Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

The Burtynsky Grant

Pamila Matharu, adjacencies, 2020. Mixed media, installation view. Photo credit: Durham Art Gallery, variable dimensions.

CONTACT is pleased to announce Toronto-based artist Pamila Matharu as the 2020 Burtynsky Grant winner for their book project Index: Some of All Parts.

In 2016, photographer Edward Burtynsky and CONTACT established the Burtynsky Grant to foster the creation of photobooks by Canadians. The $5,000 annual grant supports artists and photographers who are at the advanced stages of developing a cohesive, rigorous body of work presented in book form.

“Through a combination of photography, collage, and archival material, Index: Some of All Parts by Pamila Matharu responds to the questions of what voices survive in the narrative of Canadian art history, and what voices are erased. Exploding with ideas and presented with little compromise between concept and images, Matharu’s striking photobook addresses crucial gaps in representation during this time of ongoing reckoning with the photographic canon.” – the jury

The jury members—Edward Burtynsky, Kotama Bouabane, Letticia Cosbert Miller, Cat Lachowskyj, Brian Paul Lamotte, and Marcus Schubert—had the pleasure of reviewing a wide range of compelling photobook proposals from across the country.

The jury would like to acknowledge the following Honourable Mentions:

Leyla Godfrey, Four Walls With No Entrance
Esmond Lee, Below the City
Laurence Philomene, Puberty

About the 2020 Jury

Kotama Bouabane is a Laotian-born Canadian artist who currently holds positions in the photography departments at OCADU and York University.

Edward Burtynsky is regarded as one of the world’s most accomplished contemporary photographers, known for his large-format photographs of industrial landscapes.

Letticia Cosbert Miller is a Toronto-based writer, curator, and researcher, and the current Director of Koffler.Digital at the Koffler Centre of the Arts.

Cat Lachowskyj is a freelance photography writer, editor and researcher currently based in Athens.

Brian Paul Lamotte is an independent graphic designer & publisher specializing in art and photography books.

Marcus Schubert is the Director of Media, Publications & Exhibits for Burtynsky Studios.


Since its inception, The Burtynsky Grant has supported a range of exceptional photobooks by Canadian and international independent publishers.

Teresa Eng, China Dream. Published 2019 by Skinnerboox.

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

Birthe Piontek, Abendlied. Published 2019 by Gnomic Book.

Honourable Mentions
Eve Tagny, Lost Love
Ian Willms, We Shall See

The Broadbent Sisters, A Telepathic Book. Self-published in 2018.

Aaron Friend Lettner, Doorways. Published 2017 by Anchorless Press.