Call for Artists
Applications open on December 1st.
Join Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor/online art fair, launching artists’ careers since 1961. Our iconic white tents have hosted many renowned Canadian artists, such as Edward Burtynsky, Barbara Astman, Joanne Tod and many more at the early stages of their careers. Our community is passionate about supporting artists and exceptional talents through awards, special programs and opportunities.
Early Bird Deadline: February 28, 2023 (11:59 PM)
Final Application Deadline: March 7, 2023 (11:59 PM)
in art sales
annual page views
Launch and sustain your career
TOAF is Canada’s best-attended art fair! An invested community of 150,000 art lovers come back year-after-year to discover high-quality art and connect directly with artists. Our visitors spend over 2 million dollars on art during the fair. Artists are regularly approached by curators, corporate collectors, gallerists, publishers and collectors for commissions, showcases and many exciting opportunities.
Win a coveted award
Each year, $40,000 cash and in-kind are awarded to outstanding artists in their fields. The Catherine Bratty Best of Art Fair Award, Murray & Marvelle Koffler Founder’s Award, Mayor's Purchase Award and many others offer artists unique opportunities. Online-only artists are eligible for $5,000 cash or in-kind awards.
A trusted discovery platform
The Online Art Fair has quickly become a digital hub for discovering Canadian artists. Within 3 years of its launch, there is an established network of visitors and collectors from Canada and beyond who have purchased over 2,000 artworks online.
All participating artists have access to the Online Fair. Artists from anywhere in Canada can now choose to join the annual Fair Online-only to showcase their work to art lovers and collectors.
No need to break the bank!
TOAF is a registered charity and non-profit. That’s why we prioritize keeping costs low and providing accessible and flexible participation packages for artists in all stages of their careers. Artists also keep 100% of their proceeds for in-person sales and only a modest admin fee of 10-15% for online art sales.
A robust Access program
We are committed to removing barriers to accessing TOAF’s platform and opportunities. Mentorship, professional development, exhibition space, accessibility support (if needed) and artist fees (funding permitting) are provided through the Art Encounters program. We invite eligible and interested artists who are Indigenous, Newcomers, Deaf or Disabled to apply to Art Encounters.
What do we offer?
With a dedicated online programming team, we make sure to keep eye on your profile year-round! This is how:
- Getting your work in front of 100K website visitors
- Curator invitations to our wildly-popular digital programming: Curated Collections, Studio Tours, Artist Chats and blogs
- Opportunity to be featured in the PR campaign
- Social media promotion to TOAF audiences that increases your followers!
2022 participating artists had an average of 14% growth in their social media followers after the Fair.
A far-reaching marketing campaign
Benefit from our multi-platform local and national marketing and promotions ($150K value) including:
- Print and digital advertising (BlogTO, CBC Arts, Globe & Mail, transit, wild postings and radio stations)
- Publicity and earned media coverage (TV, radio, magazine interviews & features)
- Social media and newsletter campaigns with 41K reach
- Posters, postcards, fair guides and promotional materials
- Community partnerships with 3.7 million reach
Onsite & online support
- 150 amazing volunteers for onsite artist relief
- Onsite Art Storage (limited)
- Online portfolio support
- Feedback Fridays: 1-on-1 consultations during Call for Artists
- App Camp workshop with the mock jury to prepare artists for successful applications
- Booth Camp workshop to plan for logistics of showing at an outdoor Fair
- Artist Handbook and Fair Survival Guide
- Learn more about how to get application support.
How much does it cost?
Onsite Booth & Online Fair*
Online Fair Only
Late Fee: $50 additional (beginning March 1, 2023)
Student Booth: $450
Regular Booth: $765
Prime Location Booth: $865**
Emerging Artist Packages: TBC
*All participation fees for in-person Fair at Nathan Phillips Square include an online platform fee.
**Prime booths offer maximum visibility and the highest foot traffic throughout the square.
Participation and booth fees are collected upon acceptance in March. More information on budgeting for the Fair.
1. Prepare your application materials:
- A cohesive body of 6 artwork images
- 1 image of your art in context (in a booth, table top or on a wall)
- A brief artist statement (500 characters, not words)
- Description of your art/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 March 2023 (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 participated in the fair at Nathan Phillips this year which was exhilarating, fun and ultimately a great success! Being an out-of-town artist, I was hesitant about the cost of the booth, shipping, flights and everything else, but was not disappointed by the high standard of the artists at the Fair and the many interactions with visitors. I made some new clients and had great sales… I would highly recommend this fair for any artists looking to expand into art fairs and grow their network of collectors.”
- Tiffany Blaise, 2022 Participating Artist (Vancouver)