Call to Canadian Artists: Emerging Digital Artists Award, closes Jul 10

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Emerging Digital Artists Award

Deadline for Entries: 11:59 EST on July 10, 2017
Eligibility: open to all Canadian residents 18+ years of age

Emerging Digital Artists Awards (EDAA)

Emerging Digital Artists Awards (EDAA)

Entrant Qualifications

The EDAA focuses on emerging artists, which describes an artist within the first five years of their professional career, beginning with the artist’s first solo or group exhibition in a museum, public or commercial gallery, or artist-run center.

Applicants are not required to hold a degree in fine arts, though students are encouraged to apply. In order to qualify for the award, the applicant must be a resident of Canada, at least 18 years of age, and available to attend the screening in Toronto on October 5, 2017 if selected as a finalist.

Artwork Qualifications

The artwork submitted to the award must fit within the parameters of “digital art”, here defined as a screen-based artwork created using digital technologies. Through this award we are specifically looking for art practices that rely on the digital to exist, taking advantage of and experimenting with its immaterial qualities. Digital documentation of traditional media will not be considered.

The submitted work must be dated no earlier than five years prior to the submissions deadline. No more than one artwork can be submitted for judging.

The artwork will be judged based on four main criteria, defined as follows


The extent to which the submitted work fits with the award criteria, specifically its focus on screen-based, digitally produced artworks. To fulfill this part of the rubric, the applicant must ensure that digital technology plays a significant role in the work’s process and presentation.


The presentation of the work in relationship to its technique and intention. The artist’s stylistic choices and formal experimentation will be considered in this area of the rubric, alongside the content of the work.


The artist’s handling of the medium, which might refer to cinematography, editing, modelling, or various other modes of production. For this purpose, “technique” does not include stylistic choices, focusing specifically on the technical capabilities of the applicant.

Written component

Each applicant is asked to submit a written component explaining the work and its context. In this, we encourage applicants to acknowledge the historical precedent or influence for their work. The written component may resemble a traditional artist statement, but does not have to be approached as such.


Q: What are the prizes awarded?

A: The Award Winner will be awarded a $5,000 monetary prize. The remaining four Finalists will each be awarded a $1,000 monetary prize.

Q: Can the work involve physical or interactive components?

A: The EDAA is dedicated to work that runs exclusively on-screen. As such, any artwork that requires a material display beyond basic screen-space will be considered installation – though the video component of a larger work may qualify. In the case of interactive web or game-based work, the requirement of a mouse or navigational tool is acceptable.

Q: Can the work involve cultural appropriation, or the use of images that have been copyrighted by someone other than the artist?

A: We acknowledge that cultural appropriation is a common tool used across digital art practices, and works that include copyrighted images will not be penalized in any way during the judging process. However, artists should note that, as per our Terms and Conditions, responsibility for the work and any copyright infringement therein belongs solely to the artist (see “The Entrant’s Covenants,” item 1).

Q: Does the $5000 prize for the winning artwork include cost of acquisition?

A: The monetary award of $5,000.00 does include the cost of acquisition. However, Equitable does not require the work to be produced in a limited edition. Work that is publicly available, online or otherwise, will also be considered. Questions about Equitable Bank’s current collecting and acquisitions policies may be sent to

Q: Why are finalists required to attend the screening?

A: The screening is an opportunity to introduce the artist(s) face to face to a wide community of arts workers, the media, cultural admirers, and the sponsor. Equitable wants to celebrate your success publicly and thank all participants personally for their involvement. In order to make this happen, we will cover the cost of accommodation and travel for finalists based outside the GTA to attend the finalist’s screening, award presentation and reception.

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