The three winners will receive a cash prize of $10,000 each and will be featured in two group exhibitions: an outdoor exhibition at Ryerson University in Toronto during the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

TORONTO and OTTAWA, ON – Today, Scotiabank and the National Gallery of Canada announced the winners of the fourth annual New Generation Photography Award, which recognizes the best of young Canadians working in lens-based art.

The winners for the 2021 edition are:

  • Dustin BronsVancouver, BC
  • Chris DonovanSaint John, NB
  • Dainesha Nugent-Palache, Brampton, ON

“Congratulations to the 2021 winners, Dustin, Chris, and Dainesha,” says Laura Curtis Ferrera, Chief Marketing Officer at Scotiabank. “We are proud to champion an award with the National Gallery of Canada that helps to elevate the careers of our country’s most promising lens-based artists. Scotiabank has a deep passion for supporting the arts and that includes helping young artists grow through unique opportunities such as the New Generation Photography Award.”

The three winners will receive a cash prize of $10,000 each and will be featured in two group exhibitions: an outdoor exhibition at Ryerson University in Toronto during the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival held from April 30 – October 3, 2021; and at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in Fall 2021 (COVID-19 restrictions permitting). Award recipients will be mentored by the curatorial team at the National Gallery of Canada, will participate in artist talks and their work will be included in exhibition tours and educational programming. The 2020 and 2021 winners will present their work together at both group exhibitions.

The New Generation Photography Award is the only one of its kind, dedicated to Canadian artists 35 years of age and under, and specific to lens-based art.

The winners were selected from a longlist by the following Members of the 2021 New Generation Photography Award Jury:

  • Andrea Kunard, Associate Curator, Photographs, National Gallery of Canada and Chair of the Jury
  • Noah Friebel, Artist and 2020 New Generation Photography Award winner
  • Lorraine Gilbert, Director, Visual Arts Department, University of Ottawa
  • Shelley Niro, Artist and 2017 Scotiabank Photography Award winner

“The jury was very impressed with the calibre of work received,” says Andrea Kunard, Jury Chair and Associate Curator, Photographs, the National Gallery of Canada. “Dainesha’s powerful portraits of women have a rich, painterly quality.  She uses light in a sculptural way to mold and give presence to her subjects. Chris’ work is based in a history of documentary photography that he adeptly uses to tell his story. His images reveal the close relationship he has with his subjects and his concern for their welfare and that of his hometown. Dustin’s work impresses with his inquiry into the very workings of the medium. He draws images from a number of sources such as newspapers, realtor ads and Instagram, to show us the different ways images are read and the way they frame our understanding of the world.”

2021 New Generation Photography Award Recipient Bios:

Dustin Brons:
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.

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is a leading bank in the Americas. Guided by our purpose: “for every future”, we help our customers, their families and their communities achieve success through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of approximately 90,000 employees and assets of approximately $1.2 trillion (as of January 31, 2021), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of Indigenous, American, and Asian Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to art for all Canadians. For more information, visit and follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube and Instagram.