New Generation Photography Award

The New Generation Photography Award recognizes the practices of some of Canada’s most promising lens-based artists.

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada, supported by the Scotiabank Photography Program.

This year’s exhibition showcases thought-provoking works by the winners from both 2020 and 2021: Noah Friebel, Curtiss Randolph and Katherine Takpannie (2020) and Dustin Brons, Chris Donovan and Dainesha Nugent-Palache (2021).

Reflecting the expressive power of photography, the images in this exhibition provide a compelling overview of this moment in time. Whether exploring the impact of industry and poverty, issues affecting Black and Indigenous Peoples, the built and natural world, or the minutiae of everyday life, each photographer has also used the medium as a conceptual tool, encouraging viewer engagement with the preoccupations of today’s world. 


Friday, August 13, 2021 Sunday, December 5, 2021


National Gallery of Canada Gallery C218
380 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4

National Gallery of Canada




2021 NGPA winners take you on a tour of their work in the New Generation Photography Award Exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.

Dustin Brons: New Generation Photography Award Visit

Chris Donovan: New Generation Photography Award Visit

Dainesha Nugent-Palache: New Generation Photography Award Visit

Dustin Bron

Dustin Brons is an artist in Vancouver. He holds an MFA from UC San Diego, a BFA from UBC, and recently participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program. He works with the recontextualization of existing materials across photographs, videos, and text. His work incorporates visual forms from Western art history as tools to process contemporary sources. Still life and landscape painting, gestural abstraction, linguistic conceptualism, and photographic devices from pictorialism to appropriation are re-configured in representations of climate-change and gentrification, emphasizing the ways that visual forms contribute to shaping social and political understandings of these intangible yet totalizing processes.


Chris Donovan

Chris Donovan is a lens-based artist based between Toronto and New Brunswick. Hailing from the industrial city of Saint John, his practice focuses on the intersection of community and industry. His work has been awarded by Pictures of the Year International (U of Missouri), Alexia Foundation (Syracuse University), the New Brunswick Arts Board, Toronto Arts Council, and exhibited across Canada at photography festivals including CONTACT (Toronto), Capture (Vancouver), Exposure (Calgary), Flash (Winnipeg), and Zoom (Saguenay). He is a member of Boreal collective and is currently pursuing an MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University as a Graduate Fellow.


Dainesha Nugent-Palache

Through performative video works and photographs, Toronto-based artist Dainesha Nugent-Palache has participated in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally. A founding member of the plumb, an ad hoc collective of artists, writers and curators and art venue in Toronto. She has also curated for the feminist music festival and concert series Venus Fest, and Blindspots, an art exhibition and film screening where queer artists explore LGBTQ experience through a diasporic lens. Graduate and recipient of major awards, her artwork is found in The Wedge Collection, Toronto Dominion Bank Art Collection and private collections. Her experiences as an artist have also been spotlighted in the CBC COVID residencies series.




2020 NGPA winners take you on a tour of their work in the New Generation Photography Award Exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.

Curtiss Randolph: New Generation Photography Award Visit

Katherine Takpannie: New Generation Photography Award Visit



Curtiss Randolph

Toronto born Curtiss Randolph constructs scenes as either tableau or staged documentary narratives. Having grown up in a theatre family, the elements of stage production crept into his working process at an early stage. Mixing realism, surrealism, and gonzo journalism, Randolph challenges viewers’ preconceived notion of documentary style as a way to question ideas of fact and fiction in the photographic medium. Semi-autobiographical storytelling has taken the lead role in Curtiss' work. Artist's such as Moya Garrison, Stan Douglas, Park Chan-wook, and Jim Jarmusch all offer inspiration for Curtiss' creative process.

Photo: Brendan Gore

Katherine Takpannie

Katherine Takpannie is an Ottawa based Inuk artist, writer and graduate of the Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) program. Her photographs set performative and political gestures against both natural and built environments, including intimate portraits of women. Her work is held in the City of Ottawa’s art collection and has appeared in Getting Under Our Skin exhibition at the Art Gallery of Guelph and They Forgot We Were Seeds exhibition at the Carleton University Art Gallery.

Photo: Fred Cattroll

Noah Friebel 

Vancouver based Noah Friebel focuses on the fabricated aspect of the photograph, using elements of sculpture and installation to examine our relationship to images, each other, and the narrowing space in between. Since graduating from Emily Carr University with a BFA in 2018, Friebel has been part of several group shows: notably Green Glass Door at Trapp Projects and The Lind Prize 2018 at Polygon Gallery. He had a solo show at Republic Gallery in April 2020.

Photo: John Wragg



Watch the recording of the Zoom talk with the 2020 New Generation Photography Award winning artists Noah Friebel, Curtiss Randolph, and Katherine Takpannie.


In Conversation: New Generation Photography Awards

Discover the work of the 2020 and 2021 New Generation Photography Award winners, in this conversation between themselves and senior curator of photographs, Andrea Kunard.


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Supported by

Scotiabank Photography Program