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Outstanding emerging visual artists named finalists in 15th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition

TORONTO, June 17, 2013 - Bold, intriguing works from 15 of Canada's finest emerging visual artists were announced today as finalists in the 2013 RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition helps discover and support new Canadian artists in the early stages of their careers, as part of RBC's ongoing commitment to the arts.

RBC will award a total of $115,000 in prize money. The winner will receive a cash prize of $25,000, while two honourable mentions will each receive $15,000. The three winners' paintings will become part of RBC's corporate art collection, one of Canada's finest, which holds more than 4,000 pieces collected over the last century.

To commemorate the 15th anniversary, the remaining 12 finalists will each be awarded a $5,000 prize. In addition, all 15 finalists will have the opportunity to spend a full day being mentored by the RBC Canadian Painting Competition jurors. The jurors are some of Canada's most respected artists, gallery directors, curators and art critics, to help develop their careers and practice.

"For 15 years now, RBC has been supporting and celebrating promising new visual artists as they develop their practice. We have seen tremendous growth in the calibre of emerging talent this year," said Ann Webb, executive director of the Canadian Art Foundation and publisher of Canadian Art Magazine. "We're extremely proud to be able to help find and develop the next generation of Canadian painters."

Dil Hildebrand, winner of the 2006 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, said, "The financial assistance, support and exposure I received through the competition has been invaluable in helping advance my career and focus on my practice. This year's finalists should be very, very excited by the possibilities ahead for them."

The 2013 RBC Canadian Painting Competition finalists are:

Western Canada

Jessica Bell, Vancouver, BC
Colleen Heslin, Vancouver, BC
Brian Kokoska, Vancouver, BC
Rachelle Sawatsky, Delta, BC
Sean Weisgerber, Saskatoon, SK

Central Canada

Jennifer Carvalho, Guelph, ON
Colin Muir Dorward, Ottawa, ON
Scott Everingham, Toronto, ON
Laura Findlay, Guelph, ON
Neil Harrison, Toronto, ON

Eastern Canada

Brendan Flanagan, Montreal, QC
Adam Gunn, Halifax, NS
Nathaniel Hurtubise, Montreal, QC
Jessica Mensch, Brooklyn, NY (formerly of Montreal, QC)
Aaron Weldon, Halifax NS

The winner and honourable mentions will be announced by RBC President and CEO Gord Nixon at a gala at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa on October 2, 2013. Shayne Koyczan, poet laureate from the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, will perform an original poem at the event. The paintings of the 15 finalists will be on exhibit at the National Gallery from October 1 to 13, 2013, and at Art Toronto from October 24 to 28, 2013. All finalists are featured at rbc.com/paintingcompetition.

About the RBC Canadian Painting Competition
Established in 1999, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition recognizes and supports Canada's emerging artists. The competition nurtures Canadian visual artists early in their career by providing them with a forum to display their artistic talent to the country and hopefully open doors to future opportunity. The competition will award one national prize of $25,000, two honourable mentions will receive prizes of $15,000 each and, in recognition of the 15th anniversary, the remaining 12 finalists will be awarded $5,000 each. Along with past winners, the winning paintings of 2013 will become part of RBC's Canadian art collection comprised of more than 4,000 works of distinguished art collected over the past hundred years.

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For more information, please contact:

Jackie Braden, RBC Brand Communications, 416 974-1724