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Patrick Cruz wins 17th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition

VANCOUVER, November 19, 2015 - For many young Canadians, turning what you love into a fulfilling career can be challenging. This is especially true for young artists trying to move from emerging talent to established artist. Trying to make the right connections and learning from mentors, while supporting themselves financially, can take away from the time they need to create compelling and creative visual art.

That’s why today, RBC and the Canadian Art Foundation are delighted to announce that Patrick Cruz of Guelph, Ontario has been chosen as the national winner of the 17th Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition for his work entitled Time allergy. In honour of his win, Cruz will receive a $25,000 purchase prize for his work.

The RBC Canadian Painting Competition is part of the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which focuses on up-and-coming artists to help them gain national recognition for their talent as they bridge the gap from academic world to career.

“Winning this competition allows me to gain recognition and increase exposure for my current painting, while also being able to focus on my studio work, which is a unique opportunity for a young artist,” said Cruz. “I’m excited to win and grateful to RBC and Canadian Art for this competition. Winning this award is often talked about among my peers and since being named a finalist, I was both hopeful and proud to be included among such great emerging Canadian visual artists.”

In addition, two honourable mentions were given to Hangama Aimiri of Halifax, Nova Scotia for her work “Island of Dreams,” and Claire Scherzinger of Toronto, Ontario for her work “My Contribution To The Many Paintings Of Pots And Plants.” Amiri and Scherzinger were each awarded a purchase prize of $15,000 for their work.

All three works of art will be added to the RBC corporate art collection, which holds more than 4,000 pieces – including many by emerging artists – and spans more than a hundred years of Canadian art. The other finalists each were awarded a $2,500 purchase prize for their submission.

The jury provided this summary about the winner: “After an elaborate discussion over the past two days, among 15 ambitious and wildly diverse paintings, the jury has selected Patrick Cruz as the winner of the competition based on his decidedly contemporary attitude towards painting. His brave approach, maximalist aesthetic, and wild graphic sensibility, sets a provocative tone for emerging art in Canada in 2015.”

“RBC recognizes the arts are the heart and soul of our communities and cultures, and the talent this competition attracts are some of the most innovative and talented artists Canada has to offer,” said Robin Anthony, curator for RBC. “Every year the jury is impressed by the diversity of the work, always making it a difficult choice, but we know Patrick is a worthy winner. We at RBC, along with the Jury, look forward to following his career, as well as all the finalists from this year’s group of talented emerging artists.”

“The Canadian Art Foundation has partnered with RBC for the past 17 years to realize our shared vision in discovering and advancing new artists in the delicate early phase of their careers,” said Jill Birch, CEO of the Canadian Art Foundation and publisher of Canadian Art magazine. “This year’s RBC Canadian Painting Competition winner will no doubt go on to do great things, we'll be watching their career.”

Since 1999, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition has provided more than 2000 artists with an opportunity to exhibit their work on a national scale, at a critical time when they often need recognition, mentorship and financial support. In addition to the purchase prize awarded to the winners, all finalists also receive invaluable exposure to and insight from jurors, mentors and industry insiders. Past winners of the Competition, such as 2014 winner Tiziana La  Melia, Dil Hildebrand, Chris Millar, Kristine Moran and Melanie Authier have gone on to considerable international acclaim and continue to represent us as some of Canada’s most successful artists.

The RBC Canadian Painting Competition is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada who are in the early stages of their career. More than 600 artists submitted works for this year’s competition, from which 15 finalists were chosen from across the country.

The RBC Canadian Painting Competition is judged by some of the most respected artists, gallery directors and curators in Canada. For visuals and descriptions of the winning works, visit

All 15 finalists’ paintings will be exhibited at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver from November 13 to November 29, 2015.

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In 2014, RBC committed more than $6.5 million globally to arts and cultural organizations supporting local, national and international initiatives, contributing to the cultural fabric of our communities. Our support is focused on artists in the early stages of their careers through the RBC Emerging Artists Project.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2014, we contributed more than $111 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $76 million and $35 million in sponsorships.

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For more information, please contact:
Jason Graham, RBC Brand Communications, 416-313-5783,