The CONTACT Photography Festival is back! This annual city-wide event displays photography from local and international artists across the city for the month of May. The festival’s core program brings together exhibitions and public programs presented in partnership with museums, galleries, and artist-run centers throughout the GTA and beyond. 

To better navigate the festival, attendees will be able to plan their visit through the interactive map provided by the festival. SheDoesTheCity has you covered with our guide to the 2024 CONTACT Photography Festival featuring programs and exhibitions you won’t want to miss!

Arielle Bobb-Willis, New Jersey, 2017 (model: Daquan Jeremy; stylist: Arielle Bobb-Willis). Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire

Furiously Happy

May 1-31, Davisville Subway Station

Photographer Arielle Bobb-Willis is known for her colorful, unconventional images that depict the human figure in an atypical fashion. Throughout her work, Bobb-Willis creates unusual shapes and volumes, using garments to manipulate visual boundaries and create volumetric shapes. Based on personal experiences of discomfort, her imagery leans into tension to take on a surreal perspective on the human form. Her images push viewers to think both differently and expansively. More info.

Felicia Byron, Buna: The Goddess of Ceremonial Coffee, 2022. Courtesy of the artist

Harvest – Blue Prints and Magnitudes 

May 1-July 19, Tangled Art + Disability 

Drawing inspiration from Gwendolyn Brooks’ observation in the poem Paul Robeson, that “we are in each other’s harvest,” Felicia Byron’s works stitch together a plethora of stories. Through the use of textiles and embroidery, Byron uses fabrics that connect the stories of individuals, places, and emotions, entwining portraits of community with an Afro-futuristic dream of collective crip liberation. This display is an invitation for visitors to listen in on the voices of those often ignored, unheard, and misunderstood. More info.

Holly Chang, How to Separate, from the series How to Disappear When No One Is Looking, 2024. Courtesy of the artist

How to Disappear When No One Is Looking 

May 1-31, Billboards at Dupont St and Emerson Ave, Billboards at College and Lansdowne Ave

In this public art series, Holly Chang investigates her identity, family history, and community knowledge. This public art project is rooted in found photographs from the artist’s late uncle during a trip to Hong Kong and China in 2003. Upon scanning the negatives, Chang was met with unfamiliar imagery and landscapes. This series reflects the diasporic experience and gathers a nuanced understanding of familial displacement from the homeland. More info.

Almagul Menlibayeva, Aisha Bibi, 2010, from the series My Silk Road to You. Courtesy of the artist

My Silk Road to You and Nomadized Suprematism 

May 1-June 9, Aga Khan Museum

Almagul Menlibayeva’s series presents a glimpse into the multilayered realities of post-Soviet Central Asia. She combines a documentary approach with staged interventions to highlight geopolitical realities and the enduring mythologies that shape contemporary Kazakhstan. Her works are set on a background of Soviet remnants and historical Islamic architecture to reflect lived experiences. Visitors will be immersed in a world where textiles become the connecting thread of Central Asia’s history and culture extending from China to Iran and into Russia and Europe. More info.

June Clark, Harlem Quilt, (detail), 1997 (fabric, photo transfers, light). Courtesy of the artist and Daniel Faria Gallery


May 3-August 11, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery

June Clark: Witness is the first survey in Canada of the Toronto-based artist who has developed a collection of groundbreaking works. Since the late 1960s, Clark’s works have spanned photos, text, collages, installations, and sculptural assemblages. In this deeply personal exhibition and outdoor installation, Clark explores how history, memory, and identity have established the lineages that shape her work. More info.

Yuwen Vera Wang, As the time passes by, 2023. Courtesy of the artist

The Land of Rebirth 

May 16-June 15, Artspace Gallery

In her documentary series, The Land of Rebirth, Toronto and Yantai-based artist Yuwen Vera Wang captures the lives and living conditions of the elderly population of Wang Gezhuang village. Set in the summer of 2023, Wang returned to her grandparents’ hometown to explore and document the lives of the aging population outside of urban centers. She draws personal connections to the village and records the collective lives of the community. More info.

Jah Grey, Oge Anthony Classic, (Stylist: Uche Uba Creative Directors: Jah Grey, Uche Uba, and Pris Zim), 2024. Courtesy of the artist

Putting Ourselves Together 

March 28-May 25, BAND Gallery

This solo exhibition by Jah Grey features portraits of trans women, drag queens, and non-binary individuals from Lagos, Nigeria. The series was created alongside Nigerian creative director Uche Uba as part of UnCommon Beauty, a 2022 docuseries by Priscilla Nzimiro Nwanah. The photos pay tribute to activists like Fola Francis who fought for LGBTQ2S+ rights against Nigeria’s criminalizing laws. The imagery challenges societal norms and presents a visual testament to love and radical imagination. More info.


Nuits Balnéaires, Adahonlin 6, from the series The Power of Alliances, 2021. Courtesy of the artist

United in Bassam 

April 25-May 25, Meridian Arts Centre 

Nuits Balnéaires’ first solo exhibition in Canada presents his 2021 series The Power of Alliances, which explores the shared heritage of the N’zima Kôtôkô – the seven founding families of Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast. This coastal city, where the multidisciplinary artist is based, forms the backdrop for his images and deeply inspires his works. In between the wake of two destabilizing political crises in the 2000s and amidst Ivory Coast’s ongoing national reconciliation, his works emerge as a tribute to solidarity. More info. 

Learn more about the CONTACT Photography Festival 2024 programming here.