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Video Art in Canada

Start your discovery of video art history with the Video Art in Canada online exhibition.

The Bell Canada Award in Video Art is given annually to a Canadian video artist or artist team who has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of the art form through videos, video installations or Web-based video art.

History of the Bell Prize

Since its inception as an art form in the very early 1970s, video has grown in significance for artists in Canada. At first, most artists' use of the medium was small-scale and production was done by the individual artist; with the passing years, co-operative groups have been formed for production or post-production in major centres across the country, and distribution networks have grown in importance and impact. Since the country's first museum exhibition in 1974 at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, public recognition for the work has grown, with important collections established at the National Gallery of Canada as well as at smaller institutions. Canada has chosen to highlight artists working with video at major biennale exhibitions in Venice, Paris, and São Paulo, and video-art festivals have continued to proliferate in Canada and elsewhere. Communications theorist and "media guru" Marshall McLuhan is famously quoted for his insight that "the medium is the message." At the Video Art in Canada Website, however, the medium is just the beginning.

The $10,000 Bell Canada Award in Video Art is given annually to a Canadian video artist or artist team who has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of the art form through videos, video installations or Web-based video art. The award was created in 1990 by Bell Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts. Candidates are nominated by three professional curators and/or critics who are specialists in Canadian video art. The winner is selected by a committee of professional video artists convened to assess the nominations.


The Bell Canada Award in Video Art Winners:

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