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About RBC > Media Newsroom > News Releases > OCAD University receives a $200,000 grant from RBC to launch the RBC Institute for Emerging Artists & Designers

OCAD University receives a $200,000 grant from RBC to launch the RBC Institute for Emerging Artists & Designers

Program will help graduating design students transition to professional careers

TORONTO, February 20, 2014 - Thanks to a generous gift of $200,000 from the RBC Foundation, OCAD University will be able to transform the Career Development & Experiential Learning unit into a newly-named Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers. RBC Institute for Emerging Artists & Designers will be a flagship suite of programs and will include a slate of expanded co-curricular programs and services, offered free of charge, to help students transition from graduation to creative careers.

More than 70 per cent of graduates will start their careers as entrepreneurs, so the RBC Institute will offer students more depth on the essentials of business planning, financial literacy, leadership skills, marketing and networking. The RBC Institute will enable students to access a wider range of frequent seminars, workshops and clinics covering topics from portfolio development to crowdfunding. 

“The RBC Institute represents the tremendous growth and enhancement of our support for graduating students,” says Deanne Fisher, associate vice president, Students, OCAD U. “It allows us to expand our existing services and create new initiatives that will prepare graduates for their careers in creative industries and the broader labour market.”

“As a longstanding supporter of the arts, we recognize the importance of providing opportunities for promising artists" says Shari Austin, vice president, RBC Corporate Citizenship and executive director, RBC Foundation. "We are confident that the RBC Institute will help creative and talented design students develop their careers and transition into the professional world and we are proud to support this initiative."

As part of the RBC Institute, beginning May 2015, the Capstone Summer Intensive will provide a focused transition program for new graduates who have participated in earlier programs as students. Led by faculty and industry professionals, participants will hone their business and entrepreneurial skills in a hands-on, cross-disciplinary education program before launching their professional practices.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (opens new window)is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

About RBC and the Arts
RBC supports 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. In 2013, RBC contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69million and $35million in sponsorships. For more information, please visit

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For more information, please contact:

Christine Crosbie, Media Relations Officer, OCAD University, 416-979-6000 ext. 4890
Sophia Massari, RBC Communications, 416-974-7503