Vancouver folk-rock band The Long War have beat out roughly 1,200 other competitors to be named the winners of CBC Music’s 2017 Searchlight competition. The band’s win was revealed on Sunday during a nationally-televised finale on CBC Television where they performed along with the other top-four finalists: Saskatchewan’s The Wolfe and Toronto’s WILL and Jaryd Stanely.
The Long War is made up of Jarrett Lee, Chad Gilmour, Neil Williamson, and Carson Webber. The Long War joins the ranks of other CBC Music’s Searchlight winners, including Desiree Dawson (2016) Orange O’Clock (2015), Lauren Mann and The Fairly Odd Folk (2014), and Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case (2013). After thousands of musicians from coast to coast competed – and thousands and thousands of Canadians voted for their favourites, the CBC’s celebrity judges voted from the top 4 finalists. The Long War won the $50,000 grand prize, which includes the Canadian Musician Career Booster Package and much more.
The Canadian Musician Career Booster Package includes: recording, mixing, and mastering session at Metalworks Studio; record production by prominent Canadian producer Kevin Dietz; legal consulation from Edwards PC, Creative Law; 150 vinyl records with two lacquers and master plates plus full colour single-sleeve packaging, download code, and more from Kaneshii Vinyl Press; national publicity campaign from What’s the Story? Publicity Services; national radio promotion and tracking from SpinCount; professional photo session from Images With Impact (Neal Burstyn); website development and promotion from Norris-Whitney Communications; online music industry courses from Metalworks Institute entertainment career college; personal career coaching from leading music industry professionals; career booster library from Music Books Plus; and a five-year subscription to Canadian Musician magazine for all winning band members.
In addition, the member of the Long War will also travel to the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for an artist residency where they’ll write a song for Canada 150, and also perform at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Canada Day weekend.
About their win, Jarrett Lee told the CBC that, “When people say, ‘You can literally feel your heart beating through your chest,’ that’s actually a true statement, I think. I thought I was going to have a heart attack, and I’m pretty healthy. It felt just surreal, standing there, and it was so, so tense and overwhelming to hear the Long War get called out.”
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