NOTE: All information below is provided for reference only. Rules are subject to change and dates will be updated when the next call for artists is issued.

*COVID UPDATE – Rule 5(c) for the next competition will be changed to allow any work that has been produced entirely after April 26, 2019.


The competition is for recent portraits of Canadian subjects by Canadian artists. A portrait will be interpreted to mean a picture of a specific person. The portrait must be made by painting or drawing or a combination of these techniques, and must be based on a meeting in person between artist and subject. There is no limitation on style, and contemporary and experimental portraits are welcome. Group portraits and self-portraits are eligible.

The Kingston Prize will be awarded to the best portrait, as chosen by the jury, with special attention to mastery of the medium, and a sensitive reflection of the interaction between subject and artist. In addition, two Honourable Mention Awards will be made. The jury is comprised of three distinguished arts professionals; their decisions are independent of The Kingston Prize Association.


The competition for the Kingston Prize is open to Canadian artists, aged 18 years and over on the date of the deadline for entries. For the purposes of this competition, “Canadian” shall, in every instance, be interpreted to mean a person having Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status.

  1. Members of the Board of The Kingston Prize Association and the Jury are not eligible.


  1. Each artist may enter one portrait.
  2. For the purposes of the Competition, “portrait” shall be interpreted to mean a picture of a specific person or persons. Group portraits and self-portraits are acceptable.
  3. To be eligible for the Competition, an entry must meet the following conditions:
    a) It must be a portrait of a specific Canadian person or persons;
    b) It must be made by painting or drawing, or a combination of these techniques;
    c) It must be produced entirely during the 24 months preceding Friday, April 26, 2019. (see * above for rule change)
    d) The dimensions, including frame (if any), must not exceed 200 centimetres height x 200 centimetres width x 10 centimetres depth;
    e) The artist must meet with the subject for the purpose of making the portrait; photographs of the subject taken by the artist may be used for reference purposes.


  1. Procedures for entering the Competition online at the website have been developed, and artists are strongly recommended to enter online. Artists who cannot enter online should contact the Organizing Committee for instructions. The following materials are required for each entry:
    a) a completed entry form;
    b) one high resolution digital image of the portrait, as a .jpg file, between 1 MB and 4 MB;
    c) a one page document with the artist’s statement about the portrait, biography and CV;
    d) the non-refundable entry fee of $30.00.
  2. Entries must be received no later than Friday, April 26, 2019.


  1. From the entries received, the Jury will select thirty portraits to be included as finalists in The Kingston Prize exhibition. The list of finalists will be posted on the website by the end of July, 2019. Finalists will receive detailed instructions concerning the exhibition and tour.
  2. The portraits selected by the Jury for exhibition must be received at the Firehall Theatre, Gananoque Ontario, by Wednesday October 2, 2019.
  3. The artist is responsible for all charges relating to delivery of the portrait both to and from the initial exhibition site and from the final exhibition site. The costs of transportation on the tour will be paid by the The Kingston Prize Association. The artwork must be appropriately packed in a sturdy re-usable box suitable for transportation to the exhibition site, on tour, and on the return home. If packing is not useable for the tour and the return shipping, new packing will be made at the artist’s expense.
  4. Portraits must be suitably equipped with D-rings and wire for hanging, and must be clearly identified with the name of the artist on the back. Dimensions including the frame (if any) will be requested for the portraits to be exhibited. Plexiglass is strongly recommended in place of glass for protection of delicate artwork.
  5. Portraits must be completed at the time the image is taken and submitted to the Competition. Entries which have been changed subsequently will not be accepted into the final exhibition.
  6. An exhibition fee to cover the exhibition and tour will be paid to each finalist.
  7. The jury will choose the winner of The Kingston Prize and will name two Honourable Mentions after viewing the finalist portraits received. The awards will be made at a public reception. A People’s Choice Prize will be awarded at each exhibition location, based upon ballots submitted by visitors.
  8. The decisions of the Jury are final and no correspondence will be entered into.


  1. The Organizing Committee will take all due care with the portraits received, but will not be responsible for any loss or damage to artworks whatsoever, however caused, while in its custody. Each entrant is responsible for maintaining his/her own insurance coverage.


  1. Portraits must be available continuously for exhibition for a period of approximately seven months to accommodate showing the exhibition in several locations on tour, and will be returned as arranged by the artist at the end of the tour. It is the artist’s responsibility to ensure that the original work is available for these purposes, whether or not they are the owner of the work.
  2. Entrants shall allow The Kingston Prize Association and other galleries on the tour to use all digital images and other materials provided to The Kingston Prize Association in connection with the Competition, to photograph their works while in its custody, and to reproduce their work by print or electronic means for the purposes of documentation and archiving of the exhibition, for use on their websites and other media, and for advertising the Competition, including subsequent catalogues, brochures and posters.
  3. Any future revisions to these rules will be posted on the website


  1. Following are the significant dates. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to make small adjustments to these dates.
    • February 4, 2019 Opening date for submission of entries
    • April 26, 2019 Closing date for submission of entries.
    • July, 2019 Announcement of list of finalists selected for exhibition.
    • October 2, 2019 Deadline for delivery of finalist portraits to Gananoque, ON.
    • October 11 – 27, 2019 Exhibition at Firehall Theatre open to public.
    • October 17, 2019 Gala Prize announcement at Firehall Theatre