Exhibit Registration 2024


Exhibit Registration is now closed.
Sign up for our newsletter on the Contact page to get all the SPARK news, including announcements 2024 Festival activities and other SPARK programs.

Please review this entire page, Festival Overview through Section K, before registering an exhibit.

For registration assistance/questions please email info@sparkphotofestival.org and we will reply as soon as possible; please note email is not monitored 24/7.

What is an Open Call Exhibit in the SPARK Photo Festival?

SPARK Photo Festival 2024 is your opportunity to bring your photography to the community – all photographers of any skill level are welcome! Plan your exhibit theme (or go without a theme!) and choose a venue in the city or county of Peterborough, City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County or Alderville, Curve Lake or Hiawatha First Nations. You can register as an individual, a small group (2 to 5 photographers), group (6 or more photographers), a community group or students (more info below about category criteria).

To create an exhibit, you secure your venue (we can help with suggestions and coach you on how to book a venue), You, as the photographer (or a group), pay a registration fee for the exhibit and curate, print and arrange your photography display (and are responsible for the costs of production). The photography media can be traditional prints and frames, or get creative with print media and display methods. The exhibit can be on walls, in a window and even outdoors! It can even be a projection exhibit in a suitable venue suitable (you provide the projection equipment). Photographers then install the exhibit for the month of April, and take it down at the end of the festival.

We, as the Festival, provide marketing materials (professional print signage, a digital app, dedicated web page, a print brochure), do marketing on social with mainstream media and provide guidance throughout the process.

The benefits of being part of SPARK are all exhibits are free for the public to experience and it’s a significant, much-anticipated community event. Read more in Section K below! We typically have about 30 exhibits and host other activities (workshops, presentations, photo walks) during the festival and it attracts a lot of attention. Many exhibitors sell their work during the festival, and it often leads to future exhibits of their work elsewhere throughout the year.

Ready to learn more about registration? All of the details are below. Still have questions? Email our Festival Director, Jennifer MacKenzie info@sparkphotofestival.org


Read all information on this page thoroughly, then click on step 1 to register your exhibit. 

Instructions with call for entry documentation <– You are here

NOTE: There are no mail-in Registrations for 2024. 


The SPARK Photo Festival is scheduled for April 1 to April 30, 2024.

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 50, based on a first-come-first-served basis.


  • Registration Deadline: Thursday, February 14, 2024 at 8 pm EST  
  • Deadline for Submission of Venue Agreement Form, all Exhibit Promo/Web Materials and Signage Choices: Thursday, February 14, 2024
  • Deadline for Caption Requests: March 1, 2024
  • Deadline for submission of Reception Dates (* Reception Dates will only be published on-line): Monday, March 13, 2024


SPARK exhibits can be held anywhere in the City of Peterborough, in communities throughout Peterborough and Northumberland counties, the City of the Kawartha Lakes, the Village of Haliburton and Curve Lake, Alderville and Hiawatha First Nations.
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 (on any media), 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.
  • SMALL GROUP An exhibit with 2 to 5 participants.
  • GROUP An exhibit with 6 or more participants.
  • INDIVIDUAL STUDENT An individual student, who attend a Canadian, publicly-funded school or post-secondary institution. Category applies to undergraduate students only.
  • STUDENT GROUP A group of students, who attend a Canadian, publicly-funded school or post-secondary institution. Category applies to groups of 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 (See Pay Open Call Fees for fee structure) are used to produce the digital  and print festival promotional materials and maps, website, exhibit signage, captions, SPARK Signature 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, 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.
Note: Thanks to fundraising efforts by our volunteers, SPARK has maintained the nominal registration fees at the same levels since 2019 in effort to minimize costs to exhibitors.

New for 2024: Early registrants have two options to pay registration fees. Indicate your preference on the Online Registration Form (link Step 1, above).

Option 1: For exhibitors registering prior to January 10, 2024 only. Three-installment payment plan: One-third payment upon registration, one-third due on January 10, 2024, remainder due on February 15, 2024. See full details and amounts outlined on Pay Open Call Fees page )

Option 2: Payment in full upon registration (this option must be selected if you are registering after January 10, 2024).


Photographers are encouraged to find their own venue to display their exhibit. 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, salons/barber shops, cafes and restaurants, shops, clubs, businesses with public access, the offices of community organizations, libraries, shopping centres, street-facing windows in commercial buildings, sports arenas, outdoor billboards, sides of buildings, photo trails through parks and other public spaces. SPARK is hoping this will help create exhibit capacity for all artists and not just photographers.

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

  1. Photographers may search out and secure their own exhibit venue; see below for more information.
  2. For 2024, SPARK will assist photographers when possible.  If you require assistance in finding a venue, please email Festival Director, Jennifer MacKenzie info@sparkphotofestival.orgfor the current list of available venues and for suggestions to fit your exhibit.

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. Always check with your local municipality for regulations.

Please review the SPARK Venue Information page. for more details to consider when choosing your venue, important topics to discuss with venue in advance of registration and for logistics for mounting your exhibit for the Festival as well as selection of Exhibit Venue Signage supplied by SPARK.

All registrations must include a 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 (Link above, see Step 2).



All reception information for 2024 will be published online only in the digital promotional materials, the SPARK website and social media; not in printed materials.

Exhibit receptions are an added attraction for the public to your exhibit, and extra exposure for your venue. SPARK encourages all exhibitors to hold an exhibit reception, photographer talk, workshop, or other event, though this is not mandatory.

With an average of close to 40 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 digital promotional materials if the information is available in advance of publication (see deadlines above). With an average of close to 40 exhibits each year, if all exhibit receptions were held April 1, there would be dozens the public could not attend. 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.
Email your Reception details (Time, Date and Location) to info@sparkphotofestival.org by March 13, 2024.


Exhibits must be up for the entire month of April, unless deemed otherwise by SPARK based on public health guidelines. Exhibits can be installed on any date before April 1st (April 2nd is acceptable for 2024), 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. Review Exhibit Venue Information for full details. Please obtain the venue representative’s consent before submitting Venue Agreement Form, no later than February 15, 2024.

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/tenant 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 printing, mounting, framing, and the installation of their exhibit. SPARK is recognized by public granting bodies providing exhibit assistance grants for which photographers can apply (SPARK does not facilitate these grants). Several exhibitors have received exhibit assistance grants. Typically a grant application must be made several months in advance so do plan ahead!

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. You may want to consider an online sale in conjunction with your Exhibit to take advantage of cross-promotion with SPARK.

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.

SPARK Emerging Artists Exhibit program returns for 2024! The special program for first-time exhibitors who are interested in exploring exhibiting their work but aren’t quite ready to take on a full Open Call Exhibit themselves returns for 2024. Applications are now close and the program is in progress. Check out the 2023 Light the SPARK Emerging Artists Exhibit web page for the results of last year’s program.
If you have never exhibited before and do want to register an Open Call Exhibit you are more than welcome to do so! We are happy to offer guidance and answer questions about assembling materials, set-up and logistics for exhibiting at SPARK. Contact Jennifer MacKenzie, Festival Director at info@sparkphotofestival.org and we will assist you.

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


**Ensure all materials submitted are identified/named as outlined. Incorrectly or unnamed documents and images will not be accepted. If registering for more than one exhibit, please also include exhibit name in document/image file names.**

Each exhibit will have a digital promotion page with images on the Toureka! mobile app, will be marked on the interactive Exhibit maps (digital) and will have a stand-alone web page on SPARK’s EXHIBIT page. All exhibits will also be featured on SPARK social media leading up to the Festival. The earlier you submit these materials, the more promotion your exhibit will receive in advance of the Festival opening.
In the interest of the environment and financial responsibility, SPARK will not be producing the print catalogue for the 2024 Festival. 

Checklist of Materials to Submit (please read below for details of each item):

  1. Artist Statement and/or Bio for Exhibit Signage
  2. Artist Statement/Theme and/or Bio for website and digital promotional material
  3. Website Images (up to five images at 72 ppi)
  4. Exhibit Captions (optional; due date March 1st, 2024)

Please read these important specifications for materials before submitting.

  1. Artist Statement and/or Bio for Exhibit Signage prepared by SPARK: 250 words maximum in Word document (.doc or compatible) or in the body of an email. This statement and/or bio will printed to display with your exhibit. This is the opportunity for you to briefly explain your artistic mission and/or this exhibit’s purpose, and/or your bio, as desired (longer text is included on website/digital promotions, see #2, below). 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. Include your full name in the document name, along with “bio” or “statement”: FirstLastName_Bio.doc or FirstLastName_Statement.doc. 
  2. Artist Statement/Theme and/or Bio for website and digital promotional material: 1,000 words maximum in a Word document (.doc or compatible). This statement/theme and bio will be used on the SPARK website and in digital promotional material (format TBC); use this to entice the audience to seek out your exhibit. This is the opportunity for you to explain your artistic mission, this exhibit’s purpose and your journey to this point as a photographer. (Contact information and venue information need not be included; these will be populated from entry forms.) You may use the same brief statement as for Exhibit Signage; just indicate this when you send in documents. Include your name and exhibit title in the document name, along with “webstatement”: FirstLastName_Exhibit Name_webstatement.doc.
  3. Website Images: One to 5 images (up to 6 for Groups) from your exhibit for your exhibit’s stand-alone web page gallery and use in the digital promotional materials (format TBC). Images must be .jpg/jpeg 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 with a unique file name. Image files should be named as follows: your FirstLastName_ImageTitle_web.File Extension (e.g. KarenSmith_Sunset1_web.jpg; KarenSmith_Sunrise2_web.jpg) to identify it as website material. If you are uploading a folder, please ensure you include your full name in the Folder title.
  4. Exhibit Captions: Exhibitors are encouraged to post captions for each exhibit work. You may print your own or submit text for SPARK to supply printed caption plates for you.
    SPARK supplied caption plates: 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 adhesive labels and mounted to sintra plates, 2-3/4 x 1-1/2 inches. Submit caption content as an unformatted Word doc or as label template compatible with Avery 5160/8160. Include your name and exhibit title in the document name: FirstLastName_Exhibit Name_Captions.doc.


**Ensure all materials submitted are identified/named as outlined. Incorrectly or unnamed documents and images will not be accepted. If registering for more than one exhibit, please also include exhibit name in document/image file names.**

Text document materials: send by email to info@sparkphotofestival.org or share with a cloud transfer system.

Images: send via cloud transfer system, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, using the email address info@sparkphotofestival.org or the upload link below. Do not send images as email attachments. If you are uploading/sharing a folder, please ensure you include your full name in the Folder title (when we receive dozens of folders named “SPARK” it gets very confusing!).

Upload link for images and documents :

When you click the Dropbox logo above, a new tab will be opened. Follow prompts to upload submission images and/or documents. After uploading your files, close the tab to return to this page.

If you need assistance using a cloud transfer system, please email and we will assist you.

Please back-up your original digital files.

Confirmation of registration and payment receipt will be sent by email from info@sparkphotofestival.org.
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 February 15, 2024. Eligibility for a refund will be judged on a case-by-case basis.

I. EXHIBIT MATERIALS PROVIDED BY SPARK  (Materials pick-up location or delivery process and date in late March 2024 TBA)

  1. Interior Exhibit Signage: Printed on foam core – Artist’s Statement/Bio
  2. Exhibit Venue Signage: Choice of Outdoor/Window/Directional (see SPARK Venue Information page.)
  3. Exhibitor web page with up to a 5-image gallery, longer bio, venue map – with groups & students, image galleries may be larger (discretionary) will be posted on www.sparkphotofestival.org
  4. Exhibit feature page on the SPARK Toureka! mobile app and on social media
  5. Captions, if requested
  6. Print brochures, including maps, for distribution by exhibitor, plus extra distribution locations by SPARK

Exhibitors will be notified by email 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 part-time Festival Director employee.

Exhibitors own the copyright for all materials submitted.

By registering, the exhibitor agrees that all exhibit materials and submitted images can be used for SPARK Photo Festival marketing and promotion in any medium without restriction and with no financial compensation.

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. Should SPARK wish to use any submitted promotional images after the Festival in April 2024 specific permission will be requested for that use.

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.

SPARK Photo Festival cannot return any of the requested material or storage media 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 or the receipt of corrupted files.


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

KEY WORD for Open Call Exhibit Registration Form: OCE2024
Please enter this on the Online Form to indicate you have read the registration instructions.