Application FAQs

The 2021 Applications will open November 30th

Selection Process
Booths & Tents
During the Fair 
Rules & Regulations

Please also read through our Application Guidelines and Application Tips for more information.


How do I apply?

Applications must be submitted online through our website. You must login first before starting the application process. If you do not have an account, you can create one here. When you register for an account you will receive a confirmation in your email. 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 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 on the right. Use the email associated with your account, and a temporary password will be emailed to you. Check your spam/junk mail folders to ensure your new password has been sent. Once you log in you can change your password to something more memorable under 'Your Profile'.

When is the application deadline?

Deadline: Usually the first week of March.

Can I submit an application with another Artist?

The Fair is for individual artists only. Artists with a collaborative practice must apply separately under their own name. 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.

How many applications can I submit?

You can submit a maximum of three applications with separate bodies of work (fees apply). You cannot submit more than one application per Fair category. We strongly recommend that you tailor each application to the Fair category that you are submitting under. Click here more information about our Fair categories. The same panel of curators review all of the applications, regardless of category.

What is a booth/installation image?

Booth images should represent how your work will be displayed in a 10’x10’ outdoor booth. It can either be of one of your previous tent or art show set ups OR it can be a mock installation. If you 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). 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. Please read the Image Formatting Instructions. Be sure you have filled in the title, size and medium of each piece (including your booth/grouping image). You can check for 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 your booth/installation image.

International Artists

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. 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.

Selection Process

Who sits on the panel?

All applications are reviewed by an external multidisciplinary panel of curators made up of professional artists, industry professionals and leaders in the visual arts community. 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. Curators 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?

Curators select the strongest work based on artistic excellence, originality, quality of support materials, consistency of ideas and design. The curators bases their decision solely on the material in your application, paying particular attention to the 7 images you submit.

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 2020. 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, you 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 as well as allowing TOAF to continue its work in the Canadian arts sector.

Booth & Tents

Do you provide tents or display equipment?

No. You are responsible for renting our bringing your own white 10’x10’ tent, displays, tables, chairs, etc. If you do not have a tent,  participating 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.

During the Fair

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.

Rules & Regulations

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 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.

Can't find the answer to your question? Email our Operations Manager [email protected]

Good Luck!