Todd Richard sings “Green and Blue” as HHSES students get ready to belt out the chorus during the school’s Music Monday on May 3. He is currently in the running for a top 100 spot in the 2021 Toyota Searchlight competition. (Adam Louis/Observer)

Top 100 bound?: Harrison country artist Todd Richard vies for Toyota Searchlight prize

First round ends on May 20, votes can be submitted every day

A Harrison Hot Springs country artist is waiting to see if he’s climbed the ranks of an elite musical list.

Todd Richard, the Harrison singer behind the frontline-worker tribute “Green and Blue” landed him in the running for the 2021 CBC Toyota Searchlight, an annual “hunt for Canada’s next undiscovered talent.” Voting for the top 100 artists began on Tuesday, May 11 and closed Thursday, May 20. From there, the top 10 will be revealed on June 15 with prizes being awarded on June 22.

The grand prize puts the winner in an Allan Slaight Juno Master Class for one week in Toronto (or the virtual equivalent, depending on COVID restrictions) in addition to a trip to the Junos in 2022 and a performance spot at a music industry showcase. Other prizes include a recording residency at the National Music Centre in Calgary, Play MPE global distribution package and a feature on CBC Radio.

RELATED: Harrison country artist Todd Richard releases ‘Green and Blue,’ a tribute to frontline workers

Richard said it’s great to be back in the running for the Searchlight prize; 2021 marks his third year contending, the others being 2014 and 2015. Richard has made it to the semifinals before.

“The exposures to the song each time was incredible, along with having songs played on CBC Music’s Sirius XM Channel 171,” Richard said in a statement. “It’s thanks to that support and much more we’ve been able to keep making music.”

Within the next month, 2,500 artists vying for the top spot will be cut down to the top 100, which Richard said was different from prior years.

“I figured it would be tough, but then I thought, ‘What the heck, it’s still really great exposure for our song Green and Blue to possibly get heard by more of our amazing frontline workers,'” Richard recalled. “It’s excited to see how it really brings together our fan base – ‘frands’, as I call them.”

Richard has just released his third album, “Live Your Life,” with his most recent single “Green and Blue” to appear on his upcoming fourth album. He was awarded B.C. Country Music Association Humanitarian of the Year in 2017 and 2018 and Variety B.C. Colleen Wood Award for “Follow Your Heart,” a song written specially for the children’s charity Variety with all lifetime proceeds going to the organization.

RELATED: Harrison elementary students team up with country artist, pay tribute to frontline workers

Richard has been busy the past number of weeks, bringing back the 7 p.m. tribute to frontline workers by live-streaming and singing “Green and Blue” with a variety of special guests throughout the Fraser Valley, most recently including the Agassiz Fire Department and local emergency workers in front of Chilliwack General Hospital. The original music video has been viewed nearly 6,000 times as of publication.

Shawnee Kish of Welland, Ontario was last year’s winner with “Building a Wall.”

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Agassiz-Harrison Observer