The Canadian Music Competition is an excellent educational opportunity for emerging classical musicians. Candidates get a chance to perform before a jury of renowned musicians and to represent their region at the national level. They receive comments about their performance and get an opportunity to speak to the jury members, which greatly enriches their learning experience. Candidates who are given a score of 87% or more in the first round are invited to take part in the National Final, held in a different Canadian city every year. During this step, a second jury evaluates, provides comments, and meets with the candidates, who are also given the opportunity to win prizes and scholarships. Eligible Grand Prize recipients also get a chance to perform with a symphony orchestra in a professional venue.

Candidates are being asked to submit digital versions of their registration forms and all necessary documents, including scores, to a single site: the Crowdchange platform.

The organisation of a competition with the span of the CMC generates high costs which largely surpass the registration fees and can reach up to $1,200 per candidate. This is why we appeal to your generosity. 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 issued by the Competition. Your donation is an inestimable support.

While considering that the “donation” part is optional, such contribution guarantees appropriate funding for the National Organization, allowing the CMC to grow and develop. Remember that the CMC does not receive any grants from the federal government or the provincial government. The CMC returns year after year exclusively with the help of its donors and sponsors.

A number of chapters offer financial support to encourage the participation of candidates in their region. Chapters contribute to the exposure of the candidates in their region and on a nation-wide basis by providing scholarships. For more information regarding financial assistance, contact your chapter representative.


Candidates must address financial assistance needs to the representative of their chapter. Each chapter or province is entirely autonomous regarding its financial assistance policy (rule 10.1). You will find contact information on our website by selecting your chapter, then clicking on “My chapter” and then “Contact Us”. A letter written by the instrument teacher regarding the candidate’s financial situation may be requested.

Following the National Audition, scholarships will be awarded at the discretion of the regional chapters and provincial committees which are entirely autonomous in the distribution of scholarships (rule 10.1).

National scholarships are attributed on the condition of a competitive, in-person edition based on the results obtained during the National Audition. Candidates are divided into four age groups, all instruments combined, and scholarships are attributed in accordance with the highest marks obtained in each of these groups: 7-10 years, 11-14 years, 15-18 years, and 19-25 years (30 years for voice).

During the National Audition, 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 25 years (30 years for voice). Scholarships are awarded based on the highest mark in each of these groups. Candidates do not receive scholarships based on their place in their category (rule 10.2).

Scholarships are attributed and given in the fall, following the current competition. Scholarship winners are contacted at that time.


Following your registration, you will receive an email confirming that your registration is completed. You will also receive, at a later time, the invoice for your registration fees. For those who wish to do so, you will have the opportunity to print your registration form or to save it before submitting the form. Please note that you can consult this information at anytime on your Crowdchange account. The National Office may contact candidates with any questions regarding their registration. As most communications are sent by email, be sure to provide a valid email address.

The Competition takes place in two stages: the National Audition and the National Final. On the day of your audition, you will be greeted by CMC volunteers. You can have a look at the tour program, a book containing the detailed schedule and repertoire for each participant. The volunteers will lead you to the competition room or to a practice studio. You must be present and ready to play when your turn comes up. When the time comes, the Competition representative will introduce you and ask you to go up on stage. After your performance, the judges will take a few minutes to finish writing their comments before welcoming the next candidate. For the National Audition, results are announced at the end of each session (sessions are usually 2 to 3 hours in duration). That is when the names of the participants proceeding to the National Final will be announced.

At the National Final, results will be announced during the four results announcement ceremonies, at the end of the sessions for each of the four age groups. This is when you will receive your score cards and comments, and when you will have a chance to meet with the judges. If you are absent, the documents will be sent by mail. The Competition encourages candidates to attend the results ceremonies. They provide an opportunity for candidates to engage in enriching discussions with the judges.

The Gala Concert takes place after the activities of the National Final, bringing the current edition of the Competition to a close. At the Competition’s discretion, the Grand Prize winners in the major age categories—11-14-year-old, 15-18-year-old, and 19-30-year-old—and the winner of the Stepping Stone may be invited to appear in concert with the guest orchestra. All travel and lodging costs are borne by the participants.

We have planned to hold the 2023 edition in the usual manner, with in-person auditions across the country, a National Final, and a Gala Concert. However, to comply with public health directives enacted by various levels of government, as well as with rules in effect in the audition venues, certain measures may apply and vary from one region to another. A modified version of an in-person National Audition may take place and/or the National Final and Gala Concert may be cancelled. If access to venues—an essential standard in guaranteeing fairness for all our participants—is compromised, the competitive 2023 edition will be changed to a non-competitive edition. This replacement solution may apply to a specific instrument category, a region, or to all candidates, depending on how the pandemic evolves.

It is important to refer to the Competition’s established rules and safety protocol for complete details on the various scenarios that might occur. Candidates who register for the 2023 edition must do so with full knowledge of the various possibilities, as no reimbursements will be given for changes made necessary due to government-enacted health and safety regulations, which are beyond the Competition’s control.


Please notify the National Office by email ( as well as your chapter’s representative (rule 12).


Candidates receive an email with the tentative schedule around mid-January, followed by the official schedule around mid-February. The appointed time indicates the beginning of a time slot that may extend over several hours, generally for a maximum of 3 hours. For example, if a candidate is convened for 9 am, he or she may compete at 11:45 am. The CMC cannot inform candidates of their exact performance times, as the schedule may be adjusted if a candidate is absent or withdraws.


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


In a continued effort to “go green” and simplify the registration process, candidates are asked to submit their registration form and all required documents—including scores—in digital form, sent to a single point: via the Crowdchange platform. Please refer to Rule 8.1 for complete details.

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


No, each participant has to hire his or her own collaborative pianist. For the National final, a list of suggested pianists will be displayed on the CMC website.


Yes, you can submit changes to your repertoire until the repertoire modification deadline, i.e. February 18, 2021. Please refer to rule 5.10 for additional information.

To facilitate the judges’ duties, the order in which works are to be performed must be specified upon registration. Candidates must list their works and upload their scores in their planned order of performance. However, the performance order may be modified. Upon arrival on audition day, candidates must provide volunteers with a list of their selected works in their finalized order of performance.

Pieces that were not played previously can be submitted again; for example, repertoire that was submitted by a candidate for a round for which he or she did not qualify. However, if a piece was performed but the candidate was disqualified, this piece cannot be submitted again. Candidates registered in the 2021 edition who participated in the 2020 Non-competitive edition are allowed to reuse their repertoire from 2020. Please refer to rule 5.1 for additional information.

No, it is not allowed to play a movement of one piece in one event and another movement of the same piece in another event. The same principle applies to opera arias and melody cycles. Please refer to rule 5.2 for full details.

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

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

Yes, cadenzas are mandatory. If you intend to play a cadenza that is not featured in an official edition, you must obtain approval from the National Office first (rule 5.6).


During the 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 out of 20, to give a final score out of 100.The minimum score required to proceed to the National Final is 87%.

At the National Final, participants are heard by five judges. Each judge’s average counts as 20% of the final score.

If the schedule permits it, candidates are encouraged to meet the judges after the announcement of the results, so they can get additional comments and further enrich their experience.

Candidates register to compete in the CMC in categories reflecting both their age and instrument category (for example, the piano 13 year old category).At the National Final, candidates who received the best scores in each category are ranked in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd 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 candidate 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.

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