(Toronto, ON) October 10, 2019 – Canada’s Walk of Fame announced today that BAYLA (Montreal, QC) is the Grand Prize winner of its 7th Annual RBC Emerging Musician Program, as part of Canada’s Walk of Fame Emerging Artists Programs and Scholarships. Chosen by a selection committee of music industry experts, the program is valued at more than $100,000, and provides musicians with the opportunity to grow and develop their skills alongside industry connections to take their budding music careers to the next level.
The Grand Prize winner, indie-pop songstress BAYLA describes the start of her musical career as anything but easy, however, her determination and passion pushed her to move forward. “Growing up, I never thought I'd be able to pursue my dreams. I was diagnosed with Vocal Cord Dysfunction and told by doctors that I would never be able to sing.” Her debut single “Turn It Around” reached Top 40 on Canadian Radio Charts and peaked at #24 on the Billboard Charts. She has since opened for many popular artists including Simple Plan, Lights, and Bif Naked. With an emphasis on self-acceptance and living life to the fullest, she states: “My music and journey as a singer-songwriter can hopefully remind listeners that they can do anything, especially if they've been told they can't.”
Five talented artists were selected from more than 1,600 hopefuls from coast-to-coast who submitted applications that ranged across all genres of music. Submissions to the program more than doubled in 2019.
The winners and finalists of this year’s RBC Emerging Musician Program are:
Grand Prize Winner: BAYLA – Montreal, QC
Second Prize Winner: Shylo Sharity – Vancouver, BC
Finalist: Clay and Friends – Montreal, QC
Finalist: Dave Sampson - Halifax, NS
Finalist: The Sun Harmonic – Toronto, ON
As the Grand Prize winner, BAYLA will receive a cash prize of $20,000, private studio recording time at the renowned Metalworks Studios, introductions to industry executives and album art cover design. She will also attend and perform at the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards Show and Gala on November 23rd at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
A cash prize of $6,000 will be awarded to Vancouver-based singer Shylo Sharity for Second Prize, and the three Finalists will receive cash prizes of $4,000 each. All participating artists will gather in Toronto, ON, November 7th at The Great Hall where they will take part in industry mentorship sessions and perform during the RBC Emerging Musician Showcase (7pm) that is free for the public to attend. They are also invited to perform at Festival du Voyageur in February 2020 as part of a new showcase in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“It’s so thrilling to see the next generation of musicians determined to prove themselves on the global musical landscape. The RBC Emerging Musician Program has gained significant momentum over the past seven years and has proven itself as an extremely beneficial platform for artists who are ready to take their careers to the next level,” said Jeffrey Latimer, CEO, Canada’s Walk of Fame. “We couldn’t be happier with the increase of submissions and calibre of talent this year; and can’t wait to showcase our finalists and future music stars on the various stages as part of the Canada’s Walk of Fame RBC Emerging Musician Program.”
“Our support of RBC’s Emerging Musician Program is just one way we bring RBC’s purpose of helping clients thrive and communities prosper to life. Through this program we are supporting Canadian musicians pursue their aspirations and bridge the gap between emerging and established,” said Valerie Chort, Vice-President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC. “To the 2019 winners - your incredible talent, drive to succeed and commitment to the arts are truly inspiring and showcase the vibrancy of the arts community we have across Canada.”
In addition, Canada’s Walk of Fame announced today the recipient of the 2019 Canada's Walk of Fame Emerging Musician/Metalworks Institute Scholarship. Leah McKenney will receive $10,000 tuition scholarships towards any full-time diploma program or online certificate course bundle at Metalworks Institute of Sound & Music Production.
“Whether it compels people to move, sing, or yell at the top of their lungs, I want to encourage an audience to have fun and be bold with their voice. This opportunity will give me the ability to share a conversation with any human who identifies with feeling silenced, and let the entirety of their voice be heard,” said Leah McKenney.
“Metalworks Studios is proud to support the RBC Emerging Musician Program, and the amazing young artists who are determined to break out in the music industry. Through this initiative, Canada’s Walk of Fame is supporting the sustainability of our music industry by fostering the next generation of great Canadian talent destined for the world stage,” said Gil Moore of Triumph and Founder of Metalworks Studios.