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Faith Nolan Award for Music

Surrey Muse Art & Literature Awards

Each year, Faith Nolan Award for Music will choose a Short List of six entries to determine First, Second and Third Place winners. The First-Place winner will receive $1000 award while the Second and Third Place winners will receive Honorable Mention.

The copyright for winning entries will remain with the musicians while some of the winning entries may be published/aired on SMAS webpages and social media outlets.

Eligibility Criteria

Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS) is committed to inclusivity and equality, and it wishes to create opportunities for everyone in the arts communities regardless of race, ethnicity, social or economic status, gender, disability, sexuality, religion, or any other similarly restrictive category. In accordance, we specifically encourage people of colour, LGBTQ+, disabled, and financially challenged writers to participate.

The SMAS is a secular organization that is neither against a religion nor it is in favour of any.

Works containing prejudice based on race, class/caste, gender, religion, sexuality, disability, and ageism will not be considered.

The Awards are open to Canadian citizens, members of Indigenous nations, landed immigrants, permanent residents, refugee applicants, and international students in Canada.

All applicants must reside in Canada at the time of submitting their work. Canadian citizens living, working, or studying abroad are not eligible.

Submissions in French and other languages are welcome when accompanied by their English translations

Members of SMAS Board of Directors, Literary Advisors, this year’s volunteers, paid workers, and advisors to Surrey Muse Awards program are not eligible to apply.

An applicant may apply to more than one Surrey Muse award. Multiple submissions to each award are allowed.

Simultaneous submissions are acceptable.

Submission Guidelines

Send a 6-10-minute audio (.mp3) and/or video (.mp4) of your original unpublished music WITH the lyric sheets in PDF.

Your submission may be one piece of music or a compilation of 1-3 songs.

Send music with vocals and lyrics in the genres of rock, R&B, country, punk, hip-hop, rap, pop, and any other related sub-genres.

The video presentation may be in the form of a performance by you or a montage of images.

Your video or audio file must consist of music. Please do not include your artist statement or an explanation of your music.

When you submit:

• Your audio or video file/s should be labelled only with the title of your work. Do not include your name or any personal details in your file/s.

• The file name/s should be the title of the first item in your collection. 

• Provide your name, address, phone number, and list the title/s and duration of your songs in your email message.

• Pay the $25-$10-FREE entry fee as suggested at the following link:

• Copy the confirmation number in your email message, and enter the amount in the Subject Line of your message as follows:

– If you are financially comfortable, pay $25 and write: ‘Faith Nolan Award – $25’

– If not as comfortable, pay $10 and write: ‘Faith Nolan Award – $10’

If financially-challenged at present, do not pay, and write: ‘Faith Nolan Award – FREE’

• The entry fee will not be returned in any event.

Attach your audio and/or video files, not exceeding 10 minutes, to your email message and send to:

Please note that the judges will only receive your work, not the payment details.

By submitting to this award, you are complying with the eligibility requirements and submission guidelines as stated above.

Submissions open from: June 1, 2022
Submissions end on: August 15, 2022
Awards will be announced: October 28, 2022
Awards Ceremony: Friday, November 25, 2022

The First-Place winners of the five awards will present their winning entries and will
have Q&A with the participants.
Out of town winners will participate via Skype.

The Judging Process

A member of SMAS Board of Directors will check all entries to determine compliance with Eligibility Criteria and Submission Guidelines. The compliant entries will be sent to an independent Judge and two Jury Members (a member of SMAS team, and a community volunteer, both familiar with and/or working in the field of music). Surrey Muse Art & Literature Awards. The Judge and the two Jury Members will independently select six Short List entries each. The Judge, in consultation with the two Jury Members, will determine the First, Second and Third place winners. The Judge’s decision will be final and unchallengeable.
Judge and Jury Members
Sandy Scofield, Judge
Kat Wahama, Jury Member
Jovian Radheshwar, Jury Member (SMAS)

Dedicated to Faith Nolan

Faith Nolan is a singer/songwriter, filmmaker and an arts activist of Black Mi’kmaq Irish heritage who was born in Africville, Nova Scotia, settling in Toronto, Ontario. A self-taught musician, she has recorded 16 CDs exploring themes of human rights and social change. Her music has been described as a mix of blues, folk and jazz, with a taste of funk and reggae. To Faith, her music is her political work, and her politics is firmly rooted in her perspectives as a coal miner’s daughter, working-class, mixed-race Queer. Faith has founded various choirs, music groups and organizations in Ontario including CUPE Freedom Singers, Voices of Freedom Vanier Women Prisoner Singers, and, the Singing Elementary Teachers of Toronto to create music for children from various cultures. We dedicate the Music Award to Faith Nolan for her compelling musicality that holds the rhythms and lyrics of her revolutionary songs.

Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS)

Surrey Muse is an interdisciplinary art and literature presentation group that was founded by four artists of Color in Surrey in November 2011. Mandated to inclusivity and equality, it held 3-hour salon-style monthly gatherings featuring authors, poets and artist/performers, with discussions and open mic sessions till March 2019 when it went virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions. In 2016, for its fifth anniversary, two additional programs were introduced: Surrey Muse At Large and Surrey Muse Writers. The group registered itself as Surrey Muse Arts Society (SMAS) in 2019, and it operates from the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt, Tsawwassen, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

This document is developed in consultation with
Songwriter/Author Tariq Hussain
Singer/Songwriter Enrico Renz

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