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Guelph artist receives first prize at RBC Canadian Painting Competition
Jury selects winner from over 600 submissions received from artists across the country

Ottawa, October 18, 2017 – Yesterday, a jury of acclaimed Canadian artists, curators, and art directors gathered in the nation’s capital to select the winner of the 2017 RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Ambera Wellmann of Guelph, Ontario won first place among fifteen finalists, and will receive $25,000 for her work entitled Temper Ripened. In addition, two honourable mentions were recognized: Teto Elsiddique of Halifax, Nova Scotia for his work neckrings, a breezy thing and Veronika Pausova of Toronto, Ontario for her work Typography.

All three paintings will become a permanent addition to RBC’s corporate art collection that includes more than 4,500 works by Canadian artists. In addition to the financial support, all finalists receive valuable mentoring opportunities with the accomplished jurists and gain exposure to national audiences. They also become part of a vibrant and dynamic community of RBC Canadian Painting Competition alumni that continue to stay connected and support one another.

Quick Facts:

  • Since 1999, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition has provided more than 250 artists an opportunity to exhibit their work on a national scale.
  • All 15 finalists’ paintings are on exhibit at The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa until October 22, 2017.
  • Past winners of the Competition, like 2016 winner Rebecca Brewer, Arabella Campbell, Patrick Cruz, Colleen Heslin and Tiziana La Melia have gone on to receive considerable international acclaim.
  • The competition awards $85,000 in prize money. Two honourable mentions each receive $15,000 and the remaining 12 finalists receive $2,500 each.
  • Created in collaboration with Canadian Art – Canada's most widely read art magazine – the RBC Canadian Painting Competition spotlights the country’s vibrant contemporary art scene, provides recognition, mentorship and financial support to emerging artists.


“I am so excited and honoured to be recognized among such extraordinary and talented artists. The competition creates truly valuable opportunities for artists to gain exposure on a national level and connect personally with other emerging artists across Canada.”
– Ambera Wellmann, 2017 Canadian Painting Competition Winner

Ambera Wellmann is a powerful new voice in Canadian art. Working from a foundation of painterly realism, she curiously crops a ceramic figure, turning it into an ambiguously gendered body. Her painting dissects art history's patriarchal traditions and asserts new representational power dynamics, creating slippery images that both attract the viewer and resist easy reading.
– Jury Statement

“For many artists, securing that first major opportunity in the art community is challenging, which is why the RBC Canadian Paining Competition is focused on helping emerging artists gain exposure for their work, as well as providing an opportunity for them to connect and engage with art professionals from across Canada.”
– Robin Anthony, curator for RBC

“Canadian Art is pleased to partner with RBC on this important competition, an essential part of our mandate to support emerging artists. We congratulate all finalists, whose evolving talent we’ll be watching with excitement and interest.”
– David Balzar, editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Canadian Art magazine

For visuals and descriptions of the winning works, visit

Ambera Wellmann, Temper Ripened

Veronika Pausova, Typography

Teto Elsiddique, neckrings, a breezy thing

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have approximately 81,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 35 other countries. For more information, please visit‎

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

About Canadian Art

Canadian Art is the preeminent platform for journalism and criticism about art and culture in Canada. Our 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, we empower diverse audiences to understand, debate and be inspired by art.


For more information or to schedule an interview:
Michelle Yao, Brand Communications, RBC –; (647) 618-3792
Katy James, Argyle Public Relationships –





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