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AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize Exhibition Opens at AGO

Members of the public invited to vote for the winner of C$50,000 Prize

TORONTO — The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and Aimia are pleased to announce the opening of the internationally recognized Aimia | AGO Photography Prize exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) on September 7, 2016. The exhibition will feature the works of four exceptional finalists for the Prize, curated by AGO Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Adelina Vlas. The winner of this unique prize will be chosen entirely by public vote, either in-person at the AGO upon the exhibition’s opening or online at the Prize website from September 14, 2016, to November 27, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner will be announced November 29, 2016. 

The four finalists were announced on July 27, 2016. They were selected by an international jury, from a list of 23 artists who were put forth by 13 international nominators. The finalists are Talia Chetrit (USA), Jimmy Robert (France), Ursula Schulz-Dornburg (Germany) and Elizabeth Zvonar (Canada). To celebrate the exhibition’s opening, they will participate in a free talk with curator Adelina Vlas on September 7, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. followed by a public reception in the AGO’s Walker Court at 7 p.m.

Developed through an innovative partnership between the AGO and Aimia, a Montreal-based global leader in data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics, the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize recognizes and develops the best in Canadian and international contemporary photography. 

Since its inception in 2007, more than 42 artists have been recognized and supported by the Prize. They have been provided with a positive platform on which to continue developing their talent, which is a true testament to the impact of the Prize to advance photographic arts.

The Prize awards C$50,000 to the winner upon tabulating the ballots cast by members of the public online and in-gallery. Additionally, the Prize offers $5,000 to each of the three runners-up, $7,000 to each of three scholarship winners, and $1,000 to each of their respective schools. This year, the Prize also expanded to include an award of $1,000 for honorable mention in the scholarship category, for a total annual prize value of $90,000. Additionally, the Prize comprises an annual exhibition at the AGO, an online exhibition at, and a range of public programming. The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Exhibition will run until January 1, 2017


Talia Chetrit’s work focuses on the human body—often her own—as a starting point to examine how images are constructed to support different agendas and interpretations of reality. Chetrit is increasingly interested in the relationship the camera has with the subject matter it documents. Her work has recently been featured in group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and Sculpture Center in New York, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Studio Voltaire in London, and LACMA in Los Angeles.

Jimmy Robert’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses performance, photography, film, video and drawing. Robert typically uses photography as a starting point for his works on paper, breaking down the divisions between two and three dimensions, as well as image and object. In some works Robert uses found photographs that he tears, collages, tapes and crumples before digitally scanning them and pinning them to the wall. Integrated within his photographic and sculpture practice, performance remains a central part of Robert’s work. His dance and performance works also oscillate between image and objecthood as well as the personal and the political.

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg has been using the house as a central image in her work since the end of the 1960s. She has travelled from the secret village of Kurchatov, Kazakhstan to the Hejaz railway in Saudi Arabia, from Kronstadt, Russia to Armenia and the border of Georgia and Azerbaijan to Iraq and Syria, in order to photograph the intertwining relationship between industrial and architectural structures, land and humans. Her work captures the historical and political importance of architecture and its destruction within the last century.

Elizabeth Zvonar works in a variety of mediums, including collage, sculpture, and photography. Her collages are created from a variety of sources, from fashion magazines to art history and science textbooks, they are then scanned and reproduced as glossy photographs while keeping the rips and cuts of the original collage. Zvonar’s images explore the conflicting meanings that exist within Western media, playing with inherent hypocrisies in the media’s depictions of women, consumerism, and history.

Previous winners of the Prize include Americans Dave Jordano (2015) and Lisa Oppenheim (2014), Canada’s Erin Shirreff (2013), Britain’s Jo Longhurst (2012), Gauri Gill of India (2011), Canadian Kristan Horton (2010), Marco Antonio Cruz of Mexico (2009) and Canadian Sarah Anne Johnson (2008).

For updates on the Prize, further details on the shortlisted artists and additional information, please visit and follow @AimiaAGOPrize on Twitter.

Aimia Inc., a global data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company based in Montreal, has adopted two fundamental principles of loyalty, trust, and reciprocity, as the pillars of its global social purpose — to create mutually beneficial partnerships that leave a lasting impact in our communities. As an enthusiastic patron of the arts, Aimia supports many Canadian and international arts and culture initiatives through donations, sponsorships, and employee volunteer activities. Aimia has supported several Canadian cultural organizations including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Canada Institute, Business for the Arts, Canadian Art Foundation, the National Gallery of Canada, Luminato Festival, the Walrus Foundation and Canada's presentation at the International Art and Architecture Venice Biennale since 2006. Aimia is proud to engage in a dialogue around the arts through the Aimia l AGO Photography Prize and scholarship program, and through our office art installations in Montreal and Toronto. Visit us at to learn more.
With a collection of more than 90,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’s masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002, Ken Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Visit to learn more.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

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For media inquiries, images or interview requests please contact:

Daniel St. Germaine | Arts & Communications
Dianna Lai | Aimia
Samantha Chater | Art Gallery of Ontario


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