25th Anniversary Call for Submissions: CONTACT 2021


Installation view of Aaron Jones, Closed Fist, Open Palm, 2020. Photo by Toni Hafkenscheid, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Zalucky Contemporary.

In May 2021, the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary. To mark this occasion, CONTACT is offering free registration for lens-based artists to participate in the Featured and Open Call exhibition programs.

Featured Exhibitions, selected through a jury process, showcase exceptional photo-based projects throughout the city of Toronto. Open Call Exhibitions present a range of works at galleries and alternative spaces. At the core of the Festival’s founding mission created in 1996, these exhibitions continue to cultivate engagement between artists and curators of all career levels and communities across the greater Toronto area.

While CONTACT enthusiastically plans for the Festival in May 2021, preparations are in place to adjust appropriately to evolving COVID-19 health and safety regulations.

Featured Exhibitions

Deadline for Submissions: December 4, 2020 by 11:59pm EST

CONTACT welcomes proposals from emerging, mid-career, or established Canadian and international artists and curators for the Featured Exhibitions component of the Festival. This juried initiative is open to 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, exhibitions must take place for a minimum of two weeks during the month of May. Preference is given to those held in professional gallery spaces, and to bodies of work not previously shown in Toronto. If your proposal is not selected, it will be included in the Festival as an Open Call Exhibition.

Please visit the CONTACT website for detailed information on how to submit your proposal.

Open Call Exhibitions

Deadline for Registration: December 14, 2020 by 11:59pm EST

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 art spaces to community centres, cafés, or retail shops. To accommodate evolving COVID-19 health and safety regulations, Open Call Exhibitions can also be presented online as a virtual exhibition.

Your exhibition and artist information will reach CONTACT’s extensive audience through the Festival catalogue (20,000 copies) and website (200,000 visitors.)

Please visit register.scotiabankcontactphoto.com to register your Open Call Exhibition.


Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
80 Spadina Ave, Suite 205 (office and gallery currently closed to the public)
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2J4
416 539 9595
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CONTACT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and fostering the art and profession of photography with an annual Festival in May and year-round programming in the CONTACT Gallery. CONTACT embraces an inclusive and accessible approach to the medium, and cultivates collaborations with and among artists, curators, institutions, and organizations.

CONTACT is generously supported by Scotia Wealth Management, Nikon Canada, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, Toronto Image Works, The Gilder, Transcontinental PLM, 3M Canada, Waddington’s Auctioneers and Appraisers, Four By Eight Signs, Beyond Digital Imaging, Steam Whistle Brewing, Art Toronto, BIG Digital, The Globe and Mail, NOW Magazine, CBC Toronto, and Canadian Art, and the Metropolitan.

CONTACT gratefully acknowledges the support of Celebrate Ontario, Ontario Arts Council, The Government of Ontario, Partners in Art, Canada Council for the Arts, the Howard Webster Foundation, Mondriaan Foundation, Pro Helvetia, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto Arts Council, and all of our funders, donors, and programming partners.