CMW Announces Winner of the 2020 Jim Beam National Talent Search

Congratulations to CZN and all of the regional finalists on behalf of Canadian Music Week, Jim Beam Bourbon, and all of our Sponsors and Partners. Check out all 40 bands at

CMW and the Jim Beam Virtual National Talent Search has provided 40 of Canada’s best new indie artists with their own virtual stage, ownership of their own recordings, and starring roles in this musical event that is rewriting the way homegrown independent talent is discovered. Each online episode focuses on one city and features interviews and performances from five local bands. Fans are invited to support their favourite artist by watching each webisode, hosted by Indie88’s Josie Dye, at INDIES.CA

In the wake of the current COVID-19 Pandemic, live gatherings were banned across Canada and CMW itself was eventually cancelled for the duration of 2020 for public safety due to COVID-19. Canadian Music Week has used this challenging landscape as an opportunity to find new ways of supporting independent artists and industry by providing a safe, online platform for artists to showcase, and for career development with the Virtual Voices Online Webinar Series.

Launched on October 13th, with 30-minute episodes spotlighting five bands from eight Canadian cities, preliminary results of video views and social media impressions have shown that this new innovative format has been extremely successful. 

As of November 10th, video views on INDIES.CA exceed 63,000, with a total time watched of 165 days and 20 hours. In addition to this, a Facebook campaign has led to over 4.8M impressions and 1M video views to date. Over 70% of these video views have been on mobile devices. With continued promotion from various radio, print, and other media sources, the visibility of this innovative event is projected to have a significant impact on the artists involved. 

“More than we could have anticipated, 2020 is a year of acceleration in digital transformation, for artists, for the industry, and for music lovers in Canada. This new digital program format acknowledges that, and it scales the engagement widely into markets and to Canadians we might never have reached otherwise,” says Matthew Stradiotto of Argyle PR.

“The pandemic has amplified how consumers see their personal devices as a mobile wand that conjures the world they desire and puts it within arms reach. Brands have to reinvent the way they engage based on these new paradigms. A great example is the Virtual Jim Beam Talent Search. Artists and Bands have way more exposure as the virtual concert is not confined to geography or numbers, which means increased opportunities for monetization, consumers are more engaged, and for brands like Jim Beam, the views and social numbers demonstrate a ROI that every marketer hopes for.” says Tony Chapman, Marketing Thought Leader of Chatter That Matters. 

“Jim Beam Bourbon is a strong supporter of music in Canada. Although COVID-19 presented unprecedented challenges to the music industry, we’re proud to support emerging artists through Canadian Music and keep new music alive with a virtual Jim Beam National Talent Search,” says Lisa Li, Senior Brand Manager at Beam Suntory. 

Canadian Music Week President Neill Dixon is excited about the new format. “Given the current restrictions due to COVID-19, we made the decision to adapt and try something different. I’m extremely pleased to see the reception we’ve had from music fans across the country, and we know the artists involved are all excited about the exposure and promotion that they’ve received. Our radio partners were strategic allies in the pre-COVID world, and when we pivoted to a virtual format, we used both their on air presence and also their digital reach to engage as many music fans as possible. Special congrats to Jim Beam Bourbon for amazing Corporate Citizenship in helping out emerging music artists during a global pandemic.”

Canadian Music Week and Jim Beam Bourbon would like to thank our Sponsors, Canadian Musician Magazine, Long and McQuade, Metalworks Studios, FACTOR, Celebrate Ontario, and Ontario Creates, as well as our Radio Partners, Vancouver’s 102.7 The Peak, Calgary’s X92.9, Edmonton’s 100.3 The Bear, Saskatoon’s Rock 102, Toronto’s Indie88, Ottawa’s Live 88.5, Montreal’s CHOM 97.7, and Halifax’s Q104. This ground-breaking event would not have been possible without them.