NEW PROGRAMMING VENUE: The Cumberland Terrace, First Floor

As you may know, this year TCAF is presenting Zineland Terrace, our first ever zine-focused show held in the Cumberland Terrace Mall. This space will not only host exhibitors (full list of whom you can find here: Link), but also a stream of TCAF programming! The following panels will be held a the Cumberland Terrace First Floor programming space:
SATURDAY MAY 12th
11:00am – 12:00pm Spotlight: Germany’s Spring Collective
12:15pm – 1:15pm Spotlight: Hockey Noir
1:30pm – 2:30pm Country Comics and City Comics
2:45pm – 3:45pm Spotlight: Hartley Lin x Georgia Webber
4:00pm – 5:00pm Spotlight: Yvan Alagbé
SUNDAY MAY 13th
11:00am – 12:00pm Finding Your Publishing Niche
12:00pm – 1:15pm From the Inside Looking Out: Comics and Mental Health
2:45pm – 3:45pm Historietas: Comics in the Spanish Speaking World
Keen attendees may notice that these programs were originally slate to happen in the High Park 1 Ballroom at the Marriott Hotel. Luckily this new location at the Cumberland lets us have even more space for programs, so even more people can attend! All programs scheduled to take place at the High Park 2/3 Ballroom will still be there, just in the bigger and grander complete High Park Ballroom!
For more information on these and all of our TCAF programs, don’t forget to check out the TCAF Guidebook:

Or you can check out all of our programs (plus a map of our the neighbourhood) on our Panels & Programs page.

ANNOUNCING WORD BALLOON ACADEMY 2018! Register today!

TCAF is pleased to present Word Balloon Academy, a full day of creator-focused programming on Friday, May 11th at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville, located at 90 Bloor Street East (Bloor/Yonge Subway).

Word Balloon Academy is a full day of presentations and workshops especially for comic creators and industry members, and includes programming spanning creative demonstrations, business development topics and professional concerns. These programs require registration, but are completely free to attend.

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ANNOUNCING: Zineland Terrace – The First Ever TCAF Zine Fair!

We are proud to announce Zineland Terrace, the first ever TCAF Zine Fair!

Every year, some of the world’s most exciting comic artists gather for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. This year, we are delighted to expand the scope of the festival’s exhibitor programming to include a brand new, truly unique space for zine creators, readers, and well, everyone!

TCAF’s Zineland Terrace will happen at The Cumberland Terrace (2 Bloor St W) on May 12-13, 2018, from 11am to 5pm each day. The event will run concurrently with the main festival floor directly across the street at the Toronto Reference Library, but will focus on creators using self publishing, DIY, and zine culture to forge new and critical narratives and communities.

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Announcing The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2018! Featured Guests, Programs, and more!

 Toronto Public Library and The Beguiling present

TCAF 2018 – The Toronto Comic Arts Festival

@ Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street
Professional Development: Friday, May 11, 8:30am-5pm
Saturday, May 12, 9am-5pm
Sunday, May 13, 10am-5pm
Free to attend
www.torontocomics.com

TORONTO, CANADA — The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is very excited to announce the initial Northan American Featured Guests and Events for TCAF 2018! With over 350 cartoonists from more than 15 countries on their way to Toronto this May, we’re set to celebrate the very best in comics, graphic novels, bandes dessinées, and manga! Get ready for a week of readings, launches, and art events culminating in a massive, FREE two-day exhibition at Toronto Reference Library, May 12th and 13th, 2018! Tell your friends!

Every year the Toronto Comic Arts Festival showcases Canada’s most incredible comics talent on a world stage by promoting top tier creators and publishers, and inviting the attention of the global cartooning community. The 2018 programme builds on our previous successes, with a continued commitment to offer more inclusive and engaging programming, in multiple formats, focusing on compelling and challenging work being made across the world and right here in Canada! We’re proud to spotlight a wide variety of incredible Canadian cartoonists with exciting new projects debuting at TCAF.

Keep reading to see two incredible official TCAF posters by Canadian cartoonists, an amazing variety of Featured Guests, and even TCAF’s very first Opera project! It’s going to be an incredible year for The Toronto Comic Arts Festival!

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Statement on TCAF’s Partnership with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival

October 14-15, 2017, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival hosted a contingent of Canadian artists and writers at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal, UK. Following reasonable criticism about the racial diversity of the festival’s guest list, LICAF’s initial Twitter response was unacceptably insensitive and unprofessional. Over the following week, events unfolded that ultimately led to severe harassment directed towards British comics critic and publisher Zainab Akhtar, as well as to many of the cartoonists pulling out of LICAF.

After conversations with TCAF staff and volunteers, as well as with cartoonists and other stakeholders in the TCAF community, we agree it is important to comment on this situation and more generally on our partnership with LICAF.

TCAF has worked closely with LICAF since its inception in 2013. Initially acting as festival consultants our relationship has grown into a cultural exchange program, with us sending Canadian cartoonists to LICAF and welcoming UK cartoonists to TCAF. With such closeness, we understand how LICAF’s self-admittedly poor handling of the criticism reflects on TCAF, as well as how TCAF’s silence could be read as a blanket approval of LICAF’s actions and an unwillingness to engage with these issues head-on.

To be clear, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival fully condemns the racist harassment and threats directed towards Zainab Akhtar, as well as the vitriol directed towards creators who chose to exhibit or not exhibit at LICAF 2017.

We also agree with LICAF that their initial Twitter response and communications were inappropriate, and that they have caused stress and heartache to Zainab and others.

We take very seriously our mission to promote Canadian cartoonists around the world. When partnering with festivals abroad, our goal is to share our values and to support an inclusive and thriving comics community. As much as possible, we take responsibility for the experiences of the cartoonists we bring to these exchanges. Both in terms of artistic growth and career development, we try to provide Canadian artists with excellent international opportunities. On this trip we learned in a very real way that we must take more steps to ensure that our partners share and live our organizational values.

This statement does not come from a place of moral superiority above LICAF or the criticism raised around the inclusiveness of race and religion at comics festivals. TCAF aims to create a festival that represents the experiences and identities of everyone who attends, but we still have plenty of work to do. Like LICAF, we are having our own internal discussions about how we can create a better TCAF through a more equitable and anti-oppressive lens. This is work we are still doing, and we look forward to proving our commitment with action. If you would like to offer feedback to TCAF, please reach out to us at contact@torontocomics.com.

While TCAF had not planned to participate in a cultural exchange with LICAF in 2018, we welcome festival administrators or affiliated cartoonists who want to attend TCAF to continue the work of developing more inclusive festivals. It is only together that we are able to make widespread changes and impacts across the comics industry. We are choosing to be optimistic about LICAF’s statements in regards to making their festival more equitable for marginalized creators, and we will be keeping their follow-through in mind as we evaluate the potential to partner again in 2019.

This incident highlights the need for comics festivals around the world, TCAF very much among them, to work harder and with urgency, both to build comics communities that value criticism, and to implement real change that fosters inclusion and diversity.

Thank you for reading, thank you for your patience, and thank you to our community for continually holding us to task and holding us to a high standard.

–TCAF Executive Staff and Volunteers (contact@torontocomics.com)