Call for Artists and Makers
Launching Artist’s Careers for 60 Years
When: July 2-11, 2021
Where: Online and In-person at Nathan Phillips Square
Submission Deadline: Accepting applications until March 8, 2021 (11:59 PM)
Join us for the special 60th Anniversary of Canada’s longest-running contemporary outdoor art fair, launching artists’ careers and building trust in our community of artists and art lovers since 1961! Apply for our 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*. Each year, our loyal following of 130,000 Fair-goers spend $2 million on art purchases, providing an income to independent artists that contributes to their economic prosperity. Our 60th Anniversary Fair will be one to remember with new special programs and awards.
Why apply to TOAF?
- Win one of our prestigious awards: TOAF is proud to have awarded artists almost $1 million in the past 60 years. $40K cash and in-kind awards are given to established and emerging artists, with unique opportunities like the Mayor's Purchase Award and the Best of Student Award.
- Grow your network in person and online: TOAF is the best-attended art fair in Canada! The 2020 Online Fair saw a 300% increase in pageviews to our e-commerce platform and over 43,000 unique visitors from a growing network of online art buyers across Canada, US and beyond.
- Customizable sales experience: You can choose to showcase your artworks online on our user-friendly e-commerce platform, in-person at Nathan Phillips Square (with pandemic safety measures), or both!
Who can apply?
TOAF’s jurors welcome individual artists and makers working in photography, sculpture, painting, glass, wood, textiles, jewellery and more, with formal or informal training to apply. Established and emerging artists are welcome.
TOAF deeply cares and recognizes that profound change is happening in the world at large, and we are here to renew our commitment to equity and inclusion to continue to be inclusive, accessible and radically welcoming to all artists and art enthusiasts. Artists who require accessibility support are eligible to apply for additional assistance through our Art Encounters program. See our Art Encounters page for more information.
What do we offer?
- A successful & comprehensive marketing campaign: Benefit from our multi-platform national marketing and promotions resulting in 69 million media impressions from 2019’s campaign. Plus, additional opportunities to be spotlighted through our social media channels with an audience of over 23K followers!
- Ongoing professional development: Dedicated support and guidance from our team through application workshops, portfolio reviews, and Booth Camp workshops (what to expect onsite, how to grow your digital outreach and social media skills)
- Free online and onsite resources and support: Assistance and troubleshooting for your artist and product pages, instructional videos, 200 volunteers to assist you with the logistics at Nathan Phillips Square, professional, secure artwork storage and comprehensive Artist Handbook
- And so much more!
What do artists have to say?
TOAF is proud to have hosted many renowned Canadian artists such as Edward Burtynsky and Barbara Astman. Read more about artists experiences and how they have found TOAF to be a successful, professional, well-organized, engaged, and impressively well-attended event.
“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
"The Online Fair is a brilliant idea! Not only does it allow us to still get our work out there and make new friends and clients, it levels the playing field for disabled artists. I am looking forward to building my online gallery and connecting with potential customers and collectors."
- Steve Kean
“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
How can I apply?
Apply early! Read our full Application Guidelines to find out what you need to submit an application.
$50 Regular / $30 Students until February 28, 2021 (11:59 PM)
A late fee of an additional $50 applies beginning March 1, 2021.
Final Deadline: March 8, 2021 (11:59 PM)
For a complete breakdown of participation costs, see our Fees and Deadlines page.
Why Apply Early?
- Save on your application: Applications received before February 28 11:59 PM will avoid the additional $50 late fee.
- 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
Questions? Contact us:
About Toronto Outdoor Art Fair
The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is Toronto’s first, largest, and longest running outdoor art fair – providing fresh art, fresh faces, in the fresh air since 1961. Attracting an audience of over 130,000 people annually, and showcasing the work of over 350 artists, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair prides itself on creating an environment which gives artists the chance to interact directly with the public in an informal setting – removing the barriers to access, and dispelling the formality of a traditional gallery or art fair experience. This free public art event takes place each year at Nathan Phillips Square and online at torontooutdoor.art.
The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is a registered charitable nonprofit organization.
Canadian Charity #: 119259620 RR0001
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 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.