Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (TOAF) returns to Nathan Phillips Square July 7–9th for a weekend, Buzzing with Art for All. In its 62 years, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair has become one of the most loved art events of the summer and continues to expand its cultural offerings. This year, TOAF62 welcomes art collecting and artist discovery, installations, guided tours, soulful kids programs, live painting, first-time showcase of video art and a brand new site-specific dance.
Independent artists continue to be the center of the Fair, with 350+ artists from across Canada taking over the square in iconic white tents creating a dynamic showcase for visitors to peruse. Another 69 artists are presenting exclusively online at TOAF.ca from July 2-9th. New this year is a travel bursary program to assist artists living outside of Ontario to attend and participate in the Fair through funding. Seven artists were selected to participate including Darrell Chocolate from Yellowknife, North West Territories.
“For over sixty years Toronto Outdoor Art Fair has been one of the most-loved art events of the summer. Every year, we look to surprise and delight our visitors with exceptional artists, stimulating conversations, upbeat entertainment, positive vibes and free family fun. Our public programs this year are definitely abundant and elevated – Buzzing with Art for All. And, we want you to savour them,” says Anahita Azrahimi, TOAF Executive & Creative Director. “Connecting artists and art lovers on such a grand scale and supporting the creative economy of the city is what we look forward to every July.”
TOAF is a significant economic driver for independent artists. The event generates 2 million dollars in income for artists. Through the online platform, 1,400+ artworks have found new homes across Canada and the globe.
Notable statistics of the 2023 Fair include; 48% of participating artists are from the Toronto area and 34% of artists reside in Quebec. Of the 386 artists, 37% are first-time participants and 31% are emerging artists. The majority of artists are female (67%) and 117 artists identify as BIPOC (30%).
TOAF has commissioned a brand new site specific dance work titled Leap (of faith), by Choreographer Jenn Goodwin and her collaborators. Leap is rich in meaning, suspension and humour.
For the first time, the main stage will be transformed with large-scale projections that will feature awe-inspiring video artworks. Alex McLeod, a notable Toronto digital artist, curated a selection of art works for this inaugural initiative. His work will also be prominently featured.
Returning to the main stage is Small World Music with an electric selection of bands and musicians to entertain.
Henderson Brewing Co. continues to support local artists with an exclusive collaboration: a TO craft beer, available at the unique cascading Beer Garden. Free samples and takeaways for adults 19+ will also be available to purchase at the Fair.
Toronto Outdoor Art Fair continues to collaborate with local art organizations to provide more free activities and installations throughout the weekend. They will be hosting interactive activities by Gallery44, Myseum, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and live painting by StreetARToronto artists. Young art lovers can buy original artworks from the Budding Art Buyers program.
On Saturday July 8 at 11 am, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair celebrates the year’s most outstanding artists by awarding over $40,000 in cash and in-kind awards to participating artists. To recognize the growth of the Fair, new awards have been established to celebrate artists participating “exclusively online” from across the country, including the Jini Stolk Best of Online Art Fair of $2,000 cash. These awards are supported by a wonderful circle of donors and businesses and selected by art professionals.
HIGHLIGHTED TOAF62 PROGRAMMING
350+ Artist Booths
Browse and buy artwork from the 350+ juried artists from across the country. For 62 years TOAF has launched and sustained the careers of Canadian Artists, helping them get discovered and build networks. Explore independently to enjoy the wide range of media, techniques and subjects. Student zone features a special Grad-Ex Pop up by OCAD U.
Artists, curators, and collectors will take you on thematic guided Art Tours to share their insights and lead engaging conversations face-to-face with artists in the show. Offered in English, French and American Sign Language throughout the weekend.
Register for an Art Tour at TOAF.ca or join in the day of. All Art Tours will start from the Main Info Booth at spot 359 – West of the Reflection Pool at Nathan Phillips Square.
TOAF X StART
Meet StART participating artists, and enjoy Live Painting and a feature mural photography exhibition at Nathan Phillips Square.
This year’s Art Nest will feature works by 5 artists who are responding to the structure, architecture and meaning of Nathan Phillips Square with interactive and engaging public art works. Curated by Fatma Hendawy Yehia and features Kristi Chen, Michelle Cieloszczyk, Rana Nazzal Hamadeh, Studio Rat, and Stephanie Singh.
Leap (of faith) by
Jenn Goodwin, co-choreographed by Sarah Doucet and created in collaboration with a stellar cast of performers.
Saturday, July 8 at 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM
Sunday, July 9 at 1:00 PM
Leap (of faith) is the final installment of a trilogy of dance works, including Closer and If I Should Stumble, portraying a feminist journey through an urban landscape.
The work explores the body as a site of power where precarity, resilience and vulnerability negotiate the dominant social structures of contemporary public space. It references a collectively devised movement vocabulary from diverse female-lead protest dances, and uses materials attributed to the location which exists as a place of gathering, decision making, celebration, and protest.
Friday, July 7 at 5:00 PM
Saturday, July 8 at 3:00 PM
Sunday, July 9 at 3:00 PM
Kazdoura is a Toronto-based band serving Arabic fusion with a modern twist. Equal parts nostalgia and reinvention, their style is a cross-cultural blend of Eastern and Western music that blends old-world Arabic classics with funk, pop, and disco.
Las Empanadas Ilegales
Friday, July 7 at 12:00 PM
Saturday, July 8 at 12:00 PM
Sunday, July 9 at 12:00 PM
Empanadas Ilegales are Vancouver-based, and Creepy Mambo is their second full-length collection of psych-infused cumbia – or chicha, as it is also known – with some salsa and latin jazz mixed in for good measure. The six members trace their roots all across the Latin world – from Spain, Argentina and Brazil to Colombia, Ecuador and of course Peru, once the epicenter of the blistering chicha sound.
Trash Panda Brass
Saturday, July 8 at 11:00 AM
Trash Panda Brass, a fresh voice in Toronto’s brass band scene since June 2022, has quickly gained a devoted following. They’ve rocked shows at Drom Taberna, opened for Shuffle Demons, and energized community events. With upbeat tunes honouring queer hits and icons, Trash Panda Brass spreads music and joy through performances, festivals and workshops. Proudly queer, Trash Panda Brass is here to stay.
Friday, July 7 at 6:00 PM
Revel and groove to DJ Sawtay’s skilled spinning of Hip Hop, Funk, and Soul.
Power Kids presented by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
Join this year’s Power Kids workshop in Zone A to create an abstract painting with yarn and watercolours! This beautifully tactile process is inspired by the paintings of Esther Doyeon Kim, last year’s Power Plant Emerging Artist Award recipient.
Budding Art Buyers
Calling all art lovers and budding collectors aged 14 and younger! Experience the wonder of discovering and collecting a precious work of art. Purchase original artworks by our participating artists for $10, $15, or $20 (cash only & no adults allowed!).
36 Questions That Lead to Loving TO presented by TOAF X Myseum
36 Questions that Lead to Loving TO: Toronto Outdoor Art Fair Edition is an interactive pop-up experience that invites you to explore the commitment you have to the city and to each other.
36 Questions that Lead to Loving TO presents 36 questions that ignite the spark to fall in love with Toronto – for the first time or all over again.
Fun in the Sun: Cyanotypes with Gallery 44
Make your own cyanotype print in just fifteen minutes! Join members from Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography as they guide you through arranging a composition, exposing a print in the sun and finishing your print in a water bath. Learn about this historical photographic process and get creative. This workshop is free and open to all ages.
If you can’t join us in-person, tune into studio tours and live artist chats on Instagram and start meandering your way through TOAF.ca starting with the Curated Collections. We are sure that you will meet an artist who will inspire you and find a perfect piece of art for your world.
Don’t miss the Online Fair Kickoff on Instagram with the exuberant Tiffany Pratt, multi-disciplinary designer and artist.
For full TOAF62 programming visit the main cultural hub at www.TOAF.ca
About Toronto Outdoor Art Fair Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (TOAF) is Canada’s leading outdoor and online art fair. Established in 1961 to connect Canadian artists directly to the public, TOAF showcases 400+ emerging and established visual artists, including painters, photographers, sculptors and artists working in ceramics, textiles, jewellery and more. The event brings together 150,000 art lovers and enthusiasts who spend over 2 million dollars on art during the Fair. This free public event takes place every July – rain or shine – at Nathan Phillips Square in the heart of downtown Toronto. The Fair offers something for everyone: talks, tours, digital studio visits, curated collections, kids workshops, live painting, dance, music, art installations and food and drink experiences. Since 2020, TOAF’s online Fair has become Canada’s fastest-growing e-commerce and discovery platform for artists across Canada.