Artist Application Guidelines

The artist exhibitor applications for the 55th Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition are now closed.

Interested in applying with us for the 2017 Exhibition? Click here to add your email to our mailing list and get information about deadlines and how to apply straight to your inbox! 


New for 2016
Important Dates
Late Applications
Application Categories *NEW*
Reproduction Policy
Application Images
Jury & Selection Process
Booth Selection
Tents & Display Information
General Exhibitor Information

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

July 8-10, 2016
Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, ON

Friday, July 8 - 10am - 8pm
Saturday, July 9 - 10am - 8pm
Sunday, July 10 - 10am - 6pm

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is Canada’s largest outdoor juried exhibition.  Attracting an audience in excess of 100,000 people annually, and showcasing the work of over 350 artists, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 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.

Please read our exhibition guidelines in detail before applying.  The application must be completed in full, including the payment of required fees, to be considered.

For assistance with your application, please email:

Simone Rojas-Pick
[email protected]

NOTE: Only online applications will be considered.

New for 2016

  • Artists are now only required to apply with an application fee, and not a booth-fee deposit
  • Artists are able to apply in up to three categories (fees apply)
  • Artists may select from a 10x10 or 10x20 space (fees apply)
  • Artists may be asked to join a waitlist for open booth spaces (details below)
  • New programming to be announced

Important Dates

November 24, 2015  - Artist Exhibitor Applications Open
March 6, 2016  - Artist Exhibitor Applications Close
April 11, 2016  - Artist Notifications of Acceptance
April 28, 2016  - Booth Payments Due
May 16, 2016 - Final date for cancellation with full booth-fee refund
June 6, 2016 - Final date for cancellation with a 50% booth-fee refund; No refunds given after this date
July 8-10, 2016 - Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

Late Applications

Applications can be submitted after the application deadline, provided the category has not been juried.  A non-refundable late fee of $150 will be charged in addition to any applicable application fee.  The late fee is assessed on a per-applicant basis, regardless of the number of categories applied to.


Artists are responsible for paying all associated application, booth, and participation fees.  Failure to pay fees on time will result in your application not being considered, or your space being forfeited.

Full Time Artists

Application Fee - $50 (non-refundable, due upon submission of application)
Booth Fee (10x10) - $450 (due upon acceptance)
Booth Fee (10x20) - $900 (due upon acceptance)

Student Artists

Application Fee - $30 (non-refundable, due upon submission of application)
Booth Fee (10x10) - $170 (due upon acceptance)

NOTE: Students are those artists who are currently enrolled full-time in a recognized post-secondary institution.

All fees must be paid online via PayPal.  PayPal will not charge a fee for this service.

All booth fees are due by April 28, 2016.  Fees not received by this date may result in the forfeiture of your booth space to a waitlist artist.

An application may be withdrawn and a refund of the application fee issued if the application is withdrawn within 14 days of submission, or before the close of applications, whichever comes first.

Note that your fees are for your booth space, exhibition operations, and advertising support only.  Expenses related to tent or display rentals, parking, or other costs associated with your participation are not included.


An accepted artist may cancel their participation at any time.  Cancellations must be received in writing (electronic is acceptable).

Cancellations received on or before May 16, 2016  will receive a full refund of the booth fee.

Cancellations received after May 16, 2016 but before June 6, 2016 will receive a 50% refund of the booth fee.

Cancellations received after June 6, 2016 will not receive a refund.

In all cases of cancellation, your booth is considered forfeited.  The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition reserves the right to fill your vacated space with another artist from the waitlist.

Application Categories *NEW*

Each applicant may apply to a maximum of 3 categories; each category requires its own application fee and supporting documents. There are 5 categories available:

3D Media:

Ceramics – refers to all work in clay 
Fiber – all work crafted from fibers including basketry, embroidery, weaving, leatherwork, tapestry, and papermaking (excluding machine-screen patterns or other forms of mass production, and factory produced wholesale wearable items regardless of additional modification) 
Glass – All works where the primary material is glass 
Mixed Media – works done in 3 dimensions that incorporates more than one type of physical material 
Sculpture – all three-dimensional work done in any medium 
Wood – works where the primary material is wood or wood products

2D Media: 

Drawing – refers to works created using dry media including chalk, charcoal, pastels, pencil, wax, crayon etc. or from the fluid medium of inks and washes applied by pen or brush
Illustration – Narrative based works of various media
Mixed Media –works done in 2 dimensions that incorporates more than one type of physical material 
Print Making – printed works for which the artists hand manipulated the plates, stones, or screens and which have been properly signed and numbered as a limited edition


Painting – works created in oil, acrylic, encaustic, watercolour, inks etc.

Photography & Digital Media: 

Digital Media – refers to any original work for which the original image, or the manipulation of other source material, was executed by the artist using a computer 
Photography – photographic prints made from the artists original image, which have been processed by that artist or under their direct supervision

Wearable Artwork: 

Jewellery – all works of jewellery whether the work is produced from metal, glass, clay, fiber, paper, plastic or other materials 
Textile - individually designed handcrafted pieces created as fine or expressive art (excluding machine-screen patterns or other forms of mass production, and factory produced wholesale wearable items regardless of additional modification)

Reproduction Policy

To protect the reputation of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition as a fine art show, only original works of art are accepted into the exhibition.  General merchandise, unless it forms an integral part of the artist work, will not be accepted.  All works must be hand-made by the artist; machine-made or mass-produced work is not permitted.

Violations of this policy may result in your dismissal from the exhibition, without refund, at any time.

Application Images

Your application will be supported by 7 images of your work, and 1 image of a grouping, installation, or booth set-up of your work.   Each image should represent the work you intend to show at the exhibition, and should only display work relevant to the category you are applying.

All images should be:

  • No less than 500x500px (height & width), with longest side no longer than 1024 px
  • Minimum of 72dpi
  • Uploaded in *.jpeg or *.png format
  • Max 4mb in size
  • Named with the following convention

NOTE: Images of up to 1920x1920px may be uploaded - they will be automatically resized to fit.  Any distortions which may occur as a result of the resizing are at the risk of the applicant.

Do not neglect your images!  The jurors reviewing your artwork are looking for originality, quality and consistency in your ideas, execution, and design.  They make much of their decision based on what they see in your support material.  If your images are too dark, out of focus, or poorly lit, the jurors will not be able to adequately assess your work and may reject your application as a result.

If you don’t have experience making digital images, we recommend hiring a professional photographer to document your work.  If this is not an option, here are a few tips for shooting good images.

  1. Photograph your work in a room with soft, even light, not direct hard lighting
  2. Take test shots and review them on your computer prior to upload.  The jurors will be viewing your images on a monitor or from a projector in a dark room.
  3. Upload with the image in the proper direction (horizontal/vertical)
  4. If your work is framed or has a glossy finish, do not use direct flash on your camera.  Put the work flat against a wall at a 45-degree angle to a window with indirect light.  Shoot with a polarizer filter.
  5. Choose the correct white balance.
  6. Shoot high-resolution photos.

For useful tips on preparing support images, click here to watch a video from the Ontario Arts Council.

Jury & Selection Process

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is a juried exhibition.  Each year, our juries, consisting of artists and industry professionals, review all submissions.  The jurors select the strongest work based on originality, quality of support materials, consistency of ideas and design.

Only artists who have been reviewed by a jury are accepted into the exhibition.

After the jury’s review all of the submitted work, a Final Jury comprised of three Directors of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition review the results, and determine the jury evaluation score which constitutes an accepted, waitlist, or decline status.

All artists will receive a notification of status electronically on April 11, 2016.  Please no phone calls – notifications will not be given over the phone.

Booth Selection

During the application, you will be asked to select your preferred booth selection.  Your booth assignment will be sent to you with your notice of acceptance.

All booths are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis, based on the date and time of your application.

Only the following items will be taken under special consideration and are outlined in the application:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Heat- or light-sensitive mediums of work
  • Exhibitors who are travelling together or sharing resources


Artists may be added onto a waitlist during the jury process.  Those on the waitlist may be offered a booth in the exhibition when space becomes available.

  • The waitlist will be maintained in order of applicaion
  • Artists on the waitlist may be offered a booth space through a cancellation or the creation of additional display space
  • Artists added to the exhibition from the waitlist will be assigned the available booth space

Artists may not ask to be added to the waitlist, only the Final Jury may add an artist to the waitlist.

Tents & Display Information

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition does not provide any display tents or equipment directly to any exhibitor.  All necessary equipment will need to be provided by the exhibitor or rented from our exclusive supplier.

All structures or displays must abide by the following rules:

  • The tent or displays may not extend beyond the limits of the booth space (either 10’x10’ or 10’x20’)
  • Tents must be secured to the ground using a rubber 25 lbs weights (4 , 1 per leg).  Only sandbags or solid weights are permitted.  No home made weights, including bricks, wood, or construction materials are allowed.  Staking of tents is not permitted.
  • Cinder blocks, paving stones, interlocking brick, bricks, rocks, wooden-weights, or carpet are not permitted in or around your display area.
  • Displays requiring construction are not permitted.
  • No home-made tents, signage, displays or coverings are permitted.
  • Signage or displays may not extend beyond the opening of your tent, or the opening of the adjacent tent if your space is uncovered.
  • Tents or coverings may not have any logos.
  • Plinths, benches, or other display shelving must be properly weighted and secured to the ground.
  • All display fixtures, tents, and other structures must be removed by the exhibitor at the close of the exhibition.

Failure to abide by these policies will result in the immediate removal of your display at your own expense, and may result in the forfeiting of your booth space with no refund given.

For consistency, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition recommends and asks that artists display only in white top tents.  This is, however, not a requirement.

Please note that the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition takes place outside, rain or shine.  Rain, high winds, periods of extreme heat and sun are all possible during the exhibition.  The exhibition is not responsible for your display area or any damage caused by weather.  Participation is at your own risk.

Rental tents and displays will be offered to all exhibitors through an exclusive supplier.  Suppliers not under contract to the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition will not be given access to the grounds.

If you are unsure if your display or tent meets the requirements listed above, please email photos and descriptions to [email protected] at least three weeks prior to the exhibition for review.

General Exhibitor Information

Exhibition Hours

Friday, July 8, 2016 - 10am - 8pm
Saturday, July 9, 2016 - 10am - 6pm
Sunday, July 10, 2016  - 10am - 6pm

Artist exhibitors are expected to be on-site and available during those times.  The exhibition takes place rain or shine.

Please note: The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition continues to work with the City of Toronto and neighbourhood stakeholders in the permitting process.  Dates and times are subject to change.


Load-in of artist exhibitors will begin on Friday, July 8 at 6:00am. 

Accepted artists will receive a load-in schedule and access information.


Load-out will maintain the same access restrictions as load-in.

Accepted artists will receive information about load-out.

Please maintain cordial interaction will all exhibitors, staff, volunteers, security, and police during this process. Priority is placed on safety and all are working towards a quick and stress-free experience.


Parking information will be provided to accepted artists.

Safety & Security

Overnight Security
  • Nathan Phillips Square is a public civic square open 24 hours a day.  We highly recommend each exhibitor remove all art and valuables from their tent each night.
  • You may leave any tent or display set-ups overnight, but we do recomment that you secure any display pedestals or plinths that you may bring within your tent space.
  • The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition will provide roaming overnight security through a private contractor and a limited number of off-duty police officers.  They cannot and will not secure the area.

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and the City of Toronto are not responsible for any lost, stolen, damaged items during the exhibition.  We are not responsible for securing your work left overnight.

Daytime Security

The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and the Toronto Police Service will be providing roaming security throughout the exhibition during operating hours.

  • It is important to keep an eye on all of your small, easy to grab, items
  • Placing your valuables in a container out of sight from patrons is recommended, as well as weighting smaller items with a paper weight to avoid theft (and wind)
  • Please be aware of the “distract & grab” technique, often seen at large markets/art fairs, a crowd is an easy distraction, and creates an opportunity for theft

Artists Crossing International Borders

If you are travelling to the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition from outside of Canada, you will need to work with a customs broker to import your art work. The show recommends using a US customs broker to import goods into Canada.