2015 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Winners Announced

Jury awards three Canadian undergraduate photography students one year’s tuition

May 20, 2015 (Toronto, ON) — The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize has announced the winners of the 2015 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program. Valued at C$24,000, the scholarship program, which was inaugurated in 2013, recognizes three full-time students—Canadian or international—who are entering their final year of study toward a bachelor’s degree of fine arts in photography at one of 15 participating post-secondary institutions across Canada. From a field of more than 100 applicants this year, the jury has awarded Lodoe Laura of Ryerson University, Alison Postma of the University of Guelph and Graham Wiebe of the University of Manitoba C$7,000 each toward tuition for their final year of undergraduate study. Their schools will each receive a C$1,000 honorarium.

  • Alison Postma is currently studying Studio Art at the University of Guelph. Born and raised in Toronto, her work incorporates photography as a means to explore dreams, ideas and spaces. By manipulating the surfaces of her images and using non-traditional installation methods, Postma’s images conjure the possibility of narrative.
  • Lodoe Laura’s work deals with themes of ancestry, legacy and tradition. Her artistic practice is a response to personal realities, and her work questions the act of photography as a supplement for memory. Laura is pursuing a BFA at Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts.
  • Graham Wiebe, currently pursuing a BFA at the University of Manitoba, takes inspiration from his hometown of Winnipeg. His subject matter is heavily influenced by youth subcultures and incorporates impulse and irony to create images tinged with both public and personal nostalgia.

“From eight partner schools in our first year to 15 in year two, the Scholarship Program continues to grow, driven by the enthusiasm and prodigious talent of student artists and our partner institutions,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Director and CEO of the AGO. “The success of this national program is just one of the many ways in which the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize continues to support Canadian artists.”

“As part of our longstanding commitment to supporting our communities, we are proud to help foster local artistic talent to build a Canadian legacy of impact in contemporary photography,” said Vince Timpano, President and CEO of Aimia in Canada. “Congratulations to this year’s three scholarship winners.”

Fifteen respected and established visual arts institutions from across the country nominated students for the Scholarship Program this year. At each participating school, an internal jury composed of faculty members selected one finalist to submit to the Scholarship Program jury.

The 2015 Aimia | AGO Scholarship Program finalists included:

  • Nedda Baba of York University;
  • Sabrina Chamberland of University of Ottawa;
  • Emily M. Kohlert of University of Saskatchewan;
  • Louis-Alex Lavoie of University of Québec;
  • Shuo Li of Alberta College of Art + Design;
  • Mara Gajic of OCAD University;
  • Faber Neifer of Emily Carr University of Art + Design;
  • Roxanne Ross of Concordia University;
  • Daniel Schrempf of University of Lethbridge;
  • Lauren Tsuyuki of Simon Fraser University;
  • D'Arcy Way of NSCAD University; and
  • Chadman Wong of University of British Colombia.

From the 15 finalists, a jury of experts—Adelina Vlas, associate curator of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Ontario; Lisa Oppenheim, winner of the 2014 AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize; and Gabrielle Moser, a writer, educator and independent curator based in Toronto—selected three winners.

Of this year’s winners the jury wrote: “We were very pleased with the outstanding overall quality of all of the nominated artists. Each of the three winners takes on the conventions of various photographic approaches: Alison Postma’s masterfully executed compositions investigate the uncanny dimensions of domestic spaces, Lodoe Laura’s diverse body of work explores personal identity through performative gestures and a tactile engagement with the medium and Graham Wiebe’s confrontational yet poetic snapshots reference documentary traditions and reveal a compassionate engagement with his subjects. We congratulate them all.”

The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is Canada’s largest photography prize and one of the largest arts and culture prize programs in the world. The prize awards more than C$85,000 to artists working in photography each year and comprises an annual exhibition at the AGO, international artists residencies, public programming and a national scholarship program.

The long list for the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize was announced on April 28, 2015, and can be viewed at aimiaagophotographyprize.com. Please watch for the shortlist announcement on June 23, 2015. For updates on the Prize and additional information, follow @AimiaAGOPrize on Twitter. 


Aimia, a data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company, has adopted two fundamental principles of loyalty, trust and reciprocity, as the pillars of its global social purpose — to create mutually beneficial partnerships that leave a lasting impact in our communities. As an enthusiastic patron of the Arts, Aimia supports many Canadian and International arts and culture initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. Aimia has supported several Canadian cultural organizations including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Canada Institute, Business for the Arts, Canadian Art Foundation, the National Gallery of Canada, Luminato Festival, the Walrus Foundation and Canada's presentation at the International Art and Architecture Venice Biennale since 2006. Aimia is proud to engage in a dialogue around the arts through the Aimia l AGO Photography Prize and scholarship program, and through our office art installations in Montreal and Toronto. Visit us at www.aimia.com to learn more.

With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Kenneth Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit ago.net to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of Aimia, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.



For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:

Sabrina Bhangoo
[email protected] I 647.329.5123

Caitlin Coull
Art Gallery of Ontario
[email protected] I 416.979.6660 x 364

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