Photographers from Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal will vie for a new, $50,000 honour celebrating Canadian photography.

Organizers of the inaugural Scotiabank Photography Award announced on Friday a short list of three to compete for the contemporary art prize.

The shortlisted photographers are:

  • Lynne Cohen of Montreal.
  • Robin Collyer of Toronto.
  • Roy Arden of Vancouver.

Detail of Self-portrait, 198-85 by Roy Arden, one of the inaugural prize finalists. (National Gallery of Canada/Scotiabank Photography Prize)

The winner will receive $50,000, a publishing deal with art photography publisher Steidl and a curated exhibition at the 2012 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.

The remaining two finalists each receive $5,000.

"The creative vision demonstrated by each of the shortlisted artists reinforces the value of art to show us who we are as a country and how we see the world," the prize's executive director Jane Nokes said in a statement.

Nokes and acclaimed Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky created the new honour to draw attention to and promote contemporary photo-based art made by established Canadian practitioners.

Burtynsky will serve as chair of the inaugural jury panel, along with Vancouver Art Gallery's curatorial affairs manager Karen Love; Marie-Josée Jean, director of VOX Contemporary Image Centre in Montreal; and William A. Ewing, director of curatorial projects at art book publisher Thames & Hudson.

The jury will announce a winner at a Toronto gala on May 18, during the 2011 edition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.


Detail of Spa, 2006 by Lynn Cohen, one of the inaugural prize finalists. (Scotiabank Photography Prize)