What we do

The SSNAP Society manages a biennial juried open competition focused on Canadian contemporary visual arts. From an intake of over 2,000 submissions, an independent jury of four eminent Canadian artists, curators, and collectors selects approximately 50 artworks for the core national exhibition.

An open national call to artists runs from January to May every second year. The call is followed by an intensive online adjudication process. The identity of the artists is anonymous to the jury throughout the full initial phase of the adjudication process. The work of the finalists is exhibited for a month on Salt Spring Island, during which time the jury convenes in person on Salt Spring Island for the final selection of awards.

A second exhibition—a “parallel show”—was introduced in 2017. The Parallel Art Show is a three-week exhibition that runs parallel to the core SSNAP exhibition and is adjudicated by a separate jury. Approximately 50 works are chosen from SSNAP entries submitted by residents of the Southern Gulf Islands. The Parallel Art Show recognizes and celebrates the artistic creativity and originality of local artists in a diversity of artistic genres.

An associated suite of activities takes place during this festival of fine art: artist talks, youth tours and events, various cultural events such as panel discussions by curators, and individual presentations on the role of art in society.

How we work

The SSNAP Society is governed by a Board of Directors and managed largely by volunteers. It is funded primarily through private donations and corporate sponsorships. The large volunteer contingent is responsible for all aspects of Society governance and the bulk of the operational activities, including researching, identifying and appointing jurors; shipping and receiving artworks; training; coordinating and scheduling volunteers; and managing events.

Our history

Since its inception in 2015, the Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) has grown in engagement and reach, recognizing and nurturing artistic creativity and originality in Canadian visual arts. The inaugural SSNAP was held on Salt Spring Island from September through October 2015. Subsequent exhibitions were held in 2017, 2019, and 2021. In July 2020, the governance and operations of SSNAP were transferred to a new not-for-profit Society, the Salt Spring National Art Prize Society. In 2021, the SSNAP Society was afforded charitable status by the Canadian Revenue Agency.

Our board of

  • Janet Halliwell

    President SSNAP Society and Board Chair

    Growing up in a household involved in the founding of the Agnes Etherington Art Center at Queen’s University, and hence a steady stream of artists visiting the family, it is inevitable that Janet would develop a love for the arts. She and her husband have collected First Nations art since the mid 1970s. While not a creator herself, Janet has been an active supporter of the arts community since moving to Salt Spring Island in 2007.

  • Bob Leatherbarrow

    Vice President

    Bob Leatherbarrow is an artist and educator who works with kilnformed glass, creating unique textures with glass powders and his understanding of how glass behaves when heated in a kiln. Bob has been involved with SSNAP since its inception both as a member of the Steering Committee and more recently as Vice President.

  • Elena Cater


    Elena joined SSNAP in June 2022, soon after she and her husband moved to Salt Spring Island. She is a professional accountant (Canadian CPA) with a long interest in the art world and the desire to become more involved in Canadian art and artists. As the treasurer of SSNAP, she leverages her professional experience and contributes to the vibrancy of the arts community.

  • Ronald T. Crawford

    Founding Director

    Ronald T. Crawford is a painter, stone sculptor, stone mason and the founding director of the Salt Spring National Art Prize. His education in the studio arts and art history has been at Red Deer College, The Banff Centre of the Arts, University of Calgary, and the University of Oklahoma.

  • Dana Young


    Dana Young has a keen interest in art and architecture. When not participating in art events, she spends her time working remotely as a corporate commercial lawyer for charities and non-profits, in her garden, and sweating it out in a variety of forms of exercise. Dana has degrees in landscape architecture and law, both from UBC.

  • Patrick McCallum


    Patrick McCallum grew up on Salt Spring Island and enjoyed a successful career in the creative and advertising sector holding roles as an art director, copywriter, graphic designer, and advertising specialist in addition to his main profession as a commercial illustrator. He also created storyboards for films. Patrick holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Communication.

  • Joan McConnell


    Born in Australia in 1926, Joan emigrated to Canada in 1964 and spent eight years pursuing philosophy, history and the arts. She ultimately landed on Salt Spring Island. By sponsoring SSNAP, Joan hopes the arts and crafts will continue to prosper on Salt Spring Island. Her desire is that the prize will promote Salt Spring Island as a prime destination for Canadians from all artistic disciplines to discover our special enchantments. Thus, we will enrich one another.


    Credit: Sydney Woodward @sydwoodward_ www.niamhstudio.com


  • Gordon Nicholas

    Communications Specialist

    Gordon Nicholas was born 1985 in Northampton, Massachusetts. He holds a BFA with a major in photography from Simon Fraser University and currently lives and works on Salt Spring Island and in Vancouver.

  • Nancy Côté

    Bookkeeper and SSNAP IM Manager and Advisor

    Nancy Côté, BEng, MSc, has an extensive background in information technology and information management, including implementing, training and supporting staff on critical IT infrastructure. She also has her bookkeeper certificate and has been SSNAP’s bookkeeper since January 2022.

  • Z Casey

    Operations Manager

    Z Casey, BA, BEd, supervises and coordinates all aspects of SSNAP operations, including working with staff and volunteers, managing key operational activities, and providing support to the Board Chair. She has a long history of involvement in the arts, including managing art galleries and arts events.


Our purpose

  • To advance public appreciation of Canadian visual arts by producing public exhibitions of high-quality art.
  • To provide a venue for artists to exhibit and present their work.
  • To recognize, promote, and reward excellence in the visual arts by awarding a national prize and providing artist-in-residence opportunities.
  • To advance education in the visual arts through public workshops and seminars.

The board

  • The Board oversees the affairs of the society to maintain the value of its programs and services and to ensure its financial sustainability.
  • The SSNAP Society Board comprises 6–11 elected directors, plus the Director as an ex officio director.


  • Nominations Committee
  • Steering Committee
  • Jury Committee
  • Submissions Committee
  • Shipping and Receiving Committee


SSNAP’s Bylaw #1 forms part of the incorporation documents filed July 31, 2021, with the BC Society Registry. There has been no update to Bylaw #1.