You may have heard that the festival announced yesterday that Scotiabank, which seems to be in the process of cornering the market on visual arts sponsorships, made a long-term commitment to Contact as its title sponsor.
This is good news for the festival, which, from its early days in the late 90s, has always cobbled together funding from various sources --various levels of government becoming one of them only recently -- to mount what has become the largest photography festival in the world.
Scotiabank will kick in $150,000 a year to the festival, which makes it the lead sponsor. As such, Contact's web site transformed overnight from the Contact Photography Festival to the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival; you get what you pay for, I guess, and in so doing, Scotia's brand extension now reaches across the two most visible visual arts events in the city, the other being Scotiabank Nuit Blanche (see?).
In any case, Scotia also announced it had established an annual $50,000 prize for a contemporary Canadian artist "working in photography," which matches the Sobey Prize dollar-for-dollar, with a tighter focus.