Call for Artists
The 2022 Call For Artists is closed.
If you are interested in applying to 2023 Fair, please come back to the website in November, 2022. Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media to stay tuned for updates about the show, important dates and our programs!
Join Canada’s longest-running contemporary outdoor art fair, launching artists’ careers and building a trusted discovery platform for the public since 1961. Each year, our loyal following of 130,000 Fair-goers spend $2 million on art purchases in-person.
TOAF created an innovative national showcase and e-commerce platform during the pandemic, resulting in proven traffic, opportunities, and income for our artists that contributed to their economic prosperity and recovery. TOAF.ca has become Canada’s fastest-growing career-sustaining art platform.
Visitors at Nathan Phillips Square
Spent on artwork sales
Awards given to artists each year
Average yearly media impressions
Annual website visitors
Annual page views on the TOAF website
1. Launch and sustain your art career with TOAF’s opportunity platform
TOAF has built a 60-year legacy of launching careers - don’t miss your chance to be a part of it. As Canada’s best-attended juried art fair, we have a loyal community of art lovers that come back year after year to discover high-quality artworks and connect directly with artists. TOAF is proud to have hosted many renowned Canadian artists, such as Edward Burtynsky, Barbara Astman, Joanne Tod and many more.
2. Win one of our prestigious awards
$40,000 cash and in-kind awards are given to outstanding artists each year. Through our awards program, TOAF has awarded almost $1 million to exceptional artists in the past 60 years. All artists are eligible for unique opportunities like the Catherine Bratty Best of Art Fair Award ($6,000), Murray & Marvelle Koffler Founder’s Award ($6,000), Best of Student Award ($3,500 Value), Mayor's Purchase Award (selected by the Mayor of Toronto), Best of category awards ($2,000 each) and many more.
3. You don’t need to break the bank to participate in an art fair
TOAF is Canada’s most affordable art fair of this calibre. As a nonprofit, we strive to keep our costs low and provide accessible and flexible participation packages for artists in all stages of their careers. A portion of the Fair has always been reserved for students and emerging artists at a highly discounted price. Artists also keep 100% of their proceeds for in-person sales, and a modest admin fee is added for artwork sales in the Online Fair.
What do we offer?
A trusted artist discovery platform
With 130,000 annual visitors to the Fair at Nathan Phillips Square, 60,000 website visitors, and 1.1 million annual page views, TOAF’s loyal community of art lovers continues to grow. Artists are able to benefit from sustained global discovery by the public, curators, designers, galleries and organizations through TOAF’s in-person and online showcase.
Within 2 years of launching TOAF.ca, we’ve cultivated an international network of art buyers and facilitated online sales of 1,200+ artworks throughout Canada, the US, and Asia.
We are dedicated to growing and innovating our offerings to artist entrepreneurs. All participating artists have access to a year-long platform, amplified by programming and showcase opportunities, like:
- Ongoing artist features and engagement on our website and social media
- Exposure opportunities from TOAF’s special partnerships (for example, Henderson Brewing Co’s Collectible Art Label for their ‘Ides of July’ series of craft beers)
- Special digital exhibitions, Art Talks, Artist Interviews and Studio Tours
- Curated Collections by art experts
- Access to more satellite exhibitions and in-person showcases (like our pop-up at Scarborough Town Centre)
A far-reaching & impactful marketing campaign
Benefit from our multi-platform national marketing and promotions:
- Print and paid digital advertising including BlogTO, CBC Arts, Globe & Mail, Designlines, TTC subway ads, Grassroots outdoor postering across the city, and local radio stations
- Publicity & earned media coverage (TV, radio, magazine interviews & features)
- Social media & newsletter campaigns with 36,000+ reach
- Posters, postcards, fair guides and promotional materials
- 1.1 million shares from community partnerships (newsletter inclusions and social media shares from organizations in the arts community)
- NFP Google search ads & online listings
- Social media partnerships with ambassadors and influencers
Ongoing professional development
Our team offers emerging and established artists dedicated mentorship through application workshops, and Booth Camp sessions (What to Expect at the Fair, How to Grow Your Digital Outreach and Social Media Skills, etc). Throughout the Call for Artists, we also offer Feedback Fridays, where you can book an appointment for a one-on-one phone consultation. Get direct feedback on last year’s application for returning artists, or a draft of your application, if you are a first-time applicant.
In-person and online support and resources
Assistance and troubleshooting for your online artist profile and artwork pages, instructional videos, Social Media Share Kit, 200 volunteers to assist you with the logistics at Nathan Phillips Square, secure artwork storage, a comprehensive Artist Handbook and Art Fair Checklist.
Access & Art Encounters Program
Artists who require accessibility and financial support are eligible to apply for additional assistance through our Art Encounters program. We provide assistance to a select group of artists to offset the costs (funding permitting) and pressure of participating in the Fair. Through this program, we provide an in-depth professional development opportunity in the form of mentorship sessions and group workshops that equip the selected artists with tools for success during the Fair.
How much does it cost?
Onsite Booth & Online Fair*
Online Fair Only
Late Fee: $50 additional (beginning March 1, 2022)
Student Booth: $450
Regular Booth: $765
Prime Location Booth: $865**
*All participation fees for in-person Fair at Nathan Phillips Square include online platform fee.
**Prime booths offer maximum visibility and highest foot traffic throughout the square.
Participation and booth fees are collected upon acceptance in April. For more information and a detailed budget breakdown review What Does it Cost?
1. Prepare your application materials, review the Application Tips:
- A cohesive body of 6 artwork images
- 1 Image of your artworks in context (in a booth, table top or on a wall)
- A brief artist statement (500 characters, not words)
- Description of your artworks/process (200 characters, not words)
2. Click ‘Apply Now’ and fill out the form.
3. Pay for your application.
4. Once you are done, we will email you the results in April 2022 (Date TBC).
We are welcoming to artists from all stages of their careers, all racial backgrounds, and all abilities. Individual artists and makers working in photography, sculpture, painting, printmaking, illustration, glass, wood, textiles, jewellery and more, with formal or informal training are encouraged to apply. TOAF is committed to equity and inclusion and continues to be inclusive, accessible and radically welcoming to all artists and art enthusiasts.
Hear from the artists...
“This year was yet another challenge. With the pandemic, I think a lot of us were scared that TOAF wouldn’t happen, or it wouldn’t be as good as past years. Luckily, they managed to pull off a beautiful transition to digital, both through the online store and all of their great online events and content. Seeing it all come together and seeing all the familiar faces really brought a tear to my eye and when I received the ‘Best of Painting’ award... I was just overcome by the thought of how much this show has done for me.”
- Keight MacLean, 2020 Best of Painting Award Recipient
“I feel thrilled to connect with art lovers who could appreciate my philosophy and life experience. This year, TOAF made us share our hearts and minds with art lovers from different places all over the world, with such a user-friendly digital platform with no pain. Hurray! Thanks for providing me, one of the emerging artists, with such great exposure and a reputable stage to find homes for my babies.”
- Christy Chor, 2020-2021 Participating Artist
COVID-19 Safety Measures
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 2022, following the safety guidelines provided by Toronto Public Health and the Province of Ontario.
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, art lovers continue to support the Online Fair, creating a viable platform that we plan to build upon for 2022 and aid in artists’ financial recovery.