Burtynsky Grant


2017 Burtynsky Grant awarded to The Broadbent Sisters for A Telepathic Book

Renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky and CONTACT established the Burtynsky Grant in 2016—a $5,000 annual grant to support photo-based Canadian artists and photographers who are at the advanced stages of developing a photobook for publication.

The jury—Edward Burtynsky, Sara Knelman (writer, curator and assistant professor, School of Image Arts at Ryerson University), Maxine Proctor (director and co-founder, Toronto Art Book Fair), and Marcus Schubert (Director of Media, Publications & Exhibits, Burtynsky Studios)—considered many innovative, compelling, and well-resolved book projects from across Canada.

“Created across two cities (Zihuatanejo, Mexico and Toronto, Canada), A Telepathic Book is an uncanny look at the way we produce, share, and make connections between images. Rose and Joy Broadbent’s process plays on the unconscious resonances in and among images, acknowledging that there's a crucial aspect of seeing that only hidden parts of our minds see—what Walter Benjamin calls the 'optical unconscious.’ The book continues the Broadbent Sisters' practice of exploring shared experiences through a unique, two-spine design, inviting the viewer to turn two pages at once to see the simultaneous images." – The Jury

Past Winners

Aaron Friend Lettner, Doorways


Gattuso Prize


Sandra Brewster, Blur 8, 2017, mural, photo-based gel transfer media, paper, installation based. Courtesy of the artist and Georgia Scherman Projects.

The Gattuso Prize goes to Sandra Brewster for her exhibition It's all a blur… at Georgia Scherman Projects.

The Gattuso Prize of $5,000 acknowledges an outstanding Featured Exhibition in CONTACT. The jury, Rosemary Heather (writer and curator) and Anique Jordan (executive director, Whippersnapper Gallery), based their decision on the caliber and concept of the work, the curatorial vision, and overall impact and presentation of the exhibition.

“With It’s all a blur… Sandra Brewster takes portraiture in a strongly metaphoric direction. Using a labour-intensive method, the artist creates tactile works suggestive of a number of ideas. While evoking the customary role of the photograph as memento, at the same time, these works appear to call forth the emerging subjects of history. The unavoidable scale, presence, and motion embedded in these still images command the attention of viewers to discover the details and traces left behind by the portrait participants.” – The Jury

The exhibition is on view at Georgia Scherman Projects (133 Tecumseth St) until June 24, 2017.

CONTACT's Featured Exhibitions, selected to be part of the Festival through a juried submission process, are organized independently by hosting venues, presenting organizations and exhibiting artists.

CONTACT gratefully acknowledges the generous support and contributions of La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso. The Foundation demonstrates strong leadership and influences innovation across all charitable sectors in Canada including health care, culture and the arts.

 Past Winners

Lee HendersonNever Letting Us Take Breath at Zalucky Contemporary

Jury: Rui Mateus Amaral (Curator and Artistic Director of Scrap Metal) and Mona Filip (Director/Curator of the Koffler Gallery at the Koffler Centre of the Arts)

Jimmy Limit, Surplus at Clint Roenisch Gallery

Jury: Lise Beaudry (artist and lecturer), Sara Knelman (writer, curator and lecturer)

Nadia Belerique,  Have You Seen This Man at Daniel Faria Gallery

Jury: Jeremy Laing (designer and artist) and Gabrielle Moser (independent curator and art critic)

Marlene Creates,  Selected works from 30 years, 1982-2012, at Paul Petro Contemporary Art

Jury: Max Dean (artist) and Dr. Matthew Brower (curator and historian University of Toronto)

Lise Beaudry, Sur la glace / Walking on Ice, at the Art Gallery Of Mississauga.

Jury: Michael Itkoff (Founding Editor of Daylight Magazine, New York) and Dr. Thierry Gervais (Researcher in Residence at the Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto)

Andrew Wright, CORONAE at Peak Gallery.

Jury: Sheyi Bankale (Editor and Founder of Next Level Magazine, London, UK) and David Liss (Artistic Director & Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto)

The Portfolio Reviews Award

Brendan George Ko

The winner of the 2017 Portfolio Reviews Award is Brendan George Ko.

Ko is a visual storyteller that works in photography, video, installation, text, and sound. His work is about conveying a sense of experience through storytelling and describes the image as supplementary to the story it represents. In 2010, Ko received his BFA from Ontario College of Art & Design where he majored in photography, and in addition he practiced sculpture and curation. During his time in the Masters in Visual Arts programme at the University of Toronto his practice shifted into video and sound with the guidance of Kim Tomczak.

Established in 2010, the Portfolio Reviews Award offers one artist a solo exhibition at the CONTACT Gallery, a $2,500 credit at Toronto Image Works, and a professional 17-inch Epson printer from Vistek. The recipient is chosen by a jury of international professionals in the field of photography, and the award recognizes outstanding work presented at the reviews.

The program was created to support and advance the careers of talented emerging photographers.

CONTACT gratefully acknowledges the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Image Works and Vistek for supporting this award.

Past Winners

Nathaniel Brunt, #shaheed

Josée Pedneault, Nævus

Michel Huneault, La longue nuit de Mégantic

Ian Willms, No Road to Nowhere

Guillaume Simoneau, Love and War 

Jesse Louttit,  No Roads
Jonathan Taggart,  The Friction of Distance: The Lillooet River Valley

Alex Kisilevich, Untitled
Henrieta Haniskova, I am Elvis