Submissions for the Cobalt Prize contemporary blues composition award are now open

Blues musician Paul Reddick founded the Cobalt Prize.

The Toronto Blues Society and award-winning blues artist Paul Reddick are partnering to present the seventh annual Cobalt Prize contemporary blues composition award, and submissions are open now.

A collaboration between Paul and the society, the intention behind the Cobalt Prize is to promote blues music through the exploration of its form.

The award was created and originally funded by Toronto-based Paul, whose goal was to change the way audiences perceive and appreciate blues music. The Cobalt Prize receives hundreds of submissions from artists coast-to-coast, proving that deviating from standard blues riffs and clichés is a welcome addition to the growing Canadian blues music scene.

Open to Canadian artists, the winning composition is judged on its ability to creatively utilize blues traditions within the broad contemporary musical landscape. Particular attention is paid to aspects of instrumentation, melodic invention, song structure, lyrics, and production possibilities. The successful song refreshes and enriches blues as an art form. Priority is given to songs that have been crafted specifically for the Cobalt Prize, however previously-released material may be submitted.

The submissions are now open with applications being accepted until Friday, Oct. 30 by 6 p.m. ET. The intention behind the Cobalt Prize is to promote blues music through the exploration of its form. The winner will be announced during one of the upcoming Maple Blues Awards live stream sessions in the month of February, and a cash prize of $500 will be awarded. Previous winners of the Cobalt Prize Contemporary Blues Composition Award are Digging Roots (2015), Conor Gains (2016), Ann Vriend (2017 & 2019), Joe Nolan (2018) and Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes (2020).


All submissions must include:

  • One attached MP3 file of the track to be considered (Note: Only one track per composer will be considered)
  • Track information (including track title, lyrics sheet, and composer’s name)
  • Contact information (including first and last name, e-mail address, current city and province of residence)
  • A $10 admin fee payable via PayPal (link will be provided after submission)

Please send your complete application to for consideration by Friday, Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. ET.

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