“Release date” for CARAS eligibility purposes is defined as the date of first online transaction or stream. Product must be released for national sale* (in stores or online for all Canadians to access) or via a recognized national music streaming provider**. The first available consumer access will be the release date for NAACP Award eligibility purposes. Product released (digital or physical) only internationally (not in Canada) outside of the eligibility period, may be eligible as long as Canadian release date falls within eligibility period.
*Product must be released nationally via brick and mortar stores or third-party online retailers.
**Product must be released via a nationally accessible streaming service that has paid subscriptions, full catalogue, or on-demand streaming. Eligible streaming services are Canadian versions of Amazon Music, Apple Music, Google Play Music/YouTube Music, Soundcloud PRO, Spotify, Tidal.
Albums available for pre-order online no later than November 6, 2020 will qualify, as long as they are available no later than November 20, 2020. Proof of transaction may be requested. Product must be released for national sale (in stores or online for all Canadians to access). Product released (digital or physical) only internationally (not in Canada) outside of the eligibility period, may be eligible as long as the Canadian release date falls within the eligibility period.
PLEASE NOTE: All online submissions must be complete by 11:59PM EST on the November 6 deadline day. The 12 physical copies of the album/vinyl required for Album Artwork of the Year must be received in the CARAS office by November 6 at 5PM EST however if you submit by the early bird deadline your product must be in the office by October 16 at 5PM EST
Once you have completed your online application at http://www.NAACPubmissions.ca, you will receive an email confirmation.
Submissions must be completed online by 11:59PM EST on November 6, 2020 In order to qualify for the early bird deadline, your online submission must be complete by October 16, 2020 - including: all necessary uploaded documents and product, as well as payment. The 12 physical copies of the product required for Album Artwork of the Year must be received in the CARAS office by November 6, 2020 by 5PM EST, however if you submit by the early bird deadline your product must be in the office by 5PM EST on October 16.
Yes. Once all fields are entered properly during the submission process you will be prompted to a screen which will allow you to pay online with VISA, MasterCard or AMEX.
No. Applications must be completed and submitted online via the website (www.NAACPubmissions.ca), including uploading your music.
Exception: If you submitted to Album Artwork of the Year, you will complete the online submission process and mail 12 copies of your product to the CARAS office by the November 6, 2020 deadline day. However, if you submit by the early bird deadline your product must be in the CARAS office by October 16, 2020 at 5PM EST in order to qualify for early bird pricing.
The only category where a non-Canadian is eligible is the International Album of the Year category.
For all other categories a Canadian is defined as:
- 50% or more of group members hold Canadian birth certificates, passports or are Canadian Permanent Resident(s) with residency in Canada during the last six months of the eligibility period; OR
- The group is deemed by CARAS, in its sole discretion, to be Canadian as a result of:
- the Canadian member(s) receiving the majority of royalties, touring profits and other proceeds earned by the group; and
- the Canadian member(s) being the creative force behind the group and/or the principal songwriters for the group.
CARAS shall have sole discretion in applying the criteria above and determining whether the artist/group is Canadian.
Non-Canadians will receive named credit only and will not be considered nominees or winners if part of a nominated song or technical project. The only exceptions are if they are in a nominated group that meets the 50% Canadian criteria or are nominated in the International Album of the Year category.
- You may only make one submission in any of the genre categories (10-18, 20-28, 30-32, 34 and 40-44).
- You may make a submission in all the crossover categories if eligible (19, 29, 33)
- You may only make one submission in categories 5-8.
- You may make submissions in all the remaining categories if eligible (3-4, 9, and 35-38).
Exceptions for non-genre or crossover categories:
Non-genre category: Categories that are not tied to one genre. These categories are: Artist of the Year (5), Group of the Year (6), Breakthrough Artist of the Year (7) and Breakthrough Group of the Year (8).
Technical category: Categories that are not tied to a specific genre and have a technical component. These categories are: Songwriter (9), Producer (35), Recording Engineer (36), Album Artwork (37), and video (38).
Crossover category: a category representing the following: French language content, Indigenous ancestry, but may also fit into a different category based on musical sound. These categories are: Francophone (19), Indigenous Artist or Group (29) and Contemporary Christian/Gospel (33).
Genre category: a category that is a specific genre such as Rock, Pop, Jazz, Classical, etc.
A submission may be entered into any or all crossover categories and technical categories, provided that the submission meets the category criteria. An additional submission can be made into one of the remaining genre specific categories and one non-genre category. Duplicate submissions in additional genre categories will be disqualified. A submission may also be made into Album of the Year.
No, you may not re-submit an album/recording if it has been previously nominated in the same category.
Exception: An Artist/Group may be nominated for a performance category – ALBUM/ARTIST/GROUP/BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST/BREAKTHROUGH GROUP OF THE YEAR and resubmit the same material the following year for a genre/craft category such as COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR (provided the material still falls within the eligibility period).
Albums containing previously released tracks may qualify. 50% of the album tracks must be new, if the album contains previously released tracks. The new versions of the tracks must be a new recording, re-recorded in the studio (CARAS may require proof). This criteria may not apply to Breakthrough Artist and Breakthrough Group of the Year as previously released tracks may be eligible at CARAS’ discretion.
Live recordings or stripped down versions of previously released songs are NOT eligible.
"Greatest Hits" packages are not eligible. Greatest hits packages are defined as albums containing over 50% of previously released cuts. Live albums are eligible only if 50% or greater of the cuts are new (not previously released or newly arranged).
If an album has been previously released and then re-released in a different language with the same musical arrangement it will not qualify.
You may submit a manufacturing invoice, a letter from the distributor or record company, or a contract showing Internet point of sale.
A full album is defined as having a minimum run time of 20:00+ unique minutes or six unique tracks (meaning no remixes, acoustic, instrumental versions, added accompaniment etc). In order to submit to a category with “Album of the Year” in the title or to Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year, this criteria must be met.
Covers of songs by other artists are eligible – provided the artist who is submitting has not recorded the songs previously and released them for national consumption.
Yes, there are no restrictions on album/recordings being in English only.
If an album released in a different language is nominated, it cannot be nominated again if released in English. Change of language still constitutes the same material and therefore it would be considered to be previously released and not eligible. The same rule applies to removing a vocal track or adding a vocal track to previously released material.
- International Album of the Year
- Album of the Year
- Artist of the Year
- Group of the Year
- Breakthrough Artist of the Year
- Breakthrough Group of the Year
- Pop Album of the Year
- Rock Album of the Year
- Francophone Album of the Year
- Rap Recording of the Year
- Songwriter of the Year
- Country Album of the Year
- Adult Alternative Album of the Year
- Alternative Album of the Year
- Vocal Jazz Album of the Year
- Jazz Album of the Year: Solo
- Jazz Album of the Year: Group
- Instrumental Album of the Year
- Children’s Album of the Year
- Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber
- Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble
- Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral
- Classical Composition of the Year
- Dance Recording of the Year
- Contemporary R&B Recording of the Year
- Reggae Recording of the Year
- Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year
- Contemporary Roots Album of the Year
- Traditional Roots Album of the Year
- Blues Album of the Year
- Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year
- World Music Album of the Year
- Jack Richardson Producer of the Year
- Recording Engineer of the Year
- Album Artwork of the Year
- Music Video of the Year
- Electronic Album of the Year
- Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year
- Adult Contemporary Album of the Year
- Comedy Album of the Year
- Traditional R&B/Soul Recording of the Year
Sales will be collected from Nielsen Music / MRC Data, and the total sales figures will be reviewed by PwC.
The sales portion will be calculated by combining physical scanned sales, which includes digital sales, with digital-only sales.
Online sales are defined as units purchased in digital form that are available nationally.
Streaming data will be collected from Nielsen Music / MRC Data, and the total streaming figures will be reviewed by PwC.
Streaming data includes both on-demand and programmed streams.
Canadian streaming providers that report to Nielsen Music / MRC Data include YouTube, Google Play, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Slacker, Napster, and Soundcloud PRO.
1250 premium streams = 1 album
1250 premium video streams = 1 album
3750 ad-supported streams = 1 album
3750 ad-supported video streams = 1 album
3750 programmed streams = 1 album
For sales purposes, box sets are counted as one unit.
Live albums are eligible only if 50% or greater of the selections are new (not previously released or newly arranged). “Live” refers to albums that are recorded live with an audience in attendance in a concert setting and not a so-called “live in the studio” recording.
Exception: Live albums submitted in the JAZZ & BLUES categories need only have 25% new material to qualify.
TV and movie soundtracks are eligible provided a featured artist or band is performing on 60% of the tracks.
If a full album/EP is available and is submitted into any recording category (Rap, Dance, Contemporary R&B, Traditional R&B/Soul, Reggae), can a single be submitted or is it mandatory to select three listening cuts?
When submitting an album/EP for consideration, an artist/band can choose to submit three tracks or one single to represent the body of work. If an album/EP is nominated one year, it may not be re-submitted in any form the following year using three different tracks or another single.
NO. You pay a submission fee per selected category. Early bird pricing from September 30, 2019 to October 18, 2019 at 5PM EST is $40 per category if you are an Academy Delegate and $65.00 per category if not. From October 18, 2019 (after 5PM EST) to November 8, 2019 at 11:59PM EST pricing is $75 per category if you are an Academy Delegate and $95 per category if not.
If an artist was part of a group who has been nominated before and now is in a solo project, do they qualify for Breakthrough Artist or Breakthrough Group of the Year?
An artist who has been recognized previously (with a different group) and has now gone SOLO or changed his/her name does not qualify for Breakthrough Artist/Breakthrough Group, as they will be considered previously nominated.
Should I submit into Artist/Group or Breakthrough Artist/Breakthrough Group if I have never been nominated for any projects before?
If you have not been previously nominated for a NAACP Award in any category, then you must submit to Breakthrough Artist or Breakthrough Group. In order to submit to Artist or Group, you must have been a previous nominee.
A Songwriter or Publisher must submit THREE (3) songs as a representation of the creative success of each songwriter’s body of work during the eligibility period (September 1, 2019 to November 6, 2020).
A Songwriter may make a submission as a single Songwriter or as part of a Songwriting Team. Songwriters who wish to be considered as a team must all agree to submit the same three songs as a team. You CANNOT submit as a single Songwriter and as part of a Songwriting Team. A Songwriter who decides to submit on their own, but is also a Co-Songwriter on all three songs on any other SUBMISSION IN THE CATEGORY, will only receive named credit on the other submission and will not become a nominee or winner.
Canadian Songwriters who write for international artists/releases are eligible.
A song does not need to contain lyrics to be eligible.
An album entered into the Classical Composition of the Year category can also be submitted into one of the other Classical categories in the same year. The Classical Composition category is not considered a genre category.
If a single in a recording category was nominated last year, and is now on a full album, can the full album be submitted into the same category?
An artist MAY submit a single/recording and become nominated and the following year they ARE eligible to submit the FULL ALBUM as a separate piece of product to be considered for the same category – they must pick three listening cuts (that do not include the cut that was nominated the previous year).
However, the opposite is not true; artists cannot submit a full album one year and then submit the same album next year using different listening cuts.
A co-production team who contributed equal amounts should be listed as a production team.
The Canadian producer must have done at least 50% or more of the work in order for the project to qualify.
The non-Canadian producers will be acknowledged as co-producers in the nominee listings (and will not receive a NAACP if the project wins).
Yes, if the majority of the work or the driving force behind the project is done by Canadian(s). Non-Canadians will receive named credit only and will not be considered nominees or winners.
American Artists/Groups with Album Graphics designed by Canadians are eligible.
The award will go to the Director and the Artist (if they are Canadian). In order to submit, the Director must be Canadian. If the Artist is not Canadian, they will receive named credit only.