Call for Submissions: 2021 Middlebrook Prize
2021 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators – Call for Submissions Founded in 2012, the Middlebrook Prize for...

2021 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators – Call for Submissions

Founded in 2012, the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators is awarded annually to an emerging Canadian curator under 30 with the aim to foster social innovation and curatorial excellence in Canada. Hosted and administered by the Art Gallery of Guelph, the winner is selected by a jury of arts leaders and receives a $5,000 honorarium as well as mentorship in the development of an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Guelph.

Submissions will be accepted until January 15, 2021, at 5 pm. The exhibition will be presented from September 16 to December 12, 2021 at the Art Gallery of Guelph. By supporting and mobilizing Canadian creative talent, the Middlebrook Prize aims to inspire positive social change through creativity in an era of ongoing and unprecedented economic, environmental, social and cultural upheaval. Proposals should emphasize contemporary Canadian art with attention to audience, community and public.

The 2021 Middlebrook Prize jury is composed of Nicole Caruth (Independent curator and cultural strategist), Sally Frater (Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Guelph), and Denise Ryner (Director/Curator, Or Gallery and Associate Curator, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin).

Applications must include:

  • Letter of introduction: applicants should articulate their curatorial values and philosophy and what the Middlebrook Prize means to them as a career-building opportunity
  • One-page exhibition proposal: proposal must include contact information, curatorial statement, list of artists, and description of potential outreach programming
  • Exhibition budget up to $10,000 including: artist fees (per CARFAC fee schedule for Category II institutions), shipping via an accredited art transportation company, any special equipment requirements for the exhibition, a description of unique or unusual installation requirements, projected travel/accommodation expenses for artist(s)/curator
  • One sample of critical writing: curatorial essay or published article/review, for example
  • Curriculum vitae: current, maximum 3 pages
  • Support images (10): with descriptions (artist name, title, date, medium, dimensions) including 5 images supporting exhibition proposal and 5 images documenting past curatorial work
  • Floor plan: detailing the proposed layout of works (download the floor plan)


  • The award winner must be under 30 years of age by December 31, 2021 and is required to demonstrate proof of age on signing of the exhibition contract
  • The Prize is open to Canadian citizens, as well as non-Canadians currently living and working in Canada
  • If the Prize is awarded to a non-Canadian curator, they must be resident in Canada for the full term of the Prize (March 1 through December 31, 2021)

Applications are to be submitted in a single PDF document, with the subject line Middlebrook Prize, to We welcome and encourage submissions from applicants who are BIPOC, LGBTQ2S, women, and persons with disabilities.

Important Dates:

Call for Submissions: December 1, 2020 – January 15, 2021
Exhibition Dates: September 16 – December 12, 2021

In light of the changing landscape of the pandemic, please stay tuned for details about the award presentation early in the new year. The Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators is made possible through the support of the Centre Wellington Community Foundation Middlebrook Social Innovation Fund, The Guelph Community Foundation Musagetes Fund, as well as private donations. For more information about the prize as well as past winners and their projects, please visit

Art Gallery of Guelph
358 Gordon Street, Guelph, Ontario N1G 1Y1
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 12 – 5 pm | Thursday 12 – 8 pm | Accessible
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