1. Funding
  2. Prizes
  3. Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music
  4. Guidelines: Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music

Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music


The Canada Council is committed to equity and inclusion, and encourages applications and nominations from culturally diverse, Deaf, disability and official language minority artists, groups and organizations. The Canada Council recognizes and affirms the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of this land and encourages applications and nominations from First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, groups, and organizations in all its programs. Measures are in place in all programs to support these commitments.

Awarded annually, the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music is a competition for Canadian composers that is designed to encourage the creation of new chamber music and to foster its performance by Canadian ensembles. The prize was established in 1978 by the Right Honourable Jules Léger, then Governor General of Canada. The prize supports groundbreaking musical creation, risk-taking and the overall development of Canadian chamber music. Chamber music is traditionally understood as a work with a limited number of instruments, with 1 performer to a part.

Deadline – 1 June 2021

Your completed application form must be submitted by email on or before the deadline date by 11:59 pm (local time). The Canada Council will not assess late or incomplete applications.

Application limits – you can submit 2 applications per deadline

Applicants must submit 1 work per application.

Notification of results – approximately 4 months after the deadline date

Prize amount – $7,500

Eligibility – Who can apply?

This prize is open to professional Canadian composers and sound creators including artists who both compose and perform their own works, such as improvisers and audio artists.              

To be eligible for this prize, you must:

  • be a professional artist
  • maintain a professional music and sound practice as defined by the Canada Council
  • have maintained a professional artistic practice for a minimum of 2 years
  • have at least 1 professional public performance for which you were paid an artist's fee
  • be committed to your own artistic vision, retain creative control and are committed to the creation and/or promotion of original work
  • be dedicated to the ongoing development of your artistic practice
  • actively seek to maximize the audience for your work, regardless of commercial appeal
  • be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status, as defined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. You do not need to be living in Canada when you apply.

Activities – What can I apply for?

You can submit work written for:

  • any combination of performers/instruments between 2 to 15 (excluding the conductor)
  • electroacoustic works for performers and electronics

To be eligible, the submitted work must have had a premiere performance of professional quality during the 3 years preceding the deadline date of the competition.

A revised work is eligible if it:

  • has a new score
  • has had a professional premiere within 3 years preceding the deadline date of the competition
  • meets all other criteria.

Application/Nomination Assistance and Access Support

Application/Nomination Assistance contributes to costs for services to help with a prize application or nomination for individuals who self-identify as: 

  • Deaf, hard of hearing, having a disability or living with a mental illness
  • First Nations, Inuit or Métis facing language, geographic and/or cultural barriers.

To submit a request, contact the prize officer 4 weeks prior to the deadline.

Access Support funds individual applicants who self-identify as Deaf, having disabilities or living with a mental illness, as well as groups and organizations that dedicate the majority of their resources towards supporting these communities. This supplementary grant provides a contribution towards costs for specific services and supports required to carry out a project funded through a Canada Council program.

Assessment – How are decisions made?

Peer evaluation is fundamental to the Canada Council’s decision-making process. A peer assessment committee, composed of experienced professionals selected for their expertise in their field of practice, will assess the eligible applications. Committee members will also be selected with consideration to fair representation of artistic specializations, Canada’s 2 official languages, First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, Deaf and disability communities, gender, age and the cultural and regional diversity of Canada. The committee may also include a prominent international expert.

The peer assessment committee may decide not to award the prize in a given competition.

All peer assessment committee recommendations are final.

Assessment criteria

Applications will be evaluated based the following weighted criteria:

Merit (50%)

  • the artistic quality of the work
  • the ground-breaking and risk-taking nature of the work

Impact (40%)

  • the potential impact of the work to advance the overall development of Canadian chamber music

Relevance (10%)

  • the influence of the work on enriching and evolving current thinking and practice in chamber music towards a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society

Required information and support material – What you need to apply

  • Curriculum vitae or resume (3 pages maximum)
  • A copy of your score
  • A complete audio recording on one track

Application preparation

  • The Canada Council will make decisions about your eligibility based on the information you provide.
  • You are responsible for providing all the information and support material requested.
  • Submit only the material requested. Extra material will not be shown to the peer assessment committee.
  • Carefully choose your support material as committee members have limited time in which to review each application.
  • Do not submit original Materials will not be returned.
  • In addition to filling out your contact information in the application form, please ensure that the information is up to date on the Canada Council’s portal, if you have an account.

Personal information

Personal information collected in this application shall be used for purposes related directly to the program, service or activity of the Canada Council.

The Canada Council may share personal information from applications and nominations for awards with officials in other arts and cultural industry funding agencies and government institutions on a confidential basis. Shared information is limited to your name, contact information, field of practice and project description, and is provided to assist with research, reporting, program planning and evaluation, to present networking or economic opportunities, or to respond to federal reviews. For more information on how your personal information is protected, see our Privacy Notice.

Prize terms and conditions

If your application is successful, the terms and conditions will be outlined in a notification letter.

Once the winner has been contacted, he or she must confirm acceptance of the prize and agree to keep the results of the competition confidential until the official announcement is made.           

Prize payment

The Canada Council will send you the prize money after it has received your acknowledgement form. Winners cannot receive the prize money until all overdue final reports for Canada Council grants and prizes have been submitted and approved. This prize will not be awarded posthumously.

Participation in promotional activities

The winners must agree to allow their photographs and public information to be used for promotion of the prize and in other Canada Council promotional initiatives. They must also agree to participate fully in all prize related activities.

Previous winners

Visit the Jules Léger web page to download a list of past winners.

Instructions – How to submit an application

Send each completed application as 1 email on or before the deadline date by 11:59 pm (local time) to juleslegerprizes@canadacouncil.ca. The maximum file size including attachments is 25 MB. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 48 hours, please contact us.

Contact information

Sarah Brown

Program Officer, Prizes


1-800-263-5588 (toll-free) or 613-566-4414, ext. 6004