RBC announces Black History Month Student Essay Competition scholarship winners

TORONTO, Feb. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Tonight, at a special event at the Four Season Centre for the Performing Arts, RBC announced the three winners of the 2013 RBC Black History Month competition:

$3,000: Matthew Samuels, Markham District Public School, who wrote about how the rich histories of African and Caribbean Canadians have contributed to Canada's tradition and heritage.

$2,000: Zaena Harrison, Bramalea Secondary School, who wrote about women who laid the foundation for the diverse and accepting country we live in today.

$1,000: Wadia Forrester, King's Christian Collegiate, who wrote about Lincoln Alexander and his legacy of confidence, determination and perseverance.

The event featured a stirring keynote address from Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival who spoke about how Toronto's diversity is reflected in the myriad festivals we celebrate each year.

"So many cultures are represented in our city's many annual festivals", said Bailey. "And it's great to see that diversity represented in the essays these students have written."

The top ten essays were all on display, and many of the top ten essayists and their families were in attendance along with essay panel judges Mitzie Hunter, CEO Civic Action, and Justice Irving Andre, Judge on the Ontario Provincial Court of Justice.

"Reading these essays makes me confident that the contributions of important Canadians won't be forgotten", said emcee and CP24 anchor Nathan Downer. "And equally confident the future is bright."

More than 160 students entered their 700 word essays on how black Canadians have helped to define Canada's diverse heritage and identity through their achievements and contributions to the broader society.

Each Monday in February, you can read 3 of the top essays at rbc.com/essay, including the three scholarship winning essays on February 25.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are Canada's largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and are among 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 services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and investor services on a global basis. We employ approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 51 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.

SOURCE: RBC Royal Bank - Public Affairs & Community Relations

For further information:

Mark Hamill
Director, Communications, RBC
416.974.3900
Mark.Hamill@rbc.com