SPAO hires new director, revamps web site, launches donation fund

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Now approaching a decade of education and achievement, the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO) took three important steps in recent weeks: the hiring of Tony Martins as Director of Development; the launch of a dynamic new web site ( and establishment of a charitable donation fund through the Community Foundation of Ottawa (CFO).
Martins joined SPAO as Director of Development in August of 2013 after a long and varied association with the school as a project collaborator, board member, and instructor in the part-time studies stream. In addition to teaching and administrative duties, Martins now oversees SPAO's marketing, recruitment, and development initiatives.
“Tony brings solid industry experience and a diverse skill set,” said SPAO co-founder and Creative Director Michael Tardioli. “His respected presence in the local arts scene and his talents with marketing and events are a great fit for SPAO right now. He’s also an inspiring teacher of artistry and creativity,” Tardioli added.
As founder, editor, and creative director of Guerilla magazine since 2004, Martins has worked closely with some of the region’s most talented photographers, illustrators, and graphic artists. Martins earned multiple industry awards as a marketing creative both as a freelancer and while working with Ottawa's McMillan agency. He holds a master’s degree in language and professional writing from the University of Waterloo.
Completion and launch of SPAO’s revamped web site was one of new director's first tasks. The site ( is a flexible and dynamic platform for showcasing the school’s unique approach to photographic arts education.
“As we grow, we need a web presence that can accommodate the variety and volume of content that the school produces on a weekly basis,” said Martins. “I’m routinely amazed at all that happens here and the new site—along with our social media presence—gives us a great forum for sharing as much as possible.”
SPAO establishes donation fund with the Community Foundation of Ottawa
Since opening in 2005, SPAO has operated almost exclusively through tuition revenues alone. As a key step toward building new funding streams, the school has partnered with Community Foundation of Ottawa (CFO) to establish a charitable fund on SPAO’s behalf. The fund allows CFO to issue tax receipts for charitable donations made to SPAO while the school’s application for charitable status remains pending.
“We are thrilled to have collaborated with such a respected partner in CFO and look forward to building our charitable donations initiatives with CFO guidance,” said SPAO Director of Development Tony Martins.
CFO is a public, non-profit organization created by and for the people of Ottawa. Since 1987, it has helped generous citizens to enhance the quality of life in their community and to achieve their own charitable objectives through permanent, well-managed endowments.
Donation cheques to SPAO should be made out to “School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa Fund” and sent to the Community Foundation of Ottawa, 301-75 Albert Street, West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5E7.
Donors can also give online by visiting the CFO website, clicking on the red “donate” button at the top right of every page, and searching for “School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa Fund.”
About SPAO
SPAO is an independent, not-for-profit photographic visual arts school. Our mandate is to provide an intensive and collaborative learning experience and to enrich the photographic and visual arts culture of Ottawa and beyond. SPAO’s activities include community collaborations, classes and workshops, exhibitions and outreach. We aim to offer our students the knowledge, resources, and environment necessary for the advancement of their photographic artistry, visual literacy, and personal vision.
SPAO draws on traditional and contemporary photographic technologies and ideas. Educational opportunities are available to novice and advanced students alike. We place special emphasis on advancing individual style, on conceptual development, and on the acquisition of knowledge about photographic theory and history.
SPAO's overarching objective is to advance the school’s motto: Vision, Content, Craft.