What’s your reason for getting up in the morning? For many artists, it’s creation. Whether their passion is painting, dancing, writing, composing or drawing, there are many upsides to being an artist: self-discovery, creative freedom, sharing your vision with others… to name a few.

Unfortunately, there are challenges to following your passion full-time. Roadblocks like self-doubt, negative feedback and lack of emotional support can cause an artist’s dream to vanish before it even begins. Then there’s the biggest factor, financial instability.

In Canada, we really treasure and do everything we can to foster Canadian artists, it’s just one of the many reasons we LOVE living here.

Here’s where RBC plays a truly amazing role with their Canadian Painting Competition, back again for the 19th straight year. Working closely with Canadian organizations and partners, RBC has a long-standing tradition of supporting the arts and helping shape the future of Canadian artists across the country.

They have been active collectors of Canadian contemporary art for years now, further showing their commitment to all aspects of the art community. In addition, RBC participates in a variety of initiatives including donations, community investment, employee volunteer activities, and of course their Canadian Painting Competition, all of which work together to bring attention to Canada’s vibrant, contemporary art scene.

Developed through RBC’s Emerging Artists Project (in collaboration with Canadian Art) this competition was designed to attract submissions from visual artists across the country with the intention of injecting vitality and diversity into Canada’s arts landscape. Once you’ve had a moment to look over this year’s finalists (more below), you’ll see they’ve done just that. They’re opening doors for artists who may not otherwise have the opportunity to continue to pursue their goals.

The competition is about recognizing and nurturing the careers of local artists while supporting a thriving Canadian visual arts community. After a coast-to-coast open call and a rigorous selection process, a jury selected fifteen finalists to be entered into the competition. To view these outstanding pieces from the comfort of your home, feel free to browse RBC’s virtual tour. Alternately, for those in Ottawa, check out the National Gallery of Canada to see these works in real-life — they are now on display until October 22, 2017. The winner will be selected on October 17th, 2017 and will be awarded $25,000. In addition, two honourable mentions will be recognized with $15,000, while all remaining finalists will receive $2,500. Of note, all three works will be added to RBC’s Corporate Art Collection.

While we wait in anticipation for the winner to be announced, we wanted to shine the spotlight on the fifteen finalists of this year’s competition. If you have an upcoming trip to our nation’s capital, or for those who call Ottawa their home, head over to the National Gallery of Canada to check them out live!

Click here for full artist bios and more information on the RBC Canadian Painting Competition.