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Vancouver's Colleen Heslin wins 15th Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition

Colleen Heslin, winner of the RBC Canadian Painting Competiton, and her work entitled 'Almost young and wild and free'.

Colleen Heslin, winner of the RBC Canadian Painting Competiton, and her work entitled Almost young and wild and free.

TORONTO, October 2, 2013 - RBC and the Canadian Art Foundation are pleased to announce that Colleen Heslin of Vancouver, British Columbia has been chosen as the national winner of the 15th Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition for her work entitled Almost young and wild and free. Colleen will receive a $25,000 purchase prize for her work.

In addition, two honourable mentions were given to Colin Muir Dorward from Ottawa, Ontario for his work Labyrinthineon and Neil Harrison from Toronto, Ontario for his work Fig. 13 Knowledge. Colin and Neil were each awarded $15,000 for their work. To celebrate the 15th anniversary, the remaining 12 finalists will each be given $5,000.

Jeff Boyd along with Colleen Heslin, Colin Muir Dorward and Neil Harrison

Jeff Boyd along with Colleen Heslin, Colin Muir Dorward and Neil Harrison.

"For 15 years now, we have been consistently impressed with the immense talent demonstrated by young artists from across the country, which makes it very difficult to choose a winner," said Robin Anthony, curator, RBC. "RBC is proud to be an important benefactor in assisting the development of some of Canada's promising artists."

The jury was struck with the freshness of Colleen's approach to the traditions of painting, her play with surface and depth, and her invocation of the pursuits of mending and making in the medium of textiles. Almost young and wild and free stood out for moving beyond the practice of painting though the use of stitchery and staining, and suggests a stepping off point for where painting can go, a formally elegant update on the medium's perennial questions.

In addition, the winning paintings of 2013 will join previous winning visual artists' works as part of RBC's corporate art collection, which holds more than 4,000 works of art collected over the past century.

"Canadian artists have consistently stood with the world's best, and the calibre of this year's finalists and winners reaffirms that fact," said Ann Webb, executive director of the Canadian Art Foundation and publisher of Canadian Art Magazine. "It is a thrill and delight to be able to help discover the next generation of Canadian talent."

Submissions were accepted from professional, practicing, visual Canadian artists who are in the early stages (within the first five years) of their careers. More than 500 artists submitted works for this year's competition, from which 15 finalists were chosen from across the country. The RBC Canadian Painting Competition was judged by some of the most respected artists, gallery directors and curators in Canada. For visuals and descriptions of the winning works, visit rbc.com/paintingcompetition (opens new window).

All 15 finalists' paintings will be exhibited at the National Gallery in Ottawa from September 28 to October 13, 2013, at Art Toronto from October 25 to 28, and will be featured in Canadian Art magazine and on the web at rbc.com/paintingcompetition (opens new window) and canadianart.ca (opens external website in new window).

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.

About the Canadian Art Foundation
Canadian Art Foundation is the ultimate portal for the exposure of visual arts in Canada. All our efforts are dedicated to providing a destination for artists and art enthusiasts to connect and be inspired by art, in turn creating greater local, national and global visibility for the extraordinary artistic talent in Canada. Our diverse platforms and outreach include the publishing of Canadian Art and canadianart.ca, as well as the presentation of innovative events and educational programs. For more information about the Canadian Art Foundation, visit canadianart.ca/foundation (opens external website in new window).

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For more information, please contact:

Jackie Braden, RBC Brand Communications, 416-974-1724, jackie.braden@rbc.com