mandatory to reach the maximum time limit.

Do I have to play the repeats?

No, repeats are not mandatory. Repeats are permitted, provided that the maximum time limit is respected (rule 5.5).

Do I have to play the cadenzas?

Yes, cadenzas are mandatory (rule 5.6).


How is my mark calculated?

National Audition: each participant is heard by five adjudicators. Each adjudicator gives an individual mark for each piece. The average given by each judge is transferred to 20, to give a final score out of 100. Candidates must receive an average mark of at least 87% to proceed to the National Final.

National Final: each participant is heard by five adjudicators. The average mark given by each judge counts for 20% of the final mark.

Can I meet the adjudicators?

As long as time permits, we encourage participants to meet the judges at the First Round and Provincial Final, after the results are announced, so that they can receive additional comments and enrich their CMC experience.

What is the difference between a winner and a Grand Prize Winner of the CMC?

Participants register to compete in the CMC in categories reflecting both their age and instrument category (for example, piano 13 years old category). At the National Final, first, second and third places are awarded to the top scorers in each of these categories. The first, second and third place recipients are considered the winners of their respective categories. The marks from all of the National Finalists in all of the categories are then pooled, and the musician with the highest score in each of four age groups — 7 to 10 years, 11 to 14 years, 15 to 18 years and 19 to 30 years — is named the Grand Prize Winner for that age group.

My instrument is not represented this year; can I still participate in the CMC?

Some instruments are alternating: year 1 Winds, Recorder, Keyboard Percussion; year 2 Guitar, Harp. However, each year, all instruments can register in the Music Chamber category. Piano, strings and voice categories are available every year. Note that organ was removed.

My teacher will be adjudicating for the CMC, is this a conflict of interest?

If a candidate is the student of one of the adjudicators, the teacher must report to the National Office this situation before the candidate’s evaluation. He will still be able to evaluate and write comments to the candidate but his mark will not be added for this round.