Inspired by discourse within the community and observations of tendencies throughout the field worldwide, an annual thematic focus provides a framework for the development of our curated programming, including 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.