Pervasive Imagery: World's largest photography festival features exceptional
line up of internationally renowned photographers and artists

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival celebrates media visionary Marshall McLuhan

TORONTO, April 13 /CNW/ - In its 14th year, CONTACT, the world's largest photography festival, becomes the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. The month-long annual event in May continues the tradition of exhibiting groundbreaking photography, including works by celebrity and fashion shooter David LaChapelle, leading American conceptual artist Barbara Kruger, internationally acclaimed photographer Ryan McGinley, pop culture superstar Douglas Coupland and many, many more.

As one of Canada's premier cultural events, Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival draws an impressive audience of over 1.5 million. Founded as a not-for-profit organization in 1997, the Festival is devoted to celebrating and fostering an appreciation of the art and profession of photography.

"Each year the festival grows stronger, with tremendous support from the arts community in Toronto, and we are proud to present photography from across Canada and around the world" says Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival executive director Darcy Killeen. "With Scotiabank as a long-term partner, we will continue to grow the festival and create exciting and ambitious programming that resonates internationally."

This year's thematic focus, Pervasive Influence, explores the social and political consequences of the medium of photography in a world devoted to the image. The festival will recognize the influence of Marshall McLuhan in the 30th anniversary year of his death. Taking from McLuhan's innovative approach to understanding media, the Festival looks at the ways in which the medium of photography informs and transforms human behaviour.

Focal points of the festival include three Primary Exhibition venues - the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), the University of Toronto Arts Center (UTAC), The McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology - and Public Installation sites across the city. The festival's thematic focus extends into 28 venues that present 32 Featured Exhibitions, and there are over 160 Open Exhibitions with more than 1,000 artists participating throughout Toronto.

    Primary Exhibitions

The Mechanical Bride, Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art (MOCCA)

Located in the heart of Canada's most diverse arts community, MOCCA will, for the 4th consecutive year, be one of the primary exhibition locations. Curated by Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival's artistic director Bonnie Rubenstein and presented in partnership with MOCCA, The Mechanical Bride, an international group exhibition, will be one of the highlights of the festival. Photo-based works by Canadian and international artists will reveal connections between mass media, advertising, painting and photography. Artists include John Armstrong, Dana Claxton, Paul Collins, Kota Ezawa, Jaqueline Hassink, David LaChapelle, Ryan McGinley, Josephine Meckseper, Matt Siber, Alec Soth and Britta Thie.

The Brothel Without Walls, University of Toronto Arts Centre (UTAC)

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is proud to partner with UTAC for the first time to host a second primary exhibition that includes artists from around the world. Exploring photographs as "dreams that money can buy" the exhibition explores the illusions images create. Co-curated by UTAC's Matthew Brower and the Festival's own Bonnie Rubenstein, the show features Susan Anderson, Evan Baden, Douglas Coupland, Jessica Dimmock, Marina Gadonneix, Clunie Reid, Stefan Ruiz, Joachim Scmid and Christopher Wahl.

Through the Vanishing Point, The McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, University of Toronto

Canadian artists David Rokeby and Lewis Kaye were commissioned to create site-specific works at the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. Presenting two distinct but complimentary works, the artists construct McLuhan's presence in his former seminar room, which is in the building commonly known as The Coach House.

    Public Installations

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival's high impact Public Installations are strategically placed in public spaces throughout the city. Site-specific projects explore the codes of advertising, the language of consumerism, the stylization of marketing campaigns and the force of propaganda in the urban landscape. At the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), internationally celebrated conceptual artist Barbara Kruger is creating a new site-specific installation for the façade of the AGO that combines images and text that extend across the full city block of the building. A monumental tableaux, The Rape of Africa, by internationally renowned artist David LaChapelle, in the courtyard of the MOCCA, casts a regal Naomi Campbell in the role of Venus, referencing the Botticelli masterpiece Venus and Mars. Penelope Umbrico's 77 images of sunsets will be installed as one continuous horizon line at Toronto Pearson International Airport - Terminal 1. Olaf Breuning's work, featured at The Power Plant, explores how the unrelenting flow of press coverage, news and gossip has an impact on personal and collective identity. At Brookfield Place, artists Doyon-Rivest transform the Bay Street entrance's 18-meter-high window into a giant stained glass-like artwork, featuring portraits of people lit by the small screens of their portable electronic devices. At the corner of Spadina and Front, Hank Willis Thomas's work is shown on billboards and posters, exploring the representation of black identity in mass media. Projected images by Cecilia Berkovic, Toni Hafkenscheid, Chris Ironside, Suzy Lake, Lori Newdick, Holly Norris, Nancy Paiva, Geoffrey Pugen, and Christos Tsirbas will be featured across the city on TTC subway station LCD screens.

    Magnum Photos Workshop

Magnum Photos and Scotiabank are proud to announce the return of The Scotiabank Scholarships at this year's Festival. To support the advancement of photography, five scholarships will be available for Canadian photography students to attend the Magnum Photos Workshop in Toronto hosted by Ryerson University from May 3 - 7, concluding with workshop presentations on May 8. Led by internationally distinguished Magnum photographers Stuart Franklin, Constantine Manos, Alec Soth and Alex Webb with Rebecca Norris Webb, the Magnum Photos Workshop seeks to provide personal photographic growth in an intimate and intensive environment.

    Featured Exhibitions

Venues across the city, including the CBC Atrium, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Olga Korper Gallery, Boss Store, Jessica Bradley Art + Objects, CONTACT Gallery and the Drake Hotel will present 32 Featured exhibitions and provide a multifaceted exploration of the festival theme, from documentary photography practices to conceptual approaches to image making.

    Portfolio Reviews

Taking place at The Gladstone Hotel on May 2 & 3, CONTACT reintroduces the Portfolio Reviews providing opportunities for artists and photographers to meet with some of the most important professionals in the field of photography, including international curators, art dealers and publishers.

    About Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1997, is generously supported by Scotiabank, Tourism Toronto, BMW Group Canada, TVO, Fashion Television, Vistek, Torys LLP, Pattison Sign Group, Sony of Canada LTD., Heineken, Transcontinental PLM, Toronto Life, The Gladstone Hotel, The Drake Hotel, Thompson Hotels, 3M Canada, Genstar and Beyond Digital Imaging. CONTACT gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan, Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Mondriaan Foundation and the City of Toronto through Toronto Arts Council. CONTACT fosters and celebrates the art and profession of photography with an annual month-long festival in May and newly initiated year-round programming in the gallery. For more information, visit

    About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2009 the Bank provided about $39 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of healthcare, education, social services, sports and arts and culture. Visit us at

    About the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art

The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) was founded from the former Art Gallery of North York in 1999, and exists as a not-for-profit, arms-length agency of the City of Toronto. In 2005, MOCCA relocated to the West Queen West Art + Design District in downtown Toronto, in the heart of one of North America's most dynamic arts communities. Our facility is modest in scale, impressive in design, and functions effectively as a nucleus of energies for cultural production and exchange. The mandate of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art is to exhibit, research, collect, and promote innovative art by Canadian and international artists whose works engage and address challenging issues and themes relevant to our times. MOCCA is committed to providing a forum for emerging artists that show particular promise and to established artists whose works are considered to be groundbreaking or influential.

    About the University of Toronto Art Centre

The University of Toronto Art Centre, in its fifteenth year of arts scholarship and collaboration in 2010, has an impressive collection of over 6,000 objects, with works dating from the ancient world to the present. As an essential complement to the academic program at the university, UTAC provides students, faculty, alumni and visiting scholars with first-hand access to this collection. The exhibition program embraces a range of media, art forms and time periods offering an engaging gallery experience that is complemented by lectures, gallery talks and symposia featuring internationally renowned artists, writers and academics. UTAC has been distinguished with three "Exhibition of the Year" awards from the Ontario Association of Art Galleries. The first in 2004 was for soundtracks, the second in September 2008 for Projections, and most recently in 2009 for Beaver Tales: Canadian Art and Design.

    McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, Coach House Institute of the
    University of Toronto Faculty of Information.

Marshall McLuhan conducted his groundbreaking research on how media & alphabetic communication technologies shaped culture at the Centre for Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto from 1963 until his death in 1980. For a time the School of Communication at UofT (McLuhan, Innis, Ong, Havelock, Frye & others) was the intellectual centre of the world and the Coach House a hotbed of ideas. By looking askance, 50 years ago, McLuhan focused society's imagination on something that, now 50 years later, has come to be recognized as having been prescient and profound. As the legacy of the Toronto School of Communication remains strong, the Coach House Institute of the Faculty of Information builds on and revitalizes under a new name the historic McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology. The mandate of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology under the Coach House Institute is now to focus on the World that we represent, interact with, intervene on, and engage with by, through and with those technologies and practices.

SOURCE Scotiabank - Sponsorships & Donations

For further information: For further information: on Scotiabank CONTACT: NKPR: Andrea Cooper, (416) 365-3630 x 30,, or Kelvin Lee, (416) 365-3630 x 21,

Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890