The Salt Spring National Art Prize Calls to Artists Across the Nation

The Salt Spring National Art Prize Calls to Artists Across the Nation

Submissions are now open for the prestigious 2019/2020 Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP). Salt Spring, a small Canadian island known for its large artistic community, created this exciting national art competition in 2015 to celebrate and promote the importance of art in Canada. As one of the largest national art prizes in Canada, the third biennial event offers $40,000 in prize money and significant national exposure to artists.

Open to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada over the age of 18, the call to artists working in the visual arts runs from January 10 to May 31, 2019. SSNAP offers financial prizes, an artist residency, and national exposure to artists. The month-long exhibition of some 50 finalists and the many associated events enhance public dialogue on art. SSNAP Director Ronald T. Crawford says, “What makes the Prize unique is what has led to its success. It is a community-based event created by artists for artists. It invites established and emerging artists of every medium into the same Canadian artistic dialogue.” The 50 finalists’ works chosen by our national jury are selected through a fair, open and blind jury system.

SSNAP’s 2019 jurors are David Balzer, editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Canadian Art, Sandra Meigs, Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria, Cheyanne Turions, the Curator at SFU Galleries in Vancouver, and Ian Wallace, former professor of art history at the University of British Columbia and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Both Meigs and Wallace are practicing artists and winners of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Crawford further adds, “An exciting change for 2019 is the allocation of $10,000 to subsidize the costs of shipping finalists’ work to Salt Spring to further encourage submissions from artists in eastern Canadian and remote communities. We also aspire to bring the winners across Canada, with the Victoria Art Council Gallery confirmed as our first stop for January 2020.” 

Judy Anderson, from Calgary Alberta, retells her experience as a 2017 SSNAP Finalist and Prize Winner; “I applied for SSNAP on a whim. What resulted was an amazing experience, especially the residency on Salt Spring Island. It gave me uninterrupted time to start a new body of work and the island’s art community was incredibly welcoming, inviting me to events such as art critiques, art screenings, studio visits, openings etc. It was easy to make friends.”

Anderson reflects, “As the winner I received quite a bit of press coverage and since then I have been contacted by four galleries, one for a studio visit, and three others inviting me into exhibitions. One piece will travel to five other Canadian galleries. The Canadian Guild of Crafts will be exhibiting the series I started during my residency on Salt Spring Island. All of this is significant for me because I do not self-promote. Winning the prize has been quite the confidence booster! I definitely encourage artists to apply!” 

Finalists are eligible for nine awards, six selected by jurors and three selected by public vote. Finalists’ works are exhibited and for sale at historical Mahon Hall on Salt Spring from September 21 to October 21, 2019, with the award winners announced at the Gala Awards Night on Saturday October 19, 2019.

SSNAP welcomes Canadian artists world-wide to submit original two-dimensional and three-dimensional works, with the call for submissions now open through to May 31, 2019. For more information about SSNAP, including artist submission and selection process, jury bios and event dates, visit  Watch the SSNAP excitement captured via video at

SSNAP 2015 Exhibition – David Borrowman

SSNAP 2017 Finalist and Prize Winner Judy Anderson

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