Aspiring young artists invited to enter contest for teens

Young artists can base their work on whatever sparks their imagination

This week, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) launched the fourth edition of its popular contest So You Want to Be an Artist? Youth aged 16 to 19 from across the country are invited to submit their work by May 21, 2014. Submitted works will be shown on the site so that visitors can vote for their favourite. The 12 entries with the most votes will be shown at the Gallery from July 28 to Sept. 1, 2014. From those 12 entries, a jury of visual arts experts will select the three most outstanding works. The grand prize winner will receive an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit of the Gallery.  So You Want to Be An Artist? is made possible thanks to the generous support of RBC Foundation.

New this year: an art expert will choose three additional works that he or she believes deserve to be exhibited and considered by the jury for one of the grand prizes.

In 2013, So You Want to Be an Artist? attracted 203 teens from all across Canada, and more than 25,000 votes were cast on the contest website. A total of 151,412 users visited the site, a 14 per cent increase from the previous year.

“Since launching in 2011, So You Want to Be an Artist? has been growing in popularity among youth, and we hope to see more and more of them enter,” said NGC manager of youth and school programs Gary Goodacre. “We are always blown away by the superb quality of the works submitted.”

The panel of judges will evaluate the 15 finalists’ artworks on the following criteria: clarity of theme and message; originality and imaginativeness; and thought and feeling provoked in the viewer.

How to enter:

Young artists can base their work on whatever sparks their imagination. They can also draw inspiration from the NGC’s rich collection, either in person or by visiting Artworks must be original two dimensional pieces in any medium, and must be accompanied by a short text explaining the inspiration for their piece. A digital copy of the work must be submitted, which will be shown on the website, where visitors will be able to vote for their favourite piece(s) through Facebook (one vote per work per Facebook account).

The contestants with the most online votes, as well as the three additional ones whose artworks have been chosen by an expert, will be invited to submit their original artwork for entry into the final phase of the contest. For more information, go to


The contest is open to residents of Canada who are aged 16 to 19, as of Aug. 11, 2014.

The NGC will accept entries submitted before 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 21, 2014 via the contest website at No submissions will be accepted afterwards.

All accepted entries online at During the voting phase of the contest, visitors to the contest website will be able to vote once for every artwork that appeals to them. The voting phase takes place from May 26 to June 30, 2014.

First prize includes travel, accommodation and meals for a two-night stay in Ottawa for the winner and one accompanying adult as well as an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit of the NGC that will focus on careers in the visual arts. The winner will also gain expert advice on his or her art portfolio and receive a $500 gift certificate for art supplies. Total maximum value: $3,500.

Second prize is a $1,000 gift certificate for art supplies.

Third prize is a $500 gift certificate for art supplies.

Visit for the contest’s full official rules.