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Canada's Walk of Fame reveals winners of emerging artist music mentorship prize, presented in partnership with RBC

Canada's Walk of Fame presented by RBC

Grand prize winner Taylor Kurta receives $25,000, studio time and mentorship from members of The Tragically Hip and Triumph

Competition Winners to perform during Canada's Walk of Fame Festival in September

TORONTO, June 19, 2013 - Canada's Walk of Fame and National Premier Partner RBC today announced 20-year-old Taylor Kurta of Thornhill, Ontario as the Grand Prize winner of the inaugural RBC Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Prize. In all, seven winners from across Canada were selected. Inspired by the hugely successful A Song for Canada Competition, the new initiative aimed to encourage and support the next generation of gifted Canadian superstars as part of the Canada's Walk of Fame Emerging Artists Programs. The RBC Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Prize is supported by the RBC Foundation.

Canada's Walk of Fame received submissions from highly gifted music students enrolled in accredited music programs and schools across Canada. From Salmon Arm, British Columbia to St. John's, Newfoundland to Whitehorse, Yukon, the entries reflect the remarkably high calibre of emerging talent in Canada with performances across all genres including hip-hop, country, pop, R&B, rock and folk music.

"We're thrilled with the overwhelming response from Canadians in this initiative," said Mary Pompili, COO, Canada's Walk of Fame. "The wealth of talent in youth across the country is inspiring and we're honoured to contribute to their professional development."

The winners of the RBC Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Prize are:

  • Grand Prize Winner: Taylor Kurta of Thornhill, ON, Seneca College
  • Second Prize Winner: Kat McLevey of St. John's, NL, St. Bonaventure's College
  • Finalist: Sarah Ott of Whitehorse, YT, Vanier Catholic Secondary School
  • Finalist: Julia LoRusso of London, ON, Catholic Central High School
  • Finalist: Alee (Alexandra Adamoski), of Edmonton, AB, Grant MacEwan University
  • Finalist: Jake Feeney of Toronto, ON, Etobicoke School of the Arts
  • Finalist: Sam Cash of Toronto, ON, Ryerson University

Kurta recently graduated from the Independent Music program at Seneca College and is a self-taught guitar player and vocalist. In 2011 she was awarded a grant from FACTOR (The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings) to produce her first demo CD called Wake Up. As the Grand Prize winner she will receive a cash prize of $25,000 along with performance opportunities including the chance to perform at Canada's Walk of Fame events and open for established artists. Kurta will also receive 20 hours of private studio time at Metalworks Studio with an appointed producer, periodically mentored by Rik Emmett and Gil Moore from Triumph, 10 hours of studio time in The Tragically Hip's private studio, mentored by Gord Sinclair as well as introductions to agents, managers, music executives and entertainment lawyers.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges including members of Canada's Walk of Fame senior management team and Board of Directors, as well as prominent music industry executives and artists including Gil Moore of Triumph and Metalworks Studios.

"During the judging process we were looking for originality, depth and maturity in songwriting and performing," said Gil Moore. "While music is very subjective and the overall calibre of talent in all submissions was high, it was unanimous that Taylor has a unique, signature style to her music along with an interesting timbre and subdued charm that caught our attention."

"All seven winners have shown tremendous talent with promising futures ahead of them and RBC is honoured to contribute to their success in the professional world," said Shari Austin, Vice President, RBC Corporate Citizenship and Executive Director, RBC Foundation. "As a longtime supporter of the arts and partner of Canada's Walk of Fame, we recognize the importance of providing opportunities and funding for up-and-coming artists and are proud to support this initiative."

The remaining winners will receive a cash prize ($5,000 for Second Prize Winner, $1,000 each for the five additional winners) and performance opportunities including the chance to perform as part of a special showcase during the Canada's Walk of Fame Festival in Toronto this September. The Festival is an integral part of the series of signature events that include the Red Carpet Induction Ceremony, the Inductee Charity Ball and the Awards show. The 2013 Canada's Walk of Fame Awards will take place on Saturday, September 21, 2013, at Toronto's Elgin Theatre. The show will be broadcast nationally on Global and SliceTM this fall (date and time TBC).

To view the video submissions from the seven winners visit: www.canadaswalkoffame.com.

About Canada's Walk of Fame
Established in 1998 and now celebrating its 15th anniversary, Canada's Walk of Fame (CWOF) aims to celebrate Canadians who have excelled in music, sport, film, television as well as the literary, visual, performing arts, science and innovation in order to engage and inspire the next generation. In 2010, CWOF expanded to include a festival featuring some of Canada's most popular and iconic performers, as well as emerging artists from across the country. The annual celebration culminates in a televised awards special that honours Canada's finest stars from the worlds of arts, entertainment and sports. With 2013's additions, 149 Canadians will be inducted to Canada's Walk of Fame, each immortalized with their names forever cemented into the sidewalks of Toronto's Entertainment District. For a complete list of inductees along with more information on Canada's Walk of Fame visit: www.canadaswalkoffame.com.

About RBC and the Arts
RBC sponsors a wide-range of grassroots and local initiatives that contribute to the cultural fabric of our communities. Through the RBC Emerging Artist Project, RBC provides opportunities for up-and-coming artists through programs such as the RBC Canadian Painting Competition and the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition. As one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies and among the largest banks in the world, as measured by market capitalization, RBC employs approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 44 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.

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Contacts:

Tran Nguyen, Holmes PR
416-628-5607; e: tnguyen@holmespr.com

Adrienne Kakoullis, Holmes PR
416-628-5610; e: akakoullis@holmespr.com

Jackie Braden, RBC, 416 974-1724; e: jackie.braden@rbc.com