The CMC reserves the right to modify its rules until February 10th, 2023


  1. The Stepping Stone is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Permanent residents must provide valid proof upon registration (scan or clear picture of the permanent resident card and/or certificate; see rule 5.5).
  2. The Stepping Stone is open to voice, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, harp, harpsichord, recorder, guitar, and keyboard percussion.
  3. Past Stepping Stone First Prize winners may not re-enter the competition.
  4. Upon registration, candidates must be aware of the Competition Code of Ethics and abide by its rules. Read the Code of Ethics by following this link: Code of Ethics.


  1. 16 to 28 years old (except for voice: 31 years old) as of January 1, 2023.
  2. Proof of age is required at the time of registration (see rule 5.5).


  1. The registration form and all required documents must bu submitted electronically by January 21st, 2023, 11:59 p.m. local time. 
  2. All registration forms received after January 21st, 2023, 11:59 p.m., local time will be rejected.


(see registration terms)

  1. The registration fee for participation in the preselection is payable upon registration.
  2. The registration fee is refundable, less applicable administration fees, for cancellations received prior February 10, 2023, CMC will not issue refunds after this date.
  3. Exceptionally, if a candidate is unable to participate in the Preselection due to a serious injury, the CMC may reimburse the registration fees, less the administrative fees, upon receipt of a doctor’s note. Supporting documents should be sent to the National Office within a reasonable time following the announcement of the injury. The decision to accept the reason for cancellation or not is at the entire discretion of the National Office. Following the National Audition, no refund for serious injury will be accepted.
  4. A candidate admitted to the official Stepping Stone events must pay the entry fee before the date indicated in the Competition confirmation email. Failure to pay these fees within the required time will result in the rejection of the application.
  5. Donations made at the time of registration, or at any other time, are not refundable.


  1. The required repertoire for the Preselection, the First round, the Semi-final and the Final (see rule 7.0). Please note that for the preselection process, the repertoire must be submitted on a specific form clearly identified at the time of registration.
  2. Scan of the Preselection music score. The jury these digitalized scores to determine the musical excerpts that will be heard during the Preselection audition. The bar numbers must be written at the beginning of each line.
  3. A biography, including educational background, performances, professional experience, awards, etc. (maximum 250 words).
  4. One recent photograph in high resolution (300 dpi).
  5. Proof of age AND of Canadian citizenship or Canadian permanent residency are required. The following documents are accepted: birth certificate, passport, Canadian citizenship certificate or permanent resident card.
  6. All documents must be submitted by the registration deadline.


  1. Preselection process:
    1. Candidates are invited to apply by submitting a video assessed by a jury composed of 5 adjudicators. These videos must de sent to no later than Sunday, February 26th, 2023 at 11:59 pm.
    2. Up to a maximum of 30 candidates are selected and invited to participate. Successful candidates are notified at he end of the preselection process at the end of April. The jury’s decision is final and without appeal.
  2. Stepping Stone procedure:
    1. The Stepping Stone is composed of three rounds:
      • First round: up to 30 candidates
      • Semi-final: 12 candidates
      • Final: 6 candidates
    2. Candidates commit to be free from any other activities during the Stepping Stone (from May 15th to 24th, 2023) and the Gala Concert (to be confirmed). In case of absence, please refer to rule 14.
    3. A candidate who is absent at the scheduled audition time is disqualified. Should a candidate discover a scheduling conflict prior to the release of the official schedule for the first elimination rounds, he/she must inform the CMC National Office, which may then modify, at its discretion, the running order of candidates for that round only. Any requests for schedule changes received after the official schedule for the First run will be denied. In order to respect the running order of candidates, no requests for schedule changes will be accepted during the Semi-Final and Final.
    4. Following each of the Stepping Stone rounds (First Elimination, Semi-Final and Finale), candidates receive feedback from the judges and may meet with the jury when the results are announced only if they have not been selected for the next round. No contact with the judges is permitted for candidates who continue tot he next stage. Consequently, finalists receive feedback from the judges and may meet with the jury only at the very end of the process.
    5. Candidates must attend the announcement of results for each of their rounds, according to the official detailed schedule that is published in due course.


  1. For the specifics of the repertoire required for each instrument, please refer to the Repertoire Requested section of the Stepping Stone.
  2. The works presented at each round of the Stepping. Stone must be different. Works with several movements such as concertos, sonatas, suites, opera excerpts, cycles, etc. may not be divided through different rounds.
  3. The program may include one or more works presented in the Preselection submission.
  4. Any work performed in a previous edition of either component of the CMC (Competition or Stepping Stone) may be entered in the repertoire of the current edition of the Stepping Stone, with the exception of a work for which candidate has won a Grand Prize in the competition or a Prize in the Stepping Stone. However, candidates may enter a work for which they have won a Grand Prize in the Competition if the work was performed three or more years ago, in 2020 or earlier.
  5. With the approval of the CMC, a work with orchestra not having the word “concerto” in its title may be substituted for a concerto or concerto movement.
  6. Work with orchestra must have piano accompaniment. All requests for the use of a harpsichord for accompaniment must be submitted to te National Office in advance. Access to a harpsichord cannot be guaranteed.
  7. Time limit:
    1. Preselection: the total time limit for the works is 45 minutes; however, the adjudicators listen to approximately 15 minutes of the submitted videos.
    2. Stepping Stone: the total time of the works in the First Round is limited to 40 minutes and that of the Semi-Finals to 60 minutes (excluding the compulsory Canadian work). Should a candidate exceed the time limit, he or she may be interrupted by the jury there is no time limit for the Final.
  8. Repeats are accepted if the maximum time limit is observed
  9. No cuts are allowed on the pieces or movements except for the tutti of the concertos. Cadenzas are mandatory (when applicable). Alternative cadenzas that are not officially edited must be approved by the national office before the repertoire change deadline. (see rule 7.15).
  10. Candidates must indicate the exact timing of the works on the registration form.
  11. Memorization:
    1. In the Preselection, the First round and the Semi-Final rounds, works must be performed from memory, with the exception of sonatas accompanied by piano and work written after 1950, for which the use of the score is permitted. If a candidate wishes to play sonata with the score that does not explicitly contain the word “sonata “in the title, he/she must contact the National Office to ensure that the use of the score is permitted..
    2. Memorization is mandatory for the Finales
  12. Compulsory Canadian work in the Semi-Final. During the Semi-final, the candidates must perform a compulsory Canadian work. The scores will be sent to all candidates at a time chosen by the CMC. Memorization is optional (rule 7.11.1, works composed after 1950). The timing of the compulsory work is not included in the time allotted in the Semi-Final.
  13. To facilitate the work of the judges, the order of presentation of the pieces is determined at the time of registration. Candidates must enter their works and upload their scores in the order in which they changed. On the day of the auditions, candidates must hand in the list showing the final order of presentation of their works to the volunteers upon arrival.
  14. For each round, all pieces and movements entered must be performed. No substitutions are permitted.
  15. Preselection: the deadline to submit a repertoire modification is February 10th, 2023. Stepping Stone: following the Preselection process, applicants selected for the Stepping Stone may apply for a repertoire change by the deadline announced by the CMC. After these dates, no changes will be accepted. All requests must be sent by email to A fee will apply.


  1. Candidates must be present backstage at least fifteen minutes prior to their call time.
  2. No changes in the order of appearance of candidates will be allowed and no delays will be tolerated.


  1. A digital copy of each score is required at the time of registration and must be sent by email to For accompanied works, the submitted score must include the accompaniment.
  2. Applicants must indicate the measure numbers at the beginning of each staff line. The title of the work, the movement number, the composer’s name and the candidate’s name must be clearly identified on the score. Failure to do so will result in the CMC right to refuse the scores.


  1. The candidates are heard by five judges.
    1. During the First elimination round, the candidates are ranked according to the results obtained during this round and the 12 candidates with the highest scores advance to the Semi-Final.
    2. In the Semi-final, the candidates are ranked according to the results obtained in this round and the 6 candidates with the highest scores advance to the Final
    3. In the Finale, the results of the Semi-Final and the Final are cumulative for .the award of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes.
  2. The judges’ decisions are final and cannot be appealed. Ne review of scores may be requested.
  3. In the event of a tie, the CMC reserves the right to call upon the jury to award a single first, second and third prize..
  4. Candidates who receive a scholarship of $ 500 or more are responsible for paying all taxes and duties in accordance to the laws regarding taxes from the federal and provincial governments. Social insurance number will be requested for the purpose of issuing a Relevé 1 and/or a T4A.
  5. At the discretion of the CMC, the Stepping Stone First Prize winner may be invited to perform with orchestra at the Gala Concert. All travel and accommodation expenses are the responsibility of the winner. The repertoire is selected by the CMC and the conductor in collaboration with the winner


  1. Candidates are responsible for all travel, lodging and attendant expenses.


  1. In the event of cancellation, candidates must promptly notify the national office.


  1. Photographers and videographers commissioned by the CMC are authorized to photographe and or film the performances.
  2. Candidates are required to release to the CMC all filming, broadcasting and recording rights of any kind, as well as the rights to follow on, for an indefinite period. They agree to sign and abide by the conditions included in the consent form provided at the time of registration. The CMC reserves the right to use these images for promotional purposes and for its archives.
  3. Candidates agree to be available to meet with CMC sponsors, partners or administrators. They may be asked to give interviews to media selected by the CMC for promotional purposes. All promotional material may be used by the CMC through its various promotional tools (newsletter, website, social networks, etc.)


  1. Any candidate who fails to comply with the rules is disqualified.
  2. Any misrepresentation by a candidate will result in automatic disqualification.
  3. Unauthorized use of the audition room and/or piano is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification.


  1. Any situations not covered by these rules are referred to the Board of Directors, whose decisions on such matters are final.