SSNAP 2025/26 Jury

  • Mireille Eagan


    Mireille Eagan is Curator of Contemporary Art at The Rooms in St. John’s, NL. She was previously the curator at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown, PEI, where she was a founding member of that province’s artist-run collective “This Town Is Small.” Eagan has curated more than 100 exhibitions, individually or as co-curator, including the nationally touring retrospective “Mary Pratt” and “Mary Pratt: This Little Painting” at the National Gallery of Canada (that institution’s first solo exhibition of an Atlantic Canadian woman artist), as well as the Terra Nova Art Foundation’s Collateral Project at the 55th Venice Biennale. She received a Digital Publishing Awards Gold Medal in 2018 and the Critical Eye Award from VANL-CARFAC in 2017 and 2022. Eagan is the editor and lead of the publication “Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador,” winner of the 2022 Atlantic Book Awards Best Atlantic-Published Book and recipient of Honourable Mentions from the Canadian Museums Association and Melva J. Dwyer Award. She holds the position of President of the Atlantic Provinces Art Gallery Association. Eagan has written for publications including Border Crossings, C Magazine, Canadian Art, The Globe and Mail, Visual Arts News, and Inuit Art Quarterly and has lectured nationally and internationally.

  • Dr. Heather Igloliorte


    Dr. Heather Igloliorte, an Inuk-Newfoundlander from Nunatsiavut, is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Decolonial and Transformational Indigenous Art Practices at the University of Victoria, BC, where she is a Professor in the Visual Arts Department. There, Heather directs the nation-wide Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership Project (2018-2025). Heather has been a curator since 2005 and has worked on more than thirty curatorial projects including nationally and internationally touring exhibitions, permanent collection exhibits, festivals, and public art installations. Her curatorial work has recognized by The Hnatyshyn Foundation with the Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art (2021). Igloliorte has served on many advisories, councils and jurys. She is the current president of the board of the Inuit Art Foundation, and was the first Indigenous person in Canada to be awarded a Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Medal for her service to Indigenous art and artists.

    Photo credit: Lisa Graves for Concordia University, 2023.

  • Sarah Milroy


    Sarah Milroy is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinberg, Ontario, Canada’s only museum devoted exclusively to Canadian and Indigenous art. Previously, Milroy served as editor / publisher of Canadian Art magazine and as lead art critic of the Globe and Mail. Her major touring exhibitions include From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia (2010), David Milne: Modern Painting (2018), Early Days: Indigenous Art from the McMichael (2020) and Uninvited; Canadian Women Artists in the Modern Moment (2021). In 2020, Milroy was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

  • Dr Kenneth Montague


    Dr Kenneth Montague is a Toronto-based dentist, art collector and the founding director of Wedge Curatorial Projects, a non-profit arts organization. Since 1997 Montague has been promoting both emerging and established artists via exhibitions, lectures and workshops. His focus is African Canadian and Diasporic art, which he also showcases in his privately-owned Wedge Collection.

    Montague has served on the African Art Acquisition Committee at Tate Modern as well as the Photography Curatorial Committee at the Art Gallery of Ontario; he is currently an AGO Trustee and an advisor to their Department of Arts of Global Africa and the Diaspora. He is also a Trustee of the Aperture Foundation, and a recent member of the jury for the Scotiabank Photography Award, Canada’s largest photography prize. Montague is a frequent panelist at international art symposiums and has been invited to lecture on contemporary art at the National Gallery of Canada, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, among other institutions. His curatorial projects include ‘Becoming: Photographs from the Wedge Collection’ and ‘Position As Desired: Exploring African Canadian Identity’. In 2021 the Aperture Foundation published the award-winning title ‘As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic’, a celebration of works from his Wedge Collection; an associated exhibition is currently touring North America.

    For his efforts in supporting the arts and his mentoring of emerging creatives, Montague received an Honorary Doctorate from OCAD University, Toronto (2016).

Jurying Process

The Salt Spring National Art Prize employs a four-stage adjudication process. Jury members are asked to take the following criteria into consideration.


Freshness of aspect or style; unique adaptation of ideas


The use of imagination or original ideas to create an artistic work


Inspiration for an artistic work, considering the artist’s statement


Quality of work; virtuosity of technique so the technique enhances the work’s creativity

Stage 1

Submissions Screened for Eligibility

Each entry will be screened by the organizers to ensure that the Conditions of Entry are met. Entries that do not meet the Conditions of Entry requirements will not be adjudicated.

Stage 2

Finalists Selected

An independent national jury of visual arts professionals, representing a broad range of areas of expertise, will select approximately 50 finalists from the eligible entries, based on the submitted digital images and Artists’ Statements.

No names, addresses or other identifying information from the submissions will be disclosed to the jury during the second phase of the jury process.

In selecting the finalists, the jurors choose works that display originality, creativity, and excellence of technique.

Stage 3

Winners Selected

At an in-situ viewing of the exhibition, the jurors will select by consensus the winner of the Salt Spring Prize The Joan McConnell Award. Each juror will also choose an individual recipient for a Juror’s Choice Award.

The winners of the People’s Choice Awards will be determined by public vote, both in person and online, during the exhibition.

Stage 4

Finalists and Winners Announced

The list of finalists as well as images of their works will be displayed in our online gallery. Inclusion in the exhibition is at the jurors’ discretion and their decision is final.

Award winners are announced at the Closing Gala Awards Night held at historic Mahon Hall on October 21, 2023.

Previous jurors

  • Richard Hunt


    “Richard Hunt was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia, in 1951 but has lived most of his life in Victoria. He began carving with his father, the late Henry Hunt, at the age of thirteen. He completed his high school education at Victoria High School in 1971. In 1973, Richard began work at the Royal British Columbia Museum as an apprentice carver under his father, Henry Hunt. The following year he assumed the duties of chief carver in the Thunderbird Park Carving Program. He remained in the museum in that capacity for twelve years. In 1986, Richard resigned to begin a new career as a freelance artist. Richard comes from a family of internationally respected artists, which include his father, Henry Hunt and his grandfather, Mungo Martin.
    Artworks by this talented artist can be found in Museums and private collections around the world.
    Richard Hunt received the Order of British Columbia “in recognition of serving with the greatest distinction and excellence in a field of endeavor benefitting the people of the Province of British Columbia and elsewhere.” This prestigious award program was established in 1990. Richard is the first native artist to be so recognized.
    Richard received the most prestigious award of his career, The Order of Canada. “The Order was established in 1967 as a means of recognizing outstanding achievement, honouring those who have given services to Canada, to those who have given services to Canada, to their fellow citizens or to humanity at large.”
    Richard received the Golden Jubilee Medal, the approved creation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in honour of Her 50th anniversary of Her accession to the Throne and presented to citizens of Canada “who have demonstrated exceptional qualities and outstanding service to their country.”
    Richard received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria. This prestigious award has a special meaning to Richard because his late father, Henry Hunt was awarded the same degree in 1983.
    Richard Hunt’s Indian name is highly appropriate, considering his accomplishments. Gwe-la-yo-gwe-la-gya-les means “a man that travels around the world giving.” Through his art, and his dancing, Richard Hunt has indeed given much to the world.”

  • Pierre-François Ouellette


    Pierre-François Ouellette inaugurated in 2001 a contemporary art gallery in Montreal recognized today for the innovative proposals of the artists he represents. Mr. Ouellette was recipient of the 2011 Dealer of the Year at the first Gala of Visual Arts of Quebec. His gallery was named by Blouin-ArtInfo / Modern Painters one of the “500 Best Worldwide Galleries” in their 2013, 2015 and 2016 guides. Mr. Ouellette holds a BA (History) and a MBA from the University of Ottawa. He was the executive assistant to the Director of the National Gallery of Canada, Dr. Shirley Thomson, from 1988 until 1993, when he started doctoral studies in strategic management at HEC Montreal. Mr. Ouellette led subsequently the Association des galeries d’art contemporain before being appointed director of administration of Optica art centre. In 2012 he created Toronto’s Centre Space with Pat Feheley where he presented over 30 exhibitions until 2017. In 2016, the gallery took over the historic Graff Building in the heart of the Plateau Mont-Royal. Mr. Ouellette has served on several boards including the Art Dealers Association of Canada, the art information center Artexte, the art center Axe Neo-7 and was a member of the acquisition committee of the Musée d’art de Joliette, of the Public Art Committee of the City of Montreal, of the Visual Arts Committee of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, of the Art and Archives committee of the RBC Art & Heritage at the McGill University Health Centre, of the Acquisition Committee for artist’s books at the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec, the Commission permanente d’art public de Culture Montréal, and of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board. 

  • Helga Pakasaar


    Helga Pakasaar is an independent curator based in Vancouver. She was the Audain Chief Curator at the Polygon Gallery (formerly Presentation House Gallery) in North Vancouver where, from 2003 to 2022, she produced exhibitions, public art commissions and publications with a focus on contemporary art and photography, and their histories. Previously she was a contemporary art curator at the Art Gallery of Windsor and the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre. Her curatorial projects of the past decade include solo exhibitions with Derya Akay, Stan Douglas, Lee Friedlander, Dina Goldstein, Susan Hiller, Anna Oppermann, Hannah Rickards, Samuel Roy-Bois, Wael Shawky, and Batia Suter. Her longstanding interest in the visual art of this region also led to research-based exhibitions and publications that brought to light underrecognized aspects of the histories of photography and media art in British Columbia. Recent independent projects in Vancouver include public art commissions and inaugural exhibitions for Griffin Art Projects. She has also produced artist books and contributed writing to various catalogues and magazines. She was the recipient of the Alvin Balkind Curatorial Achievement Award in 2013 and has served on many art award juries.

  • Gaëtane Verna


    Verna is an art historian and arts administrator. She is the incoming Executive Director of the Wexner Centre for the Arts. Previously, she was Director and Artistic Director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (2012–22), Toronto, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Musée d’art de Joliette (2006–12) and was Curator of the Foreman Art Gallery at Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke (1999–2006), while also teaching in the Art History department of both Bishop’s University and the Université du Québec à Montréal. Verna holds an International Diploma in Heritage Administration and Conservation from the Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris and received a DEA and master’s degree in Art History from the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Verna has years of experience in curating, publishing catalogues, and presenting exhibitions by emerging, mid-career, established artists. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Holt/Smithson Foundation, the Sobey Art Foundation and the Advisory Committee of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Arts of Global Africa and the Diaspora. In 2017, she was appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government. 

  • Judy Anderson


    Judy Anderson is Nēhiyaw from Gordon First Nation, SK, Treaty 4 territory and an Associate Professor of Canadian Indigenous Studio Art at the University of Calgary. Anderson’s practice includes beadwork, installation, hand-made paper, painting, three-dimensional pieces, and collaborative projects. Her work is deeply personal with a focus on issues of spirituality, family, colonialism and conceptualizations of decolonization, and at the same times is grounded in Indigenous epistemological and ontological traditions. Anderson is the proud recipient of The Salt Spring National Art Prize and a REVEAL: Indigenous Art Award. She has had residencies at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia, the International Studio and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn, New York, and the Prince’s School of Traditional Art, London, England.

  • David Diviney


    David Diviney is the Senior Curator at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in K’jipuktuk/Halifax. His curatorial projects include Jordan Bennett: Ketu’elmita’jik (2018), The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968-1978 (2016), Eleanor King: Dark Utopian (2015), and Jason de Haan: Noghwhere Bodili is Everywhere Goostly (2014).

    He co-curated the Bonavista Biennale 2019: FLOE, an exhibition situated in outport communities and historic sites along a 100-kilometre route in rural Ktaqmkuk/Newfoundland. He was also part of the curatorial team that developed Landmarks/Repères, a coast-to-coast-to-coast network of commissioned contemporary art projects staged in Canada’s national parks in 2017. In addition to his background in the museum setting, he has taught courses at the Alberta College of Art and Design, University of Lethbridge, Thompson Rivers University, and Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

  • Michelle Jacques


    Michelle Jacques is a curator, writer, and educator with more than 20 years of experience at major Canadian public galleries. She was recently appointed the Chief Curator at the Remai Modern in Saskatoon. Jacques will direct Remai’s exhibition team, leading work in collections, conservation, exhibitions, research, and publications. Prior to the Remai, Michelle was the Chief Curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and facilitated projects with contemporary artists Rodney Sayers and Emily Luce, Gwen MacGregor, Hiraki Sawa, Charles Campbell and Farheen HaQ, and Carol Sawyer; co-curated major retrospectives of the work of Anna Banana and Jock Macdonald; and developed a series of installations that use the AGGV’s collection to evoke cross-temporal and cross-cultural conversations. Before moving west, she held various roles in the Contemporary and Canadian departments of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; was the Director of Programming at the Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax; and taught courses in writing, art history, and curatorial studies at NSCAD.

  • Ydessa Hendeles


    Ydessa Hendeles is a German-born Canadian artist-curator and philanthropist. She is the director of the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation in Toronto, Canada.

    Ydessa Hendeles has a distinctive place in the contemporary art world as gallerist, curator and artist, presenting more than 100 exhibitions internationally before focusing on her own works following her solo debut at Berlin’s König Galerie in 2012. Major institutions and galleries in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East have shown her work. In summer 2017, Toronto’s Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery mounted The Milliner’s Daughter, the first retrospective survey of her creative practice, and this was remounted with additional works as Death to Pigs at Vienna’s Kunsthalle in 2018.

    Ydessa is a graduate of the University of Toronto, the New School of Art, Toronto, and the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She earned a doctorate cum laude from the University of Amsterdam’s School for Cultural Analysis and is currently Adjunct Professor in University of Toronto’s Department of Fine Art. Dividing her time between studios in Toronto and New York, she is represented by Barbara Edwards Contemporary in Toronto.

  • cheyanne turions


    cheyanne turions is the Curator at SFU Galleries in Vancouver and sits on the Board of Directors at 221A. She has previously held positions at the Art Metropole, SBC galerie d’art contemporain and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

    Her work positions exhibitions and criticism as social gestures, where she responds to artistic practices by linking aesthetics and politics through discourse. Recent projects include I continue to shape at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto and the research residency No Person’s Land with DAM Projects in London, UK. Since 2008, she has been the co-director of No Reading After the Internet, a salon series concerned with understanding the act of reading aloud as its own media form.

    She holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia and a master’s degree in Visual Studies from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto.

  • Sandra Meigs


    Sandra Meigs is dedicated to painting and to the possibilities of enchantment that painting presents through colour, form and imagination. She believes that the very authenticity of one’s experience offers proof that what is imagined when looking at a painting is as real as anything else that one experiences in the world. She has also inter-woven sculpture, film, sound, and other media in her works.

    She is Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria, where she taught Painting, Drawing and Integrated Media. Recent exhibitions include Room for Mystics, at the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Glass Ticker, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, and Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Painting at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Meigs won the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO in 2015. She resides in Hamilton, Ontario.

  • David Balzer


    David Balzer is the author of two books, Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else, winner of ICA London’s 2015 Book of the Year, and the short-fiction collection Contrivances.

    He has written about art and culture for The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, Frieze, Artforum, The Believer and others. From 2016 to 2019 he was editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Canadian Art.

  • Naomi Potter


    Naomi Potter is the director/curator of Esker Foundation in Calgary.

    From 2009 to 2011, she was curator of Walter Phillips Gallery at The Banff Centre where she produced solo projects and exhibitions with many artists including Anthony Burnham, Geoffrey Farmer, Melanie Gilligan, Brian Jungen, Ragnar Kjartansson, Silke Otto-Knapp, and Ron Terada. More recently she has worked to develop projects at Esker Foundation with Peter von Tiesenhausen, Cedric Bomford, Cynthia Girard, Mia Feuer, Colleen Heslin, Etienne Zack, and Jasmina Cibic to name a few.

    In 2003, Potter was awarded a year-long Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) artist residency in Istanbul, and from 2003 to 2007 was co-director of the international artist residency program at CESTA in the Czech Republic. In 2015, she was a guest of both the Australian Arts Council and British Council International Curatorial Visit programs, and a jury member for the Sobey Art Award (2016) and the RBC Canadian Painting Competition (2014).

    Potter holds a BFA from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and an MFA in sculpture from Concordia University, Montreal.

  • Denis Longchamps


    Dr. Denis Longchamps has been the artistic director and chief curator at the Art Gallery of Burlington since May 2013.

    From 2006 to 2012, Dr. Longchamps was the administrator of the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art at Concordia University. Then from 2012 to 2013, he was the exhibition and publication manager at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

    He received his PhD in art history in 2009 and was a research fellow at the Yale Centre for British Art in 2010.

    Dr. Longchamps regularly contributes essays, articles and reviews for magazines and journals such as Espace-Sculpture, Ceramics monthly, Ceramics Art and Perception, and the journal of The Picturesque Society. As well, he has curated over 45 exhibitions and is presently involved with an international research project, Naked Craft, of which the exhibition toured in Canada and Scotland.

    Dr. Longchamps was the publisher and managing editor of Cahiers métiers d’art : Craft Journal.

  • David Garneau


    David Garneau (Métis) is associate professor of visual arts at the University of Regina. His practice includes painting, drawing, performance art, video, curation, and critical writing.

    He recently co-curated (with Michelle LaVallee) Moving Forward, Never Forgetting, an exhibition concerning the legacies of Indian Residential Schools, other forms of aggressive assimilation, and (re)conciliation, at the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina. And (with Tess Allas) With Secrecy and Despatch, an international exhibition about massacres of Indigenous people, and memorialization, for the Campbelltown Art Centre, Sydney, Australia.

    Garneau has given talks in Australia, the United States, and throughout Canada. He is currently working on curatorial projects in Sydney, New York, and South Africa; is part of a five-year, SSHRC funded, curatorial research project, ‘Creative Conciliation’; and is working on two public art projects in Edmonton.

    His paintings are in numerous public and private collections.

  • Ian Thomas


    Ian Thomas is a long time member of the art community on Salt Spring Island. Educated in England and with a master of arts in art education from the University of British Columbia, he went on to teach at the University of British Columbia and Camosun College in Victoria.

    In his own work Thomas has used painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, installation, words and performance. His installation Swallows Meadows toured British Columbia in the 1990s—a project which carried on through two more exhibits shown at The Point Gallery in 2008 and 2009. Thomas’ current work addresses humanities’ place in the landscape, but also reflects his ongoing concern with memory and the frailty of the human condition.

    Respected as a juror on Salt Spring Island for the integrity of his opinions and the insight he brings to any discussion of the visual, Ian juried for the Regional Arts Council and for British Columbia Cultural Services with Gordon Smith. He is represented on the island by Pod Contemporary Gallery.

  • Holger Kalberg


    Holger Kalberg is a Winnipeg based artist currently teaching at the University of Manitoba. Born in Germany, he first studied English literature before coming to Canada to study fine art at the Alberta College of Art and then at Emily Carr University, where he graduated in 2001. In 2007, Kalberg received his master of fine art from the Chelsea College of Art in London, England. Short listed for the RBC Painting Competition in 2002, 2004 and 2005, he juried for that same competition in 2013.

    Represented in Canada by Monte Clark Gallery in Vancouver and Toronto, Kalberg has had solo exhibitions abroad in London, Geneva, and Duisburg, Germany. His work originally used architectural based imagery to explore the relationship between photo and painting. He now uses self-made source material to explore and critique the legacy of high modernism, the art object as commodity and image making in the digital age through sculpture, painting and works on paper. His most recent exhibition was The Family at Monte Clark Gallery in Vancouver in August 2014.

  • Vicky Chainey Gagnon


    Vicky Chainey Gagnon is a contemporary art curator currently based in St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador where she holds the position of director/chief curator of The Rooms, Provincial Art Gallery Division.

    She is a graduate of the bachelor of fine arts program in art history and film studies at Concordia University and the master of arts program in interdisciplinary studies at York University. As a curator, Chainey Gagnon has initiated contemporary art exhibitions and film screenings in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Quebec City.

    She has acted as a juror for provincial and national arts competitions, and has also sat on selection committees for the collections of the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec and the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia University. In May of 2014, Chainey Gagnon curated the Quebec City based international biennale, Resistance: And Then, We Built New Forms.