‘Riso Ruckus!’ by Mezzaluna Studio (Vikki Wiercinski) at 313 Design Market. Part of the 2024 DesignTO Festival. Photo by Marie Melcore.

Application Deadline
Rolling deadline, with final applications due Monday, September 16, 2024 at 11:59pm ET.

***Matchmaking will take place on a rolling basis. Guest designers should apply early to increase the likelihood that they will be matched with their preferred host venue.***

The DesignTO Festival brings people together to celebrate contemporary design across the city, January 24 – February 2, 2025.

DesignTO Festival is Canada’s leading and largest annual design festival that celebrates design as a multidisciplinary form of creative thinking and making, with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s design week each January. ince 2011, the DesignTO Festival has welcomed over 1 million visitors, showcased the work of over 6,500 artists and designers, and reached almost 2 billion people through print and digital media.

If you have a project you’d like to showcase, then we want to hear from you!

We have a range of host venues across Toronto interested in showcasing your creative project.

How this works:

By applying to this call for guest artists and designers, you agree to produce a creative project to be showcased during Festival Week, January 24 – February 2, 2025. The duration and type of participation is entirely up to you. Here is an outline of options:

  • A window installation runs the whole duration of Festival Week, and is visible to the public 24 hours a day from the outside of the venue. Depending on the space, the installation may also be viewable from inside the venue during regular business/gallery hours.
  • An event runs one day during Festival Week, for a set period of time. For example, events can include a talk, tour, product launch, film screening, party, or workshop.
  • An exhibition runs more than one day during Festival Week. It is open to the public during regular business/gallery hours, and may include a window component. It can start before Festival Week, and end after Festival Week. It may also include an opening or closing reception, artist/designer’s talk or tour.

Host Venues

A package of available venues (with photos and descriptions) is available for your review and selection. After reviewing the available host venues, we ask that you identify your top 3 venue choices with your application.

Each project listing includes the following:

  • A listing on the online Festival Schedule (one page with up to 6 images, 300-word description, and associated reception or other events)
  • A listing on the Festival mobile app (one page with up to 6 images, 40-word description, and associated reception or other events)
  • Inclusion in one ‘What to do’ daily e-newsletter
  • DesignTO venue signage (e.g. Festival window cling, not project-specific)

To learn more and see examples of these benefits click here.

Fees & Commitment

Host Venues commit to paying the Festival registration fee and provide the venue free of charge to the Guest Designer. As the artist/designer, you are responsible for all costs related to creating, producing and mounting your creative project, including signage.

You are also responsible for collaborating and communicating with your host venue, which includes communicating the details of your project, including all logistics, with the owner/manager of the host venue, and coordinating the project’s successful execution.

Matchmaking Timeline

Jul 22 – Sep 16, 2024

Pairing Review Period

DesignTO will review Guest Designer applications on a rolling basis, assessing the characteristics and fit of the project with the selected venues. We will send proposed matches to the Host Venues for review. Host Venues will receive information about the designer, and see their online portfolio or get information about what they are proposing. At that time, Host Venues will have 7 days to review this material, and make their final decision. Once a match is approved, we will send an email to introduce the Host Venue and Guest Designer, and communicate next steps. 

The final deadline for Guest Designer applications is September 16, 2024.

***Guest Designers should apply early to increase the likelihood that they will be matched with their preferred Host Venue.***

Oct 11, 2024

All Venue-Designers pairings will be confirmed by this date.

Oct 25, 2024

Event Listing Deadline

Guest Designers will work with their Host Venues to compile the information for the event listing and submit it to DesignTO by this deadline.

Jan 24 – Feb 2, 2025

15th Annual DesignTO Festival

Venues and Designers will work together to mount the project during Festival Week. Window installations must run for the entire week, events must take place during the week, and exhibitions must run during some part of the week. Window installations and exhibitions can start before and/or end after Festival Week. Please allow additional days for installation and tear-down, as mutually determined by you and the designer.

Applications must include:

  • A short bio about you or your creative practice (max. 150 words);
  • 3-5 images of the work that you are proposing to exhibit, or 3-5 images of representative work (for new creations, prototypes or workshops) — maximum image size 1MB each;
  • A description of the window installation, exhibition, or event you want to do, in less than 500 words — please be sure to include as many logistical and technical requirements as you can, such as wall and ceiling mounting, access to power, etc.;
  • Optional sketches of your proposal; and
  • Your top three venue choices from the host venues package.


Please note that while we try our best to create successful outcomes for all artists/designers, we are not able to guarantee that every application will be paired.


The 15th annual DesignTO Festival runs for 10 days from January 24 – February 2, 2025.

You can read about the different ways to participate in the Festival and key deadlines here.

See last year’s roster of events, exhibitions, and window installations here.

– Be a part of Toronto’s vibrant art and design community
– Support the creative work of artists and designers
– Get exposure through the Festival’s website, mobile app, social media, press releases, and e-newsletters
– Meet and build relationships with new artists, designers, educators, curators, and manufacturers
– Engage your target audience for below market advertising rates

DesignTO embraces an expansive definition of design; we welcome unconventional and transdisciplinary practices. In order to ensure the consistency of our audience’s experience, we reserve the right to decline applications that are not relevant to the context of a design festival. We encourage you to review our Artistic Guideline prior to submitting your application.

No. If you have both a venue and a creative project, then you should apply to the Festival as an Independent Project.

The Host Venue pays the registration fee.

The Event Listing Deadline is Friday, October 25, 2024.

This is the deadline for submitting information about your project, as well as representative images, for your online event listing. For example, this information includes the title of your project, venue name and address, list of participating artists/designers, a short and long description of your project, and relevant dates and times, including venue/gallery hours for exhibitions. This information will be used to create your listings on the online Festival Schedule, Festival mobile app, “What to do” daily e-newsletter and website posts. 

If you would like to be notified when registration opens for the 2025 DesignTO Festival, click here to join our newsletter, ensuring you select ‘DesignTO Calls for Submissions: Exhibitions, Talks, Installations, Venues’.

Email to Kiran Qureishi, Programs Assistant, at [email protected] with this subject line: Guest Designer Call + your name.