It is the world’s largest photography festival, attracting an audience of 1. 5 million, but perhaps the coolest thing about the Scotiabank Contact Photography festival is that is EVERYWHERE. Taking over facades, busy intersections, and subway platforms – this truly is an event that makes it possible for everyone to check out world renowned photography.

This year the theme is Pervasive Imagery, sounds dirty – what the hell does it mean? Well, like all things…(says the communications grad)…it stems from Marshall McLuhan. Unlike the terrifying living room black box (aka your TV) McLuhan truly valued the photographic medium, but in order to understand the human response to it, he advised we examine it as it relates to other mediums. In a world where my eyes practically bleed from gazing at a computer screen all day, maniacally checking e-mail, ‘liking’ on Facebook and twittering my very existence – where does the photographic image fit now? Well, that is what we are about to discover, as we embark on a month long (minus our trip to Vienna) gallery and public space crawl to check out as many photo exhibits as possible. What do they make us think, feel, do? What influence do they serve in a culture obsessed with speed? What influence do they have in a culture where just about anyone can now take professional looking photography if they pay the price for professional equipment? What is the role of the photographer now?

28 venues, 32 Featured Exhibitions and over 160 open exhibitions! It’s a still image extravaganza with over 1000 artists participating!!

Catch it at the Lakeview while you are waiting for your eggs and bacon hungover on a lazy Sunday morning, spend a Saturday taking your dog for a run in the gated area at Artscape Wychwood Barns and then browse around the gallery, grab a coffee at Balzac’s and be emotionally moved by photography documenting climate change or check out some erotic work while you try on a bra at Secrets From Your Sister.

Portfolio reviews, artist talks, panel discussions and countless gallery openings to fill your evenings with provocative imagery and compelling discourse. Geez, May is a great time to be a Torontonian – take advantage of all that Scotiabank Contact has to offer.

Don’t worry – will keep you posted on all that is exciting and worth your attention. Stay tuned!

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