Online Fair - Why apply to the online Fair?
Booths & Tents
During the In-Person Fair
Rules & Regulations
COVID-19 Safety Measures
How do I apply?
Applications must be submitted online through our website. If you have applied before, login to get started. If you have not applied before, you will need to create an account here. Please check spam and junk folders if you have not received an email confirmation. Keep your login information safe, you’ll need it later to check your results on your Artist Dashboard and pay for your booth if accepted.
Help! I forgot my password.
If you forgot your password, you can reset it via the login page, using the 'RESET PASSWORD' button. Use the email associated with your account, and a temporary password will be emailed to you. Check your spam/junk mail folders. Once you log in, you can change your password to something more memorable and secure under 'Your Profile'.
When is the application deadline?
Deadline: March 18, 2021 at 11:59 PM
Apply by March 11 at 11:59 PM and save $50 on your application fee
Why Apply Early?
- Save on your application: If you apply by March 11, 11:59 PM 9an additional $50 late fee will apply after this date until the final deadline.
- First dibs on booth location: Booth locations are designated first-come, first-serve based on the time your application was submitted. If your application is successful, you will be able to choose your top 3 preferred 'zones' on the Fair map during Booth Payments in May 2021.
- First dibs on social media spotlights: Early applicants will get first dibs on social media spotlight packages for the online Fair.
Can I submit an application with another Artist?
The Fair is for individual artists, or artist-run centres/collectives only. Artists with a collaborative practice must apply separately under their own names. Though we respect and appreciate collaborative artistic practices, we are committed to the support of individual artists as part of our mandate. This ensures artists' eligibility for our awards program (we only write cheques for individual artists not collabs or collectives) and fairness to other artists with individual practices paying for booth fees from a single income. We do not allow studio names since we emphasize artists as entrepreneurs and wish that they be face to face with the public with complete transparency. There is a separate application process for artist-run galleries and collectives, click here to find out more.
How many applications can I submit?
You can submit a maximum of three applications with separate bodies of work (fees apply). You can only submit one application per Fair category (2D Works, 3D Works, Painting, Craft & Design, Photography & Digital Media). We strongly recommend that you tailor each application to the Fair category that you are submitting under. The same panel of jurors review all of the applications, regardless of category.
What is a booth/installation image?
This image is an important look at the work in context for the jury, it gives them a better idea on how they would experience the work in person. They want to see a curated selection of your best works, and ideally the booth/installation image would include some of the pieces presented in your portfolio. You do not have to include all 7 artworks. Booth images can either be of one of your previous tent or art show set ups OR it can be a mock installation. If you do not have a booth image you can install your pieces in your studio or home in a ‘mock set-up’, as you would display them at the Fair (you do not need a tent for the photo), nor do you need to show all 3 walls. Please take a look at our Application Tips page for examples and advice. MISSING BOOTH IMAGES WILL RESULT IN POINTS DEDUCTED.
Why won't my images upload?
Check to make sure your images are saved in the correct format and that they are not too small or too big. Be sure you have filled in the title, size and medium of each piece. You can check this by clicking on each thumbnail of your uploaded images to make the text boxes show. If you do not have a title/size etc. put 'N/A' for not applicable. Do not forget to upload your booth/installation image.
Image Formatting Instructions:
- 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)
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 and understand the COVID restrictions to enter Canada to sell your works. The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair does 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. International artists are encouraged to apply to the online portion of the Fair.
Who sits on the panel?
All applications are reviewed by an external multidisciplinary panel of jurors made up of established artists, industry professionals and leaders in the visual arts community. The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair team does not sit on the selection panel. Each year we enlist a new panel in order to keep the Fair fresh and exciting. Jurors are announced in the spring after results are sent to artists. To find out more about last year’s curators click here.
How are the applications selected?
Jurors select the strongest work based on artistic excellence, originality, consistency of ideas and design. The curators base their decision solely on the material in your application, paying particular attention to the 7 images you submit.
If you are interested in learning more about our jury process, we recommend you join us at one of our Application Information Sessions (sign up for our newsletter for updates). We only accept original artworks. All works must be hand-made by the artist. Machine-made or mass-produced work are not permitted and will result in an automatic disqualification. Please see our Reproduction Policy for details.
How can I find out the results?
You will receive a notification of your application results via email in April, 2021. You can also see your results by logging into your Artist Dashboard on that date. No phone calls please – notifications will not be given over the phone. Please check your junk and spam email folders if you have not received your results.
All decisions are final. The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair will not appeal any decisions.
To make sure that your results letter does not accidentally end up in your spam folder, make sure that you add “[email protected]” to your address book as a safe sender.
How much does it cost to apply?
A complete cost breakdown can be found on our Fees and Deadlines page.
How do I pay my application fee?
We only accept payments through our application system online. Once you have uploaded your images and information, you will be directed to a secure payment portal. You will not be able to make changes to your application once payment is submitted. You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your payment, please check your spam and junk folders if you have not received it. There are no service charges or taxes on the application fee. TOAF does not accept cheque or cash payments for application or booth fees. All application fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
What if I don’t have a credit card?
You can use a prepaid credit card to pay your application fee (available at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart etc.) Please note that if accepted, your booth payment cannot be paid with cash or cheque, although prepaid cards are accepted. Our tent rental supplier Higgins Event Rentals only accepts credit cards.
Why do I have to pay an application fee?
Did you know that TOAF is a nonprofit and registered Canadian charity? Your application fee goes towards the processing and administration of your application, and artist support like application feedback and information sessions, as well as allowing TOAF to continue its work in the Canadian arts sector. It is because of the careful administrative work and time that TOAF and our staff and Jurors dedicate to the Call for Artists that our application fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
Why should I apply to be a part of the online Fair?
We have an e-commerce platform that’s tried, tested and trusted. Since our shift from outdoors at Nathan Phillips Square to online in 2020, we have come a long way in optimizing your art sales experience. You can use our platform as your main shop, or as a gallery to redirect to your website. It’s all up to you. Read about what the Online Fair can offer.
Do I need to submit a booth/installation photo if applying for the Online Fair only?
Yes. It is an important part of your application for the jurors to see the artwork in context. If you do not have a suitable booth photo, you can submit an installation image as an alternative. Please read our Application Tips page carefully, Tip #5 and #6 specifically will give you a better idea of why the installation image is important, what exactly we are looking for, and examples of photos artists have submitted in the past.
Does participating in the online Fair mean I need to have my own website or social media accounts?
No, you do not need to create your own website. Our platform is accessible for artists who don't have their own website or e-commerce, you can list your artworks for sale directly from your TOAF webpage. You can also link your social media accounts. We highly recommend promoting your participation in TOAF via your social media channels if you have them, but it is not a requirement to participate.
What if I already sell artwork via my own website or other sales platform?
If you have your own e-commerce you can simply link your listed artwork directly to your own website checkout links for each piece. If linking to an external website you must link directly to a product for sale for buyers to purchase, not just your website homepage or social media.
Does my work have to be for sale or can I show pieces that have already been sold for reference?
It is not mandatory to put your artwork for sale on the TOAF platform. You are welcome to show samples of works that have been sold as long as you mark them as ‘not for sale’ when uploading to prevent visitors from buying them. You will still be eligible to win awards and can instead use this as an opportunity to connect with collectors for commissions.
How many artworks can I put in my gallery for sale?
You can have only 10 artworks for sale at a time. If one is sold, it can be replaced with a new artwork. Only 10 artworks will be published for sale at one time.
Do you provide tents or display equipment?
No. You are responsible for renting our bringing your own displays, tables, chairs, etc. and renting a white 10’x10’ tent, For tent rentals, participating TOAF artists have preferred rates from Higgins Event Rentals to help keep the costs of participating affordable. Higgins Event Rentals only accept credit card payments.
Can I build my own booth?
No. Custom-built displays are not permitted on City Hall property as they are a liability issue. They will be removed from the site and no refund will be issued to you. The only exceptions are stand-alone jewellery display cases and sculptors, ceramicists and glass artists using plinth displays.
Can I bring my own weights?
Tents must be weighted down using compliant 25 lb rubber weights for each leg (4 x 25lbs). You cannot secure your tent with stakes anywhere on City Hall Property, this includes the grass areas. Non-rubber weights that are not rented from Higgins Event Rentals have to be approved by TOAF staff before the Fair. They must be minimum 100 lbs total weight.
Can I leave artwork in my tent overnight?
NO. There have been thefts of artwork and equipment left overnight - please do not risk this. The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair and the City of Toronto are not responsible for any lost, stolen, damaged items during the Fair. We are not responsible for securing your work left overnight. Volunteers and limited dollies are available to assist loading your artwork in and out at the beginning and end of each day.
Do I need to be present during the fair? What hours am I expected to be at my booth?
Yes. This is not a gallery fair. Our mandate is that the Artist is Present – each artist must set-up, manage and load out their booth for the duration of fair hours. We recommend that you bring a friend, family member, or colleague, to help you over the weekend and to give you a chance to take a break. Artists who are late will be ineligible for judging and face other consequences. Please see the fair terms and conditions for details.
The public hours of the Fair are:
Friday, 10am - 7pm
Saturday, 10am - 7pm
Sunday, 10am - 5pm
What happens if it rains?
The fair takes place rain or shine. Make sure that you keep an eye on the weather forecast and prepare yourself accordingly. Take a look at our Booth Camp documents for rainy weather tips.
How do I process payments?
You are responsible for bringing your own preferred payment processing system (Square, Shopify card reader etc.) Be advised that we do not provide electricity. There is access to Wi-Fi at Nathan Phillips Square but it is unreliable. We recommend using your own secure hot-spot for payment processing and other needs. We recommend bringing petty cash for cash transactions. A list of all the ATMs and Banks closest to Nathan Phillips Square will be provided in your Artist Handbook.
Do you provide artwork storage on-site?
Overnight artwork storage is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can purchase overnight storage at the same time that you pay for your booth. Storage purchase is non-refundable after the end of May. Please read the full terms and conditions for overnight storage services at the time of purchase. Size restrictions apply. If you do not purchase overnight storage, you are responsible for bringing your work and removing it from your booth each day.
Can I only sell the work I submitted in my application?
The images you submit in your application should be consistent with the work you intend to show at the Fair. They do not have to be the exact same artworks. You should only be showing works relevant to the category/medium you are selected for.
Am I allowed to sell artist cards or prints at the Fair?
No. Artists are only allowed to sell original works at Toronto Outdoor Art Fair. Please refer to our Reproduction Policy for full details.
What is the Artist Code of Conduct?
The Artist Code of Conduct is a section of the Liability and Abandonment Agreement. All artists must agree to it as part of their participation at Toronto Outdoor Art Fair.
What are your plans for 2021?
TOAF is planning a hybrid online/outdoor 60th Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, taking place for 3 days (date TBC) at Nathan Phillips Square and on our e-commerce platform for 10 days in July 2021.
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.
Will my booth fee be refunded if the on-site Fair at Nathan Phillips Square is cancelled?
Yes. If it comes down to a late cancellation of the outdoor exhibition at Nathan Phillips Square, your booth fee will be refunded. However, you are not required to pay a booth or participation fee until after your application is accepted in April/May 2021, at which point we will have a much better idea and a solid decision on whether the in-person portion of the Fair can move forward. Please note that application fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
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.
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.
Email any questions to TOAF Operations Manager Ania at ania [at] torontooutdoor.art with this subject line: TOAF 2021 Application + Your Name