SPAO Photo Walk Joins the Canadian Tulip Festival

The SPAO Photographic Arts Centre in partnership with Ottawa’s Preston Street BIA announce, the SPAO Photo Walk will be an official event of the Canadian Tulip Festival starting May 10, 2024.

Installation views featuring photos by Olivia Johnston, Shellie Zhang, Kali Spitzer

Canada’s Photographic Treasure Hunt

The SPAO Photo Walk is an ongoing and evolving neighborhood wide public art exhibition created to celebrate contemporary Canadian photography and enhance Ottawa’s Little Italy. Designed as a photographic treasure hunt, photo walk participants can access the digital map for a self-guided tour by using their smartphone to scan the QR code located next to any of the 30+ artworks throughout Ottawa’s Little Italy. Alternatively, participants can start their journey by accessing the digital map on their smartphone by visiting

Photography and the Canadian Tulip Festival

Malak Karsh, a luminary in Canadian photography, is responsible for founding the Canadian Tulip Festival in 1953. The SPAO Photo Walk honours the tulip festival’s founder by celebrating his love of photography as well as highlighting the diverse approaches and perspectives that exist within Canadian photography today.

“SPAO is thrilled to partner with the Preston Street BIA in order to share photographic artworks from across Canada with the guests of the Canadian Tulip Festival and enhance the neighbourhood we call home.” – Jonathan Hobin, SPAO Creative Director

Images courtesy of the Malask Karsh Estate

Photography is Critical to Canadian Cultural Discourse

Engaging with the photographic arts and its diverse voices is one of the most vital ways to understand contemporary culture and develop artistic literacy. The SPAO Photo Walk supports, highlights and raises the voices of contemporary artists at all levels, producing nuanced discourse about the visual complexity and multitude of approaches to Canadian photography. The photographs have been selected by a nationwide open call and an assessor jury made up of nationally recognized industry leaders.

SPAO Exterior

About SPAO
SPAO is one of Canada’s foremost Photographic Arts Centre, housing the only two-year photographic arts college in Canada, numerous recreational part-time classes, a unique international artist residency and the only critical and independent gallery in the region dedicated to lens-based art.

About Preston St BIA
The Preston Street BIA is the voice of the business community in Ottawa’s Little Italy. It is committed to improving and promoting the Preston Street commercial catchment area through investment, animation and advocacy to become Ottawa’s centre for art, culture, cuisine and entertainment.

For more information, please contact us:
SPAO: Photographic Arts Centre
77 Pamilla Street
Ottawa, ON K1S 3K7
613 562 3824

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