As the global health crisis has rapidly transformed how art is experienced, Toronto’s 24th annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival was adapted to reflect the challenges of this new reality. Normally spanning the month of May, the city-wide Festival’s exhibitions will open on a case-by-case basis, once public safety is assured…

As the global health crisis has rapidly transformed how art is experienced, Toronto’s 24th annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival was adapted to reflect the challenges of this new reality. Normally spanning the month of May, the city-wide Festival’s exhibitions will open on a case-by-case basis, once public safety is assured and schedules are confirmed. As information becomes available we will update details on our website, which launched on April 1 with the full roster of exhibitions planned for this year’s Festival. While many venues will remain closed for the foreseeable future due to the impact of COVID-19, we acknowledge the enormous efforts of everyone involved and celebrate their great accomplishments. An exceptional range of lens-based works by Canadian and international artists was selected for a diverse array of exhibitions at museums, galleries, public sites, and alternative spaces throughout Toronto. We very proudly present information on all of these shows on this website and within the Festival’s catalogue, despite the unforeseen havoc of the pandemic which has unfortunately resulted in some cancellations.

On May 1, the Festival’s customary first day, we launched a new platform for Online Programs. Rolling out on our website throughout the month, this series of initiatives featuring new and recent projects by Festival participants and partners includes profiles on artists, video screenings, photo-essays and photobooks, recommended readings, and a variety of conversations recorded in living rooms, studios, and exhibitions. These timely iterations of image-based programs activate the exhibitions planned for the 2020 Festival, as we await the privilege of seeing them in person.

Collaborating with artists and cultural partners across the city, CONTACT fosters a deep engagement with photographic imagery and a heightened awareness of local and global issues. Revealing critical subjects and shared concerns, many of the artists in our Core Exhibitions expose physical, emotional, and environmental scars that reflect the fragility of our times. Their projects affirm artists’ roles in building awareness, stimulating dialogue, and fostering engagement with important issues, whether individual, collective, or global. They explore the interconnections and implications of bodies, identities, locations, and histories, and provide spirited messages and meaningful engagement that remind us of the world’s beauty and the ongoing significance of artistic expression. Selected through a call for submissions, Featured Exhibitions of lens-based works by artists from Canada and around the world are planned at established galleries all over the city. And our Open Call Exhibitions, which enable emerging artists to show their work at local galleries and alternative locations, are the foundation of CONTACT. We continue to foster the careers of artists through the annual Burtynsky Grant that supports the creation of a photobook, and The Exhibition Award, which provides an emerging artist with a solo show in the CONTACT Gallery.

Reflecting on these difficult times as people around the world confront health concerns, CONTACT is very fortunate to work with an incredible community and so many remarkable partners and stakeholders—our most sincere thanks goes out to all of them. We are very grateful to our title sponsor Scotiabank and major sponsors Nikon Canada and PATTISON Outdoors for their active engagement in the arts over the years and who continue to support the growth and success of the Festival. Provincial and federal funding from Celebrate Ontario, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council, is gratefully acknowledged for providing tremendous assistance to present new and innovative projects annually. Our sincere appreciation goes to our many funders and sponsors, as well as to a number of resolute individuals whose donations and volunteer efforts have been critical.

This year’s Festival is dedicated to all of those in the arts who have been affected by COVID-19. We hope that these challenging and uncertain times will ultimately strengthen society, one that values creativity as a vital part of life experience. Best wishes for good health and safe shelter.

— CONTACT staff and board of directors

2020 Primary Exhibition
Wendy Coburn, Fable for Tomorrow, (bisque-fired clay), 2008. Courtesy of the Estate of Wendy Coburn and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto.

Wendy Coburn
Fable for Tomorrow

2020 Primary Exhibition
Stephen Waddell, Boarding, 1999. Courtesy of the artist and Monte Clark Gallery.
September 16–November 28,  2020

Scotiabank Photography Award: Stephen Waddell

Online Artist Talk
Teresa Eng - online talk

Teresa Eng
China Dream

2020 Primary Exhibition
Carol Sawyer, Natalie Brettschneider and unknown music ensemble at the Booth family residence, Ottawa, c.1947. Gift of Justin Wannacott, 2015., 2015. Courtesy of the and artist Republic Gallery, Vancouver.
September 23–November 15,  2020

Carol Sawyer
The Natalie Brettschneider Archive

2020 Primary Exhibition
Diane Arbus, Puerto Rican woman with a beauty mark, N.Y.C., 1965. Gelatin silver print, sheet: 50.8 x 40.6 cm. Art Gallery of Ontario. Gift of Phil Lind, 2016. Copyright © Estate of Diane Arbus.
AGO
July 2–November 8,  2020

Diane Arbus
Photographs, 1956 – 1971

2020

Vid Ingelevics & Ryan Walker | 130 Commissioners Street

2020 Primary Exhibition
Elisabeth Belliveau, Installation view of Still life Tokyo, Studio Youkobo Japan, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.
September 11–October 24,  2020

Elisabeth Belliveau
Alone in the House (Still Life with Clarice Lispector)

2020
Krista Belle Stewart, Seraphine, Seraphine

Krista Belle Stewart
Seraphine, Seraphine

2020 Primary Exhibition
Christina Leslie, Posers at Bath, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.
July 1–October 4,  2020

Christina Leslie
Absence/Presence: Morant Bay

2020

Jessica Thalmann – Pamphlet Stitch Binding

2020 Primary Exhibition
Lyla Rye, A Meditation, (video still, detail), 2019. Three-channel video. Courtesy of the artist.
October 2–November 28,  2020

Lyla Rye
Mirage

2020
Vid Ingelevics and Ryan Walker, 97 Commissioners St, August 2019. Courtesy of the artists.

Chloë Catán

2020 Primary Exhibition
Native Art Department International, Double Shift, 2018. Performance at Nocturne Festival, Halifax. Courtesy the artists. Photo: Eli Hirtle.
July 30–October 31,  2020

Native Art Department International
Bureau of Aesthetics

2020
 , Hannah Darabi

Hannah Darabi
Engelhab Street

2020 Curator's Reading List
Tereza Zelenkova, The Double Room, from the series The Essential Solitude, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Ravestijn Gallery, Amsterdam

Bonnie Rubenstein

2020
Kim Hoeckele, Source reference material for Block-like figure invoking birth, 2020

Benjamin Freedman

2020
Małgorzata Stankiewicz, Lassen (Future Changes in Human Emissions of CO2 Will Largely Determine Future Climate), 2018

Tara Smith

2020
Best Practices: Editioning Photographs

Best Practices: Editioning Photographs

2020 Workshop
Jessica Thalmann, In Defense of the Poor Image, 2020

MAY 23: In Defense of the Poor Image

2020 Workshop
Julius Poncelet Manapul, Deconstructing Images and Personal Archives, 2020

MAY 9: Deconstructing Images and Personal Archives

2020 Curator's Reading List
Aaron Jones, Waves (a portrait of Mother), 2017-18. Courtesy of the artist

Anique Jordan

2020 Photo Essay
Alberto Giuliani, Annalisa Silvestri, Anaesthesiologist, 2020

Alberto Giuliani
San Salvatore

2020 Juried Call
Michelle Forsyth, Red Florals, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
October 15–November 21,  2020

Michelle Forsyth
Our relationship is beautiful due to the distance

2020 Streaming Series
image001

Nikon: Stay Inspired

2020 Juried Call
Steven Beckly, Flicker, 2019. Colour transparency. Courtesy
of Daniel Faria Gallery.
June 27–September 12,  2020

Steven Beckly
The heart can’t wait

2020 Curator's Reading List
Yoshua Okón , Pulpo [Octopus], (video still), 2011. Courtesy of the artist.

Zoë Chan

2020 Photobook Lab

Laia Abril
On Abortion

2020 Curator's Reading List
Elisabeth Belliveau, Still life with Pretzel (After Clara Peeters), Lenticular print, 2019

Heather Rigg

2020 Juried Call
Alex King, Michael Tavioni carving a spear for a buyer, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.
May 1–31,  2020

Group Exhibition
Original Perspectives

2020 Curator's Reading List
Greg Staats, transformation, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

Philip Monk

2020 Juried Call
Various Artists, Installation view of "Red Light", 2018.
May 2–June 28,  2020

Salonsdale: Rebel Lens

2020 Photobook Lab

Genevieve Allison & Elliot Ross
American Backyard

2020 Juried Call
Sara Graham, Study for Organizational Structure 01 (Generator AO), 2019-20. Courtesy of MKG127.
April 25–May 23,  2020

Sara Graham
Generator

2020 Photobook Lab

Donald Weber
War Sand

2020 Online Exhibition
Bertille Bak, Transports à dos d’hommes, (video still), 2012. Courtesy of the artist and Xippas Gallery, Paris.

Performing Lives

2020 Juried Call
Shellie Zhang, Still Life with Citrus, 2018-2019. Courtesy of
the artist.
May 1–June 7,  2020

Shellie Zhang
Abundance

2020 Video Screening
Natalie Wood, Sleep, (video still from Touched by a Soucouyant), 2015. Courtesy of the artist.

Natalie Wood
Touched by a Soucouyant

2020 Juried Call
Dr. Jeanne Randolph, Here it is from another view. I wanted to document this sort of view as often as I could—the forsaken telephone booth among its injured friends. As you can see, in a way, it’s in its own forlorn community., 2018. Courtesy of the artist.
May 1–30,  2020

Dr. Jeanne Randolph
Prairie Modernist Noir – The Disappearance of the Manitoba Telephone Booth

2020 Artist Talk
Christina Leslie, Sam and Friend, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

Christina Leslie and Julie Crooks
In Conversation

2020 Juried Call
Graeme Wahn, Absurd Torch, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.
October 31–November 28,  2020

Graeme Wahn
Lamp in the Hand

2020 Curator's Reading List
Thirza Schaap, carnival, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Bildhalle Zürich + Amsterdam

Sara Knelman

2020 Artist Profile
Dawit L. Petros, Untitled (Overlapping and intertwined territories that fall from view III), Catania, Italy, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

Dawit L. Petros
Spazio Disponibile

2020 Juried Call
Aleesa Cohene, Kathy, 2020. Single-channel installation. Courtesy of the artist.
October 17–December 5,  2020

Aleesa Cohene
Kathy

2020 Juried Call
Aaron Jones, Energy Restoration, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and Zalucky Contemporary.
September 5–October 17,  2020

Aaron Jones
Closed Fist, Open Palm

2020 Open Call
Marcel North Gallant, Untitled, 2019

Marcel North Gallant
A Frog in a Pot Being Held by a Boy on a Horse

2020 Open Call
© Ysabel Lemay, Bloom, 2019
May 1–10,  2020

Ysabel Lemay, Daniel Picard, Robert Jahns
Abstracting Reality

2020 Open Call
Ela Kurowska, Acuaria, 2019
May 1–30,  2020

Elzbieta (Ela) Kurowska
ALIVE

2020 Open Call
Cristina Coral, Windows, 2017
May 1–31,  2020

Cristina Coral
Alternative Perspective

2020 Open Call
Cince Johnston, Through the Construction Tarp, 2019
May 1–17,  2020

Cince Johnston
An Ode to the Overlooked

2020 Open Call
Frances Patella, Sedition, gum bichromate on paper, 2011
May 6–17,  2020

Analogue Wall to Wall: A Celebration of Alternative Photographic Processes

2020 Open Call
Krista Ellis, Lorn, 2016

Krista Ellis
Another Word For Lonely

2020 Open Call
Dzesika Devic, Chinese New Year, 2017
May 1–31,  2020

Dzesika Devic
At Night We Awaken

2020 Open Call
Jovana Rikalo, Rise and Fall, 2019
May 1–31,  2020

Broken Reality

2020 Open Call
IMG_0655
May 4–29,  2020

Melissa Tessler
Children of Phnom Penh

2020 Open Call
brenda tweel, death, 2017
June 21–October 8,  2020

Brenda Webster Tweel
TMBR: The Colour of Sound

2020 Open Call
Lee Ka-sing, From Time Machine series, 2018
April 25–May 31,  2020

Holly Lee, Ka-sing Lee
DOUBLE DOUBLE: Box-in-a-Valise

2020 Open Call
Simon Dann, Umbrella, 2012
May 14–24,  2020

Simon Dann
Expressions

2020 Open Call
Lora Moore, Water Colour #10, 2019
May 1–31,  2020

Lora Moore, Amanda Arcuri
Fire and Water: A Beautiful Unity

2020 Open Call
Gilad Cohen, 60s Scoop, 2019
May 1–31,  2020

Gilad Cohen
FIRST LOOK FIRST

2020 Open Call
Bryan Helm, Billy Lane, Sons of Speed, Sturgis, SD, 2018
May 15–June 15,  2020

Bryan Helm, Brian Ewing
FTW – Forever Two Wheels

2020 Open Call
Simeon Posen, Airplanes, 2018
May 2–June 20,  2020

Simeon Posen
As Above / So Below

2020 Open Call
Lucy Barnett, Illusion, 2019
May 1–31,  2020

Lucy Barnett, Alexander Nelson, Keelan Nightingale
Gestalt

2020 Open Call
James Lai, Untitled, 2019
May 6–24,  2020

James Lai
Hello Photography

2020 Open Call
Lesia Miga
, Lesia and Kasia 2, 2019.
October 30–December 12,  2020

Lesia Miga
In the Absence of Presence

2020 Open Call
Kristan Klimczak, untitled, 2019
May 1–29,  2020

Simon Dann, Kristan Klimczak, Thom Sokoloski
Interference Pattern

2020 Open Call
Labkhand Olfatmanesh, Symbol Tsunami, 2019

Labkhand Olfatmanesh
Metaphysical Resistant

2020 Open Call
Mathilda LaBrash White, Blurred, 2019
April 30–May 10,  2020

Mom! Don’t make me wear the goggles!

2020 Open Call
Chantal Ryanne, Richard-Maria-Black-White-4x6-IMG_3430
May 1–31,  2020

Chantal Ryanne
People and Places III

2020 Open Call
Russ Styles, Asphalt Jungle, 2018
April 27–May 30,  2020

PineRidge Arts Council presents Photographers of Durham

2020 Open Call
Mark Cira, 11 via Madonna Delle Grazie, 2019
April 30–May 30,  2020

Mark Cira
Questa Metà

2020 Open Call
Niya Gao, Floating Balance, 2019
May 5–30,  2020

Niya Gao, Sonya Young
Reflections

2020 Open Call
Cince Johnston, A Portrait of A The Dying Tulip, 2019
May 1–16,  2020

Tara Hakim, Cince Johnston, Sara Naimpour
Regarding Roots

2020 Open Call
Saman Genshin, Boss, 2019
May 1–28,  2020

Saman Genshin
Seen Worlds

2020 Open Call
Kyle Jeffers, Balloon, 2020
April 28–29,  2020

Sheridan Honours Bachelor of Photography Grad Show 2020

2020 Open Call
Sylvia Galbraith, Landscape Illuminated, 2019
November 11–22,  2020

Group Exhibition
Spectra 1

2020 Open Call
Janne Reuss, Dawn, 2019
May 13–24,  2020

Group Exhibition
Spectra 2

2020 Open Call
© Max Dean, Andrew Savery-Whiteway, McAlister Zeller-Newman, Still - Meet you at the Fair, 2020. Courtesy Stephen Bulger Gallery.
May 2–16,  2020

Max Dean in collaboration with Andrew Savery-Whiteway and McAlister Zeller-Newman,
Still – Playing

2020 Open Call
Margit Koivisto, The Game Goes On, 2019
May 17–June 7,  2020

Margit Koivisto
The Game Goes On

2020 Open Call
Kurt Stallaert, Lion, 2019
May 15–August 13,  2020

Kurt Stallaert
The Hunting Project

2020 Open Call
Saša Petricic, Kozo Paper Girl, 2018
May 1–16,  2020

Saša Petricic
The Stories in Their Eyes

2020 Open Call
Ian Darragh, Volunteer Al Yoshiki removes a giant invasive plant, 2019
April 30–May 30,  2020

Ian Darragh
Toronto’s Ravines on the Edge: A Priceless Ecosystem Threatened by the Climate Crisis

2020 Open Call
Walter Segers, Danubius (London), 2019. Collage mixed media on paper, 12x8.25".
May 9–17,  2020

Walter Segers
Twenty-Twenty

2020 Open Call
Sofia Rocinha, Untitled, 2019
May 1–31,  2020

Group Exhibition
Unity: A Child’s Perspective of Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas

2020 Open Call
Melanie Gordon, Untitled, 2018
May 4–24,  2020

Melanie Gordon, with various Toronto parents
Walk, Stop, and Wonder

2020 Open Call
Ryan Watson, 00576, 2019
May 27–June 7,  2020

Ryan Watson
Watson Art + Photography

2020 Open Call
Kate Mulvale, Audience at DIY concert at Brothers Dressler design studio, 2019
May 1–31,  2020

Group Exhibition
Wavelength 2020

2020 Open Call
Sheree-Lee Olson, Wild Youth, 2019
April 30–May 17,  2020

Sheree-Lee Olson
FAIR/GROUND

2020 Open Call
Laurie Townshend, sugarcane, 2018
May 18–31,  2020

Laurie Townshend, Winona Ominika, Danielle Da Silva
sweetgrass sugarcane saffron

2020 Open Call
George Legardy, Visegrad-Voronoi 2, 2020
April 30–June 13,  2020

George Legrady
Anamorphic Perceptions

2020 Open Call
Nick Klobucar, I miss you, 2019
May 7–31,  2020

Push Forward and Peel Back: Photographic Art of Lifestyle Acts

2020 Open Call
Nadine Wyczolkowski, ADVANCE, 2015
April 16–May 15,  2020

Group Exhibition
New and Interesting

2020 Open Call
Gary Ray Rush, Spot Lightbulb, 2019
April 30–May 24,  2020

Gary Ray Rush
Portraits of Analogue Photography Equipment

2020 Open Call
Andrew Tan Wei Aun, Men's Group Support, 2019

Andrew Tan Wei Aun
Unboxed: Escaping the Man Box