Contest Rules and Conditions

Are your butter tarts worthy of being crowned the BEST in Ontario?

The Egg Farmers of Ontario Contest registration has closed. 

Important Information for Bakers:

All entries will be completed online. 

All entries, regardless of division, must be baked in a certified kitchen. This means home/amateur bakers may not bake their tarts in their home kitchen unless it is certified by their local health unit.

We serve the contest butter tarts to our judges and the public and we need to follow guidelines set out by the health unit.

If you are a home/amateur baker you can contact your local health unit for a list of certified kitchens in your area.

When tarts are delivered, bakers must provide proof (approved certificate from health unit) that their entry/entries were baked in a certified kitchen.

Please Note: We will never solicit payments over social media. All communication regarding the festival contest will be done by the Town of Midland and Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival staff either by phone, verified email, or through our booking platform Perfect Mind. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other social media platform are not secure for payments. Anyone requesting payment via Paypal or e-transfer should be assumed fraudulent and reported to festival staff immediately via email.

Important Dates:

  • Contest date is June 8, 2024 and the decision of our judges is final.

  • The contest opens for entry on March, 11, 2024.  We strongly recommend entering ASAP due to high interest in this competition. Only online entries will be accepted. The entry fee is $25 per category.

  • The entry deadline for the contest is May 24, 2024 at 4 p.m., unless we reach our maximum number of entries before this date.

  • Butter tarts for the contest must be delivered in person to the Midland Cultural Centre, 333 King Street, Midland (use the Elizabeth Street entrance) on Friday, June 7 between 3 and 7 p.m. Exceptions will only be granted at the discretion of the festival organizer. If you require an exception, you must contact 705-526-4275 ext. 2277 by May 24, 2024. Requests for exceptions will not be considered after this date. 

  • The contest will be held in Rotary Hall, Midland Cultural Centre. The Traditional division will be judged between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and the Wild Style division will be judged between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Best in Show will be judged starting at 3:15 p.m. and the winners announced at 3:30 p.m.

How to Place Yourself:

Professional bakers:

You earn money from selling your baking. Whether you work in a bakery or not, your baking skills contribute to your income. You may or may not have professional training.

Home bakers:

You bake for fun or for love, and you do not receive money by selling your baking. You have not received any professional training. By entering this category, you attest that you do not sell your baking. 

2024 Categories and Divisions:

Two categories:

1. Traditional Butter Tarts include ONLY plain/classic, raisin, pecan, walnut, maple, currants, and/or coconut.

2. Wild Style Butter Tarts are still a butter tart, but with a twist which might include a non-traditional ingredient or two or blended with another dessert.

Two divisions:

1. Traditional Butter Tart – Professional and Home Bakers

2. Wild Style Butter Tart – Professional and Home Bakers

Judging Criteria

Judges are provided with score cards to mark each tart out of 100.

Traditional Butter Tarts are judged on:

  • General Appearance – baking; crust; colour; texture; overall visual appeal of the tart
  • Filling and Taste – proportion of filling to size of crust; crust; (pleasing) texture; flavour; overall taste appeal

Wild Style Butter Tarts are judged on:

  • General Appearance – baking; crust; colour; texture; overall visual appeal of the tart
  • Filling and Taste – proportion of filling to size of crust; crust; (pleasing) texture; flavour of entry; overall appeal and creativity of the tart

Best in Show Butter Tarts are judged on:

  • General Appearance – baking; crust; colour; texture; overall visual appeal of the tart
  • Filling and Taste – proportion of filling to size of crust; crust; (pleasing) texture; flavour; overall taste appeal

Contest Rules

 1. The Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Contest is open to any individual who has reached the age of majority (18). Applicants must be residents of Ontario or businesses operating in the province of Ontario.

 2. Tarts must be made by the person or business listed on the application. All tarts, including those baked by amateur/home bakers, must be made in a certified kitchen. 

 3. Entry applications must be accompanied by the entry fee and will only be accepted online. Hand-delivered or mailed applications will not be accepted.

 4. The entry fee is $25 per category, with a limit of one entry per baker per category.

 5. Each entry will be assigned a number, thus enabling a “blind” judging. No judge or contestant will be privy to assigned numbers during the contest. Contestants who attempt to learn their assigned number(s) will be asked to leave, forfeiting their entry and entry fee. Entries identified will be disqualified and the entry fee will be forfeited.

 6. In the interest of preserving contestant entry anonymity, no contestant shall enter the backstage area where butter tarts are sorted and where judge’s scores are tallied. No contestant shall linger by the doors to the back entrance of Rotary Hall, or by the contestant registration table.

 7. Entries will be disqualified for the following reasons, and at the sole discretion of Festival staff:

  • Branding or identification on butter tarts.
  • Indication that tarts submitted have not been prepared by the entrant whose name appears on the application.
  • Not providing proof that tarts were baked in a certified kitchen.
  • Tarts are not regular size (no mini or bite-size).
  • Tarts that are not delivered to the contest by an adult.
  • Fewer than the specified number of tart submitted.
  • Incomplete contest entry form or unpaid entry fee.
  • Entering the wrong division with intent to cheat or defraud the contest.
  • The tart ingredients do not match the criteria of the category (Traditional, Wild Style).
  • Entrant is not a resident of Ontario.

 8. Butter tarts will be evaluated by two panels of 12 judges on Saturday, June 8, 2024 in Rotary Hall, Midland Cultural Centre.

  • Traditional tarts will be judged starting at 10 a.m.
  • Wild Style tarts will be judged starting at 1 p.m.
  • The Best in Show tart will be determined by a panel of 3 judges starting at 3:15 p.m.

 9. Evaluation will be determined based on pre-determined written judging criterion. Two first, second and third place winners will be selected from both divisions – one set from each the professional and amateur/home bakers. The decision of our judges, including the Best in Show judges, is final.

10. Tie breaker rules by category:

  • If there is a tie for first place in the Best in Show competition, the total points from both tart’s first rounds (traditional or wild style) will be added to their Best in Show scores, and then divided by two (2) to determine the winner.
  • If there continues to be a tie for the first place in the Best in Show competition based on scores in both the first round (traditional or wild style) and in the Best in Show round, then the contest emcee, or designate, will taste test the two (2) tied tarts only to determine the Best in Show winner.

 11. Prizes will be awarded as follows:

  • Traditional – Amateur/home bakers 1st - $500, 2nd - $250, 3rd - $100
  • Traditional – Professional bakers 1st - $500, 2nd - $250, 3rd - $100
  • Wild Style – Amateur/home bakers 1st - $500, 2nd - $250, 3rd - $100
  • Wild Style – Professional bakers 1st - $500, 2nd - $250, 3rd - $100
  • Best in Show (selected from 1st place finishers in above four divisions and categories) - $500

 12. No contestants shall sell their tarts inside the Midland Cultural Centre. A select number of contest tarts will be pre-cut and shared with those in the audience.

 13. Entrants unconditionally grant the Town of Midland the rights to all image media of their entry and of the accompanying adults in whole or in part, for any advertising or promotional purposes whatsoever in any and all types of media. The entrant’s name will be included whenever it is used.

 14. Entries should be delivered in disposable containers. Please do not submit your entries in anything other than a disposable container as we will not be responsible for returning any Tupperware, service trays, muffin tins, etc. Please have your entry packed and ready for submission prior to your arrival at the Midland Cultural Centre. The baker’s name (and bakery name, if professional) and type of tart should be written on the container. If the 42 tarts are delivered in multiple containers, the containers should be numbered as well (example: 1/3, 2/3, 3/3).

 15. Entrants must deliver 42 of the same butter tart per category entered. Some of the tarts will be eaten during the contest and some will be sold as “contest tarts” as part of the festival. The funds generated from the sale of the “contest tarts” are applied to the cost of operating the contest and festival. Contestants are not compensated for supplying these butter tarts.

 16. Registration will take place online and payment must be received at time of registration. There will be no refund of entry fees if a registrant does not deliver their tarts on the appropriate day and time or cancels their participation in the contest.

 17. Questions regarding the contest, contest rules or entry registration procedure may be directed through email here or by phone 705-526-4275 ext. 2277.

 Good luck to all entrants and happy baking!