TORONTO -- Quebec artist Raphaelle de Groot is $50,000 richer as winner of the Sobey Art Award.

The contemporary art award, which was created in 2002, is given out annually to an artist aged 40 or under who has exhibited in a gallery within the past 18 months.

Judges applauded how de Groot has worked outside the traditional art world and has used her interactions with nuns, factory workers, domestic workers and students to influence her work.

They said her work makes viewers "intrigued by what we see, disturbed by what we discover of ourselves and by what is revealed to us in this encounter with art and the artist in the present."

The other finalists, who each receive $5,000, were: Gareth Moore representing the West Coast and Yukon; Jason de Haan for the Prairies and the North; Derek Sullivan of Ontario; and Eleanor King chosen for the Atlantic region.

Work by all the finalists is being showcased at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto until Dec. 30.