To All Awards

If this is your first time entering this year, please review all sections below. Some rules have changed.


The deadline for Photography is January 20, 2017.

We do grant short extensions, but we cannot guarantee one. You should therefore attempt to have your entry finalized by the deadline date.


The contest is international and open to all forms of commissioned, published, unpublished and personal work from professionals and enthusiasts created between January 2016 and January 2017 (but not entries that have been submitted into last year's competition).

Eligibility FAQ

Can students enter? No. Students may enter the Student competition, which contains a number of photography categories.

Do I need to get the rights of the subjects in my photos? Although you do not need to send us a copy of release forms, we do suggest that you get them. If your work is chosen you will need to grant us the rights to reproduce the image or images for both our online and print publications, so you would most likely need to have these rights in place to protect yourself. Entrants that come back to us requesting we don't run their winning work because they don't have the rights will not be refunded for their entry.

Entry Fees

Photography & Motion
Single: $50
Series (up to 5 images): $75

Young Blood
Single: $40
Series (up to 5 images): $65


For the full list of Photography categories, download our Photography Category PDF,or for all Applied Arts Awards categories, download our Comprehensive Category PDF.

Categories FAQ

Can I enter a piece in multiple categories? Yes. In your account on the My Entries page, click “Submit in another category” on any entry you have created. A duplicate entry will be created with all the same information. Just be sure to change the discipline and entry category to the new one you want to apply to.
Which category does my entry belong in? Often the best way to understand a category is to see previous work that won in that category. Check our Winners Gallery for examples. If you still have questions regarding our categories or require assistance in selecting the appropriate category, please contact our awards coordinator at 416-510-0909 x27 or
Is my entry a single or a series? A single means one piece, and series means you are submitting more than one piece of the same project to a maximum of five. If an entry contains more than five images, the five that are to be judged must be identified.

Where are the complete categories you used to have? In most cases, we have combined Series and Complete into one category. Now a series may have up to 5 images unless noted otherwise.

What is the Young Blood category? Young Blood is a series of categories open only to entrants who have been out of school for 3 years or less. As with all categories, they are judged on creative excellence, technical merit and suitability for end use, but the jury takes into account the level of professional experience.


Once you pay for your entries, credits are FINAL. You have the opportunity to work on your entries, save and log out if you are still collecting credit information. Only proceed with payment once your credits and descriptions are complete.

We will reproduce these credits in the magazine and in our online winners gallery alongside your winning image(s). Credits will be reproduced in the order that you specify. Review your credits and their sort order carefully! Only the first 6 credits will appear in print, whereas all of your credits will appear online.

After the time of payment, credits will not be changed so please carefully review titles, spellings and contact information.

Judges & Scoring

Applied Arts contests are judged by panels of highly regarded industry professionals and experts, in a rigorous process. Every entry is scored independently, based on creative merit, technical excellence and suitability for end use. Discussion is not permitted and judges must abstain from voting for their own work. Judging for Photography takes place in February and is entirely online. Entries that meet our pre-determined cut-off score are published. Check back soon for our list of confirmed judges.

Judges & Scoring FAQ

Sarah Grundy
VP Creative
Fish Out of Water Design
Toronto, ON

Sarah is passionate about connecting brands and consumers. She believes that clearly and consistently articulating a brand's evolving voice, strategically within a customer's journey is elemental in long term loyalty. For 20 years she has successfully led teams that create and support brands that deliver on that mission. That expertise has become multi-disciplined in the areas of brand strategy, graphic design, retail advertising, video, production, store environments, and shopper marketing.

Her client roster includes Burnbrae Farms, Canadian Film Centre, CocaCola, Fujifilm, Great Wolf Lodge, GO Transit, GM Canada, Kraft, MasterCard, McCain, OLG, McKesson, RBC, Rogers, Sobeys Inc, and Toronto Blue Jays.

Edmund Lam
Creative Director
Frank + Oak
Montreal, QC

Edmund has been working in marketing and communications for over a decade. Prior to joining as Creative Director at Frank + Oak, he spent time at creative agencies Sid Lee, bleublancrouge and CloudRaker crafting brand experiences for Samsung, Cirque du Soleil, Stella Artois, Natrel, Neutrogena, the Toronto International Film Festival and Kijiji. He cares most about making useful things that people actually want to see/watch/read/do/experience. His work has been recognized by the One Show, Tomorrow Awards, Marketing Awards, FWA, Awwwards, Webbys, Créa and Boomerangs.

Sam Archibald
Art Director
Bedford, NS

As a child, Sam dreamed of becoming a film director but believed his three-letter name would hold him back. Rather than legally changing it to Steven, he became an art director. At Revolve, Sam has helped build brands like Atlantic Lottery, the NSLC, Eastlink, Polaris, and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Brigitte Boudrias
Art Director
Agence Code
Montreal, QC

Brigitte is an art director at Agence Code in Montreal. Driven by the love of design, she is always looking for the best way to communicate an idea with clarity and wit. Her work has been rewarded and published in Canada and the United States.

Cam Andrews
Partner, Creative Director
Bomber Brewing Company
Vancouver, BC

Cam Andrews is partner and creative director of Bomber Brewing Company, Vancouver, British Columbia. Founded from a beer league hockey team, the Brewery has brought together Cam's passions for ice hockey, beer and art. Since 1999 Cam Andrews has been a partner with CaJe Creative Group, a branding, photography and archives company. An active member of the arts community, Cam has exhibited his seriographs with several galleries in Vancouver, including an upcoming exhibit in Summer 2017 with Back Gallery Project.

Jessica Sullivan
Creative Director
Figure 1 Publishing
Vancouver, BC

Jessica designs books. She is the creative director at Figure 1 Publishing where, with her fifteen years of experience in publishing, she both directs and designs complex, visually driven books. She has won numerous awards for her book design, including Applied Arts and Alcuin Society Awards. She resides in Vancouver where she lives and works with her husband, 2 little people, and their small reindeer Olive.

Jean-Luc Dion
Senior Art Director
Union Montreal
Montreal, QC

Senior Art Director with an impressive track record, Jean-Luc Dion excels in all facets of his craft. Through graphic design, broadcast advertising, promotional formats or digital channels, his long experience has been punctuated by recognitions and memorable campaigns, for Montreal agencies such as Publicis, Taxi, Alfred, and since 2015, Union.

Mandy Milks
Senior Art Director
Today's Parent
Toronto, ON

Mandy works closely with editorial teams and photographers to produce smart and engaging content for both print and digital platforms. She is formerly the Design Director for House & Home Media, and was recently Deputy Art Director for Today's Parent. Along the way, the line between art and edit became blurry and she is now the Craft + DIY editor at Today's Parent. Still focusing on art and design but with a glue gun in her hand instead of a mouse. Mandy lives with her husband and two wonderful daughters in a century-old Toronto row house, which she is perpetually renovating.

Will my piece be evaluated on anything other than photography? In this competition, the jury is only judging the images, not the design or art direction (entrants who want those areas looked at should enter them into the Design and Advertising disciplines of the Applied Arts Awards).

Preparing & Submitting Entry Material

Entering is easy with the following five steps.

Step 1: Create an Account

When you click Enter Now at the top of this page, you’ll be asked to Create an Account with an email and password. This account will be used to manage all of your entries. Once you’ve created that account, you can create, edit and pay for entries on the My Entries page.

Step 2: The Entry Form

ALL entrants must complete an online entry form, regardless of payment or material submission method, to be eligible for entry.

On the main My Entries page, click on “Submit a new entry in one of the awards.” You can then select which award program you’ll be entering, and have the chance to review this FAQ information. When you’re ready, click the Enter Now button below or at the top of the page.

For series entries, only ONE form needs to be submitted per series. Please put all the titles in the “Title” field, separated by a slash between each. If you are entering an image as both a Single and as part of a Series, a new entry must be created with only the image you want judged.

Step 3: Review Your Credits and Entries

Review your credits before making final payment, to be sure all information is accurate, or save and come back at a later date to add more entries.

NOTE: We now require complete credits at the entry stage. This information will be used in both the magazine and in our Winners’ Gallery online if your entry is chosen as a winner. Credits will be reproduced in the order that you specify, so please be sure to review this information carefully. Only the first 6 credits will appear in print, with all credits appearing online, so the order matters. See the “Credits” section above for more information.

Step 4: Acceptable Formats & File Submission

Digital images – Entries can be submitted online in JPEG format, at 72 dpi resolution, with a maximum width of 1,024 pixels and height of 768 pixels, as RGB (not CMYK).
Files should not exceed 2MB. GIF files can be no larger than 955 pixels wide by 675 pixels high, and cannot exceed 4 MB.

Motion – Entries must be submitted in QuickTime (.MOV) or MP4 format and should not exceed 25 MB. Compress using H.264 codec to 640x480 or 640x360. Cinemagraphs must be submitted as .gif. GIF files can be no larger than 955 pixels wide by 675 pixels high, and cannot exceed 4 MB.

NOTE: If you are selected as a winner, you will be notified by e-mail and asked to send us high-resolution files.

Step 5: Upload your File

Once you have completed the entry form, you will be asked to upload the entry digitally. Follow the instructions on how to do this. Hard-copy entries are not accepted for this competition.

Single Entry – One image or video file
Series entry – Up to five images or videos

Once you have uploaded your files you have the choice of submitting another entry or proceeding to the payment stage. You may either submit a new entry or submit your previous entry into an additional category. This option will retain the information that you submitted for your previous entry, including credits and a description. You will be required to change or fill in the Entry Category. You will also be required to re-upload your images.

Entry Material FAQ

Can I submit a hard copy or disk? No. We accept digital entries only for this competition. Entering is quick and easy, with entry, file upload and payment completed in a few simple steps.

The program crashed. Did I lose everything? Logging into My Entries page, you will have the opportunity to submit additional entries. This will simply generate a new confirmation email when you complete your entries with payment.

The file I uploaded won’t show me a preview. You may not see the image preview if you haven't followed the specs outlined in the Preparing Entry Material section above. Please check your file and re-upload. If you continue to experience difficulties, please contact our awards coordinator at 416-510-0909 x 27 or

I uploaded the wrong file. You can resubmit images at any time. Simply click REMOVE beside the appropriate file and re-upload your image.

Payment & Refunds

Payments can be made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express (we are accepting Amex on Canadian payments only at this time). For U.S. and foreign entries, submit fees in US funds.

If you require an alternate payment method, we can only accept cheque or money order in special circumstances. These cases must be pre-approved by Applied Arts. Contact Vicki at with your request.

If you are entering a piece as both a Single and as part of a Series, ensure there are two entries on the My Entries page — one for the Series and one for the Single. Please keep a record of your submissions.

Payment FAQ

Can I submit more entries after paying? Logging into My Entries page, you will have the opportunity to submit additional entries. This will simply generate a new confirmation email when you complete your entries with payment.

Can I get a refund? Entries are non-refundable; costs cover administration, processing and the judging of the entry. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules.

My client has revoked the right for me to enter work I’ve already paid for. We do not issue refunds, but please contact the awards coordinator if you need the entry removed from the judging or winners’ pool.

I’m getting error messages when I try to pay. If you entered your payment information incorrectly on your first attempt, any subsequent attempts will be declined, even if you change your payment type. Please close your browser and log back in to My Entries using the e-mail address that appears on your entry form. You should now be able to proceed with payment. If you continue to experience difficulties, please contact our customer service at 416-510-0909 x 21.

I want to change something after I’ve paid. Once an entry is paid, you cannot change the category, entry format or credits. A paid entry is final, so make sure you submit your entry and come back to it if it’s not final before proceeding to the payment fields.


All entrants will be notified in February 2017 via email. At that time, those selected as winning entrants will be required to submit high-res digital files for reproduction in the Photography & Illustration annual. Winners' certificates will be mailed separately, after the Photography & Illustration annual is published.

Winners FAQ

What do winners receive?

If I win, what image will you use for reproduction? When you are notified that you are a winner, full details will be provided on how to submit images for reproduction.

What rights do I retain if my work is chosen? You retain all rights of your images. If selected, you will need to grant us the rights to reproduce the image or images for both our online and print publications.

My client has revoked the right for me to enter work I’ve won for. We do not issue refunds in these cases, but please contact the awards coordinator if you need the entry removed from the winners’ pool.


Questions? If you’ve checked all of the above sections and cannot find the answer to your question, or if you are having difficulty entering, contact our awards coordinator at, or 416-510-0909, ext. 27 (outside Toronto: 1-800-646-0347).


Applied Arts is not responsible for damage or loss of any entry. Applied Arts cannot return entries. Applied Arts cannot guarantee the acceptance of entries received after the deadline. Applied Arts reserves the right to publish or exhibit entries in print or electronic formats, for use in the magazine or related promotions. Applied Arts assumes all entries are original and the property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein. Entries are non-refundable; costs cover administration, processing and the judging of the entry. Applied Arts requires entrants to provide full and final credits at the point of entry. A submission of entry acknowledges acceptance of these rules. All descriptions and credits are subject to be edited for length, clarity and grammar in accordance with the Applied Arts editorial style guide.