From more than 2,000 entries from across Canada this year, a Yukon singer-songwriter secured a spot in CBC Searchlight's top 25 roster — Calla Kinglit, an electronic, dark folk musician and poet who has a love for the human experience and the wilderness.
Searchlight is CBC Music's annual contest to find Canada's next big music act. The winner will get national exposure and exclusive access to the music industry.
"I think I'm in denial," said Kinglit.
Immediately after hearing the news, she said she went back to work on some more music. It was when she started getting messages from friends and family that the news began to sink in.
"So now I'm actually thinking about it," she said. "It's very exciting."
Kinglit described being in the top 25 as "bizarre."
"I've just never participated in something like this before… I'm probably one of the musicians who's not sure about competitions."
Kinglit said she went into the contest simply wanting her songs to get national radio play.
"Now I'm like, oh this makes me nervous because it's out of my control."
But Kinglit says she's humbled.
"I received so much support from people, so much support that I hadn't realized I had. It is such a great opportunity."
This news comes as Kinglit has been fighting off a case of laryngitis for the past few months.
"There have been some setbacks," she said, but she's on the road to recovery.
The next step: top four
The top 25 spots comprise one winner from each of 23 regions and two artists who were voted in nationwide. These artists will compete for the four finalist spots for CBC Searchlight's televised finale. Each of the three judges will pick one finalist among the 25, and the contestant with the most votes will snag the fourth spot.
The grand prize promises national exposure on CBC Radio, on-stage performance opportunities and resources to help launch a music career. This year, there will be extra perks for Canada's 150th birthday, which includes an opportunity to write a song for Canada 150 with a celebrity mentor.
The public is invited to vote for their top picks until March 17, 2:59 p.m. ET.