SPARK Photo Festival Update July 4, 2024

After twelve productive and successful years the Board has decided the 2024 festival was the SPARK Photo Festival finale

The mission of SPARK was to celebrate photography and the artists and enthusiasts behind the camera lens. The Festival introduced accessibility for photographers to have venues to display their art and for the audience to discover it. Right here in our region tens of thousands of visitors experienced printed and digital photography from hundreds of local photographers. Exhibits were mounted in traditional galleries and studios, and also in unexpected places such as shops, cafes, libraries, community centres, and even in the great outdoors.

The Festival’s “open call” format welcomed all photographers, including first-time exhibitors, students, avid hobbyists, seasoned professionals and community groups. Along with workshops, educational opportunities and presentations, SPARK curated many Showcase and special exhibits focusing on image collections such as Peterborough Then & Now, Canada 150 Celebrate at Home: Our Peterborough and Balsillie Collection of Roy Studio Images. The Juried Exhibit drew entries from talented photographers from across the province culminating in a spectacular show of the best images as determined by the jury. The annual competition was highly anticipated by photographers and festival visitors alike.

Like many arts and cultural efforts today, SPARK has encountered financial pressures that do not appear to be resolvable over the next few years. Instead of potentially entering negative cash flow territory, the SPARK Board decided it would be preferable to exit following a strong run of eleven successful festivals.

The SPARK Photo Festival was made possible, first and foremost, by the dedication, enthusiasm and talent of participating photographers. SPARK is also grateful for the essential contributions of the SPARK founders, Board members and volunteers, sponsors, funders, donors and patrons, supporting partners, suppliers, local media, other arts organizations and all who opened their doors (and walls) as host venues to SPARK exhibits.

We offer our sincere thanks to everyone who came out over these twelve years to celebrate photography. We invite you to see 2024 Festival photos below and browse the Festival 2024 Exhibits pages, Archives tab for past festivals, Virtual Exhibits and past Catalogues (they're downloadable!) through July 20, 2024 before the website is shut down.

As our organization comes to the end of its run, we offer our sincere gratitude to the 2024 photographers for bringing the 745+ creative photographs to the community in 26 exhibits, the 22 host venues for opening your doors (and walls) for the exhibits and our financial sponsors, including LLF Lawyers, the 2024 City of Peterborough Community Investment Grant, and our corporate and private sponsors, patrons and supporters, for making the free-to-visit Festival possible. Special thanks our dedicated volunteer board directors, who are not only active in the fund-acquisition, strategy and planning, but as doers of all things to make it all happen.

Our dedicated Board members are:
Ken Powell, Chair
Bill Lockington, Co-founder
Christina Dedes
Heather Doughty
Michael Harris
Gwyneth Huggins
Teresa Kaszuba
Allen Rothwell
Helen Smith
Lynn Taylor

We also extend gratitude to past supporters including the City of Peterborough Community Investment Grant, Peterborough Arts Alive Fund through Electric City Culture Council and the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough., and the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their support through 2021 and 2022. Please see the full list of supporters and show your appreciation for our supporters by supporting their businesses and community endeavours.

Jennifer MacKenzie, Festival Director, and the SPARK Board of Directors


Looking back at SPARK Photo Festival 2024

To view large size images, click an image. Then, click x to return to main page.
(More photos to come.)


Thank you to Global Peterborough for featuring SPARK!
Click here to access the April 4, 2024 video and article.








The 2024 Juried Exhibit Theme was Texture.
Best in Show was awarded to Wall with Four Pots, The Kasbah by Lola Reid Allin
Visit the Juried Exhibit Page to see all of the winners, a video slideshow of the full exhibit and a virtual exhibit of bonus images from the 2024 Texture theme.
Click to view past Virtual Exhibits in our archives, too!

2024 Best in Show - Wall with Four Pots, The Kasbah by Lola Reid Allin