Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

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.

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


Before registering, all artists/exhibition organizers must find a venue in which to hold the exhibition.

For Featured Exhibitions, preference is given to exhibitions held in professional gallery spaces.

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.

Although CONTACT cannot make any guarantees, we are occasionally able to connect artists and venues wishing to participate, depending on availability and best fit. If you are an artist seeking exhibition space, or if you have a venue and would like to participate in the Festival, please email info [at] scotiabankcontactphoto [dot] com.

You can also connect with HelloArt as an artist or potential host venue to show work in the 2020 Festival:

Phone: 1.844.55hello

Registration Details

After creating an account profile at our registration portal, you will need the following information to complete your Open Call Exhibition registration.

1. Exhibition Name

2. Venue Details

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Wheelchair accessible?

3. Exhibition Details

  • Event Description (75 words)
  • Artist name(s)
  • Curated by, if applicable
  • Exhibition Dates
  • Opening Reception Date, if applicable
  • Hours of Operation
  • Event Email and URL, if applicable

3 Images

  • Upload JPEGs only
  • Minimum Dimensions : 1200px on short side
  • Recommended Dimensions: 2400px on short side
  • Maximum File Size: 7MB

Please note: Although registration closes December 9, 2019, you will have until early January 2020 to finalize this information for our catalogue.

An invoice will auto-generate on your account dashboard once you have created an exhibition registration.

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. Successful applicants will be notified in mid-December 2019.

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

The Burtynsky Grant

Teresa Eng, Junction, from China Dream

The 2019 Burtynsky Grant goes to Teresa Eng for her book project “China Dream”

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

The jury—Edward Burtynsky, Sarah Allen (Assistant Curator, Tate Modern), Maxine Proctor (Managing Editor, BlackFlash; director and co-founder, Toronto Art Book Fair) and Marcus Schubert (Director of Media, Publications & Exhibits, Burtynsky Studios)—considered many original and absorbing book projects from across Canada.

“Teresa Eng’s China Dream explores the fractured identities that second-generation diaspora experience as they straddle their birth country and their motherland. The jury was impressed by Eng’s striking, moody images, expertly sequenced to contrast memories of a place where she has never lived with a China in flux.”

The jury would like to acknowledge the following Honourable Mentions:

Valerian Mazataud, Liwa Mairin
Luis Mora, Say it With Flowers
Heather Rattray, 98 Ways to Say Very Good

Past Winners

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

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.