Aimia | AGO Photography Prize announces 2016 winner

Photographer Ursula Schulz-Dornburg receives $50,000 prize

TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ – The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and Aimia are pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize. Chosen by public vote, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg will receive C$50,000. Runners-up Talia Chetrit (USA), Jimmy Robert (France) and Elizabeth Zvonar (Canada) will each receive $5,000 to support their photography practices.

Developed through an innovative partnership between the AGO and Aimia, a Montreal-based global leader in data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics, the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is an internationally renowned award for contemporary photography, recognizing Canadian and international artists whose work has exhibited extraordinary potential over the preceding five years.

With a total value of $90,000, the Prize recognizes the winner and three runners-up, and allocates $25,000 to support a national scholarship program for undergraduate students studying photography at select institutions across Canada. Since its inception in 2007, more than 42 artists have been recognized and supported by the Prize.

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, winner of this year’s Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, is based in Germany.

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg has been using the house as a central image in her work since the end of the 1960s. Her work captures the historical and political importance of architecture and its destruction within the last century, investigating the relationship between industrial and architectural structures, land, and humans around the world. She has travelled from the secret village of Kurchatov, Kazakhstan to the Hejaz railway in Saudi Arabia, from Kronstadt, Russia to Armenia, and the border of Georgia and Azerbaijan to Iraq and Syria.

“On behalf of the AGO, I congratulate Ursula Schulz-Dornburg and all of the shortlisted artists,” said Stephan Jost, the AGO’s Michael and Sonja Koerner Director and CEO. “I also thank the voters, who each took the time to vote for an artist whose work spoke to them personally. Offering our public a voice in what is usually reserved for the art world is something we are very proud to do.”

“As a firm that believes in the power of corporate and arts sector collaboration and partnership, we are proud to recognize great achievements in contemporary photography,” said Vince Timpano, President, Americas Coalitions, at Aimia. “Congratulations to Ursula Schulz-Dornburg and all the shortlisted artists. Thank you for inviting us along your journey as you explore, deconstruct, and examine the world around you.”

The exhibition of work by all four finalists at the AGO will remain open until Jan. 1, 2017. It can also be viewed online at the Prize website.

The shortlist for the Prize, announced on July 27, 2016, was selected by an international jury that included Kitty Scott, the AGO’s Carol and Morton Rapp Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art; Russell Ferguson, Professor in the Department of Art at the University of California; and Stan Douglas, acclaimed artist and filmmaker. The exhibition was coordinated by Adelina Vlas, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art.

Previous winners of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize include Dave Jordano of the U.S. (2015), Lisa Oppenheim of the U.S. (2014), Canada’s Erin Shirreff (2013), Jo Longhurst of the U.K. (2012), Gauri Gill of India (2011), Canada’s Kristan Horton (2010), Marco Antonio Cruz of Mexico (2009) and Canada’s Sarah Anne Johnson (2008).

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, the Writers’ Trust of Canada, 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 to learn more. 

With a collection of more than 90,000 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’s masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002, Ken 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 to learn more.

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 and Founding Partner of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize.




Contact: For media inquiries, images or interview requests please contact: Daniel St. Germaine, Arts & Communications,; Dianna Lai, Aimia,; Samantha Chater, Art Gallery of Ontario,

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