Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is an annual event in May with well over 1500 Canadian and international artists and photographers exhibiting at more than 175 venues throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Founded as a not-for-profit organization in 1997 and now a charitable organization, the Festival is devoted to celebrating, and fostering the art and profession of photography, through a diverse range of programmes.

As a leading proponent of photography, the Festival increases exposure and recognition for local, Canadian and international artists and is committed to advancing knowledge, creativity and innovation in photography. It stimulates excitement and discussion among a diverse audience that has grown to over 1.8 million. CONTACT is the largest photography event in the world, and a premiere cultural event in Canada.


Inspired by discourse within the community and observations of tendencies throughout the field worldwide, CONTACT’s curated programming includes Primary Exhibitions and Public Installations. Exploring subjects relevant to our times, we collaborate with galleries, museums, public and private institutions and agencies to create a vital focus on photography in Toronto throughout the month of May.



CONTACT's Primary Exhibitions at major venues in Toronto showcase the work of Canadian and international artists, both emerging and established, as well as images from throughout the history of photography.   

Our Public Installations of photography are presented in high profile public sites across the city that are accessible to a wide and diverse audience from all walks of life.

Reflecting a wide range of approaches to photography, approximately 30 Featured Exhibitions of works by artists from around the world at established galleries and cultural centres are selected through a call for submissions. 

The foundation of CONTACT was based on an open call to participate, enabling emerging artists to show their work concurrent with exhibitions of works by leading professionals. Today the Open Exhibitions continue to encourage community involvement across the city at galleries, community centres, educational and international institutions restaurants, cafes, retail stores, and many alternative locations.

Events & Education

CONTACT organizes and co-presents numerous educational activities and events such as lectures, symposiums, film screenings, portfolio reviews and workshops. Catering to all levels of interest in photography, these initiatives stimulate discourse within the community and encourage participation.

The CONTACT Portfolio Reviews brings internationally renowned curators, art dealers, directors, publishers and photo editors together for two days to review the work of emerging and mid-career artists and photographers. To support and advance the careers of talented emerging photographers, one participant is awarded a solo exhibition in the CONTACT Gallery.

A series of Films on Photography are presented in partnership with Hot Docs, Canadian International Documentary Festival.

Sponsorship Programs and Special Projects

In recent years the Festival has experienced significant growth through the development of long-term relationships and partnerships. We work with our partners to facilitate unique outreach opportunities such as lectures, tours, private receptions, scholarships and awards. Examples include, the BMW Art Auction and the BMW Exhibition Prize, Nikon Lectures and Photo Contest and the Scotiabank Photography Award.

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

CONTACT is an open forum for the promotion and discussion of photography. CONTACT is not responsible for the specific content or subject matter of any work displayed or advertised. Some exhibitions or materials may be offensive, upsetting or disturbing to some members of the public.