Clockwise from top left: Erin Helgason; Trena Spears; Maddisun, Pyper Standing; Austin Dolan (The Flower Boy). Photos courtesy CBC Searchlight.

Clockwise from top left: Erin Helgason; Trena Spears; Maddisun, Pyper Standing; Austin Dolan (The Flower Boy). Photos courtesy CBC Searchlight.

CBC Searchlight song contest well represented by Cranbrook

Austin Dolan, Erin Helgason, Maddisun, Trena Spears and Pyper Standing are in the mix for CBC’S annual talent seach.

CBC’s annual musical talent search is back — the Toyota Searchlight 2021 — and Cranbrook area is well represented among the 2,500 entrants from across Canada.

The first round of voting is underway at Round 1 ends Thursday, May 20, at 3 pm ET (1 pm MT). Only 50 songs with the most votes will advance to the top 100 round. The other 50 will be selected by industry judges.

There is one vote per day allowed per computer.

Above: Austin Dolan

Mount Baker Secondary School is well-represented.

Austin Dolan — “The Flower Boy,” is his nom de plume on Searchlight — is unafraid to take musical risks and write outside of the box. To vote for Austin, and to hear his song “Stranger in the Mirror” go to

Above: Erin Helgason

• Erin Helgason is a Grade 12 student from Cranbrook, who has entered the competition with the song Coves. Erin has a love for the arts, music, nature, and the ocean — and finds inspiration from the nature around her.. She grew up taking piano lessons and having impromptu singing sessions in her bedroom at 3am, and taught herself guitar at 15 years old. She blends alternative and folk genres, combining acoustic and electronic sounds. To hear her song “Coves,” and to vote for her, go to

Above: Maddisun

• Maddisun is indie pop/rock artist from Cranbrook. Maddisun channels classic rock and Canadiana vibes in her music, with a unique and eclectic twist. She focuses heavily on her strong and soulful vocals, that expand over a wide range of styles and tones. Maddisun released her debut album ”Self Reflections” in August 2020. To hear the song “Mountain Air,” and to vote for Maddisun, go to

Above: Trena Spears

• Trena Spears, from Cranbrook, has entered with her song “Hold On.” “Music is a part of me, it makes me happy and brings me peace,” she says. Song writing is Trena’s newfound passion, and her writing exudes the same raw emotion she sings with. Trena’s love of family and music has inspired her song writing journey, she is continually learning and growing as an artist. “Love of family and music brings life to my song-writing,” she says. To hear “Hold On,” and to vote for Trena, go here:

Above: Pyper Standing

• Pyper Standing is a 15-year-old singer/songwriter from Cranbrook, bringing “Baby Come Home” to the competition. “I have been singing since I can remember,” she says. “When I was six years old I began my formal voice training and by 8 years old I was busking at my local farmers market.” Her musical influences range from ‘50s’ and ‘60s’ classics through to today’s most popular and Indie songs. “Music is Life!” she says. To hear Baby Come Home, and to vote for Pyper, go to

Prizes for the CBC’s 2021 Toyota Searchlight competition include:

• The Allan Slaight Juno Master Class — for a week in Toronto (or its virtual equivalent), surrounded by the music industry’s best;

• A recording residency at the National Music Centre in Calgary;

• A Play MPE distribution deal;

• A CBC-TV/Radio/Digital feature on the song or band.

• $2,500 worth of studio time, and $25,00 worth of musical equipment or instruments;

There will also be four Toyota Searchlight runner-up prizes.

For more information go to