Canadian Music Competition

  • Winners of the 2017 Competition.

    Photo: Marie-Andrée Blais

  • Tristan Longval-Gagné, pianist / 2nd at the Stepping Stone 2017.

    Photo: Antoine Saito

  • The winners, the team and the dignitaries of the 2017 CMC.

    Photo: Marie-Andrée Blais

  • Pianists: Linda Ruan and Charissa Vandikas; conductor of the Orchestre de la Francophonie: Nicolas Ellis. Grand Prize of the 19-30 years old.

    Photo: Marie-Andrée Blais

  • Soprano Lyne Fortin, ambassador of the 60th Anniversary and former winner of the Canadian Music Competition.

    Photo: Antoine Saito

  • 60th Anniversary celebrations launched in Montréal.

    Photo: Antoine Saito


The Canadian Music Competition was created in Montréal in 1958

14 chapters in major centers throughout Canada

$100,000 in music scholarships are awarded every year through its competitions

More than 550 young people participate in the competitions annually

Creating a Rich Legacy of Classical Music Performance in Canada

Created in Montréal in 1958 under the name “Festival national de Musique”, this competition rapidly extended to other cities in the Province of Québec. In 1969, with the help of professionals from Québec’s music scene, including Wilfred Pelletier, the competition’s admission criteria were expanded and, between 1971 and 1982, nine other provinces began participating, starting with Ontario. The competition then became national and changed its name to the Canadian Music Competition (CMC). Today, the CMC fosters performance excellence among talented classical musicians throughout the country, aged from 7 to 25, assisted by 14 chapters in major Canadian centres.

Every year, more than 550 young Canadians participate in the CMC’s National Annual Competition and the Stepping Stone Competition which was introduced in 1971. The National Annual Competition is intended for musicians aged 7 to 30 years, while the Stepping Stone Competition is restricted to 16- to 28-year olds (31 years for voice contestants).

Past Winners are Today’s Marquee Performers

Every year competitors share more than $100,000 in regional, provincial and national scholarships. In addition, many established classical music performers in Canada earned a considerable career boost through participating in the CMC.

Past winners of the competitions include a virtual ‘who’s who’ of Canadian classical musicians who have gone on to build national and international careers – performers such as Marc-André Hamelin (piano), André Laplante (piano), Susan Hoeppner (flute), Chantal Julliet (violin), Kerson Leong (Violin), Gregory Charles (piano, voice), Anne-Marie Dubois (piano), Angela Hewitt (piano) and Louis Lortie (piano).

At the heart of the organization are the hundreds of volunteers across the country who donate thousands of hours of their time to make the competitions a reality. They have a tremendous passion and devotion to the classical music field and to the competitions. Also critical is the involvement of music academics and professional musicians who judge the two competitions.

“The Canadian Music Competition has for many years ensured a rich legacy for classical music performance in Canada,” says André Desmarais, Deputy Chairman, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation. “The competitions provide a unique showcase for emerging talent across the country and the scholarship program managed by the CMC has expanded the horizons and technical capabilities of hundreds of musicians over the years. For more than 25 years, Power has supported the CMC and its efforts to promote musical excellence among our youth.”

“The CMC has been a big part of my early musical life; it really opened my eyes to the world of music, and to the whole community, in that, music brings people together, with a real spirit of camaraderie, “ says Kerson Leong, violinist and past winner of CMC. “The CMC has truly defined me as a musician.”

The CMC has been a big part of my early musical life; it really opened my eyes to the world of music, and to the whole community, in that, music brings people together, with a real spirit of camaraderie.
Kerson Leong
Winner of CMC


See videos from Canadian Music Competition.