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



    TORONTO and MONTREAL, Feb. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The Art Gallery of Ontario
and Aeroplan today announced the two Canadian and three international
finalists for the inaugural Grange Prize 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, and the
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 historic
home, The Grange Prize is a partnership between Aeroplan and the AGO that
recognizes the best in Canadian and international contemporary photography.
Each year, artists will be selected from across Canada and a different
international region; this year China was selected.
    "The Grange Prize is a celebration of the powerful imagery and diverse
voices in art photography today," says Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO's Michael
and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO. "The new AGO will continue to be a home
to groundbreaking photography from around the world by providing more than
double the gallery space for photography than before our transformation."
    "These artists are among the most innovative photographers in the world
today and we're honoured to have created a prize that salutes their incredible
talent," says Rupert Duchesne, President and CEO of Aeroplan. "The Grange
Prize demonstrates Aeroplan and the AGO's commitment to providing valuable
assistance for developing artists, helping them reach their full potential."
    Nominees for The Grange Prize have been selected by a committee of AGO
curators and representatives from Aeroplan. Each nominee has also been invited
to participate in a residency program: the international candidates for the
award will be invited to stay at Canadian art centres, while Canadian nominees
will travel to China.
    In addition, each artist will work with an advocate to help create a
public dialogue about his or her work; these will be featured on The Grange
Prize website. The advocates are art historian and critic Eduardo Ralickas,
representing Raymonde April; curator Steven Matijcio, representing Sarah Anne
Johnson; curator Jiang Jiehong, representing Miao Xiaochun; photographer Holly
Lee, representing Huang Yan; and Alissa 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 marketing company
and operator of the Aeroplan loyalty program, is dedicated to developing and
executing programs designed to engage the loyalty of its prestigious
membership. Aeroplan's millions of members earn Aeroplan Miles with its
network of more than 70 world-class partners, representing more than
150 brands in the financial, retail, and travel sectors. Miles earned may be
redeemed for Aeroplan's industry-leading ClassicFlight Rewards, innovative
ClassicPlus Flight Rewards, and global Star Alliance Flight Rewards, offering
travel to more than 850 destinations worldwide. In 2007 alone, more than
1.5 million round-trip flight rewards were issued. Aeroplan's roster of
non-flight rewards includes more than 400 exciting specialty, merchandise, and
experiential rewards, as well as hotel and car rental rewards. Members are
encouraged to stay engaged with Aeroplan and avoid mileage expiration due to
inactivity by earning or redeeming Aeroplan Miles at least 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, the Art
Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North
America. In 2002, the Gallery began an extraordinary chapter in its 108-year
history when it launched Transformation AGO. Multi-faceted in scope,
Transformation AGO involves the unprecedented growth of the permanent
collection, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect
Frank Gehry, and the strengthening of the museum's endowment resources. As the
imaginative centre of the city, the transformed AGO will dramatically enrich
our visitors' experiences and provide new access to the full vibrancy of the
art museum. Boldly declaring that art matters, the new AGO will reopen fully
in fall 2008.
    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.

    For more information about the AGO, please visit www.ago.net.




For further information:

For further information: AGO: Matthew Ross, (416) 979-6660, ext. 518,
Matthew_Ross@ago.net; Antonietta Mirabelli, (416) 979-6660, ext. 454,
Antonietta_Mirabelli@ago.net; Carrie Shibinsky (416) 979-6660, ext.403
Carrie_Shibinsky@ago.net Aeroplan: Michèle Meier, (514)205-7028,
michele.meier@aeroplan.com

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