The Festival’s curated programming—Primary Exhibitions and Public Installations—explores diverse subjects, motivated by artistic innovation and critical discourse locally, nationally and internationally. Collaborating with major museums and galleries, CONTACT presents outstanding photographic imagery that reflects issues relevant to our times and the history of the medium. In high profile sites, installations of images transform everyday activity in public space into unique encounters with works of art that resonate with their environment.
CONTACT’s community initiatives foster a wide range of interest in photography and enable meaningful exchanges between the people who make and present art, and those that view it. Selected through a call for submissions, Featured Exhibitions of lens-based works by artists from Canada and around the world are presented at established galleries across the city.
The foundation of CONTACT was based on an open call to participate, enabling emerging artists and photographers to show their work concurrent with exhibitions of works by leading professionals. Today the Open Exhibitions continue to encourage neighbourhood involvement at local galleries, community centres, educational and international institutions, cafes, retail stores, and many alternative locations.
CONTACT organizes and co-presents numerous Events and Workshops, 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.
CONTACT reflects the all-encompassing influence of images in society and the extraordinary breath and scope of photography today, presenting a broad spectrum of work by lens-based artists, documentary photographers and photojournalists. The Festival increases exposure for all participants, commissions new work, supports professional development and occasions to learn. CONTACT embraces an inclusive and accessible approach to the medium, and cultivates collaborations with and among artists, curators, established institutions and diverse community groups and organizations. CONTACT is an advocate for the creative potential of partnerships to expand the practices of all involved, broaden our audience reach and build engagement with the visual arts locally and globally.