The award was announced this evening at Toronto’s Ryerson Image Centre.
As winner, Douglas receives $50,000 in cash, a primary Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival exhibition in 2014 and book to be published by Steidl.
Montreal-based artists Angela Grauerholz and Robert Walker are runners-up. Each will receive $5,000.
“We are so pleased to be offering Stan Douglas this opportunity to take his art to new heights,” said Scotiabank art collection director and award co-founder Jane Nokes. “His talent is undeniable and his impressive work underlines why we established the award in the first place.”
Stan Douglas has exhibited multiple times at the Venice Biennale and Documenta, and last year he won the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award. He is recognized as part of the Vancouver school of photoconceptualists that also includes Ian Wallace, Jeff Wall and Rodney Graham.
Re-enactments of films and political incidents are common in Douglas’s work—one of his large public works in downtown Vancouver, Abbott & Cordova, 7 August 1971, restages a scene from the 1971 Gastown riot. Douglas—who will soon be working with mobile apps—was nominated by Halifax artist and NSCAD professor Robert Bean.
The SPA jury members this year consisted of William Ewing, director of curatorial projects, Thames & Hudson; Karen Love, director of foundation and government grants, Vancouver Art Gallery; and Ann Thomas, curator, photographs, National Gallery of Canada. The jury was chaired by the SPA’s other co-founder, artist Edward Burtynsky.
The SPA bills itself as the nation’s largest peer-reviewed photography award. Past winners include Lynne Cohen and Arnaud Maggs.