Past Calls

Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC) is seeking submissions from curators, artists, collectives and organizations working across a wide range of disciplines for curatorial proposals for our 2019-2021 programming years.

Submissions can include proposals for exhibitions, public programming, performances, screenings, workshops, tours and digital projects. CDCC is particularly interested in critically, politically and socially engaged program proposals. We also encourage proposals that challenge the definition and boundaries of curatorial practice and conceive of curatorial labour in new ways.


  • Proposal brief: max 500 words outlining your idea with a confirmed or potential artist list;
  • CVs and/or bios for curators;
  • Support material: up to ten images/documents, can include artworks, sketches, writing samples and examples of previous curatorial projects;
  • A list of material and tech requirements (if applicable).   

Email your submission as a single zipped attachment to:


June 30, 2019


Critical Distance is committed to paying artist fees in accordance with CARFAC’s guidelines. Curators will receive a fee of $1000–2000 depending on the scope of their project. Budgets will be developed in collaboration between the gallery and curator/s.

CDCC covers:

  • Opening reception
  • Print and digital informational and promotional materials in support of the exhibition
  • Partial or full installation assistance
  • Shipping and travel (case-by-case basis, depending on scope of project)
  • Documentation
  • Print or digital catalogue (depending on the scope of the project)   

CDCC does not cover:

  • The commissioning of new artworks
  • Artwork production (printing, framing, etc.)


  • We recommend reviewing CDCC’s previous programming before preparing a proposal.
  • Works that have not been previously shown in Toronto will be prioritized.
  • CDCC welcomes proposals from local and international curators in every stage of their careers.


Proposals will be reviewed by CDCC’s current programming committee. Applicants should expect a response by December 2019.


Part gallery and publisher, part professional network, CDCC exists to: provide opportunities and resources to curators and artists for the production of exhibitions and projects within a critical framework; foster curatorial community and discourse at all levels of professional development; promote education, sustainability, and best practices in curating and exhibition-making; and more.

With a focus on critically engaged, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and art forms, and community outreach and education in art and exhibition-making, Critical Distance is an open platform for diverse curatorial perspectives, and a forum for the exchange of ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life.


CDCC’s project space is an intimate venue for artistic and curatorial experimentation, with approximately 325 square feet devoted to exhibitions and events. Ceilings are 14 feet high, and the gallery is wheelchair accessible. A full-height pocket door allows for division of the space into two distinct areas, one of which is suitable for projection-based works and film screenings. Click for a PDF of the gallery floor plan.

Additional spaces in and around Artscape Youngplace, the 75,000 sf cultural and community hub we call home, may also be considered for inclusion in proposed projects. A wide range of public and semi-public contexts is available for curatorial/artistic consideration and engagement, including: a street-level billboard, outdoor performance area, various flatscreen and projection surfaces in public areas, a 63-seat black box theatre with professional sound stage and 16 x 9 foot projection screen, open classroom, art and movement studios of various sizes; ceramics, printmaking, papermaking, and kitchen facilities, and more. Proposals incorporating public and semi-public spaces should demonstrate knowledge and sensitivity to conditions of such sites. Fees, budgets and schedules will be adjusted according to the scope of each accepted project.

Site visits are recommended when possible. Artscape Youngplace building hours are 8–8 pm daily except statutory holidays; Critical Distance gallery hours are Weds–Fri 12–6, Sat–Sun 11–5, and by appointment when exhibitions are on. Subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media for information on current exhibitions and events.

CDCC Call for Board Members — apply by Nov 8, 2017

Critical Distance Centre for Curators, a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry in Toronto, is seeking enthusiastic, self-motivated and collaborative individuals to join the organization’s active Board of Directors. Serving as a Board member provides an exciting opportunity to help shape the future of the organization and contribute to important decision-making processes regarding programming, operations, fundraising, communications and governance. Working closely with CDCC’s Director, Board members will consider short and long-term strategic planning for the organization. Serving as a CDCC Board member provides an opportunity to help grow this emerging organization and contribute to creating equitable practices that will sustainably expand the gallery’s multi-faceted programming.

Ideal candidates will be able to help develop and implement strategies that will generate revenue and build the gallery’s audience by developing collaborations and attracting new visitors. While we welcome candidates from a wide range of backgrounds and with different levels of experience, we are looking for individuals with any or all of the following:

— Knowledge of non-profit Board management and strategic planning
— Experience with fundraising strategy, grant writing, and donor relations
— Interest/engagement with curatorial inquiry/theory and/or practice
— Ability to commit to a hands-on, collaborative and detail-oriented volunteer position

Interested candidates should send a one-page letter of interest and CV to info (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca by November 8, 2017. Any inquiries may also be addressed to this email.

CDCC is committed to fostering an equitable and inclusive environment and encourages candidates who reflect the diversity of our communities to apply. As always, we thank all participants for their time, energy, interest, and support.

Critical Distance provides a venue and context for curators and artists in all stages of their professional development.As an independent curator-led initiative, our mission springs from the interests, motivations and methodologies of contemporary curatorial practice, foregrounding critical inquiry, collaboration, and experimentation in making new connections between artists, art forms, ideas, images, objects, environments, and audiences.With a focus oncritically engaged, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and art forms, andcommunity outreach and education in art and exhibition-making, Critical Distance is an open platform for diversecuratorial perspectives, and a forum for the exchange of ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engageand inform audiences from all walks of life.

Since 2013 we have produced and co-produced 22+ exhibitions featuring nearly 100 artists working in all media, andhave welcomed over 9600 visitors to our gallery and events such as talks, screenings, workshops, and more. Upcoming programming partnerships with SAVAC, Independent Curators International (NY), and the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective are in currently in development, and future initiatives include expansion within and aroundArtscape Youngplace through billboard, moving image, and library/reading room activations and events. Networking and educational programs for curators, artists, and local and international audiences are also a programming priority. CDCC is located in Suite 302 at Artscape Youngplace near Trinity Bellwoods Park; building and gallery space are fully accessible.

Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC) and Aboriginal Curatorial Collective–Collectif des commissaires autochtones (ACC-CCA) are pleased to announce this joint call for proposals for an exhibition or curatorial project to be mounted at CDCC in Spring 2018.

This opportunity is for Indigenous curators, artists, architects, collectives, writers, researchers, and others interested in engaging and expanding curatorial approaches to public programming and exhibition-making within a critical context. Projects that are conceptually experimental or innovative, introduce new artists to Toronto audiences, and deliver theoretical tools to think about contemporary Indigenous art in Canada are highly encouraged.

The selected applicant will receive a curatorial fee of $3000 for curation and writing in support of the project. Artist fees will be paid at 2018 CARCC rates. Further support in the form of a budget for exhibition materials and production (to be developed in collaboration with ACC-CCA/CDCC), installation assistance, design, promotion, and full documentation in an exhibition catalogue to be produced by CDCC will also be provided.

Submission Deadline
Friday, October 27, 2017 at 5 pm EST

About the Venue and Site

Critical Distance is located on the 3rd floor at Artscape Youngplace, a former public school building that has been repurposed into an arts and community hub in Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood. In addition to engaging with CDCC’s intimate exhibition space, there are opportunities to activate sites within and around the larger building, including public space for screenings, performances, workshops, events, small and large-scale site-responsive installations and interventions (billboard, stairwells, flag pole), and more.

View/download a gallery floor plan; more information on the building can be found at Plans and details on additional sites for exhibition/intervention are forthcoming. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact us for a tour if possible. Critical Distance is located at 180 Shaw Street between Dundas and Queen Streets in Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood (click for map). For those unable to visit, we are happy to provide additional information for exhibition development purposes — contact us at to inquire.

Materials Required for Proposal

— A curatorial statement with project description (max 750 words)

— Brief bios of Indigenous artists to be included or invited (max 15 artists)

— Curator’s bio (max 300 words) and CV (max 3 pages)

— Two writing samples (brief articles, reviews, essays, etc)

— Images/links to completed exhibitions/projects (max 5 total) that convey an impression of your curatorial approaches, achievements, and interests

— Estimated budget including curator’s and artists’ fees

— Brief letter of introduction including how you heard about this call

Submitting Your Proposal

— Please compile materials into a single PDF (max file size 20MB)

— Email PDF to or 

— Use subject heading: ACC-CDCC 2018

Please note that submissions without this subject heading or sent to email addresses at ACC-CCA or CDCC other than those listed above may be missed. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 2 weeks after submitting, check the sending address. Incomplete submissions cannot be considered; please be sure to include all requested materials in your PDF.

Submission Review and Selection

A jury comprising ACC-CCA and CDCC members will review all complete proposals received by the submission deadline, and the successful applicant will be notified in November. Upon confirmation of participation, project development will begin immediately thereafter.

Any general questions may be addressed to either of the above emails in advance of submission deadline. For questions specific to the gallery and building site, contact Thank you!

About Aboriginal Curatorial Collective–Collectif des commissaires autochtones (ACC-CCA)

ACC-CCA is a National Indigenous Arts Service Organization (NIASO) that supports, promotes and advocates on behalf of Indigenous curators, critics, artists and representatives of arts and cultural organizations. The ACC-CCA develops and disseminates curatorial practices, innovative research and critical discourses on Indigenous arts and culture. ACC-CCA builds equitable spaces for Indigenous artists and curators by fostering cultural exchange, collaboration and growth within the Canadian arts ecology. ACC-CCA is not bound to traditional wall-hanging arts, proposed projects are encouraged to consider all artistic disciplines and methods of engagement.

About Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC)

Critical Distance is a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry within local, national, and international contexts. Providing opportunities and resources to curators and artists for the production of exhibitions and projects within a critical framework, CDCC is an open platform for diverse curatorial practices and perspectives, and a forum for the exchange of ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life.

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.