BMO 1st Art!

BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition

2016 Application Forms

Competition Rules and Guidelines PDF file
Submission Form PDF file

BMO Financial Group's 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition celebrates the creativity 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 from their graduating classes three students, whose ability and imagination place them 1st among their peers. A distinguished selection committee chooses a national winner and one winner from each eligible province and territory.

The national winner receives $10,000 and the regional winners each receive $5,000 for his or her artwork. The national winner’s work will become part of BMO’s corporate art collection, which includes historical and contemporary Canadian masters such as Kenojuak Ashevak, Emily Carr, Paterson Ewen, Tom Forestall, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Lawren Harris, Thaddeus Holownia, David Milne, Margaret Priest, Denyse Thomasos, Ian Wallace and others. All winning entries will be on display at the 1st Art! 2016 exhibition, held at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery during November 2016.

The 2016 distinguished Selection Committee members are:

Jeanie Riddle, Artist and Director, Parisian Laundry
Kim Simon, Curator, Gallery TPW
Michelle LaVallee, Associate Curator, MacKenzie Art Gallery
Pan Wendt, Curator, Confederation Centre Art Gallery
Dawn Cain, Curator, BMO Financial Group

2015 Winners

The winners for 2015 vividly demonstrate the excellence and promise of Canada's newest generation of artists (click on the image for a larger view).

National winner

Tamara Himmelspach
Alberta College of Art & Design

Back Into the Earth: Creation and the Interpretation of Meaning
Jingle dress, beaded purse and moccasins: cotton and polyester, unfired clay,
deerhide, beads; 11 inkjet prints
Overall installation 182.8 x 182.8 cm; 72 x 72 in


Svea Ferguson
Alberta College of Art & Design

Future Classic
Linoleum flooring
96.5 x 71.1 x 12.7 cm; 38 x 28 x 5 in

British Columbia
Richard Heikkilä-Sawan
Emily Carr University of Art & Design

Freedom Flag
Buffalo hide, dye
200.6 x 137.1 x 6.3 cm; 79 x 54 x 2.5 in

Yucen Zhou
University of Manitoba

The City Underwater (Montreal)
Oil on linen
152.4 x 121.9 cm; 60 x 48 in

New Brunswick
Jasmine Keillor
Mount Allison University

Pencil on paper; balsa wood, hollow wax, sewing pattern paper
3 drawings each 83.8 x 66 cm; 33 x 26 in;
Sculpture 1: 33 x 12.7 x 6.3 cm; 13 x 5 x 2.5 in;
Sculpture 2: 20.3 x 7.6 x 12.7 cm; 8 x 3 x 5 in


Newfoundland and Labrador
Alex Noel
Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Only Begetter
Silver gelatin prints on RC photo paper
126 parts, each 21.5 x 27.9 cm; 8.5 x 11 in

Nova Scotia

Connie Lynn Higgs
Nova Scotia College of Art & Design

Hand-woven, ikat resist dyed linen, wool
203.2 x 43.1 x 1.2 cm; 80 x 17 x 0.5 in
Photo courtesy of Eliot Wright


Ramona Barkhouse
Nunavut Arctic College

Flight of the Peacock
Sterling silver, 14 Karat gold, Labradorite
43.1 cm; 17 in (diameter)


Lindsey Wilson
Queen’s University

Murmur I
Stoneware, wool, silk yarn
60.9 x 17.7 x 7.6 cm; 24 x 7 x 3

Prince Edward Island

Jude Scheppele
Holland College

Digital illustration on canvas, Edition 1 of 1
121.9 x 45.7 cm; 48 x 18


Erin Skelton
Concordia University

All Our Mother’s Wishes
Steel, porcelain, pigmented encaustic, cotton cord, silicone, wood crate
22.8 x 45.7 x 19 cm; 9 x 18 x 7.5

Shelby Lechman
University of Saskatchewan

Oil on canvas
152.4 x 182.8 cm; 60 x 72 in

Yukon Territory

Jon Iñaki Etxeberria Vanneste
Yukon School of Visual Arts

Moving Target Artifacts
Doctored and digitally manipulated archival, found and original photographs
Overall installation 81.9 x 78.7 cm; 32.25 x 31 in

2014 Winners | 2013 Winners | 2012 Winners | 2011 Winners | 2010 Winners

2009 Winners | 2008 Winners | 2007 Winners | 2006 Winners | 2005 Winners

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