Open and Rolling Submissions

CDCC Summer Sessions is a program through which Critical Distance makes space and exhibition support available to graduates of local and regional colleges and universities to present their thesis exhibitions in downtown Toronto.

Through our Summer Sessions program, selected degree candidates will receive:

— Free use of our exhibition and office space for one week (plus time to install and deinstall)
— Exhibition support such as consultation, installation assistance, design/production, and staffing (subject to availability)
— Serving supplies for the opening reception (student is responsible for food/drink and any permits)
— Seating for the student’s thesis defence, if needed
— Limited installation materials, equipment, tools, and supplies (determined on a case by base basis)
— Design/production of print and web materials, promotion with a widely distributed media release
— Blog post to mailing list and social media channels (over 2600 subscribers/followers)
— Listing on the Artscape Youngplace website, social media, and exterior signage (depending on timing)
— When possible, openings will be scheduled to coincide with other building events for maximum attendance

Summer Session shows will generally run for one week during late June or August, depending on the student’s schedule and project space availability.

If you are interested in applying, please send the following to submissions (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca:

— Letter of introduction (i.e., who you are, how you heard of us, why you would like to show here)
— Desired time frame for exhibition
— Your updated resume or CV and contact information
— Any relevant URLs: websites, projects, videos, publications and/or press

Additional materials requested of Curators:

— Curatorial proposal including exhibition concept and description
— Exhibition checklist with artwork/object images (72 dpi jpgs) and info (name, title, date, media, dims)
— Links to artists’ websites or condensed bios/statements/CVs
— Sketches, plans, or diagrams relating to our floor plan

Additional materials requested of Artists:

— 10–20 images from your current and recent bodies of work (72 dpi jpgs), or web link (preferred)
— List of titles, dates, media, and dimensions for each image
— Artist statement (max 250 words)
— If submitting a site-specific proposal, include a project description (max 500 words) and supporting images (sketches, plans, and/or diagrams relating to our floor plan)

Timelines and Review Process
Once we receive your complete submission, we will send a confirmation email. Note this may take some time; please do not contact us to follow up unless you have not received a confirmation at least a week after you have sent it.

Address materials and any related questions to submissions (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca. Submissions sent to other email addresses at Critical Distance may be missed. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

A Programming Committee of 3-5 individuals drawn from our Executive and Advisory Boards and Committees will assess submission packages on a rolling basis for artistic merit, feasibility, and space availability. Notifications to all applicants will be sent by the end of May each year. Good luck and thank you in advance for your interest and participation!

Past calls

CDCC x TOABF (Critical Distance at the Toronto Art Book Fair)

Call for Proposals: Artists’ Books x Archives x Alternative Narratives
Fair dates: June 15–18, 2017
Submission deadline: March 15, 2017

In partnership with the Toronto Art Book Fair, CDCC is pleased to issue this call for proposals for an exhibition or curatorial project to take place in our third floor gallery during TOABF 2017, happening building-wide at Artscape Youngplace from June 15–18 this year.

The thematic focus for TOABF 2017 is archives and alternative narratives. Conventionally, archives are developed in close relationship with institutional history, juridical environment, cultures, and sometimes also belief systems of particular countries or regions. In contrast, artists’ books have a legacy of resisting the dominant culture. They are often small in scale, ephemeral, cost relatively little to produce, and are easily replicable, allowing the work to flow outside of mainstream channels and reach audiences without institutional or commercial consent. They offer a criticism and alternative to these systems by circumventing them. The curated exhibitions and associated programming for TOABF 2017 will investigate archives that have emerged through the medium of the artist’s book and related printed matter.

This call for exhibition proposals is aimed at curators, artists, architects, collectives, writers, researchers, and creative individuals who are interested in developing an exhibition that investigates and explores the intersection of artist’s books, archives, and alternative narratives.

The selected applicant(s) will be paid an honorarium of $1000 and given a budget of up to $1000 for materials and installation. TOABF will cover project costs such as marketing and space rental. CDCC will assist with staffing support, installation, preparation, and documentation.

Submissions should include:

— Description (max 500 words) and supporting images for proposed exhibition
— Your bio (max 100 words) and CV (max 3 pages)
— Images of past projects (max 10 images)
— Estimated budget

How to submit your proposal:

— Please submit your proposal as one PDF
— Email to
— Use subject heading: Call for Exhibition Proposals 2017
— Submission deadline is March 15th, 2017

The selection process:
A jury composed of TOABF co-founders, the CDCC Director, a CDCC Board Member, and a member from the local community will review and rate the proposals. The successful applicant will be notified by March 24th, 2017.

For more information:
Click to view/download a gallery floor plan and feel free to contact us at info (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca with any questions about the exhibition space. During our winter exhibition from January 19–February 19, 2017, we will be open for regular gallery hours, Friday–Sunday from 12–5 pm and by appointment for anyone who would like to see the space in person.

About the Toronto Art Book Fair


TOABF aims to bring increased visibility and appreciation to artists’ books, print culture, and independent publishers through learning, collaboration, and community engagement. The ongoing vision for TOABF is to represent the diversity of cultural production and creative expression across Canada. Over 3500 people participated in the fair’s activities; exhibitions, workshops, readings, lectures, curatorial talks, and panel discussions in 2016. | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


In partnership with Artscape Youngplace, Critical Distance is pleased to issue this call for submissions for the 3rd in our series of Billboards on Shaw, an initiative through which we are providing opportunities for curators and artists to propose site-responsive, large-format, print-ready public artworks for the freestanding mural/billboard on our building’s front lawn.

Originally installed during WorldPride 2014 in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Michaëlle Jean Foundation and Street Art Toronto, the 8 x 8-foot structure at Artscape Youngplace was first host to the award-winning artwork No Walls Between Us by Vancouver-based migrant-rights activist Pablo Muñoz. Since then it has been a compelling site for a series of context-specific artworks by Toronto-based artists such as Susana Reisman (in partnership with CONTACT Photography Festival), Steven Beckly (curated by Matthew Kyba), and Ruth Adler (the last two presented by Critical Distance in partnership with Artscape Youngplace).

Through this call, the next billboard in the series will be selected to be displayed for the May–August 2017 term.


As a centre and space devoted to supporting and advancing curatorial inquiry and practice, CDCC is interested in projects that highlight critically engaged, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and art forms, and community outreach, education, and engagement.

Critical Distance is committed to fostering inclusive and equitable programs and partnerships and welcomes the participation of curators and artists who represent the diversity of our local and global communities.

Submissions should consider the public, street-level, neighbourhood context of the billboard location, which is in close proximity to a TDSB school property and one block from Trinity Bellwoods Park. Aside from these considerations, there are no thematic restrictions.

There is no fee to participate. See below for information on remuneration and budgetary constraints.

Please submit the requested materials according to the following specifications

Artists may submit 1–3 images for consideration. Curators may submit works by different artists, max 3 images total.

Please send low-res jpegs (8 x 8 inches at 72 dpi) with your submission, but be sure that any image you send is available at sufficient resolution for billboard printing (50 dpi at 8 x 8 feet).

As this program is limited by cost and logistics to print-ready projects, we cannot accept proposals for handcrafted murals or sculptural applications. Also the current budget accommodates existing work only — fees do not cover commissions/new work.

Please send the following supporting texts in a single editable document.

Artwork information, keyed to filenames. For each image submitted, include Artist, Title, Year, Media, Dimensions (if previously printed/shown in another context).

Brief description of submitted artwork(s) and rationale as to how they address the site/context (max 300 wds per artwork).

Current bio (max 100 wds) and link to website/CV for each submitting artist/curator.

Sending your submission

Email jpegs and text docs to info (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca.

Include the words Submission: Spring 2017 Billboard on Shaw in subject line.

Submission deadline is Friday, April 7th, 2017 at 5 pm.

You will receive an acknowledgement of your submission. As we are a small organization, please be patient if this takes a few days, and do not call or email to follow up unless you have not received an acknowledgement over a week after submitting.

Selection process and next steps

A jury including the CDCC Director and two members drawn from the CDCC executive and advisory boards will review the submissions and select 3-5 finalists for presentation to the AYP management team/community. Final review and approval by AYP in partnership with CDCC will thus take place by Wednesday, April 12th. Unfortunately we are unable to respond to all submissions — only the successful applicant will be contacted.

The selected artist and/or curator will be asked to provide a high-res image, final text for the artwork labels, and profile materials for the CDCC website by Monday, April 17th. If for any reason the selected applicant is unable to provide the required materials by this deadline, the project will go to the next applicant on the list of selected projects.

Critical Distance reserves the right to edit all submitted texts and materials for accuracy, clarity, and concision. We will provide project and production management, promotion and documentation of the selected submission with support from Artscape Youngplace for print production and installation.

Remuneration and more information

The selected artist will receive $375 CAD for solo exhibition of single existing work; if a curator submitted the work, they will receive an honorarium of $200 CAD. Payments will be made by CDCC within 30 days of the exhibition opening.

Submissions that are incomplete or do not otherwise adhere to the specifications will not be considered. Any questions or requests for clarification should be addressed to info (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca prior to submission.

Our address and Google map of AYP/billboard location:

Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC)
Suite 302, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5
See Google map of location

Thank you and good luck! Stay tuned for the announcement of the selected project in late April.

Critical Distance thanks Artscape Youngplace for their generous support of this project.