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Oct 7 2022 Calls / Competitions /

DesignTO | 2023 Call for Independent Projects

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The DesignTO Festival brings people together to celebrate contemporary design across the city January 20-29, 2023.

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. Since 2011, the DesignTO Festival has welcomed over 800K visitors, showcased the work of 5,500 artists and designers, and reached 460M+ users through print and digital media.

Independently produced projects are integral to the Festival’s structure. We welcome all who want to present, discuss, demonstrate, or exhibit design in any field and/or related disciplines.

Exhibitors include artists, designers, design firms, local businesses, academic and cultural institutions, and students. Exhibitors are responsible for arranging their own venue in Toronto, including spaces such as galleries, studios, workshops, cafés, schools, lobbies, and businesses. We also welcome online events and exhibitions.

Your project listing includes:

  • 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)


Apply by Wednesday, August 31, 2022 to receive $25 off your registration fee.

Application Deadline
Friday, October 7, 2022 by 11:59pm ET.

Event Listing Deadline
Friday, October 21, 2022 by 11:59pm ET.


  • Window Installation
  • Event (online or in-person)
  • Exhibition (online or in-person)


Solo designer or ad hoc collective
$250 + HST

Small businesses
(including shops, artist-run centres, and private galleries)
$300 + HST

Large businesses and institutions
$375 + HST

All applications 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 to confirm participation. Institutions have the option to pay by cheque.

Apply by August 31, 2022 and save $25.


  • window installation runs the whole duration of Festival Week, and is visible to the public 24 hours a day from the outside of your venue. Depending on the space, the installation may also be viewable from inside your venue during regular business/gallery hours.
  • An event runs one day during Festival Week, for a set period of time, taking place online or in-person. For example, a talk, tour, product launch, webinar, film screening, party, or workshop.
  • An exhibition runs more than one day during Festival Week, and can take place in-person or online. 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.

Why Participate?

  • Be a part of Toronto’s vibrant art and design community
  • Show your work to an enthusiastic audience of designers and design-lovers
  • 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
  • Explore new ideas
  • Add to your brand capital by self-producing your own programming
  • Engage with a captive audience for less than standard advertising rates