The CMC Prairie Region invites emerging composers to enter this annual competition produced in late January or early February with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at its Winnipeg New Music Festival.

Conceived by anonymous donors, the Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region Emerging Composer Competition prize was first awarded in 2004; 2020 will mark the 18th annual edition of the contest and coincides with the 29th anniversary of the Winnipeg New Music Festival. The winning composition will receive a performance by the WSO during the 2021 edition of the WNMF.

Submissions must be completed no later than June 15, 2020. See below for full submission requirements.

The winner will receive $1,500 and a performance of the winning work during the 2019 edition of the WNMF concert with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and a residency during the entirety of the Winnipeg New Music Festival. This affords the winner the opportunity to meet and receive coaching and mentorship from the Festival’s Canadian and International visiting guest composers. The winning score will be chosen by a jury consisting of representatives of the WSO and a CMC representative.

The winner will be invited to participate in the second annual WNMF Composers Institute, giving them the opportunity to experience the entire Winnipeg New Music Festival from behind the scenes, attending WSO rehearsals and concerts, and participating in professional development workshops with Canadian and international guest composers.

• Applicants must either be current residents of, have been born in, or have completed a substantial portion of their musical education in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, The Northwest Territories, or Nunavut. Eligibility should be addressed in a cover letter.

• There are no age restrictions; however, applicants should be composers at the early stages of their professional careers.

• Each composer may submit only one composition for consideration.

• Past winners are not eligible.

• Only works that will not have been officially premiered prior to the WSO world premiere date are eligible. Works that have been read in an academic context are eligible.

• A recording is not required but highly recommended. Computer mockups are acceptable.

• Only works completed after January 1, 2014, will be considered.

• Maximum duration is 10 minutes.

• Instrumentation should not exceed: winds at *2,*2,*2,2; brass at 4,3,3,1; timpani plus 2 percussion; harp; and strings (12, 11, 8, 7, 6). *Available doublings are: Flute 2/Piccolo, Oboe 2/English Horn, and Clarinet 2/Bass Clarinet. Works with instrumentation that exceed the above will not be considered.

• Works requiring soloists or employing electronics, MIDI, digital technology, and/or sound reinforcement in combination with the above instrumental forces will not be considered.

• The winning composer must provide professional, legible orchestral parts and scores prepared according to guidelines established by the Major Orchestral Librarians Association.

• The quality of the score submitted is the primary evaluation criteria. It is therefore in the applicant’s best interest that the score be clear, accurate, and the best representation of the composer’s work. The additional background information is for eligibility and documentation purposes, these materials are not considered in the general review of scores.

• Applications that are incomplete, illegible, late, or that do not meet the above criteria will not be considered.

Entries should use the following instrumentation: winds at *2,*2,*2,2; brass at 4,3,3,1; timpani plus 2 percussion; harp; and strings (12, 11, 8, 7, 6). *Available doublings are: Flute 2/Piccolo, Oboe 2/English Horn, and Clarinet 2/Bass Clarinet. Works with instrumentation that exceed the above will not be considered.

Please note: There will be one rehearsal plus the dress rehearsal before the performance of the winning work. The suitability of entries for performance with this amount of rehearsal will be a factor in the jury’s deliberations.

MAXIMUM of 10 minutes.

Only digital submissions will be accepted.

Create a new Dropbox folder using the following naming format: LASTNAME-FIRSTNAME-PieceTitle

Inside the folder, include all of the following:

• An info document indicating your name, contact information, composition title, exact instrumentation, duration, and your status in the Prairie Region; use the naming format LASTNAME-FIRSTNAME-Info

• A PDF score with all references to your name and professional/academic affiliations omitted; use the naming formatPieceTitle.pdf

• An MP3 recording, if available, with any reference to your name and affiliations omitted from the metadata (ID3); use the naming format PieceTitle.mp3

Send an email with the subject header CMC ECC 2019 Submission-LASTNAME , containing a link to your Dropbox folder, by the competition deadline to:

(Do not “share” the folder; only direct links will be accepted.)

The folder and its contents must remain active until December 1, 2018.

Send submissions to:

For more information contact:

Emerging Composer Competition
CMC Prairie Region at
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
(403) 220-7403

  • 2019 – Scott Ross-Molyneux – Ehrykaviss
  • 2018 – Luis Ramirez – Chido
  • 2017 – Michael Ducharme – X-1
  • 2016 – Glenn Sutherland – To See Again with Spirit Eyes
  • 2015 – Nova Pon – Awakenings
  • 2014 – Roydon Tse – Three Musings
  • 2013 – Daniel Belland – Voyage
  • 2012 – Jesse Plessis – Tender is the Night
  • 2011 – Luke Nickel – L’étoile noyée
  • 2010 – Darren Miller – for amma
  • 2009 – Karen Sunabacka – And There Was a Great Calm
  • 2008 – Shelley Marwood – Illumination
  • 2008 – Andrew Staniland – Protestmusik
  • 2007 – Boriša Sabljić – Deliverance
  • 2006 – Vincent Chee-Yung Ho – Stigmata
  • 2005 – Abigail Richardson – Dissolve
  • 2004 – Jocelyn Morlock – Bird in the Tangled Sky
Email CMC Prairie

For More Information

Call the Canadian Music Centre – Prairie Region – at 403.220.7403

Email CMC Prairie