Rules for the 2023 Competition


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. Group portraits and self-portraits are eligible. The portrait must be made by painting or drawing, or a combination of these techniques and must be based on a meeting between the subject and artist. There is no limitation on style, and contemporary and experimental portraits are welcome. The Kingston Prize will be awarded to the best portrait, as chosen by the Jury, with particular attention being paid 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. Their findings are final.


  1. The competition for the Kingston Prize is open to Canadian artists, 18 years of age and over on the date (Wednesday, April 26, 2023) 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.
  2. 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 painting or drawing 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 between April 26, 2019 and Wednesday, April 26, 2023.
    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 are online at the website 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 $40.00.
  2. Entries must be received no later than Wednesday, April 26, 2023.


  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, 2023. 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 Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
  3. The artist is responsible for all charges relating to the delivery of the portrait both to  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 for 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 artist’s name 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 to protect delicate artwork.
  5. The portrait must be completed at the time the image is submitted for adjudication. 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 is awarded at each exhibition location based on ballots submitted by visitors.
  8. The decision of the Jury is final.


  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, 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 12 months to accommodate showing the exhibition in several locations. They 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 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 to archive 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 revised significant dates for the exhibition at the Firehall Theatre in Gananoque, Ontario. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to make small adjustments to these dates.
    • February 6, 2023 Opening date for submission of entries
    • April 26, 2023 Closing date for submission of entries.
    • July, 2023 Announcement of finalists selected for exhibition.
    • October 3, 2023 Deadline for delivery of finalist portraits to the Firehall Theatre.
    • TBA Exhibition at the Firehall Theatre opens to the public.
    • TBA Opening event and awards at Firehall Theatre