Cosmopolitan and truly diverse, Toronto offers a unique mix of events. From street festivals to theatrical productions, this city has something for everyone all year round.

CONTACT Photography Festival

May 1 - 31, 2009

This May, Toronto will once again play host to CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival, the largest photography event in the world. The annual month-long festival of photography, celebrating its 13th year, will feature 1,000 local, national and international artists at over 210 venues across the Greater Toronto Area. As one of the city’s premier cultural events, CONTACT draws an impressive audience of over 1.5 million. Founded as a not-for-profit organization in 1997, CONTACT is devoted to celebrating and fostering an appreciation of the art and profession of photography.
This year’s thematic focus, Still Revolution, will explore the ever-evolving manifestations of photographic imagery that influence the way we see the world today. Suspending moments in time that are always in flux, photography reflects a complex history marked by pervasive change. Looking back to the foundations of photography and the innovations that radically alter the way images are created and consumed, the festival will investigate photography’s force as a tool for social and political change. “Each year, we are always so pleased to receive tremendous support from the arts community in Toronto,” says CONTACT’s executive director Darcy Killeen. “This is truly a world-class inclusive event that is well suited to our diverse local audience.”

This year’s festival-goers can take in the Primary Exhibition held at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), view one of six Public Installations, visit one of the 26 venues which are hosting a Featured Exhibition, and see the close to 200 Open Exhibitions across the city.
Primary Exhibition Located in the heart of Canada’s most diverse arts community, MOOCA will, for the 4th year in a row, be the location of the Primary Exhibition. CONTACT and MOCCA have co-produced a first-rate international group exhibition, which will act as the focal point of the citywide festival. Artists featured at the Primary Exhibition include Vancouver-based Stan Douglas, Idris Khan from the UK, Trevor Paglen and Martha Rosler from the USA and South Africa’s Mikhael Subotsky. The exhibition and festival opening will take place at MOCCA on May 1st.
Public Installations CONTACT’s high impact Public Installations, are strategically placed in various public spaces throughout the city. This year, there will be six public installations located at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Pearson International Airport, MOCCA and all TTC subway locations. Once again the courtyard wall of MOCCA will feature a large-scale mural. Replacing the extremely successful work of the Robert Burley, Quebec artist Gwenael Belanger’s “Le Grand Fatras” (The Grand Jumble) will grace MOCCA’s courtyard. Objects like washing machines, pianos and living room furniture appear to be simultaneously falling, resulting in whimsical mayhem.

Feature Exhibitions Various venues across the city such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the CONTACT Gallery and the Drake Hotel will hold feature exhibitions. Approximately 25 exhibitions will host the works of key photographers such as Toronto-based Jeff Harris at Brookfield Place, internationally renowned Canadian photographer Lynn Cohen at Olga Korper Gallery, New York-based photographer Hank Willis Thomas at Georgia Scherman Projects and the Yoko Ono/John Lennon Bed-In-inspired exhibit by Gerry Deiter at Stephen Bulger Gallery to name a few.
Magnum Workshop Toronto Magnum Photos and Scotiabank are proud to announce the return of the Scotiabank Scholarships at CONTACT. For a second year, Scotiabank has partnered with CONTACT and Magnum Photos, supporting the advancement of photography. Five scholarships will be available for Canadian photography students to attend the Magnum Workshop Toronto at CONTACT hosted by Ryerson University from May 4 – 9, 2009. Led by internationally distinguished Magnum photographers Bruno Barbey, Chien-Chi Chang, David Alan Harvey, Alex Majoli, Peter Marlow and Mark Power, the workshop will be the focus for CONTACT’s educational programming.

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