World Press Photo Exhibition 2019 brings the world’s best visual storytelling to the Canadian War Museum

July 18, 2019


Ottawa, Ontario, July 18, 2019 — The Canadian War Museum is proud to celebrate visual journalism by presenting the winners of the prestigious World Press Photo Contest. The World Press Photo – Exhibition 2019 features 157 outstanding large-format photographs reflecting current events, social issues, and natural phenomena of global importance.

“We are honoured to present the World Press Photo – Exhibition 2019, which captures the world in which we live, as seen through the eyes of the world’s best photojournalists,” said James Whitham, Acting Director General of the Canadian War Museum. “Whether disturbing, compelling, tragic or captivating, the winning images bring to life collective and personal experiences that matter to humanity, and to the planet.”

The World Press Photo Contest is the leading international competition for professional press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers. This year’s competition drew 78,801 photographs by 4,738 photographers from 129 countries. An independent jury selected works by 43 photographers from 25 countries, with awards in eight categories: Contemporary Issues, General News, the Environment, Nature, Long-Term Projects, Portraits, Spot News, and Sport. Fourteen of them, or 32 percent, are women — a significant increase from the 2018 Photo Contest, when women represented just 12 percent of the shortlisted photographers.

The winner of World Press Photo of the Year is Crying Girl on the Border by American photographer John Moore. This image shows Honduran toddler Yanela Sanchez crying as she and her mother, Sandra Sanchez, were taken into custody at the border in McAllen, Texas, in June 2018. After this picture was published worldwide, U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that Yanela and her mother were not among the families who had been separated by officials.

The World Press Photo Story of the Year award, which honours visual creativity in capturing an event or issue of great journalistic importance, is The Migrant Caravan, a series of images by Dutch-Swedish photographer Pieter Ten Hoopen. He documented the journey of 7,000 travellers on their long journey north towards the United States from Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.

The World Press Photo Foundation, which organizes the annual competition, is a non-profit organization committed to supporting and advancing high standards in photojournalism and documentary storytelling worldwide. Its aim is to connect the world to the stories that matter by generating wide public interest in, and appreciation of, the work of photographers and other visual journalists, while also promoting the free exchange of information.

Over the course of the year, the prize-winning images will be seen by an estimated 4 million people in 100 cities in 45 countries. The World Press Photo Exhibition 2019 is developed and circulated by World Press Photo, and is presented at the Canadian War Museum in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The World Press Photo Foundation is supported by its global partner, the Dutch Postcode Lottery.

The winning photographs will be on display in the War Museum’s Barney Danson Theatre from July 19 to August 11, 2019. Admission is free. Following its presentation in Ottawa, the exhibition will travel to Montréal, Toronto and Chicoutimi.


This presentation contains subject matter that some visitors may find disturbing.

The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada’s military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions. Work of the Canadian War Museum is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.


A selection of the winning images is available online on the World Press Photo press download area ( Registration is required.

Media contacts:

Avra Gibbs Lamey
Senior Communications and Media Relations Officer
Canadian War Museum
Telephone: 819-776-8607

Patricia Lynch
Acting Director, Corporate Affairs
Canadian War Museum
Telephone: 819-776-8666