Exhibit Registration 2020

INSTRUCTIONS – Exhibit Registration for 2020 is now closed

. If you have registered your exhibit, please send in all materials to complete your registration. See below for details. For registration assistance/questions please email info@sparkphotofestival.org and we will reply as soon as possible. Please review this entire page before registering an exhibit.

Mail-in Exhibit Registration Form (download PDF)

REGISTER AN EXHIBIT BY MAIL (Cheque or Money Order only)

Please ensure you have included the following items with the completed Registration Form

  • Submit entry form, payment and all materials by mail or courier to the SPARK mailing address.
  • Cheque or Money Order payable to: SPARK Photo Festival. Do not send cash through the mail.
    NEW: Payment can be made by e-transfer. If you wish to pay by e-transfer, email info@sparkphotofestival.org for instructions (do not use this address for transfer).
  • Digital Images and copy, for both catalogue and website, and signage requests (deadline January 22, 2020), and if known, captions, in a separate file (Caption deadline is March 1, 2020)

REGISTER AN EXHIBIT ON-LINE (Credit Card payment through PayPal)

Click on step 1 to start.


The eighth annual SPARK Photo Festival is scheduled for April 1 to April 30, 2020.

Registration is based upon an Open Call for Photographic Exhibit. Participation in the SPARK Photo Festival is conditional upon
1) pre-arranging an exhibit venue
2) registration with the SPARK Photo Festival, including payment in full.

SPARK will limit the number of registered exhibits to 75, based on a first-come-first-served basis.

IMPORTANT DATES – Registration for 2020 is now closed.

  • Registration Deadline: 11:59 pm EST Wednesday, January 22, 2020 (EXTENDED!)
  • Deadline for Required Exhibitor Catalogue and Web Materials: 11:59 pm EST Wednesday, January 22, 2020
  • Deadline for Signage Choices (part of Registration): 11:59 pm EST Wednesday, January 22, 2020
  • Deadline for submission of Reception Dates (* after this date Reception Dates will only be published on-line): February 2, 2020
  • Deadline for Caption Requests: March 1, 2020

SPARK exhibits can be held anywhere in the City of Peterborough, in communities throughout Peterborough and Northumberland counties, the City of the Kawartha Lakes, as well as the Village of Haliburton where Peterborough’s Fleming College has a satellite campus. For a map of the region, visit http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/regions/regions8.shtml

The core component of each exhibit must be the photographic still image. This may be presented through traditional analog print, digital print, monitor, screen projection, mixed media, billboard, postering, photo sculpture, or flags. Looped slide shows or animation of a series of still photographs are acceptable. Video and film are excluded unless secondary to and supportive of the main stills exhibit. Performance art that integrates the still image or photography as a primary theme/component/technique is also welcome.


  • INDIVIDUAL One person exhibit.
  • FEATURED EXHIBITS Exhibits in a private, public, commercial, or not-for-profit gallery. This category is is meant to bring attention to the important role galleries play in promoting the work of photographers. Benefit includes primary placement in catalogue. Can apply to both individual and group exhibits. Fee for a Featured Exhibit is based on individual, small group and group exhibit criteria.
  • SMALL GROUP An exhibit with 2 to 5 participants.
  • GROUP An exhibit with 6 or more participants.
  • INDIVIDUAL STUDENT AND STUDENT GROUPS Individual students and groups of students, who attend a Canadian, publicly funded school or post-secondary institution. Category applies to undergraduate students only.
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION Charitable or not-for-profit organizations concerned with improving the social welfare, health and environment of local communities. Includes historical societies, special collections, and public archives. If you’re not sure, ask!

SPARK is a not-for-profit corporation run by volunteers. Registration fees are used to produce the festival catalogue, pocket guide and map, website, exhibit signage, captions, SPARK curated exhibits, and to present lectures, workshops, and other special programming. All registered open call exhibits, regardless of category or cost, are subsidized through the generous support of our sponsors, patrons and competitive public granting bodies, by ad sales, workshop fees, and through fundraising efforts by SPARK. It is through these efforts to subsidize exhibitor activities that SPARK can keep registration affordable for all participants.


Two approaches may be used in obtaining a venue for your exhibit:

  1. Photographers may search out and secure their own exhibit venue (preferred)
  2. In previous catalogues exhibitors can find participating venues. For a list of previous venues email: info@sparkphotofestival.org

Traditional venues such as public and private galleries as well as non-traditional spaces are equally encouraged. Non-traditional venues may include community centres, gyms, clinics, studios, cafes, shops, clubs, businesses with public access, the offices of community organizations, shopping centres, store-front windows, sports arenas, outdoor billboards, sides of buildings, parks and other public spaces. SPARK is hoping this will help create exhibit capacity for all artists and not just photographers.

Photographers are responsible for securing all necessary permissions, permits, licenses, engineering reports, etc. when exhibiting outdoors or on the walls of a building. The City of Peterborough requires a permit and approval for all installations attached to any building or in a public park.

Consider venues with the longest operating hours for maximum exposure of your work. Ideally, a minimum of 40 hours a week with at least one day of weekend viewing. If your venue is not open on weekends, it still might be possible to arrange with your venue representative one or more weekend viewing dates. Viewing times will be published along with each artist’s exhibit listing. At most venues, it is not necessary for photographers or their representatives to be present during hours of exhibit unless they choose to do so. This is an arrangement the exhibitor must make with their venue representative in advance.

All registrations must include a signed Venue Agreement Form. It is the responsibility of the photographer to consult with the exhibit venue representative to complete and submit the Venue Agreement Form. SPARK requires that all exhibitors registering on-line will keep a physical copy of the signed Venue Agreement Form.

Exhibit receptions are well attended by the public. SPARK encourages all exhibitors to hold an exhibit reception, photographer talk, workshop, or other event. With an average of 50 exhibits each year, if all exhibit receptions were held April 1, there would be dozens the public could not attend. Exhibit receptions can be held any day during April and will be publicized extensively on social media as well as in the catalogue and pocket guide if the information is available in advance of publication (see deadlines above). SPARK will do its best to help exhibitors choose a date and time that doesn’t conflict with other exhibit receptions. There may be promotional advantages to hosting your reception in association with other exhibits (a cluster of exhibits in a small geographic area for example). If SPARK notices any natural associations, we will bring this to your attention. Please discuss the exhibit reception arrangements with your venue representative in advance to set a date. Request that the venue representative help promote the exhibit and exhibit reception through their social media contacts and marketing activities.

Exhibits must be up for the entire month of April. Exhibits can be installed on any date before April 1st, and extend beyond the festival close date of April 30th. Registrants are expected to be forthcoming with venue representatives in discussing subject matter and the manner of installation of their work. Please obtain the venue representative’s consent by signature, on the Venue Agreement Form well in advance of your exhibit.

Photographers, not venue owners or representatives, are responsible for any loss, theft or damage to their work, installation or related equipment for the duration of the exhibit. Contact your insurance broker about a short-term, off-site insurance rider on your home policy. Most venues will have public liability insurance. If a concern, discuss insurance questions with your venue representative in advance.

Photographers are responsible for the cost of mounting, framing, and the installation of their exhibit. SPARK is recognized by public granting bodies providing exhibit assistance grants. Several exhibitors have received exhibit assistance grants.

First-time exhibitors: we are introducing a mentorship program for first-time exhibitors. We will connect an experienced exhibitor with a first-time exhibitor by email/phone so the mentor can offer guidance and answer questions about assembling materials, set-up and logistics for exhibiting at SPARK. For first-time exhibitors who indicate “yes” on the Exhibit Registration Form, the Festival Director and committee will connect you with a mentor.

We highly recommend that all exhibitors subscribe to our e-newsletter (on the Contact page of our website) or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Doing so will keep you up to date on deadlines, workshops, special announcements, and other information of interest to all exhibiting photographers.

Photographers are encouraged to sell their work during the festival. Often photographers will use the exhibit to sell cards, photo books, and/or unframed prints in addition to the exhibit prints. It is not the responsibility of the venue staff to sell your work. If the sale of work is your primary purpose for exhibiting, please talk to your venue representative in advance to clarify how these transactions will be handled. In situations where the venue staff has limited time to answer questions, what works best is a price sheet with image thumbnails including your contact information. Having a business or post card available with your contact info as a take-away is important. Sold pieces may be indicated by a standard red dot.

SPARK recommends placing a ‘Comment Book’ at your venue for visitor signatures and feedback. Please request that venue staff encourage visitors to sign the Comment Book.


  1. Artist Statement and/or Bio for Catalogue & Exhibit Signage prepared by SPARK 250 words maximum in MS Word file (.doc) or in the body of an email. Statement/ Bio exhibit signage size: 8.5 x 11 inches mounted on foam core. A portrait of the artist can be included on this signage by request and submission, but will reduce the word count available.
  2. One Image for Catalogue: 300 dpi resolution minimum. File types: .tif, .eps, or .jpg. Do not sharpen for output or convert to CMYK. Recommended colour space for RGB images is Adobe 1998. Submitted images may be resized proportionally to fit catalogue layout if necessary and at the discretion of the SPARK design team. Images will not be cropped or otherwise altered from their original submitted format. Image files should be named as follows: your Surname_ImageTitle_cat.File Extension (jpg/tif) (e.g. Smith_Hoop Shot_cat.jpg) to identify it as catalogue material.
  3. Exhibit Captions Due March 1, 2020: Exhibitors are encouraged to submit captions for each exhibit work. Caption content is limited. Caption info may include all or some of: title, date taken, location, print media, print size, price if for sale, and ownership if from a private or public collection. Captions are printed on Avery Label U-0087-01_P and mounted to a substrate. Include your name in the document title. The deadline for captions is Friday, March 1, 2020.


  1. Artist’s Statement/Theme and Bio: 1,000 words maximum in a Word doc. Contact information, including your email and internet link, will be populated from your registration form. Website venue information will be populated from the Venue Agreement Form.
  2. Up to 4 images (Website): From your exhibit for your exhibit’s stand-alone web page gallery: .jpg file format only, 72 ppi minimum resolution. Recommended colour space for web images is sRGB. Images submitted will be optimized for web and may be resized proportionally to fit the website layout if necessary and at the discretion of the SPARK web design team. Images will not be cropped or otherwise altered from their original submitted format. Identify each image by its file name. Image files should be named as follows: your Surname_ImageTitle_web.File Extension (jpg/tif) (e.g. Smith_Hoop Shot_web.jpg) to identify it as website material.

Small Group & Student Materials Accommodations: whenever possible and where space permits, SPARK will make design accommodations to publish more than one catalogue photograph for students and small groups. This will reduce the size at which the photo can be reproduced.

Send text document materials by email to info@sparkphotofestival.org or share with a cloud transfer system.

Send all images via cloud transfer system, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, using the email address: info@sparkphotofestival.org or the upload link below.
Ensure all documents and images are named as outlined above, including your name in every file.

Do not send images as email attachments. If you need assistance using a cloud transfer system, please email info@sparkphotofestival.org and we will assist you.

Please back-up your original digital files.

Upload link (link still valid past January 16th)
When you click the link, a new tab will be opened. After uploading your files, close the tab to return to here.

Click to upload your files



  • On-line (preferred): Follow Directions. Note: Credit cards can only be processed with on-line registration. Payment can be made by e-transfers; email info@sparkphotofestival.org for instructions.
  • By mail or courier: Registration Form, Venue Agreement Form, Payment, All Materials (send to address below); make Cheques/Money Orders payable to: SPARK Photo Festival

Confirmation of registration and payment receipt will be sent by email. By request only, an invoice marked PAID can be issued upon verification of payment. Any questions regarding payment, confirmation of registration, receipt of materials can be directed to info@sparkphotofestival.org.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Notice to cancel a registered exhibit must be received in writing no later than January 31, 2020. Eligibility for a refund will be judged on a case-by-case basis.


  1. Interior Exhibit Signage: Printed on foam core – Artist’s Statement/Bio
  2. Exhibit Venue Signage: Choice of Outdoor/Window/Directional
  3. Catalogues
  4. Exhibit Pocket Guides with Maps
  5. Captions
  6. Exhibitor web page with up to a 4-image gallery, longer bio, map – with groups & students, image galleries may be larger (discretionary) will be posted on www.sparkphotofestival.org
  7. Captions

Exhibitors will be notified by email and on Facebook, of the date and location for the pick-up of all exhibit materials.

The SPARK Photo Festival is a not-for-profit (NFP) Ontario Corporation operated by a volunteer board and volunteer organizing committee with a Festival Director employee.

Exhibitors own the copyright for all materials submitted.

By registering, the exhibitor agrees that all exhibit materials can be used for SPARK Photo Festival marketing and promotion in any medium without restriction.

No registrant images will be sold or otherwise distributed or copied or loaned or reproduced whether for profit or not, in any medium or otherwise used except for the sole purpose of marketing and promoting the SPARK Photo Festival and its objectives.

The earlier you submit your registration package and associated materials, the longer you and your venue will enjoy the promotional benefits of the SPARK Festival website and other marketing activities leading up to the festival.

Exhibitors can submit materials using Dropbox or Google Drive. When using Dropbox or Google Drive, please share with the email address: info@sparkphotofestival.org. Do not email file images as attachments. If you need assistance using Dropbox or Google Drive, please email and we will coach you how to use the cloud transfer system.

SPARK Photo Festival cannot return any of the requested material or storage media submitted. Please do not submit original files. Make back-up copies of all files submitted.

SPARK Photo Festival is not responsible for the loss or damage of any material submitted, either while in transit or upon receipt. SPARK will notify exhibitors immediately if there is an issue with opening the files, loss of files, damage to the disk or the receipt of corrupted files.


  1. Extensive promotion of your exhibit through the SPARK Photo Festival catalogue, website, pocket guide & maps, social media, venue signage & mass media advertising/PR initiatives
  2. Publication in the SPARK Photo Festival catalogue
  3. Stand-alone web page on the SPARK website: photographer’s statement/theme, and/or bio, & up to 4 images, contact info, email & website links, locator map for venue
  4. Exhibit signage, captions, & other on-site promotional materials provided
  5. Option to sell work during the exhibition or, if a community organization, use the exhibit as a fundraising initiative
  6. Informed venues, eager to provide a no-cost space for your exhibit (estimated rental value of most spaces – $1000+ per month)
  7. Recognition as an advocate for the photographic arts in general, as a builder of cultural capacity, & as an incubator of economic development in the region & for your community
  8. Build networks & new relationships with business owners, the community of photographers, & the public
  9. Feel part of & connected to, a larger community of like-minded individuals with a similar passion
  10. Build confidence as you develop exhibit presentation skills – become inspired to expand the body & quality of your work
  11. Creation of an exhibit asset (or package) that can be re-used at future exhibits in other venues

Every exhibit will be provided with one sign to ‘identify’ the venue as a SPARK exhibit. The signage ‘design’ is consistent across all venues so as to be instantly recognizable by visitors. Exhibitors should discuss options with your venue representative and choose the type of sign that best suits their venue. While SPARK has placed a limit on the number of signs available to each exhibitor more signs are available by request. SPARK will do its best to supply your exhibit signage needs if you need more than one sign or a variety of signage.

Signs on sintra, foam core, and core-plast can last several years if used indoors. SPARK requests that exhibitors return all signage remaining in good condition after the festival ends. This not only makes more signs available the following year to those who need them, but also is environmentally responsible. Please note: the signage examples below are not to scale and are to illustrate only how the signs ‘look’.

TASTEFUL DISCREET SIGNAGE – 5 x 5 inches – use where there is not a lot of space or where larger signage would conflict with existing venue signage. Decals – indoor/outdoor use – have a peel-off paper backing with the decal undercoated with adhesive – works well on glass or other smooth flat surfaces. 5 x 5 signs on sintra can be used indoors, & outdoors if protected from elements (e.g. under an eave) – the sintra signs can be installed non-destructively using velcro or blue tack, or easily drilled for a more secure mount.

5x5 inch
5 x 5 inch Decal or Printed on Sintra
Tip: Both the decal and sintra 5 x 5 signs ‘look’ the same. Either sign, when installed with a diamond orientation appear to be larger. The two illustrations on the left are exactly the same size. The sintra substrate is 3mm thick.

LARGER SIGNAGE – 8.5 x 11 inches – use when there is more space available and where larger signage won’t conflict with existing venue signage. Foam core and poster paper can only be used indoors. Both substrates can be installed non-destructively with velcro or blue tack. Form core is 5mm thick.
8.5x11 inch
20x16 inch
LARGEST SIGNS – 20 x 16 inches
Outdoor/Indoor – Printed both sides on core-plast – Commonly known as lawn signs, these signs come with or without an H-bracket that can be sunk into the ground. Suitable for venues offset from the curbside or in high vehicular traffic locations. Also suitable when you want the sign to be seen from two different directions. These signs also are great for display windows, and can be suspended with fishing line. Even after use in extreme outdoor conditions, these signs can often be re-used. Core-plast is 4mm thick. Waterproof.

Please discuss signage with your venue representative and submit your choices along with the exhibit registration form.