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Friday, Nov. 13, 2009

The Power Plant is set to present the work of the semi-finalists of the 11th Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition
Coincides with an extended viewing of Candice Breitz’s Factum
FREE admission to all visitors from
Saturday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009

Toronto, ON, Nov. 13, 2009The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre concludes the fall season with a special exhibition of artwork by the semi-finalists in the 11th Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition. This special presentation will officially open to the public on Saturday, Nov. 21 and run through Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. During this week, thanks to the Royal Bank of Canada, The Power Plant will offer free admission to all visitors.

Established in 1999, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, with the support of the Canadian Art Foundation, is a unique initiative that helps to nurture and support promising new artists in the early stages of their careers, a time when they need both recognition and financial support. The Power Plant, Canada’s leading public gallery devoted to contemporary art, with a mandate to foster the conditions for the production and reception of contemporary art and to develop new possibilities for artists within contemporary culture, is a natural venue for this competition and celebrates its second year as host.

Submissions were accepted from professional, practicing, visual Canadian artists and were judged by some of the most respected artists, gallery directors and curators in Canada.

Semi-finalists for this year’s RBC Painting Competition include: Western Canada: Noah Becker (Victoria), Brenda Draney (Vancouver), Dave & Jenn (Calgary), Ryan Peter (Vancouver), Joseph Tisiga (Whitehorse); Central Canada: Sarah Cale (Toronto), Janice Colbert (Toronto), Scott Everingham (Toronto), Martin Golland (Toronto), Sasha Pierce (Toronto); Eastern Canada: Julie Beugin (Montréal), Anthony Burnham (Montréal), Pierre Durette (Montréal), Daniel Hutchinson (Halifax), Nathalie Thibault (Québec).

Brenda Draney was declared the national winner and the two honourable mentions were Martin Golland and Sasha Pierce, all selected by a jury panel of distinguished members of the arts community. Draney is awarded $25,000 while the honourable mentions each receive $15,000. With $55,000 in prizes, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition offers the highest total award of any painting competition in Canada.

During this special presentation of the 11th Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition, The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre will extend the public presentation of Factum by Candice Breitz, on view for one additional week, from Nov. 21 to 29, 2009. Commissioned by The Power Plant for the exhibition Candice Breitz:Same Same, with the support of Toronto benefactors Partners in Art, this spectacular new work was one of the most acclaimed and popular features of the Breitz exhibition. Because the work was made in Toronto, and in celebration of the brilliant Toronto arts community that is yet again in the international spotlight as a result, The Power Plant offers this extended presentation of Factum free of charge to all visitors.

Breitz has always explored how we fashion our identities through our cultural consumption, but when commissioned by The Power Plant, she wanted to return to working with non-actors to present a series of interview-based video diptychs within the context of the gallery’s exhibition – the themes of the performance of identity and the tension between what Breitz has referred to as “the scripted life” and one’s own self-fashioning. Factum features several sets of twins from Toronto. Each was separated from their sibling and asked the same questions. Breitz recorded the responses and created a series of dynamically edited video portraits. Factum explores the myriad ways that twins differentiate themselves in a world that values nothing more than the individual.

This project was made possible by Partners in Art (PIA), a non-profit group of Toronto art enthusiasts with an interest in supporting the visual arts in Canada in two ways: first, by partnering with established arts organizations on collaborative fundraising projects; and second, by furthering members’ own understanding and knowledge of the visual arts through an active education program. The group cultivates alliances among artists, dealers, curators, educators, businesses, and the public to develop vital and exciting contemporary art projects that raise the awareness of Canadian art and artists nationally and internationally. PIA was The Power Plant’s Commissioning Partner for the gallery’s 2008 and 2009 commissions.

“Partners in Art (PIA) is very excited to have contributed to the production of two new contemporary art commissions, including the eight works in Factum,” says Eleanor Shen, PIA co-chair. “It’s especially exciting to know that Candice Breitz, a renowned Berlin-based artist, chose to create her commissioned work here in Toronto with totally Canadian content; potentially leading to the positive cross-pollination of ideas and energy with the Toronto art community.”

The full series of Factum is set to travel to several European venues after its extended presentation here in Toronto.

Please note special admission rates and gallery hours: Admission to The Power Plant will be free to all visitors from Nov. 21-29, 2009. The gallery will close early Nov. 25 and 26, operating from 12-4 p.m.

For more information on exhibitions and all public programs at The Power Plant, call 416-973-4949 or visit

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre
231 Queens Quay West, Toronto

$6 Adults, $3 Students/Seniors
FREE to all from Nov. 21 to 29, 2009
FREE Members
FREE Wednesdays 5-8 p.m.

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday to Sunday 12-6 p.m.
Wednesday 12-8 p.m.
Open Holiday Mondays
Open 12-4 p.m. Nov. 25 and 26


Media Contact:
Robin Boyko
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
The Power Plant 416-973-4927
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