BMO Names Best Student Artists in Canada

    Eclectic works by fourteen exceptional artists from across the country
    win top awards at the 5th annual BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art

    TORONTO, Aug. 14 /CNW/ - BMO Financial Group today announced one national
and 13 regional winners of the only national graduating artist competition in
Canada, the BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition.
    A photograph depicting the tyranny of human expansion over nature, images
that explore notions of beauty and female roles, sculpture made from driftwood
found along the Mackenzie River, a painting that explores the violence of war
and the promise of hope, and images of airports as metaphors of human strength
and weakness: these are just some of the distinctive and remarkable works of
art produced by the 2007 winners.
    The competition received a record 179 entries from every province and
territory across Canada, a testament to the esteem of the BMO 1st Art! awards.
The winning works showcase the diverse influences and artistic visions of this
country, with each piece reflecting the unique nature of the artists and the
communities in which they live and study.
    BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition is a celebration of the
creative excellence of art students from post-secondary institutions across
Canada. Deans and instructors of undergraduate certificate, diploma, and
degree programs in visual art are invited to select three students from their
graduating classes whose ability and imagination place them first among their
peers. A distinguished panel of judges chooses an overall national winner and
one winner from each province and territory.

    2007 Winners

    BMO 1st Art! 2007 national winner:
    Blaine Campbell, Vancouver, BC, Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design

    Regional winners:
    Dawson City, YK             -  Kendra Brickner, Klondike Institute of
                                   Arts & Culture
    Inuvik, NT                  -  Kathleen Mangelana, Aurora College
    Iqaluit, NU                 -  Alie Kippomee, Nunavut Arctic College
    Vancouver, BC               -  Jeremy Hof, Emily Carr Institute of Art &
    Calgary, AB                 -  Angela Lane, Alberta College of Art and
    Regina, SK                  -  Jessie MacDonald, University of Regina
    La Salle, MB                -  Natalie Ferguson, University of Manitoba
    Toronto, ON                 -  Andrea Raymond, Ontario College of Art &
    Sherbrooke, QC              -  Raphaelle Coulombe-Alli, Université du
                                   Québec à Montréal
    Moncton, NB                 -  Raymonde Fortin, Université de Moncton
    Dieppe, PEI                 -  Stephen Farquharson, Holland College
    Halifax, NS                 -  John van der Woude, Nova Scotia College of
                                   Art & Design
    Conception Bay South, NL    -  Amanda Duffett, Memorial University

    The national winner receives $5,000 and the regional winners each receive
$2,500 for his or her artwork. Their works, which represent the best of
Canada's newest generation of artists, will be installed in BMO offices from
coast to coast, joining a prestigious corporate art collection that includes
historical and contemporary Canadian masters such as Kenojuak Ashevak, Emily
Carr, Tom Forestall, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Lawren Harris and others.
    "The creativity, ability, and accomplishments of this country's visual
arts graduates are truly inspiring and worthy of recognition," said Dawn Cain,
Curator, BMO Financial Group, Corporate Art Collection. "It's a challenge and
an honour to select the finalists from among so many 'winning' submissions."
    "I continue to be impressed by the depth of talent and creativity of
Canada's young artists," said Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private
Client Group, BMO Financial Group, and Deputy Chair, BMO Nesbitt Burns. "By
shining the spotlight on these outstanding graduating students, it is our hope
that BMO 1st Art! can give our 2007 winners the motivation and confidence to
move forward with their work and in doing so, find their place in Canada's
strong and vital cultural community."
    Mr. Ouellette and Ms. Cain served as selection committee members for the
5th annual BMO 1st Art! Competition, along with art luminaries Jessica
Bradley, Director, Jessica Bradley Art + Projects; David Liss,
Director/Curator, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art; Landon Mackenzie,
Artist and Gary Michael Dault, Arts Critic.
    The BMO 1st Art! winners' works will be on display at the Museum of
Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) 952 Queen Street West in Toronto from
October 2 to 28, 2007. The winning pieces can also be viewed on BMO Financial
Group's website at:,1263,divId-7_langId-1_navCode-4094,00.html

    Since 1817, BMO Financial Group has believed in community reinvestment
and corporate and social responsibility to the communities it serves. BMO
contributes millions of dollars each year in corporate donations, sponsorships
and events, supporting thousands of communities, charities and not-for-profit
organizations in Canada. In 2006, BMO was the recipient of a Globe and Mail
Business for the Arts Award, which recognizes "outstanding partnerships
between business and the arts" and in 2005, BMO was named Best Corporate
Citizen of the Year in Canada by Corporate Knights magazine.

For further information:

For further information: Media Inquiries: BMO Financial Group, Ralph
Marranca, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996; Ronald Monet,
Montreal,, (514) 877-1101; Laurie Grant, Vancouver,, (604) 665-7596; Applause Communications Inc, Jessica
Goldman, Toronto,, (416) 217-0700 ext.304

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