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RBC and Canadian Art Foundation announce finalists of RBC Canadian Painting Competition

Fifteen emerging painters join the ranks of Canadian talent to watch

TORONTO, July 5, 2016 -  RBC, in collaboration with the Canadian Art Foundation, are pleased to announce the jury-selected 15 finalists from among 568 submissions for the 18th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition (CPC). RBC’s support of the arts has been a long-standing priority and by recognizing and nurturing the careers of local artists we can help communities prosper. Developed through RBC’s Emerging Artists Project, the CPC will help Canadian artistic youth confidently navigate their path to success with mentorship and professional development opportunities.

The 2016 RBC Canadian Painting Competition finalists are:

  • Wallis Cheung – Toronto, ON
  • Alex Fischer – Toronto, ON
  • Nika Fontaine – Montreal, QC/Berlin, DE
  • Cameron Forbes – Saskatoon, SK
  • Stephanie Hier – Toronto, ON
  • Brian Hunter – Winnipeg, MB
  • Hanna Hur – Toronto, ON/Los Angeles, CA
  • Brian Kokoska – Vancouver, BC/New York, NY
  • Andrew Maize – Lunenburg, NS
  • Keita Morimoto – Toronto, ON
  • Justine Skahan – Gatineau, QC
  • M.E. Sparks – Vancouver, BC
  • Angela Teng – Vancouver, BC
  • geetha thurairajah – Sackville, NB
  • Ambera Wellmann – Guelph, ON

 “The submissions received by the RBC Canadian Painting Competition continue to reflect the strength and diversity of Canadian artists entering the national and international art community,” said Robin Anthony, curator for RBC. “Becoming a CPC finalist can be a platform for these young artists to pursue a career in the arts, providing them with the industry knowledge, exposure and confidence they need to be successful.”

Each year, a jury convenes with the challenging task of short listing 15 artists from the hundreds who submit their best work to the CPC. Comprised of some of Canada’s most accomplished artists, museum directors, curators and critics, the jury also mentors the chosen group, while RBC advisors work to empower them with the financial knowledge required to make a successful career out of their talent.

“We are proud to again partner with RBC in support of the development of up-and-coming Canadian artists,” said David Balzer, Canadian Art’s Editor-In Chief and CPC Adjudicator. “This year’s finalists are exceptional and will be ones to watch in the coming years. We are happy to be a part of their evolution.”

Now in its 18th year, the CPC will award a total of $85,000 in prize money. The winners will be announced on September 20, 2016 at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto and the top three paintings will receive a prestigious spot among the more than 4,500 pieces of art belonging to RBC's corporate art collection—on display within RBC offices, reception areas and boardrooms nationally and internationally.  

“It was an honour to win last year’s prize,” said Patrick Cruz, winner of the 2015 RBC Canadian Painting Competition. “It has enriched my art practise, allowing me to experiment, take further risks and connect with other artists, curators and writers. I am thankful for the support from RBC, Canadian Art Foundation and my mentors.”

RBC’s contribution through the Canadian Painting Competition:
RBC awards a total of $85,000 in prize money through the Canadian Painting Competition. The winner receives a cash prize of $25,000. Two honourable mentions each receive $15,000 and the remaining 12 finalists receive $2,500 each. This support is provided in addition to informal mentorship opportunities with the accomplished jury and financial skills development with advisors as part of RBC’s commitment to developing emerging artists across the country.

In 2015, the RBC Foundation committed more than $4.3 million to 167 arts and cultural organizations supporting local, national and international initiatives, contributing to the cultural fabric of our communities. RBC’s support is focused on artists in the early stages of their careers and in 2015, more than 3200 artists across numerous disciplines participated in the RBC Emerging Artists Project.

For additional information on the finalists or to view their paintings and work, visit

Please note: High resolution images of the submissions are available upon request.

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RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2015, we contributed more than $121 million to causes around the world.

For more than three decades, the Canadian Art Foundation has fostered an appreciation of Canada’s artists and their works—from emerging talent to established icons. As a national not-for-profit, the Canadian Art Foundation’s mandate is to inform and advocate for the visual arts through thought-provoking coverage and programming that examines artists and their works, as well as visual art's impact on contemporary culture. From coast to coast, our award-winning content and programming are the voice for visual arts in Canada.

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For more information or to schedule an interview:
Alex Kucharski, Argyle Public Relationships -
Jason Graham, RBC Communications -