Application for July 2021 are now closed.
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Who can Apply
We welcome individual visual artists and makers working in array of mediums, at any stage of their careers with formal or informal training, to apply for a chance to be part of Toronto Outdoor Art Fair. We offer highly discounted spaces to student artists who are currently enrolled full-time at recognized post-secondary institutions.
Can collaborative practices, artist collectives and galleries apply?
If you have a collaborative practice, you must apply separately under your own name. Only individual artists are eligible for our awards program. We also showcase artist collectives, nonprofit galleries or artist-run centres under our Community Booth program. Please see our Call for Community Booths.
Applying from Outside of Canada
We welcome artists from all over the world. If you are applying from outside of Canada, it is your responsibility to get the appropriate paperwork to enter Canada to sell your works. We do not provide invitations to artists for visa applications. All travel, accommodations, shipping and customs expenses are your responsibility. We recommend working with a licensed customs broker to import your works into Canada.
What to Submit
We accept only original works of fine art and craft. Please read our Reproduction Policy carefully before submitting an application.
1. Non-refundable application fee
Early bird $50 & $30 for students.
Late fee of $50 applies after March 11th.
Please see our Fees and Deadlines page for detailed cost breakdown.
2. 7 digital images of your work
Your images must reflect a cohesive body of work and be relevant to the Fair Category you have selected. They should resemble (in terms of medium and style) the artworks you intend to showcase at the Fair.
HOW TO FORMAT YOUR IMAGES:
- Valid files types: .jpeg or .png.
- Maximum size: images should be no larger than 1024 x 1024 pixels and 4mb (max) in size. Images that exceed this size will be automatically resized to fit and may be distorted.
- Minimum size: no less than 500 x 500 pixels (height & width)
- File Names: should be named as follows: YOUR NAME_IMAGE NUMBER OR TITLE_YEAR
3. One (1) booth set-up, or grouping image of your body of work
Submit an image of a previous booth or your work installed on a plain white wall. We don’t accept digitally rendered set-ups. This image provides the curators with context, scale and curation style of your body of work. See successful examples of Booth and installation images.
4. A 500-character artist statement
5. A 200-character description of your works
Here are some tips to help you submit a successful application.
How to Submit
(the process is the same for online-only)
1. Create an online artist profile or log in to your existing one if you have applied before. You can skip the banner image, profile photo, and social media accounts for now, those are not available to the jury and only become publicly visible during the Fair if your application is successful.
2. On the right side of your Artist Dashboard, you will find the 'Start an Application' button. Prepare and upload your images, artist statement and description of artworks (see Application Tips).
3. Complete the online application and submit payment by 11:59 PM deadline (EST) on the deadline date.
We only accept complete applications once payment is fulfilled. We don’t forward applications with missing information to our curators. Submissions that include machine-made or mass-produced works are automatically disqualified and are not presented to the curators.
Can I apply to be a part of the Online Fair only?
Yes. You can choose to join us for the online Fair only from anywhere in Canada and beyond. Sell artworks and tap into the Toronto art market safely from the comfort of your own home. Artists who participate online are also eligible to win $40,000 cash and in-kind awards and be a part of the long legacy of TOAF. Read more about the Online Fair.
How to Apply for Online Only:
The application process is the same, just opt-out of the ‘On-Site (Nathan Phillips Square)’ portion under Artist Information.
How is Your Application Selected?
Artistic excellence, originality, quality of support materials and consistency of ideas and design, are qualities our curators apply to evaluate your application. We carefully put together an inclusive, external and multidisciplinary panel of curators, made up of professional artists, gallerists, art educators, curators and other respected members of the visual arts community to review all submissions in every category. Our panel rotates every year to keep the roster of our artists diverse, fresh and exciting. Our team and board members do not participate in the selection process. Read TOAF's Equity and Non-Discrimination Policy.
Our curators score submissions out of 30 points, according to the above selection criteria. They select the best artists with the highest scores (above 23 points). We maintain a waitlist of artists with a score of 22 points. Waitlisted artists are accepted once space becomes available with priority given to applications submitted earlier.
All decisions are final. Our team does not appeal decisions.
What Category Should You Apply In?
You must select a category from the list below when submitting your application. These categories will be used in the printed Fair program, our online artist directory, and for our awards.
You can submit up to 3 applications in different Fair categories. For example, if you create works in ceramics as well as painting and you would like to showcase both in your booth, you need to submit two separate, cohesive applications for each body of work. If both applications are accepted, then you are allowed to showcase works in those categories.
3D Works - original works that are three-dimensional, using additive or reductive techniques, including freestanding sculptures, reliefs, assemblages etc. created using either traditional or experimental materials.
2D Works – original works that are two-dimensional, created using one or more physical material, including Drawing, Printmaking, Illustration, Collage, and Mixed Media works, etc.
Craft & Design - hand crafted objects (functional or decorative) created using fine craft and/or industrial design practices including, Ceramics, Glass, Jewellery, Textile, Wood/Furniture, etc. Multi-disciplinary and/or hybrid practices welcomed. Exclude machine-screen patterns or other forms of mass production, and factory produced wearable items regardless of additional modification.
Painting - works created using oil, acrylic, encaustic, watercolour, inks, etc.
Photography & Digital Media - Photographic prints made from the artist's original image, and/or digitally manipulated images created from original artist images, and/or other sourced material.
When Are Results Announced?
You will receive your results via email in April 2021 and can begin paying booth/participation fees at that time.
Application Information Session - February 16th.
Join us for a professional development opportunity on February 16th for visual artists of all disciplines looking to apply to art fairs including TOAF. For more information follow us on social media, or sign up for our newsletter.
Every Friday throughout the Call for Artists, you can schedule a phone appointment to receive feedback on your most recent unsuccessful application. Or, you can upload your application draft into our system, but do not submit payment yet - email us to book a phone appointment for some feedback before submitting payment.
The TOAF team cares about the health and safety of our artists and the public we serve. We are hopeful to return to a smaller in-person, physically-distanced event by July 2021, following the safety guidelines provided by Toronto Public Health.
In the event that the in-person event is cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Online Fair will continue regardless. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our dedicated community of patrons, community partners, and art lovers came together in 2020 to support the pilot Online Fair, creating a viable platform that we plan to build upon for 2021 and aid in artists’ financial recovery.