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RBC announces finalists of RBC Canadian Painting Competition


The next generation of Canadian painters

TORONTO, July 6, 2017 - RBC, in collaboration with Canadian Art, is pleased to announce the jury-selected 15 finalists from among 682 submissions for the 19th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition. The competition, developed through RBC’s Emerging Artists Project, bolsters the careers of young contemporary artists and seeks to inject the vitality and diversity of new talent into Canada’s arts landscape. The 2017 RBC Canadian Painting Competition finalists are:


Title of Work

Amanda Boulos

Duckie Wants Water

Angela Teng

Line Dance (Pink and Black for Mary Heilmann)

Ambera Wellmann

Temper Ripened

Cindy Ji Hye Kim

Conspiracy Theory

David Kaarsemaker

Portage 1

Joani Tremblay

The Lure of the Local Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society

Kizi Spielmann Rose

Sun and a Tide Pool

Laura Payne

Enneadec II

Laura Rokas-Bérubé

Paint by Number 7

M.E. Sparks

Hollow Dog

Michael Freeman Badour

Patrick’s Boots

Teto Elsiddique

neckrings, a breezy thing

Tristan Unrau

Nun, After Pasolini

Veronika Pausova


Wei Li

Obsessiveness and excitement, never growing out of them

“Every year I am impressed by the artistic strength of the artists who enter the competition,” says RBC’s Curator, Robin Anthony. “The creative diversity and talent of the 2017 finalists is truly rewarding to see. We are honoured to provide these artists with the exposure and confidence that will enable them to grow both in their unique artistic practices and their careers.”

RBC’s support of the arts is a long-standing priority for the organization, which is among the most active collectors of Canadian contemporary art in the country.  The competition is both about recognizing and nurturing the careers of local artists and supporting a thriving Canadian visual arts community.

“RBC’s commitment to visual artists and to this competition is truly important to the community. It not only provides much needed financial support for artists, it also offers a tremendous opportunity for artists to exhibit their work at prominent galleries across the country,” said David Balzer, Canadian Art’s Editor-In Chief and Co-Publisher. “We continue to be impressed by the emerging talent in this country and are thrilled with this year’s finalists.”

Now in its 19th year, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition will award a total of $85,000 in prize money. The winner will be announced on October 17th, 2017, and all 15 artists will have their work exhibited at The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario from September 1st to October 22nd, 2017. The three winning paintings will be added to RBC's Art Collection along with the winners of the previous 18 competitions. RBC’s collection features more than 4,500 works collected since 1929, including original works of art by historical and contemporary Canadian artists.

“I am forever grateful for the support from RBC, Canadian Art and my mentors,” said Brian Hunter, winner of the 2016 RBC Canadian Painting Competition. “The competition provided me with tremendous opportunities to connect with my peers and learn from a distinguished group of mentors. Winning has elevated my current work, allowing me to experiment and explore within my art practice.”

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RBC awards a total of $85,000 in prize money through the RBC 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 2016, RBC supported over 2,000 artists, investing over $4.2 million in 160 organizations in a wide range of art genres. Support is focused on artists in the early stages of their careers through the RBC Emerging Artists Project. Cumulatively, over 7,000 artists are now part of our RBC Emerging Artists alumni.

RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. For more information please see:

Canadian Art
Canadian Art is the preeminent platform for journalism and criticism about art and culture in Canada. The organization's print, digital, educational and programming initiatives deliver smart, accessible ideas, stories and opinions. A national non-profit foundation, Canadian Art develops and supports art writers, and engages with the work of artists, established and new. Most important, Canadian Art empowers diverse audiences to understand, debate and be inspired by art.

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For more information, please contact:
Alex Kucharski, Argyle Public Relationships, 416 968-7311 x248


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