This annual competition is designed to recognize Canadian composers who are 30 years of age and under, for original concert music works in the following five categories: large ensemble, chamber ensemble, solo or duet, vocal, and electroacoustics.


Four prizes will be offered in each of five categories: 1st prize — $3,000; 2nd prize — $2,250; 3rd prize — $1,500; Young Composer Prize — $1,500 (21 years of age and younger). The Grand Prize of $5,000 for the best overall work may also be awarded.

Entries submitted will be examined by a jury of prominent composers selected by the SOCAN Foundation. Excellence will be an overriding factor in adjudication.

The jury may, but need not, award all prizes in each category. The jury reserves the right, where deemed beneficial to the entry, to move an entry to another category. The jury’s decisions are final.

Terms and Conditions


– The Large Ensemble Awards (formerly known as the Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards), for compositions requiring no fewer than 13 performers up to full symphony orchestra, which may include vocal participation and may be scored to include electroacoustics.
– The Chamber Ensemble Awards (formerly known as the Serge Garant Awards), for compositions requiring a minimum of three performers to a maximum of 12 performers with or without voice and/or electroacoustics.
– The Solo and Duet Awards (formerly known as the Pierre Mercure Awards), for solo or duet compositions, with or without voices and/or electroacoustics.
– The Electroacoustic Awards (formerly known as the Hugh Le Caine Awards), for live or recorded electroacoustics, where the intended performance is, at least in part, through loudspeakers. Works in this category may be multi-media and may include acoustic instrument(s) or voice(s), live or recorded. The principal element in the work must be electroacoustic.
– The Choral Awards (formerly known as the Godfrey Ridout Awards), for works of any number of voices with or without instrumentation and/or electroacoustics.
– All compositions submitted by applicants 21 years and under compete first for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes in the Emerging Composers Competition. Compositions written by applicants who are 21 years of age or younger by the deadline of the competition, and have not been awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes in their respective category will then be considered for the Younger Composer Prize. There is not a separate entry procedure for the Young composer Prize.
– The Grand Prize (formerly known as the John Weinzweig Grand Prize) for best overall work submitted to the competition does not have a separate entry procedure and may or may not be awarded at the discretion of the jury



– The competition is open to composers who are 30 years of age or under on the application deadline.
– Candidates must be Canadians and SOCAN members or Canadians who are not members of any performing rights organization.
– Works submitted must be original, composed within three years of the application deadline. Arrangements are not eligible. – There is no minimum duration for compositions submitted.
– Entries that were award winners in previous SOCAN Foundation Awards are not eligible.
– Recipients of the John Weinzweig Grand Prize are not eligible to reapply in subsequent years.
– SOCAN and SOCAN Foundation board members and employees are not eligible.



– Candidates may enter no more than one work per category. In cases where a work may appear to be eligible for two different categories, the candidate must choose a single category. Each work may be entered only once per deadline.
– Candidates may enter no more than three works per deadline.
– Candidates must complete a separate application form per entry.
– Candidates must upload a score that is complete and legible in all categories except for the Electroacoustic Awards (formerly known as the Hugh Le Caine Awards) if no acoustic instruments are used.
– Candidates must provide a brief biography and photo. (For internal use only; jury members will not see this.)
– Candidates should provide program notes about the entry. Jury members will see this text; make sure that the name of the candidate does not appear here.
– Candidates are required to upload score(s) and/or recording(s) into the data management system for judging purposes. Recordings of live performances are preferred to synthesized realizations but both are acceptable.
– In cases where a recorded version of the work does not exist, and the work includes a pre-recorded electroacoustic element, candidates must provide the pre-recorded electroacoustic element.
– Works are judged anonymously, therefore the candidate’s full name must appear only on the application form and biography. The candidate’s supporting material shall not include the name of the candidate. The candidate’s names or schools must not appear anywhere on submitted documents. Entries may be disqualified if identifying information is visible. – Once the applicant completes the submission through the data management system, a form ID will be assigned to the candidate. The same form ID will be used to identity the candidate during the jury process.
Scores must be clearly labeled with the following information: Title of work; Duration of work; Year of composition.
– Each MP3 must contain one work only.
– Candidates submitting works with texts or lyrics must enclose information as to the source of the text or lyrics, if in the public domain, or proper written permission from the copyright owner to use the text or lyrics in a musical composition.
– Candidates must ensure that required supporting material is uploaded into the Data Management System by the deadline.



– SOCAN Foundation reserves the right to review and modify its programs and processes, to terminate any program at any time, or to decline any application submitted, and is thus held harmless from all damages, direct or indirect, consequential or incidental.
– SOCAN Foundation reserves the right to publish a list of its grant recipients.
– SOCAN Foundation reserves the right to share with SOCAN the names and contact information contained in the application form, for SOCAN’s internal use.
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July 1, 2024




Previous Winners

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