The Salt Spring
National Art Prize

  • Associated with the SSNAP exhibition, the Parallel Art Show (PAS) was developed to showcase the amazing talent of some of the Southern Gulf Islands’ artists during the SSNAP Finalist event. The PAS jurors selected 51 artworks from the 143 Southern Gulf Island artists who submitted to SSNAP.


    Matt Steffich Jurors’ Choice Award—$1,000
    Plus two honourable mentions—$500 each
    Contributed by an anonymous donor

    1st prize—$1,000
    2nd prize—$700
    3rd prize—$500
    Donated by Michael Whitfield

    The PAS artwork will be featured and for sale on the SSNAP website on September 24, 2021 throughout the exhibition. PAS will be at the ArtSpring Gallery from Saturday, September 25 to Sunday, October 17, with the SSNAP exhibition running at Mahon Hall from Friday, September 24 – Monday, October 25, 2021.

    The PAS jury for 2021:
    Margaret Day, Artist/Curator of the Point Gallery
    Kegan McFadden, Executive Director of the Victoria Arts Council Gallery
    Deon Venter, Artist
    Artists’ names were anonymous to the jurors during the selection process.

    Visit our shop to view the Parallel Art Show selected Finalists!

  • Since its inception in 2015, the Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) has grown in engagement and reach, recognizing and nurturing artistic creativity and originality in Canadian visual arts. The inaugural Salt Spring National Art Prize was held on Salt Spring Island in 2015. Subsequent exhibitions were held in 2017, 2019, and now in 2021. In July 2020, the governance and operations of SSNAP were transferred to a new Not-for-Profit Society—the Salt Spring National Art Prize Society. In 2021, the SSNAP Society was afforded charitable status by the Canadian Revenue Agency.

    The purposes of the SSNAP Society are:

    • To advance public appreciation of Canadian visual arts by producing public exhibitions of high-quality art.
    • To provide a venue for artists to exhibit and present their work selected on the basis of artistic merit.
    • To recognize, promote and reward excellence in the visual arts by awarding a national prize; providing artist-in-residence opportunities; and exposing the public to examples of high-quality works.
    • To advance education in the visual arts through public workshops and seminars, including opportunities to experience work publicly; youth-oriented student activities; and artist-in-residence opportunities.

    The SSNAP Society manages a biennial juried open competition focused on Canadian contemporary visual arts. From an intake of over 2,000 submissions, approximately 50 artworks are accepted for the core national exhibition as determined by an independent jury of four eminent Canadian artists, curators, and collectors. The artwork of the finalists is exhibited for a month on Salt Spring Island, BC, during which period the Jury convenes in person on Salt Spring Island for the final selection of awards.

    A second exhibition – a “Parallel Art Show” – was introduced in 2017. As of 2021, an independent jury separate from that for the SSNAP exhibition selects approximately 50 works from among the SSNAP entries produced by residents of the Gulf Islands for a three-week exhibition running in parallel with the core SSNAP exhibition. This show recognizes and celebrates the artistic creativity and originality of local artists in a diversity of artistic genres.

    An associated suite of activities takes place during this festival of fine art – artist talks, youth tours and events, various cultural events such as panel discussions by curators, and individual presentations on the role of art in society.


    $20,000 ($15,000 and a $5,000 Salt Spring Island artist residency)

    Four awards of $3,000 selected by each juror

    Four awards determined by a vote of viewers of the exhibition
    1st prize – $3,000
    2nd prize – $2,000
    3rd prize – $1,000
    Youth Vote – $1,000

    For outstanding work by a Salt Spring artist – $2,000

  • This category of awards provides the opportunity for us all to be members of the Jury. From the conception of SSNAP, the three People’s Choice Awards totalling $6000 in prize money have engaged every visitor with the Finalist Exhibition. They have had the opportunity to choose which of the 52 artworks is their choice or favourite. We are also pleased to add an additional opportunity for youth, under the age of 18, to vote in person at the exhibition. The Youth People’s Choice Award is $1000.

  • This year, for the first time, the People’s Choice Awards go national. Every citizen in Canada over the age of 18 will get one opportunity to cast one vote for their favourite SSNAP Finalist artwork. We are also pleased to add an additional opportunity for youth, under the age of 18, to vote in person at the exhibition. The Youth People’s Choice Award is $1000.

    We invite you to spend time exploring the diversity of contemporary art in the SSNAP finalists’ exhibition prior to making your selections. Much contemporary art is inevitably provocative and challenging as artists speak to the human condition and imagine the future. As such, we invite you to visit the exhibition online or in person several times before placing your vote.

    The result of the voting for the People’s Choice Awards will be announced Saturday, October 23, at the SSNAP Gala Awards Night on Salt Spring Island.

  • Voting opens Friday, September 24, 2021 at 6pm PDT. Voting ends at 5pm PDT, Friday, October 22, 2021.

  • The Salt Spring National Art Prize 2021/22 Event Schedule:

    Events at Mahon Hall
    166 Lower Ganges Rd, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2T2:

    SSNAP Opening Gala of the Finalists’ Exhibition
    Friday, September 24 | 6pm – 10pm PDT
    Please Note Jury in Progress: The gallery will be closed on Saturday, October 16th from 10 am to 1 pm.

    Online and in-person voting for the People’s Choice Awards begins
    Friday, September 24 | 6pm PDT

    SSNAP Finalist Exhibition
    Saturday, September 25 – Monday October 25 | Open Daily 10am – 5pm PDT

    Online and in-person voting for the People’s Choice Awards closes
    Friday, October 22 | 5pm PDT

    SSNAP Gala Awards Night
    Saturday, October 23 | 6pm – 10pm PDT
    Award Winners Announced

    Associated Events at the ArtSpring Gallery
    100 Jackson Ave, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2V8:

    Parallel Art Show (PAS)
    Saturday, September 25 – Sunday, October 17 | Open Daily 10am – 4pm PDT

    Parallel Art Show (PAS) Opening Gala
    Sunday, September 26 | 6pm – 9pm PDT

    Parallel Art Show Award Winners also announced at the SSNAP Gala Awards Night.

    All finalists’ works are available for purchase during the exhibition dates, online, or at the exhibition.

    In early 2022, the winning artworks will travel to Victoria, BC, for an exhibition at the Victoria Arts Council Gallery and thereafter to Vancouver for an exhibition at The Pendulum Gallery.

  • A full list of this year’s finalists is available here. You can view the online catalogue and finalists’ gallery here.

  • The jury process employed by the Salt Spring National Art Prize is unique in its emphasis on the submitted work itself and the submission being carried out by the artists themselves.

    Eligible entries of artwork are created by Canadian citizens or permanent residents over the age of eighteen, completed on or after January 1st 2020, and not shown previously in any juried exhibition.

    The open national call to artists ran from January to May of 2021 and was followed by an intensive on-line adjudication process of the electronic submissions that were rendered anonymous as to the identity of the artists throughout the full initial phase of the jury process.

    Our independent jury of four eminent Canadian artists, curators, and collectors selected 52 works for the Finalist Exhibition from an initial 2756 submissions by 1630 artists. The jurors travel to Salt Spring Island in person to choose the winner of the Joan McConnell Award & Residency for Outstanding Work, four Jurors’ Choice Awards, and the Salt Spring Artist Award.

    For the first time in 2021, the People’s Choice Awards will be open for every Canadian citizen across the country to vote either in person or online during the exhibition, giving viewer’s a voice in the selection of this category of awards.

    In selecting the 52 outstanding artworks represented in this catalogue, the jurors chose work that has significant impact and depth of meaning–work that pushes boundaries and creates a conversation and a record of the amazing and challenging times we as Canadians have lived through these past two years.

    The winners will be announced at the Gala Awards Night on October 23, 2021.

  • The Salt Spring National Art Prize Award Winners Announced

    at the SSNAP Closing Gala: Saturday, October 23, 2021, 7pm PDT.


    Join us at 7pm PDT as we live stream the announcement of the SSNAP 2021/2022 Awards! 


    watch directly on “The Salt Spring National Art Prize” YouTube channel –