Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

The Burtynsky Grant

Teresa Eng, China Dream, winner of the 2019 Burtynsky Grant. Published by Skinnerboox.

2020 Burtynsky Grant
Deadline: Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Photographer Edward Burtynsky and CONTACT are requesting submissions for the 2020 Burtynsky Grant—a $5,000 annual grant to support a Canadian artist in the creation of a photobook.

Established in 2016, this grant is intended for photo-based artists who are in the advanced stages of developing a cohesive, rigorous body of work presented in book form. The jury is looking for submissions from those that have created a book dummy and who have had little to no prior opportunity to self-publish or work with a publisher. You must be a Canadian citizen or resident to be eligible.

Past Winners
2019 – Teresa Eng, China Dream
Honourable Mentions: Valerian Mazataud, Liwa Mairin; Luis Mora, Say it with Flowers; Heather Rattray, 98 Ways to Say Very Good
2018 – Birthe Piontek, Abendlied
             Honourable Mentions: Eve Tagny, Lost Love; Ian Willms, We Shall See
2017 – The Broadbent Sisters, A Telepathic Book
2016 – Aaron Friend Lettner, Doorways


Deadline May 20, 2020

Please submit the following as a PDF by a file hosting service (eg. WeTransfer or Dropbox) to

  • Minimum ten (10) spreads of your book dummy that best communicate your project and vision for publication
  • Project statement about your photobook and how you would use the grant funding (ie. rough budget details)
  • Expressions of interest from publishers, and/or other publishing grants, if available
  • CV and/or artist statement

Hardcopy submissions are also welcome in person or by mail at the applicant’s expense; please deliver to:
CONTACT, 80 Spadina Ave, Suite 205, Toronto, ON M5V2J4.

For questions, please email

Apply to the Book Dummy Reviews

Book dummy treatments of Luis Mora, Say it with Flowers, 2019. Presented at the 2019 Book Dummy Reviews, and an honourable mention for the 2019 Burtynsky Grant. Courtesy of Luis Mora and Sebastián Rodriguez Besa.

2020 Book Dummy Reviews
Monday May 4, 10am – 1pm
Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1356 Dundas St W
Deadline: Tuesday, April 14

The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is now accepting submissions from photo-based artists to participate in the 2020 Book Dummy Reviews.

This program is open to those who are developing a photobook, or for those with well-developed projects considering the book form for their work. This is an excellent opportunity for artists to have their work seen by over 15 local and international publishers, curators, and editors in a casual, one-to-one exchange. Artists will receive conceptual and practical insight about their projects, and gain invaluable feedback for applying to the Burtynsky Grant. This event is organized in conjunction with the CONTACT Photobook Fair on Sunday, May 3.

Please note that due to limited space, all submissions will go through a selection process. Submissions are free. There is a $75+HST participation fee for successful applicants.

Please create an account at to upload your submission. You will be asked to submit:

  • 5–10 spreads that best communicate your project and vision for publication, + a max-500-word project statement (PDF)
  • CV and/or artist statement (PDF)
Note: If you also wish to be considered for the 2020 Burtynsky Grant, please indicate so in the submission process.

Featured Exhibitions

Installation view of Chris Curreri, The Ventriloquist, at Daniel Faria Gallery. A Featured Exhibition in CONTACT 2019.

Submissions for 2020 Featured Exhibitions are now closed; thank you for your interest.
We will be accepting proposals for the 2021 Festival as of October 2020.

CONTACT welcomes proposals from emerging, mid-career, or established Canadian and international artists and curators for the Featured Exhibitions program. This juried program is open for solo or group exhibitions on any subject matter, and to all photo-based practices.

Featured Exhibitions are highlighted prominently in the Festival’s communications, including the CONTACT catalogue, website, and newsletter; they also benefit from promotion and coverage through CONTACT’s extensive public relations initiatives, drawing significant attention to the artists and venues involved.

To be eligible, shows must take place for a minimum of two weeks during the month of May, and must have a confirmed exhibition space. Preference is given to exhibitions held in professional gallery spaces. If your proposal is not selected, it will be included in the Festival as an Open Exhibition.

The Gattuso Prize

Sophie Sabet, I Almost Didn’t Feel You Leave. Installation at the Bradley Museum, May 11-June 16, 2019. Photo: Darren Rigo. 

Featured Exhibitions are eligible for The Gattuso Prize, a $5,000 award that acknowledges an outstanding exhibition in the Festival. Selected by a jury, the award decision is based on the calibre and concept of the work, the curatorial vision, and the overall impact and presentation of the exhibition.

The 2019 jury, Maegan Broadhurst (curator, The Shell Projects) and Geneviève Wallen (independent curator and writer), awarded the prize to Sophie Sabet’s I Almost Didn’t Feel You Leave at the Bradley Musem, curated by Noa Bronstein.

“Against the backdrop of the Bradley Museum, I Almost Didn’t Feel You Leave complicates colonial narratives of the homestead by using the autobiographical to delve into experiences of migration and its affects on familial structures. Sophie Sabet uses domestic objects as signifiers of expectation, whether economic or social, and demonstrates a desire for the continuity of a past life, but also contemplates present possibilities and constraints.” – The Jury

CONTACT’s Featured Exhibitions, selected to be part of the Festival through a juried submission process, are independently organized by artists, venues, and organizations across the city.

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

Shadi Harouni and Elise Rasmussen, With an instinct for justice, Doris McCarthy Gallery

Sandra Brewster, It’s all a blur…, Georgia Scherman Projects

Lee Henderson, Never Letting Us Take Breath, Zalucky Contemporary

Jimmy Limit, Surplus, Clint Roenisch Gallery

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

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

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

Andrew Wright, CORONAE, at Peak Gallery

Open Call Exhibitions

Installation view of Ravine by Seth Stevenson and Ryan Louis. A 2019 Open Call Exhibition at Allan Gardens Conservatory. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Registration for the 2020 Festival is now closed. To participate in the 2021 Festival, please check back in October 2020

This non-juried category is open to all, encouraging a variety of photographic practices. Open Call Exhibitions can be held in any type of venue, from conventional gallery spaces to unconventional venues such as community centres, cafés, or retail shops. Your exhibition and artist information will reach CONTACT’s extensive audience through the Festival catalogue (20,000 copies) and website (200k visitors.)

A registration fee of $275+HST applies.

Benefits of registration include:
– Exhibition listing with 75-word description and one image reproduction in the CONTACT Catalogue
– One web listing with up to three images on the Festival website
– Press access to your downloadable images on the website
– CONTACT venue signage
– Copies of the CONTACT Catalogue

Scotiabank CONTACT
Photography Festival

80 Spadina Ave Suite 205
Toronto ON M5V 2J4
Gallery Hours
Tue-Fri 11am–5pm
The CONTACT Gallery
is wheelchair accessible.