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A Long-Standing Priority of Investment in the Arts

RBC recognizes the struggle many artists go through to gain the recognition they need to become successful in their practice. Since 2007, the RBC Emerging Artists has been supporting organizations that provide the best opportunity to advance an artist’s career trajectory in genres such as visual arts, music, theatre, dance, literature and film.

Our Partnerships

Every year we donate millions of dollars to hundreds of arts organizations globally to help emerging artists become established through training, networks, and providing exposure to new and diverse audiences.

View a complete list of our active partners

Featured Partners


Artscape is a non-for-profit urban development organization that makes space for creativity and transforms communities. To address barriers faced by creatives, Artscpe provides them with affordable spaces to live, create, market and showcase their work. Music entrepreneurs had to adapt to countless new challenges posed by the digital shift which has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In partnership with Artscape, we launched two programs

  • RBC Launchpad Music Entrepreneurial Program (opens to external site) : A 4-month program combining educational programs, expert panels, focused mentorship, and challenge-based opportunities driven by real market opportunities
  • The artsUNITE platform (opens to external site) : provide equitable access to resources, breaking down barriers and enable better navigation of complex systems. The platform will prepare artists to succeed in a digital world, providing a dynamic service that is responsive to changing needs in the sector, supporting immediate relief and long-term recovery for the arts.

National Gallery of Canada

Founded in 1880, the mission of The National Gallery of Canada (NGC) (opens to external site) is to develop, maintain and make known throughout Canada and internationally, a collection of works of art, both historic and contemporary, with special reference to Canada, and to further knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of art in general among all Canadians.

To advance NGC’s mission, RBC Foundation supports the following:

  • Re-Creation (opens to external site): Working with Indigenous artists, knowledge keepers and curators, researchers and community members, the NGC is commissioning and supporting the training of contemporary Indigenous artists to create work inspired by techniques, media and practices used by their ancestors.
  • RBC Emerging Artists Acquisition Fund: Enables the acquisition of works from diverse Canadian emerging artists.

Toronto International Film Festival® (opens to external site) is dedicated to presenting the best of international and Canadian cinema and creating transformational experiences for film lovers and creators of all ages and backgrounds. TIFF offers screenings, lectures, discussions, festivals, workshops, events, professional development and opportunities to meet, hear and learn from filmmakers from Canada and around the world.

In partnership with TIFF, we also launched the RBC Women’s Creator Initiative (opens to external site), a mentorship program aimed at increasing participation, skills, and networking opportunities for women working in the film industry. This initiative addresses the industry’s critical need for more diverse representation in front of and behind the camera.

Programmes supported by the RBC Women’s Creator Initiative provides opportunities for emerging artists to bridge the gap through coaching from industry experts, workshops including press, publicity and post-festival navigation, and access to industry events and masterclasses.

Learn more about the RBC Women's Creators Initiative. (opens to external site)

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The Canadian Stage (opens to external site) RBC Emerging Artist Program offers a variety of free training and artistic development opportunities for emerging artists and arts professionals, including:

  • Barrier-free access for all emerging theatre artists to specially programmed talks, workshops, networking events and opportunities
  • Director Development: A year-long residency, allowing two emerging directors to hone their skills, developing a project with access to Canadian Stage expertise, space and resources;
  • Company-in-Residence: A year-long residency, allowing a new company producing theatrical work to develop a project using Canadian Stage expertise, space and resources; and
  • Artistic Internships: Giving emerging artists increased exposure to the administrative and producing aspects of theatre

The RBC Apprentice Program at the National Ballet (opens to external site) is the company’s primary means of developing young dancers. The program provides development and mentorship opportunities while helping prepare and transition the dancers from school to professional careers.

The ten dancers selected each year are the most promising candidates who refine their technique, gain performance experience and grow into professional dancers filling the ranks of respected dance companies worldwide.

The RBC Apprentice Program at the Writers’ Trust of Canada(opens to external site) was founded by five notable Canadian authors — Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Graeme Gibson, Margaret Laurence, and David Young — to encourage a flourishing writing community in Canada. The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, established in memory of poet and short fiction writer Bronwen Wallace, recognizes promising writers.

Through the award, finalists meet and engage with each other, as well as with experienced writers and publishing industry leaders. As a result, many informal mentorships are developed between finalists, past jurors and other alumni. To enrich the experience of emerging writers, the finalists also receive written feedback from the jurors to better their writing and/or guide their career development.

Unlocking the Potential of Artists



RBC Emerging Artists Alumni.

How We Measure Impact

Aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the RBC Impact Measurement Framework (IMF) simplifies how we measure our impact.

Learn more about RBC's outcomes and results.

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Apply for Funding

We support programs that provide emerging artists with mentorship, apprenticeships and exposure to new and diverse audiences throughout their career. Need support for your program? Applications for RBC Emerging Artists grants are accepted year-round.

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