The Ali Mustafa Memorial Award for People’s Journalism

Application deadline: December 15, 2017


Award Details

The Ali Mustafa Memorial Award assists a freelance journalist in carrying out a photojournalism project. It is distributed once a year.

The award is valued at a maximum of $3,000 (CAD) and may be used to cover the following costs: travel expenses, equipment, training, visa, insurance, and living expenses (if traveling abroad).

The successful candidate will also receive a one-year Freelance Membership in the Canadian Media Guild (valued at $150) and a one-year Professional Membership in the News Photographers Association of Canada (valued at $75).


Eligibility Criteria

All eligible candidates must:

  • Be based in Canada (Canadian citizenship or legal status is not required)
  • Be under the age of 35
  • Propose a photojournalism project
  • Not be employed on a full-time, permanent, or salaried basis by any media organization (*Applicants who are affiliated with a media organization on a part time, contractual or temporary basis remain eligible*)

The proposed photojournalism project must:

  • Help expand public understanding of a contemporary social or political issue or grassroots social movements
  • Be carried out within 12 months after the announcement of award results

Please note:

  • Applicants from underprivileged and under-represented communities are particularly encouraged to apply


Application Process

All applications should include the following:

  • Application form, including project description, tentative schedule and personal statement – download .docx or .pdf
  • Proposed budget – download .docx or .pdf
  • Resume – max 3 pages (Please note that extensive past experience is not required)
  • Five (5) samples of photography work
    • Must be in JPEG format and no more than 8MB per photo
    • Please send all samples in your submission email either as individual attachments or compressed as a ZIP file

Only one submission per applicant is allowed. If you submit multiple applications, only the first will be considered.
Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

Please send all components of the application in one email to:


Application timeline

September 15, 2017 – Applications open
December 15, 2017 – Application deadline
February 5, 2018 – Notification of results


Recipient Responsibilities

The successful candidate will:

  • Complete proposed project within 12 months following the announcement of award results
  • Communicate any changes to the proposed project to the Collective
  • Provide a complete financial report of expenses within 30 days after the completion of the project, using a form provided by the Collective (All original receipts of expenses paid with the award must be kept for submission upon request)
  • Showcase and/or give a talk about completed project at an event organized in Toronto by the Collective in March of the following year
  • Allow, upon their consent, use of name/pseudonym and photo(s) in our media communications, events, and website


About the Award

As a young and emerging journalist, Ali had no institutional support and his only income came from the photographs he was able to sell to news agencies. Yet, he remained deeply committed to using his camera as a tool for documenting people’s struggles for justice and to report, as he put it, ‘what must be told, what will not be forgotten.’

To honour Ali’s life and work, our collective has launched an annual award to support other freelancers documenting grassroots social struggles. The Ali Mustafa Memorial Award for People’s Journalism pays tribute to Ali’s craft. And it honours his unwavering belief in a journalism that both popularizes and contributes to struggles around the world.

Associated Media and Community Partners:
Canadian Media Guild, News Photographers Association of Canada, Canadian Journalists For Free Expression, Mayworks Festival of Working People and The Arts