As spring stubbornly stumbles our way, Torontonians and our guests have the opportunity to partake in an array of cultural and creative events in and around our fair city. We are honoured with dozens of excuses to escape the confines of the condo and go celebrate those who were born way more artsy and colourful than ourselves. You can be sure that whatever floats your demiurgic boat, Scotiabank has you covered. The banking titans sponsor pretty much everything in the city these days, so just follow the red and white beacon and you’re sure to be satisfied! Anyhoo, I digress. Now, if photography happens to be your artistic vessel of choice, look no further than the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.
The not-for-profit festival is an annual event, and this year, will be home to the work of over 1,500 Canadian and international artists for the entire month of May. Under the theme Field of Vision, exhibits are spread over 175 venues throughout the GTA, with the promise to be “an open forum for the promotion and discussion of photography.” The site even features a warning, stating that some content may be offensive, upsetting or disturbing… art with an ‘R’ rating? Count me in!
Here’s a list of exhibits we’d quite like to catch while the festival is in town…
Hot Docs: New Life of a Family Film; May 1st, 6pm; 110 Spadina Ave.
Filmmaker Adam Ol’ha documents the effect his parents’ separation may, or may not have had on his family. A personal memoir that asks “whether love survives family life or whether family itself is love’s only lasting record.”
INSTAGRATIFICATION, Group Exhibition; May 1st to 23rd, Goodfellas Gallery, 1266 Queen St. W.
An exhibition close to VTV’s heart, this one focuses on the rising popularity of cell phone photography. None of the images in this exhibit are taken with traditional cameras. Wonder if we’ll see any of our snaps in there…
Maclean’s: Face to Face; May 1st to 31st, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W.
Maclean’s Magazine presents 50 enchanting portraits from their archives including well-known faces from the arts, business, politics and sports.
The Romance of Water, Brenda Hoffert; April 30th to May 31st; 1260 Castlefield Ave.
An exhibit of breathtaking images of water in all of its forms and its powerful force over nature.
Dance, Gregory Holmgren; May 1st to 31st, 2473 Dundas St. W.
This one is for our girl, Nicki. An exploration of the beauty in dance, set against backdrops including, amongst others, Manhattan – combining one of Nicki’s favourite things with one of her favourite places.
My First Roll of Film: U2, War at Massey Hall in 1983; May 1st to 31st, 2920 Dundas St. W.
Not only are these images from my year of birth, but they also feature a band I love and my other half adores. This is a ‘date-night, must-see’ for myself and the man unit.
Performance: Patent Pending; May 31st, 8pm, 918 Bathurst St.
We all know how VTV’s Adam loves a good event. This exhibition calls itself just that, with a combination of “projections, photos, sculpture, animation, composition, and improvisation to create shifting character narratives which unfold in real time.” And with the blurb on the site, encouraging attendees to ‘have a glass of wine’ and ‘enjoy the randomness’, I think this one is definitely up our Adam’s alley.
So, I’d say that this is the perfect way to get your creative fill, while enjoying our wonderful city but still respecting your frugal side… there is an artist in all of us, after all.
The festival runs from May 1st until the 31st in a variety of locations all over the GTA. Check out the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival website for more details and info.