DesignTO is Canada’s largest cultural celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events each year. In 2019, the Festival had 600+ participating artists and designers, and received 150K+ visitors.

Here are three ways you can participate in the Festival:

1. Independent Projects

Independent Projects are exhibitions, events (e.g. tours, talks, workshops), and window installations that are wholly created and executed by an individual or organization during the DesignTO Festival at a venue of their choice in Toronto.

This is for you if:
You are a designer, artist, curator, organization, or venue that has an event, exhibition, or window installation you want to self-produce and register with the Festival.

The Festival’s role:
The Festival provides a promotional platform for Independent Projects as part of Festival Week. Independent Projects are listed online and in print, included in general festival marketing, and provided with Festival-specific signage (e.g. window cling). Additional marketing may also be provided based on merit and media interest.

Fees:
There is a registration fee, based on the size of your organization.

Deadlines:
Early Bird: August 31, 2019
Final Registration: October 4, 2019

2. Venue-Designer Matchmaking Program

This program pairs designers with host venues. Projects include exhibitions, events (e.g. tours, talks, workshops), and window installations that are wholly created and executed by an individual or organization (“designer”) during the DesignTO Festival at the host venue.

This is for you if:
You run a shop, gallery, studio, café, school, cinema, or other venue in Toronto that you’d like to see activated with design during the Festival.

– OR –

You are a designer or artist that wants to present an exhibition, event or window installation during the Festival, but you don’t have a venue. This is a good option for non-local designers.

The Festival’s role:
The Festival solicits host venues through an open call for submissions. The venue list is shared in an open call for guest designers. The Festival then acts as a matchmaker between host venues and guest designers based on characteristics and fit of the project with the venue.

(Successfully matched pairs become Independent Projects, with the designer as the main contact. See above for details.)

Fees:
Host Venues: There is a registration fee, based on the size of your organization.
Guest Designers: You are responsible for all costs associated with the creation and execution of your project.

Deadlines:
Host Venue: June 21, 2019
Guest Designer: September 13, 2019

3. DesignTO Projects

DesignTO Projects are exhibitions and events curated and executed by the Festival. Participation in these projects is through a combination of juried open calls for submission and by invitation.

For 2020, we have three calls for submission:
– Symposium – ‘A Future without Work’
– Thematic Exhibition – ‘Future Retrospectives’
– Prototype Exhibition – ‘Work/Life’

This is for you if:
You are a designer, artist, educator, or researcher whose work is relevant to the themes outlined in each call for submission.

The Festival’s role:
The Festival curates and executes these exhibitions and events in their entirety, sometimes in partnership with other organizations.

Fees:
There is no fee to submit to the open calls for submission.

Deadlines:
Calls for Submission: September 20, 2019

Other ways to get involved

Key Dates
2019

Monday, May 13

  • Independent Projects – Registration Opens
  • Venue-Designer Matchmaking Program – Host Venue Call for Submissions Opens

Monday, June 3

  • DesignTO Projects – Call for Submissions Opens
    • Symposium
    • Thematic Exhibition
    • Prototype Exhibition

Friday, June 21

  • DEADLINE: Venue-Designer Matchmaking Program – Host Venue Call for Submissions Closes

Monday, July 8

  • Venue-Designer Matchmaking Program – Guest Designer Call for Submissions Opens

Saturday, August 31

  • DEADLINE: Independent Projects – Early Bird Registration Closes

Friday, September 13

  • DEADLINE: Venue-Designer Matchmaking Program – Guest Designer Call for Submissions Closes

Friday, September 20

  • DEADLINE: DesignTO Projects – Call for Submissions Closes
    • Symposium
    • Thematic Exhibition
    • Prototype Exhibition

Friday, October 4

  • DEADLINE: Independent Projects – Final Registration Closes

Friday, October 18

  • DEADLINE: Independent Projects – Content Due
2020

Wednesday, January 8 – DATE  TBC

  • Exhibitor Meet-up

Friday, January 17 – Sunday, January 26

  • DesignTO Festival