Participate in CONTACT

The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival invites participation from photographic artists for May 2018, either as a Featured Exhibition or an Open Exhibition.

The Featured Exhibitions program showcases high-calibre exhibitions and recognizes exceptional photo-based projects. Featured Exhibitions are subject to a juried submission process, and are eligible for The Gattuso Prize, a $5,000 award that acknowledges an outstanding exhibition in the Festival.

The Open Exhibitions program provides a valuable opportunity to have photographic work exhibited in conjunction with other emerging and established artists, and to inspire and engage with the city through photography. Open Exhibitions are non-juried and are therefore accessible to all interested participants and exhibition spaces.

All artists/organizers must have a confirmed exhibition space in order to participate in CONTACT. A participation fee applies:

Early bird fee (available until November 6, 2017)
$275 + HST

Regular registration fee (after November 7, 2017)
$350 + HST

Submissions are not sought for CONTACT's curated programming, including Primary Exhibitions, Public Installations and Special Events.

Open Exhibitions

Installation view of Sheridan College Honours Bachelor of Photography 2017 at Gallery 99. Photo by Robert Leslie.

This non-juried category is open to all, encouraging a variety of photographic practices. Open 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 and website.

Registration closes December 4, 2017.

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

Registration Details


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

Open Exhibitions can be held in any type of venue, from conventional gallery spaces to unconventional venues such as community centres, cafés, or retail shops. View the 2017 Open Exhibitions for reference here.

For Featured Exhibitions, preference is given to exhibitions held in professional gallery spaces.
View the 2017 Featured Exhibitions for reference here.

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.

Calls for CONTACT submissions (updated Oct 10, 2017)
Workman Arts - Mindset 2018
The Gladstone Hotel



What is the difference between an Open Exhibition and a Featured Exhibition? Why would I choose one over the other?
Open Exhibitions are non-juried and therefore open to all interested participants.

Featured Exhibitions are subject to a more detailed submission process. Featured Exhibitions are highlighted more prominently in the magazine and website, and are eligible for The Gattuso Prize, a $5,000 award that acknowledges an outstanding exhibition in the Festival.

What happens if my Featured Exhibition proposal is not selected for the Festival?
If your proposal is not selected as a Feature, it will still be included in the Festival as an Open Exhibition.

Does the artist or venue complete the online registration form and pay the fee?
Either artist or venue, not both, can register the exhibition. The artist and venue must decide this between them.

Does my exhibition have to run for the whole month of May?
No, your exhibition does not have to run for the entire month. We require that your exhibition runs through the majority of May. Exhibitions can begin before or after May 1, and end before or after May 31. Note that the CONTACT Catalogue is published in late April; please consider this if planning an event that takes place prior to May 1.

How does the registration process work for group exhibitions?
One person from the group should be the point of contact for the exhibition, and register using their own email address. The process is then the same as for registering a solo exhibition. There is a section of the registration form that allows for multiple artist names to be entered.

How does the registration process work for not-for-profit organizations?
Not-for-profit organizations follow the same process as other registrants, but simply indicate that they are an NFP when creating a user profile when registering. Not-for-profit organizations are able to take advantage of our Early Registration Rate for the entire registration period, and are not subject to the Regular Registration Rate that takes effect.

I have a venue and would like to participate in the Festival. Will CONTACT assign me an artist?
It is the responsibility of the venue to find a photographer and then register as an exhibition with CONTACT.

I am an artist and would like to participate in the Festival. Will CONTACT assign me a venue?
It is the responsibility of the artist to secure a venue to exhibit their work in. There are opportunities for artists seeking venues to exhibit with one of the neighbourhood Business Improvement Area (BIA) groups that partner with the festival each year. The BIAs send out calls for submissions in autumn, and match up artists with venues.

Is the text I submit what will appear in the magazine?
All texts are edited by CONTACT to establish a consistent editorial standard in the magazine; you will be contacted if substantial changes are proposed. Please write in the 3rd person (do not use “I”), and in the present tense. Please contact our office if you have any questions about this policy, or are looking for guidance with your text.

Can I pay by credit card over the phone or in person?
No, we are not able to process credit card payments. If you would like to pay by credit card, you must do so online through Paypal.

Who do I make the cheque out to?
CONTACT Photography Festival

Portfolio Reviews

Registration opens February 2018
$200+HST for 4 reviews

International curators, directors, publishers, and photo editors are brought together during CONTACT to review work by emerging artists, with a focus on documentary, photojournalism, narrative or photo-based art practices. This is an important event for those with projects at an advanced stage of development who are seeking opportunities for publishing and exhibiting nationally or internationally—as well as looking for guidance on conceptual approaches or career development advice.

Participants are eligible for the 2018 Portfolio Reviews Award. Established in 2010, the 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.

Please note that due to limited space, all submissions will go through a selection process to ensure that a high caliber of work is presented in this program.

Past Reviewers