What are the dates for the DesignTO Festival?

The Festival runs for 10 days, January 21-30, 2022.

How do I participate in the Festival?

You can be a part of the Festival by producing an event, exhibition, window installation, or digital project. We welcome all who want to present, discuss, demonstrate, or exhibit design in any field and/or related disciplines. Exhibitors include artists, designers, artists, design firms, local businesses, academic and cultural institutions, and students. Exhibitors are responsible for arranging their own venue in the city of Toronto, including spaces such as galleries, studios, workshops, cafés, schools, lobbies, and businesses. You can read more about ways to participate and key deadlines here.

The 12th annual DesignTO Festival runs January 21-30, 2022, for 10 days. Window installations must run for the entire week, events must take place during the week, and digital projects and exhibitions must run during some part of the week. Window installations, exhibitions, and digital projects can start before and/or end after Festival Week.

Join our newsletter to learn about additional ways to participate.

I have a venue and would like to exhibit in the Festival. Will DesignTO assign me a designer?

It is the responsibility of the venue to find a designer and register with DesignTO.

However, we have a Venue-Designer Matchmaking Program you can apply to, where we match venues with designers. The deadline for Host Venues to submit is Friday, July 9, 2021. After this deadline, the Festival may be able to connect you with a designer outside of the program. If you are looking for a designer, please email Olga Klosowski Schellenberg, Programs Coordinator, at [email protected] to inquire.

I am a designer and would like to participate in the Festival. Will DesignTO assign me a venue?

It is the responsibility of the designer to secure a venue to exhibit their work.

However, we have a Venue-Designer Matchmaking Program you can apply to, where we match designers with venues. Submissions for the Call for Guest Designers will be reviewed and matched on a rolling basis, starting July 19, 2021. The final deadline to submit is Monday, September 13, 2021. Please email [email protected] to inquire, or join our newsletter to keep informed.

Who pays the registration fee?

Host Venues pay the registration fee. For Independent Projects, whoever registers becomes our primary contact. The primary contact will pay the registration fee.

How do I pay my registration fee?

All registrations will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please expect confirmation by email within one week of submission. Once accepted, payment is required by e-transfer within two weeks. Institutions have the option to pay by cheque.

What happens if I withdraw my registration after paying the registration fee?

If you withdraw your registration before November 1, 2021 we will refund your fee minus a $50 administration charge. After November 1, 2021 we cannot refund your fee.

What happens if my venue is closed (or I need to close my venue) due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

If your venue is prohibited from opening to the public due to restrictions put in place by the provincial or municipal governments, we encourage you to adapt your project to an online or alternative platform. If an alternative version of your project is not possible and your project must be cancelled, DesignTO will apply your registration fee toward your participation in the 2023 DesignTO Festival. Notify Robyn Wilcox, Head of Programming, at [email protected].

What happens if a newly implemented COVID-19 restriction prohibits me from executing my project?

If newly implemented COVID-19 restrictions or guidelines significantly impede your ability to execute your project (e.g. border closures, travel advisories and restrictions, shelter-in-place requirements or other government mandates), we encourage you to adapt your project to an online or alternative platform. If an alternative version of your project is not possible and your project must be cancelled, DesignTO will apply your registration fee toward your participation in the 2023 DesignTO Festival. Notify Robyn Wilcox, Head of Programming, at [email protected].

What happens if I cannot execute my project because I, or someone else directly connected to the project, am sick with COVID-19?

Immediately notify Robyn Wilcox, Head of Programming, at [email protected]. If your project must be cancelled, DesignTO will apply your registration fee toward your participation in the 2023 DesignTO Festival.

What is the Content Deadline?

The Content Deadline is Friday, October 22, 2021. This is the deadline for submitting information about your project, as well as representative images. For example, this information includes the title of your project, venue name and address, list of participating artist(s)/designer(s), a short and long description of your project, and relevant dates and times, including venue/gallery hours for exhibitions. This content will be used to create your listings on the online Festival Schedule, Festival mobile app, and “What to do” daily e-newsletter and website posts. Once your application has been accepted, we will send you a detailed email of how to submit your content. Content collection starts in early September and runs until the deadline.