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2021 Toronto Outdoor Art Fair Career Launcher

Image of fair audience at city hall


The Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers is excited to announce the return of our partnership with Canada’s leading juried outdoor art fair. The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair Career Launcher award is for students in the Illustration, Material Art & Design, Photography and Printmaking/Publications programs. The selected students will have a free showcase opportunity at the special hybrid online/outdoor 60th Anniversary Fair; TOAF was established to nurture excellence and an entrepreneurial spirit, and to showcase contemporary work to the general public. This free public event showcases works by over 360 exhibitors and attracts 130,000 visitors to Nathan Phillips Square each year.

TOAF has always reserved a portion of the Fair to emerging and student artists and is proud to have hosted many well-known Canadian artists early in their careers including: Barbara Astman, Edward Burtynsky and many others. This is an amazing opportunity to get yourself out there, nurture an audience, and sell your work! Student applications will be reviewed by the TOAF jury for final selection.


  • Must be a ILLU, MAAD, Photography or PRNT/PUBL student in their graduating year (2021)
  • Multidisciplinary artists can submit up to 3 different applications in 3 different categories (see below for category descriptions
  • You must apply individually under your own name


  • 3D Works - Original works that are three-dimensional, using additive or reductive techniques, including freestanding sculptures, reliefs, assemblages etc. created using either traditional or experimental materials.
  • 2D Works – original works that are two-dimensional, created using one or more physical material, including Drawing, Printmaking, Illustration, Collage, and Mixed Media works, etc.
  • Craft & Design - hand crafted objects (functional or decorative) created using fine craft and/or industrial design practices including, Ceramics, Glass, Jewellery, Textile, Wood/Furniture, etc. Multi-disciplinary and/or hybrid practices welcomed. Exclude machine-screen patterns or other forms of mass production, and factory produced wearable items regardless of additional modification.
  • Painting - works created using oil, acrylic, encaustic, watercolour, inks, etc.
  • Photography & Digital Media - Photographic prints made from the artist’s original image, and/or digitally manipulated images created from original artist images, and/or other sourced material.


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.

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

Date: July 2-11, 2021 (10 days online, 3 days in-person)
Location: Online and In-person at Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street W, Toronto, ON

February 16, 7:00 – 8:30 PM EST
Learn how to create a strong submission, what the TOAF jurors are looking for, and get some insight into the hybrid online and in-person event. On Feb 16, TOAF will be leading a workshop on best practices for submitting your application, and an opportunity for you to ask questions in advance.


  • 7 images of your artwork (a consistent portfolio of work)
  • 1 Installation, grouping or booth image (your work in context)
  • A brief artist statement (500 characters max)
  • A short description of your work, your medium/method (200 characters)

Apply here


March 8, 2021 at 11:59 PM

Contact Ania Harmata, Operations Manager or 416-408-2754