BMO 1st Art!

BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition

2017 Application Forms

Competition Rules and Guidelines PDF file
Submission Form PDF file

BMO 1st Art! celebrates the creativity of art school students from over 100 post-secondary institutions across Canada. Every year BMO Financial Group invites the deans and instructors of undergraduate-level certificate, diploma, or degree programmes in studio art to select from their graduating classes three students whose ability and imagination place them 1st among their peers.

Each promising student is asked to submit digital images of a recent work to BMO Financial Group’s Art Collection Unit by May 15, 2017. Our distinguished selection committee will review the submissions in July and choose one winner from every province and territory to be 1st in their region. A national winner will also be chosen.

The regional winners will each be awarded $7,500 and the award for the national winner is $15,000. All winning entries for 2017 will be on display at the 1st Art! 2017 exhibition, held at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery from November 16 – December 16, 2017.

The BMO 1st Art! 2017 Selection Committee

Hugues Charbonneau, Director, Galerie Hugues Charbonneau
Naomi Potter, Director/Curator, Esker Foundation
Kim Simon, Curator, Gallery TPW
Pan Wendt, Curator, Confederation Centre Art Gallery
Dawn Cain, Curator, BMO Corporate Art Collection

2017 Winners

The winners for 2017 vividly demonstrate the excellence and promise of Canada's newest generation of artists (click on the image for a larger view).

Photo of a camper   

Xiao Xue
University of Victoria

Something to Ponder On: A Walking Camper
Digital photograph
150.4 x 233.7 cm; 59.2 x 92 in

Walking Camper Maquette
Wood, bicycle sprockets, chain, steel, design renderings
25.4 x 68.6 x 25.4 cm; 10 x 27 x 10 in


Dylan Cameron
Alberta College of Art & Design

Rust on bleached denim, steel, chain
203.2 x 127 x 30.5 cm; 80 x 50 x 12 in


British Columbia winner

British Columbia
James Fermor
University of Victoria

The Collection No.3
Digital print
106.7 x 189.2 cm; 42 x 74.5 in

Manitoba winner

Chelsey Thiessen
University of Manitoba

30 x 80 x 80 cm; 11.8 x 31.5 x 31.5 in

Relic II
Porcelain, Plexiglass, wood, steel
147 x 36 x 36 cm; 57.9 x 14 x 14 in

Relic III
Porcelain, Plexiglass, wood, steel
147 x 36 x 36 cm; 57.9 x 14 x 14 in


New Brunswick winner

New Brunswick
mily Blair
New Brunswick College of Craft & Design

Tencel, merino wool
Panel 1: 172.7 x 61 cm; 68 x 24
Panel 2: 160 x 61 cm; 63 x 24 in


Newfoundland and Labrador winner

Newfoundland and Labrador
Lauren Brinson
Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Small Talk
Custom built tin cans, cotton rope
Cans each 45.7 x 30.5 cm; 18 x 12 in;
Rope length up to 365.8 cm; 144 in

Nova Scotia winner

Nova Scotia
Annabel Biro
Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University

Story of a Chair
Ceramic and photo documentation
200 x 100 x 60 cm; 78.7 x 39.4 x 23.6 in


Nunavut winner


Anne Qammaniq-Hellwig
Nunavut Arctic College

Traditional Qaurutik
Copper, seal bones, glass beads, elastic
16 x 22 x 4.2 cm; 6.3 x 8.7 x 1.7 in

Transition Qaurutik
Dix-gold, Sterling silver, glass beads, elastic
23 x 21.5 x 4.2 cm; 9 x 8.5 x 1.7 in

Adaptation Qaurutik
Sterling silver, freshwater pearls, elastic
26 x 27 x 3.8 (variable) cm; 10.2 x 10.6 x 1.5 (variable) in

Ontario winner


Jessica Peterson
Queen’s University

Oil on panel
243.8 x 243.8 cm; 96 x 96 in

Prince Edward Island winner

Prince Edward Island

Aidan Searle
Holland College

A Year in Review
Digital print on paper
91.4 x 61 cm; 36 x 24 in

Quebec winner


Laure Bourgault
Université du Québec à Montréal

Tour du midi
Prints, impression on textile, replica of furniture, audio track
170 x 150 x 100 cm; 70 x 59 x 39.4 in

Saskatchewan winner


Audie Murray
University of Regina

Pair of Socks
Glass beads, cotton socks
53.3 x 25.4 cm; 21 x 10 in

Yukon winner

Kayza DeGraff-Ford
Yukon School of Visual Arts

Landscapes: Brown Kids From The Prairies
Acrylic on plywood, mixed media and found objects
119.4 x 190.5 x 25.4 cm; 47 x 75 x 10 in

2016 Winners | 2015 Winners | 2014 Winners | 2013 Winners | 2012 Winners

2011 Winners | 2010 Winners | 2009 Winners | 2008 Winners | 2007 Winners

2006 Winners | 2005 Winners

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