AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize

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About the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize

About Canada's most innovative art and culture prize program…

The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is Canada's largest photography prize and one of the largest art and culture prize programs in the world. The prize awards more than $85,000 CAD in cash prizes directly to artists working in photography each year, and is comprised of an annual exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), an online exhibition at, international artist residencies, public programming, and a national scholarship program.

Erin Shirreff, Lake, video still, 2012, color video, silent, 44 minute loop

Each year, the Prize recognizes four artists working in photography whose work has exhibited extraordinary potential over the preceding five years. The artists are chosen via an international nomination process: a group of curators, critics and artists from around the world are invited to submit two artists each for inclusion on a long list. A jury of three, led by an AGO curator, selects a shortlist of four from the long list. Exhibitions are mounted at the AGO and online, and the public are invited to cast a vote for their choice to win the $50,000 CAD prize. Founded in 2007, the Prize was the first major art prize in the world to invite the public to choose its winners.

The three runners-up each receive $5000 CAD stipends toward the research and production of new work, and all four artists receive six-week residencies across Canada designed in collaboration with the AGO to enrich each artist’s respective practice.

In 2013, the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program was introduced, honouring students studying photography at select academic institutions across Canada. Students entering the final year of study toward Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees with a major in or focus on photography are invited to apply to internal juries at their respective schools. Each school then submits one finalist to a jury comprised of a previous winner of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize and two representatives from the AGO. The jury awards three students whose undergraduate work has exhibited extraordinary potential $7000 CAD scholarships toward their final year of study. More information about the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program can be found here.

The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is a partnership between Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, one of Canada’s largest and most prestigious art museums. Formerly known as The Grange Prize for Contemporary Photography, the Prize expanded in 2013 to incorporate the national scholarship program and shift from a partner country structure to an international nomination process. Additionally, the presenting partner of the Prize evolved from Aeroplan, Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program, to its parent company, Aimia.