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The AGO and Aeroplan Announce Nominees for The Grange Prize – A contemporary photography prize where the public selects the winner

Date Posted: February, 13, 2008

The Art Gallery of Ontario and Aeroplan today announced the twoCanadian and three international finalists for the inaugural GrangePrize for contemporary photography: Raymonde April, Sarah Anne Johnson,Miao Xiaochun, Huang Yan and Liu Zheng.

The annual $50,000 prize is the largest of its kind in Canada, andthe only one entirely determined by the public. Beginning today,everyone is invited to visit www.thegrangeprize.com  to view the artists’ work and subscribe to the voting reminder e-mail.Voting will officially begin February 25 and continue until April 3,2008; the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on April 24,2008.

Launched in February 2007, and named in honour of the AGO’s historichome, The Grange Prize is a partnership between Aeroplan and the AGOthat recognizes the best in Canadian and international contemporaryphotography. Each year, artists will be selected from across Canada anda different international region; this year China was selected.

“The Grange Prize is a celebration of the powerful imagery anddiverse voices in art photography today,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, theAGO’s Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO. “The new AGO willcontinue to be a home to groundbreaking photography from around theworld by providing more than double the gallery space for photographythan before our transformation.”

“These artists are among the most innovative photographers in theworld today and we’re honoured to have created a prize that salutestheir incredible talent,” says Rupert Duchesne, President and CEO ofAeroplan. “The Grange Prize demonstrates Aeroplan and the AGO’scommitment to providing valuable assistance for developing artists,helping them reach their full potential.”

Nominees for The Grange Prize have been selected by a committee ofAGO curators and representatives from Aeroplan. Each nominee has alsobeen invited to participate in a residency program: the internationalcandidates for the award will be invited to stay at Canadian artcentres, while Canadian nominees will travel to China.

In addition, each artist will work with an advocate to help create apublic dialogue about his or her work; these will be featured on TheGrange Prize website.  The advocates are art historian and criticEduardo Ralickas, representing Raymonde April; curator Steven Matijcio,representing Sarah Anne Johnson; curator Jiang Jiehong, representingMiao Xiaochun; photographer Holly Lee, representing Huang Yan; andAlissa Schoenfeld, representing Liu Zheng.

The Globe and Mail is the exclusive Media Sponsor of The Grange Prize.

About Aeroplan

Aeroplan Limited Partnership, Canada's premier loyalty marketingcompany and operator of the Aeroplan loyalty program, is dedicated todeveloping and executing programs designed to engage the loyalty of itsprestigious membership. Aeroplan's millions of members earn AeroplanMiles with its network of more than 70 world-class partners,representing more than 150 brands in the financial, retail, and travelsectors. Miles earned may be redeemed for Aeroplan's industry-leadingClassicFlight Rewards, innovative ClassicPlus Flight Rewards, andglobal Star Alliance Flight Rewards, offering travel to more than 850destinations worldwide. In 2007 alone, more than 1.5 million round-tripflight rewards were issued.  Aeroplan's roster of non-flight rewardsincludes more than 400 exciting specialty, merchandise, andexperiential rewards, as well as hotel and car rental rewards. Membersare encouraged to stay engaged with Aeroplan and avoid mileageexpiration due to inactivity by earning or redeeming Aeroplan Miles atleast once in any consecutive twelve-month period.
For more information about Aeroplan, please visit www.aeroplan.com.

About the Art Gallery of Ontario

With a permanent collection of more than 68,000 works of art, theArt Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums inNorth America. In 2002, the Gallery began an extraordinary chapter inits 108-year history when it launched Transformation AGO. Multi-facetedin scope, Transformation AGO involves the unprecedented growth of thepermanent collection, an innovative architectural expansion byworld-renowned architect Frank Gehry, and the strengthening of themuseum’s endowment resources. As the imaginative centre of the city,the transformed AGO will dramatically enrich our visitors’ experiencesand provide new access to the full vibrancy of the art museum. Boldlydeclaring that art matters, the new AGO will reopen fully in fall 2008.

TheArt Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry ofCulture. Additional operating support is received from the Volunteersof the AGO, the City of Toronto, the Department of Canadian Heritage,and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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For media information or visuals, please call:
Antonietta Mirabelli, 416 979 6660, ext. 454, Antonietta_Mirabelli@ago.net

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Culture. Additional operating support is received from the Volunteers of the AGO, the City of Toronto, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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