The highlight of the conference will be the presentation by Stephen Bulger. He is a photographic art dealer, curator and appraiser. The Stephen Bulger Gallery has played a leading role in cultivating Toronto’s now flourishing photo scene by hosting more than 150 exhibits, representing over 50 Canadian and international photographers. He has built an inventory of approximately 50,000 prints and negatives that includes the work of Vivian Maier, the prolific street photographer who became famous after her death in 2009.
Stephen Bulger Gallery opened on March 23, 1995 and is Canada’s go-to destination for photographs. Hosting approximately 10 exhibitions per year, the gallery also participates in International art fairs, maintains an inventory of some 20,000 photographs, and is the representative for many leading photographers and important estates.
Stephen Bulger’s first involvement with photography came as a childhood hobby. Eventually studying to become a practicing photographer at Ryerson University, he began curating exhibitions and was the founding director (from 1990 – 1993) of the Ryerson Gallery at 80 Spadina, Toronto; serving on the exhibition committee and managing over thirty exhibitions. While working as a Class Assistant and Technician at OCAD University (then the Ontario College of Art, or OCA), he worked on the plan for opening his own gallery.
Since 1995, Stephen Bulger has curated over 200 solo and group exhibitions of contemporary and historical photographs and published catalogues and books. His gallery has placed individual photographs, as well as collections with important individual and institutional collections on all continents. He has lectured extensively about photographers and on collecting photography, served on many juries and has participated in numerous photography festivals. He is the instigator and co-founder of CONTACT, Toronto’s photography festival (and the world’s largest such event), which celebrated its twentieth annual event in May 2016.