S4C has launched its Cân i Gymru 2013 competition, and announced several changes to the event which will expand the competition's support for the Welsh language music scene, with the help of music magazine Y Selar and BBC Radio Cymru.
In contrast to recent years, the six composers who are shortlisted for the Cân i Gymru 2013 final will be given an allowance of £900 to work with a music studio and producer of their choice to prepare the song for the final.
The six songs will be chosen for the shortlist by the jury panel which this year includes several new faces: last year's Cân i Gymru winner, Gai Toms; musician and presenter of S4C's Y Lle, Griff Lynch; on behalf of BBC Radio Cymru, presenter Lisa Gwilym; and Gwilym Dwyfor of Y Selar magazine. Chairing the discussion will be musician Siôn Llwyd.
Also this year, instead of awarding one large sum for the winner of Cân i Gymru, the money will be shared between more bands and artists to support development across the industry.
On the competition evening, in March 2013, £3,500 will be presented to the winner of Cân i Gymru 2013 and a further £4,000 will be shared between four winners in the Y Selar awards and Gwobrau Roc a Phop (RAP) BBC Radio Cymru presented annually to the Welsh music industry.
The winners of Y Selar's 'Live Band' and 'Song of the Year' categories and the winners of 'Album of the Year' and 'Breakthrough Band' in BBC Radio Cymru's RAP awards will receive £1,000 each. The intention is to expand the annual Cân i Gymru event to be an awards ceremony for the whole Welsh Music Scene.
Gaynor Davies, S4C's Programme Commissioner, says, "The exciting changes this year will extend the competition's influence beyond the annual event in co-operation with Y Selar and BBC Radio Cymru. The intention is to support artists working throughout the year at the same time as encouraging new songs and composers to try for the annual Cân i Gymru prize.
"It's also nice to welcome new faces to the jury panel, and I'm sure they're as eager as I am to hear the songs that will come forward this year."
Lowri Davies, BBC Radio Cymru Editor of General Programming, says, "Radio Cymru is proud of this chance to work with S4C on such an important event as Cân i Gymru. This is a new chance for musicians to play live at one of the year's main musical events and gives an added value to Radio Cymru's 'Gwobrau Roc a Phop' awards.
"Since one of the categories is Breakthrough Band the hope is to give young musicians an added boost."
Owain Schiavone, editor of Y Selar magazine, says, "The most important thing for us at Y Selar is to support new music and musicians who are productive throughout the year.
"The fact that S4C, through Cân i Gymru, will be awarding musicians for their work over the past year is a positive step and the hope is it will encourage more musicians to produce even more music to maintain a vibrant music scene in Wales."
If you want to enter Cân i Gymru 2013, the closing date is Monday 10 December, 5.30pm. To enter go to s4c.co.uk/canigymru to see the full rules and conditions and to download a copy of the entry form. Or contact Avanti production company on 02920 838 149.