About the Jury
For the first time ever, MYTORONTO has curated an online jury using a secure voting system created specifically for the program. The jury, consisting of photographers, entertainers and social service professionals from across the world, donated their time and artistic eye to vote on each photo submitted to round 1 of the MYTORONTO photography contest. Each round will bring a new set of jury members, and we thank the first round judges for their time and expertise! Learn more about them below:
Mark Aston is the Executive Director of Covenant House Toronto. He assumed the position in July 2019. Prior to joining Covenant House, Mark worked at Fred Victor, where he transformed the agency into a leader among those addressing homelessness and poverty in Toronto. He has extensive experience in public policy development, system change initiatives, board and sector leadership, revenue development and volunteerism. He founded and leads the Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness, an organization focused on ending chronic homelessness in Toronto. Dedicated to taking action against poverty and homelessness, Mark now brings his passion and specialized knowledge to Canada’s largest agency serving youth who are homeless, trafficked or at risk.
RJ "City" Skinner
RJ "City" Skinner, an actor, writer, comedian and wrestler, but he prefers “shirtless raconteur.” RJ has been seen on CBC, BBC, Nickelodeon and makes coffee in his underwear Sunday mornings on YouTube. [In his own words], He will judge harshly.
Suzanne Stein is a social documentary/street photographer currently in New York City. Stein thinks of herself as a social realist and feels driven to present life as she sees it unfolding. Suzanne has photographed in Los Angeles extensively, with a special interest in the people who live on Skid Row, where she has been forever changed by her interactions and shared moments with them. Stein feels strongly about social justice issues and is highly motivated to present visual narratives that highlight these complexities as they appear in our day-to-day lives.
Dahae Song is a South Korean Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist. A self-declared visual philosopher, Song uses various mediums to push and pull time. To paint the way a tree grows, Song externalizes the internal and materializes the immaterial to mediate and bring together disparate realms. Song’s art objects are the artefacts from a place nonexistent, the documentation of a world unseen, serving as an impetus to look inwards and to contemplate this very moment that is forever fleeting us.
Our final MYTORONTO Jury Member is also the founder of the MYLONDON project, Paul Ryan. Paul is a journalist who co-founded Cafe Art (UK) Community Interest Company with Michael Wong in 2012. Since 2012 ,it has raised money for artists and art groups for people affected by homelessness. The annual MYLONDON calendar is the main fundraiser each year, starting with a camera distribution at St Paul's Cathedral in July with The Royal Photographic Society. The contest results in an exhibition and calendar, and sold in markets, giving work experience to the participants. Paul's passion for MYLONDON has inspired several cities to take on the project and develop it for communities around the world, from Toronto to New Orleans, Sao Paulo to Sydney, Australia, and many more.