2015 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program: Three Canadian Undergraduate Photography Students are Winners



Jury awards three Canadian undergraduate photography students one year’s tuition

May 20, 2015 (Toronto, ON) — The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize has announced the winners of the 2015 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program. Valued at C$24,000, the scholarship program, which was inaugurated in 2013, recognizes three full-time students—Canadian or international—who are entering their final year of study toward a bachelor’s degree of fine arts in photography at one of 15 participating post-secondary institutions across Canada. From a field of more than 100 applicants this year, the jury has awarded Lodoe Laura of Ryerson University, Alison Postma of the University of Guelph and Graham Wiebe of the University of Manitoba C$7,000 each toward tuition for their final year of undergraduate study. Their schools will each receive a C$1,000 honorarium.

  • Alison Postma is currently studying Studio Art at the University of Guelph. Born and raised in Toronto, her work incorporates photography as a means to explore dreams, ideas and spaces. By manipulating the surfaces of her images and using non-traditional installation methods, Postma’s images conjure the possibility of narrative.
  • Lodoe Laura’s work deals with themes of ancestry, legacy and tradition. Her artistic practice is a response to personal realities, and her work questions the act of photography as a supplement for memory. Laura is pursuing a BFA at Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts.
  • Graham Wiebe, currently pursuing a BFA at the University of Manitoba, takes inspiration from his hometown of Winnipeg. His subject matter is heavily influenced by youth subcultures and incorporates impulse and irony to create images tinged with both public and personal nostalgia.

“From eight partner schools in our first year to 15 in year two, the Scholarship Program continues to grow, driven by the enthusiasm and prodigious talent of student artists and our partner institutions,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, Director and CEO of the AGO. “The success of this national program is just one of the many ways in which the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize continues to support Canadian artists.”

“As part of our longstanding commitment to supporting our communities, we are proud to help foster local artistic talent to build a Canadian legacy of impact in contemporary photography,” said Vince Timpano, President and CEO of Aimia in Canada. “Congratulations to this year’s three scholarship winners.”

Fifteen respected and established visual arts institutions from across the country nominated students for the Scholarship Program this year. At each participating school, an internal jury composed of faculty members selected one finalist to submit to the Scholarship Program jury.

The 2015 Aimia | AGO Scholarship Program finalists included:

  • Nedda Baba of York University;
  • Sabrina Chamberland of University of Ottawa;
  • Emily M. Kohlert of University of Saskatchewan;
  • Louis-Alex Lavoie of University of Québec;
  • Shuo Li of Alberta College of Art + Design;
  • Mara Gajic of OCAD University;
  • Faber Neifer of Emily Carr University of Art + Design;
  • Roxanne Ross of Concordia University;
  • Daniel Schrempf of University of Lethbridge;
  • Lauren Tsuyuki of Simon Fraser University;
  • D’Arcy Way of NSCAD University; and
  • Chadman Wong of University of British Colombia.

From the 15 finalists, a jury of experts—Adelina Vlas, associate curator of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Ontario; Lisa Oppenheim, winner of the 2014 AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize; and Gabrielle Moser, a writer, educator and independent curator based in Toronto—selected three winners.

Of this year’s winners the jury wrote: “We were very pleased with the outstanding overall quality of all of the nominated artists. Each of the three winners takes on the conventions of various photographic approaches: Alison Postma’s masterfully executed compositions investigate the uncanny dimensions of domestic spaces, Lodoe Laura’s diverse body of work explores personal identity through performative gestures and a tactile engagement with the medium and Graham Wiebe’s confrontational yet poetic snapshots reference documentary traditions and reveal a compassionate engagement with his subjects. We congratulate them all.”

The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is Canada’s largest photography prize and one of the largest arts and culture prize programs in the world. The prize awards more than C$85,000 to artists working in photography each year and comprises an annual exhibition at the AGO, international artists residencies, public programming and a national scholarship program.

The long list for the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize was announced on April 28, 2015, and can be viewed at Please watch for the shortlist announcement on June 23, 2015. For updates on the Prize and additional information, follow @AimiaAGOPrize on Twitter.