Burtynsky Grant

Birthe Piontek

Birthe Piontek, Holding, 2015, from Abendlied. Courtesy of the artist.

2018 Burtynsky Grant awarded to Birthe Piontek for Abendlied

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, Taia Kwinter (Associate Managing Editor, Aperture), 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 innovative and compelling book projects from across Canada.

“Birthe Piontek’s Abendlied examines how individual relationships in a family are shaped by the processes of growing up, aging, and eventually letting go. Piontek’s well-resolved book project sequences images of her family members interacting with textiles, household objects, and each other to weave a cohesive yet curious narrative about identity and belonging.” – The Jury

The jury would also like to acknowledge two Honourable Mentions for their strong submissions:

Eve Tagny, Lost Love
Ian Willms, We Shall See

Past Winners
2017 - The Broadbent Sisters, A Telepathic Book
2016 - Aaron Friend Lettner, Doorways

Gattuso Prize

Installation view

Installation view, With an instinct for justice at Doris McCarthy Gallery. Shadi Harouni (L-R), The Lightest of Stones, 2015; I Dream the Mountain is Still Whole, 2017; I Long for a Game of Football, 2017.

The 2018 Gattuso Prize goes to Shadi Harouni and Elise Rasmussen for With an instinct for justice

Curated by Noa Bronstein

The Gattuso Prize of $5,000 acknowledges an outstanding Featured Exhibition in CONTACT. The jury—Liz Ikiriko (curator and photo editor) and Magdalyn Asimakis (curator and writer)—based their decision on the conceptual and technical excellence of the work, as well as the curatorial vision.

With an instinct for justice deftly negotiates the embodied nature of resistance in a time of social, political, and ecological urgency. Harouni and Rasmussen’s photography and video works render gentle insight into our anxious world. The work acknowledges lineages of refusal, labour, and the human toll of oppressive structures, while their meticulous technical and conceptual approaches are exquisitely considered.” - 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

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

Photobook Fair

Bookfair2018-1 copy

The CONTACT Photobook Fair brings together independent publishers and leading contemporary photographers to present newly released publications. The fair offers a number of book signings and the opportunity for emerging photographers to present their projects at the Book Dummy Sessions. This event was conceived with the desire to create a space for practitioners and book enthusiasts to build connections, discover new projects, and exchange ideas on books and photography.

Past participants include Ahorn Books (Berlin), Archive of Modern Conflict (London), Anchorless Press (Toronto), Aperture Books (New York), Bywater Bros. (Port Colborne), JMS Press (Toronto), J&L Books (New York), Les Éditions du renard (Montreal), Mörel Books (London), Spaces Corners (Pittsburgh), and TBW Books (Oakland); with book signings by Robert Burley, Bertrand Carrière, Debra Friedman, Naomi Harris, Ruth Kaplan, Charles-Frédérick Ouellet, Cristian Ordóñez, Louie Palu, Dietmar Riemann, Guillaume Simoneau, and Donald Weber.

Artists who are in the advanced stages of developing a photobook are welcome to have their work seen by a publisher or photographer featured in the fair at the Book Dummy Sessions. Through casual meetings, individuals will receive conceptual and practical insight into their projects.



2018-05-04 11.27.03
Workshop participants at "Visual Language: How Pictures Speak to Each Other"

CONTACT organizes and co-presents numerous Workshops and Events, including portfolio reviews, lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, and tours. Catering to all levels of interest in photography, these initiatives stimulate dialogue and encourage participation. 2018 highlights included: a two-day, photo-based workshop with New York-based photographer Jason Fulford (J&L Books) about the relationships between images; and a two-day editing workshop with Nigerian documentary photographer Tom Saater and Toronto-based photo editor/curator Liz Ikiriko that focused on developing individual’s projects through group critiques.

Portfolio Reviews Award

Installation view of Brendan George Ko
Installation view of Brendan George Ko, Moemoeā, 2018 at CONTACT Gallery. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid.

Established in 2010, the Portfolio Reviews Award offers one artist a solo exhibition at the CONTACT Gallery, a $2,500 credit at Toronto Image Works, and a professional 17-inch Epson printer from Vistek. The recipient is chosen by a jury of international professionals in the field of photography, and the award recognizes outstanding work presented at the reviews. The program was created to support and advance the careers of talented emerging photographers.

CONTACT gratefully acknowledges the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Image Works and Vistek for supporting this award.

Past Winners

Brendan George Ko, Moemoeā

Nathaniel Brunt, #shaheed

Josée Pedneault, Nævus

Michel Huneault, La longue nuit de Mégantic

Ian Willms, No Road to Nowhere

Guillaume Simoneau, Love and War 

Jesse Louttit, No Roads
Jonathan Taggart, The Friction of Distance: The Lillooet River Valley

Alex Kisilevich, Untitled
Henrieta Haniskova, I am Elvis 


AGO | CONTACT Photography Talks

Arthur JafaArthur Jafa, Love is The Message, The Message is Death, 2016. Film still. Courtesy Arthur Jafa and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York/ Rome.

The Art Gallery of Ontario and CONTACT annually present a series of talks featuring leading international artists and thinkers reflecting on the history and future of photography and its impact on our culture.

Past speakers include: Scott Benesiinaabandan; Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal, and Nick de Pencier; Julie Crooks on Free Black North; Zackary Drucker, Miqqi Alicia Gilbert, and Elspeth Brown on the Casa Susanna photo archive; John Edmonds; Charlie Engman; LaToya Ruby Frazier; Sarah Greenough on the letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz; Felicity Hammond; Arthur Jafa; Caroline Monnet; Jeff Rosenheim on Diane Arbus; Thomas Ruff; and Marleen Sleeuwits.