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The Other NFB Symposium

Chris Lund (Canadian, 1923-1983) Examining new arrivals in Immigration Examination Hall, Pier 21, Halifax March 1952 Contemporary print from vintage negative National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / Library and Archives Canada PA-111579

The Other NFB: The National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division Symposium

March 19, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

This one-day symposium at presents guest speakers from photographic and journalistic to curatorial and academic backgrounds in response to our exhibition The Other NFB: The National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division, 1941-1971. 

While addressing Canada and Canadian identity through visual image, and more generally the practice of photo-documentation and its motivations, it will also provide an opportunity for discussions of and around the photographs shown as part of the exhibition.

The symposium, will include a tour of the exhibition with guest curator, Carol Payne followed by a panel discussion moderated by journalist and arts reporter Deana Sumanac-Johnson (CBC) and speakers, Vanessa Fleet (York University), Ted Grant (photojournalist and former NFB photographer), and Sonya Jones (Associate Curator/Curator of the Thomas Bouckley Collection at the RMG).

This will be an occasion for viewers to explore and ask questions about the formation of identity as it relates to photography.


The Other NFB: The National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division, 1941-1971, tour and discussion led by guest curator, Carol Payne.

Panel Discussion, moderated by Deana Sumanac-Johnson:

  • Vanessa Fleet
  • Sonya Jones
  • Ted Grant

Schedule of Events:

  • 10am: Arrival
  • 10:15am – 11:15am: Tour and discussion led by Carol Payne
  • 11:15am – 12:30pm: Presentation by Vanessa Fleet
  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch
  • 1:30pm – 2:15pm: Sonya Jones
  • 2:15pm – 3:15pm: Ted Grant
  • 3:15pm: Questions and Social

Registration is now closed.

For more information, please contact Leslie Menagh, Manager of Public Programs & ArtReach at or 905.576.3000 ext. 108

Speakers Biographies:

Carol Payne

Carol Payne 2015 (credit Ainslie Coghill)

Carol Payne is Associate Professor and Graduate Supervisor for Art History at Carleton. Before joining the Carleton faculty she was a curator at the former Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.  She is author of The Official Picture: The National Film Board of Canada’s Still Photography Division and the Image of Canada, 1941-1971 (McGill-Queens University Press, 2013) and co-editor (with Andrea Kunard of the NGC) of The Cultural Work of Photography in Canada (also MQUP 2011) among other publications.  Between 2005 and 2014 she was the Principal Investigator in a SSHRCC-funded collaborative photo-based research project with the Inuit training program Nunavut Sivuniksavut and Library and Archives Canada and is currently editing a book about that research tentatively called Photographs, Generations and Inuit Cultural Memory.

Deana Sumanac-Johnson

Deana Sumanac-Johnson

Deana Sumanac-Johnson is an arts and entertainment reporter, appearing on CBC Television, CBC Radio, and With over a decade-long career at the CBC, Deana has sat opposite big personalities in every realm of the arts: from Julian Schnabel to Jimmy Page. She thrives on being the bridge between the artists and the audience, and bringing Canadians stories of people who live to create and challenge. Deana holds a degree in Comparative Literature and History from McMaster University, and a graduate degree in Journalism from Ryerson University.

Ted Grant

Ted Grant

Ted Grant is a photojournalist, author and international Lecturer. Regarded as Canada’s premier living photographer, Ted Grant’s career covers 60 years as a photojournalist. He’s captured news, sporting events and important people throughout the world for Canada’s newspapers and magazines. He is the award-winning photographer behind the images of Pierre Trudeau sliding down the banister, and Ben Johnson Becoming the fastest man on earth. Ted Grant is also known in the trade as the “father of Canadian photojournalism.” In 1999 Ted Grant and Yousuf Karsh were both presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communication. In 2008, Ted Grant was honoured by the University of Victoria with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree. Ted Grant is the only photographer to hold both Gold and Silver medals presented by the National Film Board of Canada for Photographic excellence. The National Archives of Canada have a dedicated “Ted Grant Photo Collection”within its National Photographic collection. This work includes assignments covered during the past 60 years. Over 280,000 images are organized illustrating this photographer’s unique understanding and vision of Canada’s history. This impressive collection is enhanced by 100,000 additional images in the National Gallery of Canada. The total collection by a single photographer is the largest in Canadian history.

Vanessa Fleet

Vanessa Fleet

Vanessa Fleet is a curator and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar in Art History and Visual Culture at York University (Toronto). She studies the relationship between photographs and cultural institutions. She has worked with collections and organized exhibitions at the Archive of Modern Conflict (Toronto), the Art Gallery of Ontario, the University of Toronto Art Centre, and the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles). She lectures at York University and the University of Toronto.

Vanessa will discuss the work of Hannah Maynard (1834-1918), a woman photographer active in Victoria, British Columbia, as an entry point into a broader consideration of identity, indigenous representation and early visual conceptions of nationhood. Exploring the tensions between Maynard’s personal and complex photomontages and her commercially-motivated depictions of indigenous subjects, we situate the transportable and shifting ‘realities’ in her photographs within colonial imaginings of the self, the other, and the world.


Sonya Jones, Associate Curator/Curator of the Thomas Bouckley Collection, has been at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery since 2008. Prior to the RMG, Jones worked for a private art dealer in Toronto, the Canadian Heritage Information Network, and Carleton University Art Gallery. She completed an Honours BA at Carleton University, and a post-graduate certificate in Museum Management and Curatorship at Fleming College. She has curated 30 exhibitions featuring the Thomas Bouckley Collection, including From the Ground Up: Aviation History of Oshawa, Under the Big Top, and Mindful Manipulation. She has also curated 6 contemporary art exhibitions, including Revealing Spaces: Kate Wilhelm, Shaun Downey and Andrea Carvalho, Viewfinders: Lesa Moriarity, Mike Berube, and Christine Lucy Latimer and the traveling exhibition The lingering: Toni Hamel. Jones is a member of the Durham Region Archives Group, the Oshawa Historical Society, and was the secretary of the Oshawa WWI Commemorative Project Committee.