*The OSM Manulife Competition reserves the right to change the text of the rules as it deems fit and without warning.


  • The Competition is open to all Canadian citizens or permanent Canadian residents.
  • The Competition is not open to Grand Prize or 1st Prize winners from previous editions of the OSM Manulife Competition (formerly OSM Standard Life) with the exception of Strings and Piano categories, and if the candidate registers/competes in a different category than the one in which he/she has obtained his/her prize.
  • By signing the application form, the contestant accepts all the conditions of the Competition as well as the decisions of the Committee and the jury, which are final and without appeal.
  • Failure to comply with any rule of the Competition may result in the candidate’s disqualification, without right of appeal.


Deadline for summiting the application form along with supporting documents is on May 18, 2018. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Besides the application form, the file must include:

  • A non-refundable registration fee of one hundred and sixty Canadian dollars ($160 CAD) paid by credit card (please follow the procedure on the registration form);
  • A video recording for the preliminary round;
  • The complete list of the repertoire to be performed for all three rounds of the Competition, with timings (follow the model supplied on the registration form);
  • A résumé (studies, teachers, diplomas, awards, professional experience);
  • A high-resolution headshot (minimum 300 DPI), approximately 15 cm x 20 cm, JPEG format. Photos taken with cellphones or webcams are not accepted.

It is not necessary to submit a proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residence when submitting the application file. However, this document will be asked to candidates selected for the semi-final.

Video recording for the preliminary round:

  • A high-quality video of the preliminary round, filmed with a single camera (please follow the procedure on the registration form). It is acceptable to record the different works required in separate takes, but the recording of each work must be done without editing. The quality of the recording submitted may influence the decision of the preliminary jury. It is recommended that candidates use the finest human and technical resources available so as to submit a high-quality sound recording. No recording with orchestral accompaniment will be accepted.


  • The Competition is divided into three rounds: preliminaries, semifinals and finals. The candidate may not present the same work in two different rounds.
  • The semifinal and final rounds are open to the public.
  • The order of appearance of candidates who advance to the semifinals and/or finals will be determined by the drawing of lots.
  • Repeats in a work are left to the discretion of the candidate, who must nevertheless take these into account in working out the timing of the program.
  • Candidate may determine the sequence of their program for the semifinals, and must advise the Competition Committee of that no later than 10 working days before the performance.
  • Candidates must consider their performance for the semifinal as a recital or a concert and build their program in such a way as to highlight their artistic and technical merits. They should present propose works of different periods or aesthetics, as mentioned in the repertoire requirements. In making its decision, the jury will take into account the balanced construction of the programs.
  • All equivalent works must be submitted to and approved by the Competition Committee.
  • Memorization: Two works must be performed from memory in the semifinal round. Works in the final round must all be performed from memory.
  • The candidate may leave the stage only once during the semifinal, while strictly respecting the maximum duration allotted to that round.
  • Performance of a piece may be interrupted at the discretion of the jury.
  • Semifinalists must provide the jury with bound copies of each of their scores before the rounds, excluding the required Canadian work. Five (5) copies are required for the semifinals and seven (7) copies for the finals. Scores must be submitted in the order of performance of the works and need to be presented in a binder for each Jury member. Staples or paper clips are not accepted.
  • The winner of the OSM Manulife Grand Prize will be invited as a soloist with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal on January 16, 2019, at Maison symphonique de Montréal. The repertoire performed in concert will be determined by the OSM in collaboration with the winner.


  • Candidates are required to surrender to the OSM Manulife Competition all recording, broadcasting and distribution rights of any kind pertaining to their performance during the Competition together with all artists’ rights, for a period of fifty years from the date of the performance.
  • By completing the official application form, candidates agree to release all rights regarding the future use of recordings of their performances during the Competition.


  • Candidates authorize the Orchestra to use their name and photo to make such announcements, advertisements and promotions as it may deem appropriate. All materials shall be free of copyright.
  • Candidates agree to allocate their time following performances to meet with the sponsors, partners and managers of the Competition that the Orchestra deems appropriate.
  • Candidates will grant interviews to media outlets selected by the Orchestra to promote the concert. These media outlets may be part of the print, radio, television or electronic press. Interviews may take place by telephone in the weeks leading up to the competition, in person during the candidate’s stay in Montreal, or following the Competition.
  • The candidate agrees to be briefly photographed or to participate in a short video clip filmed by the Orchestra’s public-relations team before or after the performance.
  • Candidates agree to provide a short verbal or written testimony of their experience with the Competition and/or Maison symphonique de Montréal after the Competition.
  • These photos, video clips, interviews or testimonies may be broadcast by the Orchestra on its various communications platforms (website, social networks, newsletter, promotional kits, and concert programs).


  • Only candidates from the Harp category are able to request to be accompanied by an Official Pianist of the OSM Manulife Competition.
  • Each pianist assigned by the Competition will provide two (2) hours of rehearsal to each semifinalist, as well as his or her services for the performance in front of the jury. If the candidate reaches the finals, the official accompanist will provide two (2) additional hours of rehearsal to the finalist, as well as his or her services for the performance in front of the jury.
  • The choice and assignation of the official pianist are made by the Competition. An official pianist may not accompany a candidate on a private basis.


  • Candidates from the Harp category are free to come with their own accompanist, at their own expense.


  • The OSM Volunteer Committee offers to candidates who live outside of Montreal the possibility of being billeted with a family, if the request is made at the time of registration. Housing is not offered to the candidate’s entourage.
  • Upon request, a candidate can obtain from the Competition a list of downtown hotels offering discounted rates. Candidates who choose this type of accommodation do so at their own expense. Accommodation costs for anyone accompanying a semifinalist will not be covered by the Competition.


  • The candidate agrees to be free from all professional and academic activities other than those related to the Competition, throughout said Competition, from November 13 to November 17, 2018 inclusively.
  • Candidates must be present for the launch of the Competition, on November 13, as well as for the announcement of the finalists in their category and for the Prize Awards Ceremony on November 17, 2018.
  • Semi-formal dress is required for all official events of the Competition as well as for all performances in front of an audience.
  • For the entire duration of the Competition, direct or indirect contact with members of the jury is prohibited.
  • The winner of the OSM Manulife Grand Prize or of a first prize agrees to mention the said prize in all promotional material (biography, website, etc.), and to ensure that the said prize is mentioned in all promotional materials (concert programs, website, liner notes, etc.) of eventual distributors and producers for a period of five (5) years from the awarding of the prize.


  • The Competition Committee reserves the right to cancel a category should the number of contestants be deemed insufficient.
  • The jury reserves the right to withhold any or all of the prizes.
  • The choice of the OSM Manulife Grand Prize Winner will be made by the jury, whose decision is final and without appeal.