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.
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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.

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