The SPARK Photo Festival is a celebration of photography, and the artists, dreamers, innovators, storytellers, professionals and enthusiasts behind the camera lens. Every year, the month of April marks the arrival of numerous photographic exhibits and artists, in locations throughout the Northumberland, Peterborough, and the Kawartha Lakes regions. Technical workshops, lectures, talks, films, and other related photographic events and activities take place year-round as well as during the festival.

The 6th annual festival is scheduled for April 1 to April 30, 2018.

Primary & Open Call Exhibits

SPARK 2018 will be another thought provoking year for exhibit visitors, as well as the 6th anniversary of the only regional festival celebrating photography in Canada.

SPARK is anchored by 3 primary exhibits: the Showcase Exhibit, which features significant heritage photography collections; the Emerging Photographer/Curator Exhibit, which contributes to the professional development of the next generation of photographic artists and curators, and the highly competitive Juried Exhibit contest, which, based on a theme, features 30 of the best submissions from across the Province of Ontario as selected by a panel of expert judges. The backbone of the festival can be attributed to the depth and variety of the Open Call Exhibits of regional photographers working at every skill level - student, enthusiast, fine art, and professional.

It is SPARK's inclusiveness and celebration of the community of photographers that sets SPARK apart as a festival. That you will find photography in places where you least expect to, part of SPARK's charm.


Canadian troops arriving in Mons on Armistice Day, 11 Nov. 1918

Canadian troops arriving in Mons on Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918

The 2017 SPARK Showcase Exhibit is titled, The Loss of Innocence: The Birth of a Nation: Remembering 1917 and the Great War. The exhibit will examine the impact of the war from a local perspective and act to commemorate the sacrifice and contribution of so many local families. The exhibit will remain on display at the Peterborough Public Library until May 31, 2017.

Showcase Exhibit


Mara Gajic

Mara Gajic, 2016 Emerging Photographer Exhibit

In 2017, SPARK's emerging curator was be Erin Burke of Peterborough. Erin is a student in the U of Vic Visual Arts Program. The 2017 Emerging Photographer Exhibit, for the first time featured a group exhibit of the work of graduates from the  arts programs of Peterborough secondary schools.

Emerging Exhibit


Best in Show 2016

Best in Show 2016

A juried exhibit ensures only the highest quality work is selected for exhibit. The 2018 juried exhibit, to be titled Reflections, will be on display during SPARK 2018, April 1 to April 30, at a prominent venue. Submissions are open now.


Open Call

  • Individual
  • Group
  • Featured
  • Community Organization
  • Corporate
  • Student Individual
  • Student Group

Exhibit Registration 2018

List of 2017 Exhibits

Winners of the Juried Exhibit 2016 - Theme: Shadows

Free SPARK Photo Festival Exhibitor Workshop
This workshop, designed for photographers but open to any visual artist, will guide first-time exhibitors through the process of exhibit. Learn how to choose and self-curate an exhibit theme, prepare your work for print, explore a range of presentation and finishing techniques, secure a venue, & add value to your marketing. This workshop will inspire & build confidence. If interested in a workshop in the fall of 2017 (Date TBA) : call Robert 705 741-5210 or send him an email: or

Juried Submissions

The theme of SPARK’s next annual juried exhibit in 2018 is Reflections. Deadline for submitting is February 9, 2018. Submissions are now open.

Open Call Registration

Registration for Open Call Photographic Exhibits is now closed. Registration for 2018 will start September 1, 2017.




How do you take your art? Cycling!

In 2017, SPARK Photo Festival joined forces with Wild Rock, GreenUP, and B!KE to provide festival goers with five SPARK SPiN self-guided cycling routes  to exhibits in Peterborough, Lakefield, Bridgenorth, Douro, Campbellford, and Warkworth. SPARK SPiN will continue in 2018 with new routes based on that year's exhibits. Read more