Cristian Ordóñez, 99A, 2021, from the book Frequency. Courtesy of the artist.

The 2022 submission period has now closed. The winner of this year’s grant will be announced in October 2022.

Photographer Edward Burtynsky and CONTACT established the Burtynsky Grant in 2016–a $5,000 annual grant to support a Canadian artist in the creation of a photobook. The grant supports photo-based artists who are at the advanced stages of developing a cohesive, rigorous body of work presented in book form. The 2022 jury comprises Edward Burtynsky, Romke Hoogwaerts, Clea Forkert, and Mark Bennett.

Please provide the following via filesharing service such as WeTransfer or Dropbox to [email protected]:

– Minimum 10 spreads (two pages side-by-side, like an open book) of your book dummy that best communicate your project and vision for publication. Full book submissions are also welcome if preferred
– Project statement about your photobook
– Rough outline of how you would use the grant funding (ie. budget details regarding printing, distribution, design, etc)
– CV and/or artist statement
– Expressions of interest from publishers, if available (this is not mandatory, as you may be self-publishing)

Please note that the jury is not interested in reviewing submissions related to: street photography, travelogues or vacations, architecture, or fashion.

Email [email protected] with your questions.


The 2021 Burtynsky Grant goes to Cristian Ordóñez

October 22, 2021 – CONTACT is pleased to announce Toronto-based, Chilean-born artist Cristian Ordóñez as the 2021 Burtynsky Grant winner for his book project Frequency.

The jury, comprising Edward Burtynsky, Romke Hoogwaerts, Zun Lee, and Michèle Pearson Clarke, had the pleasure of reviewing a wide range of compelling, competitive photobook proposals from across Canada.

“Produced while on daily walks throughout Toronto in 2020 and 2021, Cristian Ordóñez’s project Frequency is a timely meditation on the tension between humans, nature, and the urban landscape. Ordóñez’s large- and medium-format photographs are masterfully composed, presenting uncanny vestiges of both natural and built environments in a wide tonal range of black and white. The energy, thoughtfulness, and pacing of this body of work resonates with the pace of what life has been like in recent years. Ordóñez has been quietly and consistently creating self-published book projects for many years, and the jury is excited that this grant will assist him in the opportunity to work with a publisher.”


The jury would like to acknowledge the following Honourable Mentions:

Sara Knelman, Lady Readers
Jon Laytner, Normal and Boring
Rehab Nazzal, Driving in Palestine
Kyler Zeleny, Bury Me in the Back Forty


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

Pamila Matharu, Index: Some of All Parts. Forthcoming.

Honourable Mentions

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

Teresa Eng, China Dream. Published 2019 by Skinnerboox.

Honourable Mentions

Valerian Mazataud, Liwa Mairin. Self-published in 2021.
Luis Mora, Say it with Flowers. Self-published in 2019.
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.