About The Kingston Prize

The Kingston Prize is a Canada-wide competition and exhibition tour for Canadian portrait painting and drawing.

This biennial competition is open to any Canadian artist who depicts a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in a portrait based on a real life encounter. The aim of The Kingston Prize is to encourage and reward the creation of contemporary portraits by Canadian artists, to promote Canadian artists through competition, and over time to develop an historical record of Canadians, by Canadians. Each exhibition becomes a fascinating snapshot of a cross-section of Canadian life. A distinguished panel of judges determines the 30 finalists, whose work then becomes part of the national touring exhibition. The exhibition gives much needed public exposure to talented Canadian artists, while at the same time sparking interest, conversation and inspiration in the visitors attending the exhibitions.

The Kingston Prize provides an opportunity for Canadians to celebrate gifted artists in a way that was not previously available. The interest from artists and the public has grown exponentially since the inception of the Kingston Prize in 2005.


There are 3 juried awards: 1 winner and 2 honourable mention awards. The winner receives the $20,000 Kingston Prize. In addition to the awards chosen by the professional jurors, People’s Choice Prizes are awarded at each exhibition location. All visitors receive a ballot to vote for their personal favourite.


Julian Brown, Co-Founder and Past Chair
Kaaren Brown, Co-Founder

Members of the Board

Gayle Barr (Co-Chair)
Mary Davis Little
Jason Donville
Jamie Galbraith
Allyson Glenn
Bonnie Higgins (Co-Chair)
Leslie McClement (non-voting member)
Karen Sauerbrei


Isabelle Masse
Angela Solar

Other Portrait Prizes Around the World

Archibald Prize, Art Gallery NSW Australia

BP Portrait Award National Portrait Gallery, London England

Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian United States

Zurich Portrait Prize at National Portrait Collection, National Gallery of Ireland
(formerly known as the Hennessy Portrait Prize)