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Canadian photographer Erin Shirreff wins the 2013 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize

Shirreff receives $50,000 prize awarded by record number of public votes

TORONTO — The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize has been awarded to Erin Shirreff of Canada, it was announced at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) this evening. Shirreff was selected by public vote to receive the $50,000 prize. A record number of votes ― more than 25,000 ― were cast during the 10-week voting period, which closed on Nov. 5, 2013. Runners-up Edgardo Aragón (Mexico), LaToya Ruby Frazier (United States) and Chino Otsuka (Japan/United Kingdom) each receive a $5,000 stipend dedicated to the research, creation and production of new work. All four artists receive six to eight-week fully funded residencies across Canada, to commence in early 2014.

Shirreff, who now lives and works in New York City, has gained recognition for her unique interweaving of photography, video and sculpture. Her work raises questions about the often-paradoxical relationship between time and space and the image. Recently her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.; White Cube, London, U.K.; and Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ont. Her work is also in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, among others.

Voting began on Aug. 27, 2013, at and on the Prize’s Facebook page. The public also had the opportunity to vote at the AGO inside the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize 2013 Exhibition, on view at the AGO until Jan. 5, 2014.

The exhibition features two of Shirreff’s long-duration videos, Lake and Moon, both of which extend and explore the act of looking. Constructed from hundreds of individual photographs captured in her studio, these works collapse time and place as they fluctuate between natural and artificial effects, stillness and motion. Lake features an image of the Okanagan Valley, near Shirreff’s hometown of Kelowna, B.C.

“There was an incredible amount of talent among this year’s shortlisted artists and we were thrilled to see the enormous response from the public, who voted by the thousands, in record numbers,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Director and CEO of the AGO. “In partnership with Aimia, the prize is truly innovative in its accessibility and broad support of Canadian and international contemporary photography.”

“We offer our sincerest congratulations to Erin Shirreff and all of the shortlisted artists,” said Vince Timpano, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada, Aimia. “Supporting the arts is a key pillar of Aimia’s social purpose, and through our partnership with the AGO, we are honoured to be able to recognize such talented contemporary photography artists here in Canada and around the world.”

Previous winners of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, formerly known as The Grange Prize, include Jo Longhurst of the U.K. (2012), Gauri Gill of India (2011), Canadian photographer Kristan Horton (2010), Marco Antonio Cruz of Mexico (2009) and Canadian photographer Sarah Anne Johnson (2008). For more information and updates about the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, please visit and follow @AimiaAGOPrize on Twitter.


The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is Canada’s leading photography prize and one of the largest arts and culture prize programs in the world. The prize awards more than $85,000 directly to artists working in photography each year, and is comprised of an annual exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, an online exhibition at, international artist residencies, public programming, as well as an extensive national scholarship program.

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With a collection of more than 80,000 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’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Kenneth 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. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

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.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of Aimia, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program and Founding Partner of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:

Lindsey Coulter
Arts & Communications
416.966.3421 x 207

Sabrina Bhangoo

Caitlin Coull
Art Gallery of Ontario
416.979.6660 x 364

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