TCAF 2020 Announcement of Event Cancellation

Dear fans and attendees of TCAF,

It is with great sadness that we announce that TCAF 2020, scheduled to take place on May 8, 9, and 10, has been cancelled due to a host of factors resulting from the Covid-19 Global Pandemic.

The response within Canada and internationally has been progressing extremely rapidly, with significant protocol changes being made every single day. TCAF’s team has spent the past two weeks interfacing with leaders in the comics community, TCAF partners, sponsors, venues, our Board of Directors, and health care officials, about the best way to move forward, and we have decided yesterday to cancel this year’s festival based on that feedback, and due to the restrictions on travel and events, with no forecasted end to quarantine measures.

We want to say to the entire comics community: We tried very hard to make this work, as we’re very aware of the financial and career necessity that TCAF has become for many working comic authors. At present, cancellation is the only ethical option.

All TCAF exhibitors will receive refunds for their tables, and they have been sent refund request information.

TCAF is committed to using our media and organizational resources to support all of our exhibitors, including those who had deferred or cancelled, however we can. We’re currently putting together a media plan to promote exhibitors online and through TCAF’s original May dates. We’ll have more information next week.

We are also inviting collaboration and feedback from the comics community, with ideas on how we can work to promote and elevate creators. Online comic con? Hashtag? Store orders? We’re brainstorming internally, and we’re willing to work to build a larger coalition too. We’re heartened by the efforts that have been made by other events and organizers on creators’ behalf, and we want to contribute to and build on that. More details will come on twitter @torontocomics, and on our website at

The whole staff of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival is sorry to have to cancel this year. It has been an unprecedented time for the comics community. We’ve been humbled by your letters of support, and it was clear to us that creators, publishers, and readers were rooting for TCAF to happen. That makes this harder in so many ways, but it also makes it a lot easier too, knowing you have our back.

Our sincerest apologies, and our greatest thanks to you.

The staff of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Questions You Might Have:

Q: Why cancel the festival? Why not postpone?

While other shows announced postponement rather than cancellation, at this time we’re not comfortable postponing because of the uncertainty around the duration of this pandemic. In addition, there are now multiple open-ended government orders around international travel and cancelling large gatherings, and that makes any postponement or possible rescheduling impossible.

Q: Is it possible for TCAF to be rescheduled later this year?

TCAF is a very complicated event, involving not just the front-facing festival, but a massive shipping and receiving infrastructure, international cooperation, the coordination and rental of multiple venues, and a small army of staff and volunteers. Ramping that up takes about 9 months, each year, and it’s not really something we can press pause on for the next 2-3 months and easily resume. Our best estimate is that from the time quarantining measures are halted, it would take us 5 months to relaunch the festival.

Q: Does this mean Zineland Terrace, or Word Balloon Academy, or Library & Education Day are also cancelled?

All TCAF events and TCAF-partnership events are fully cancelled, including the three above and others. Some events have been announced, and may be a part of long-lead promotion and marketing and may still be out in the world, but all events are in fact cancelled.

Q:  Is TCAF going to be okay?

The best answer that we can give you at this time is: We think so. TCAF’s lead sponsor, The Beguiling, as well as our Festival shop, Page & Panel, have both had to close their doors temporarily due to the virus. There are also a lot of costs around the festival that may be unrecoverable. This will put a financial strain on the organization, but we’re hopeful and we’ve had some amazing support from our granting bodies.

Q: What can I do to support TCAF?

TCAF is made up of many moving parts, with many people working on the festival as well as literally hundreds of working artists exhibiting. Right now the best way you can support TCAF is to support the artists that we work with. We’ll try to make it easy for you to find them on social media, and we’ll announce more plans soon. Follow us on twitter @torontocomics, or keep an eye on

If you’d like to directly sponsor TCAF or make a donation, feel free to reach out at to discuss first please.

Q: You didn’t answer my question, how can I get in touch with you?

Please email for anything that we may have missed in this letter. Please be patient with us if we don’t get back to you right away. We’re doing our best but the whole situation is just a bit overwhelming.

Update to the Comics Community Regarding COVID-19 from TCAF and VanCAF

Update to the Comics Community Regarding COVID-19 from TCAF and VanCAF

In the months leading up to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, including Comics X Games in partnership with Hand Eye Society (May 8-10) and the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (May 16-17), we wanted to update you on our plans. 

At this point, both festivals will be moving forward, with enhanced cleaning procedures at venues, and additional cleaning/sanitizing materials made available to exhibitors and the public. 

Read More

Zineland Terrace Update

Hello from the Zineland Crew,
As you may have already seen, TCAF just announced that it has made the difficult decision to cancel its 2020 events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (See the full statement from TCAF here This includes Zineland Terrace.
We thank you so much for your interest in the event. We will be spending some time discussing what the next Zineland Terrace might look like and, as soon as any decisions are made about the future of the event, we will be in touch.
Keep well!
Kind regards,


Zineland Terrace Returns to TCAF 2020!

We are excited to announce that Zineland Terrace will be returning to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival for its third year.

The zine fair will run concurrently with TCAF, taking place 11am-6pm on May 9th and 10th at Cumberland Terrace, across the street from Toronto Reference Library. 

Zineland Terrace is meant to be a unique space at TCAF, with lots of offerings for zine creators, readers, and well, everyone! For the past two years we have been proud to offer this welcoming showcase of all types of self-publishing from Toronto, Canada, and beyond as a complement to the festival’s broader comics focus. Zineland distinguishes itself from TCAF’s other fabulous spaces and endeavours because it is focused on the people and projects using  self publishing, DIY, and zine culture to forge new and critical narratives and communities — whether or not they are comics or illustration. 

We are inviting all zine creators to apply! You do not need to make comics or have exhibited at TCAF before. 

We support a wide range of zines and self-publishing styles, and we want to showcase the broad and diverse spectrum of people working in the medium. We especially encourage local, emerging, and marginalized creators to apply and exhibit at TCAF’s Zineland Terrace.

Applications are open now, until 11:59pm on March 20th. 


What are you waiting for? Apply here now!

Feel free to email with any questions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where and when, exactly?

Exhibitor tables for Zineland will again line the second floor of Cumberland Terrace, with workshops and programming in the basement level. Both floors’ activities will be in the eastern half of the mall, closer to Yonge St, with the best entrance at the corner of Yonge St and Cumberland St. (7 Cumberland St). The event runs 11am-6pm, which is concurrent with TCAF’s main festival site and exhibitor marketplace directly across the street at the Toronto Reference Library, but with a later start time and end time.

Applying, paying, and planning ahead of the festival

How much is the fee for each table spot?

This year tables are $75 (+HST, totally $84.75), there is no fee to apply. For those of you who have tabled with us previously, you’ll know that this fee is higher than last year. Tabling fees are what directly covers our costs: from the venue, to snacks, to artists fees for the poster the tabling fee is what allows Zineland to run. There is no fee to apply.

What size is each spot? How many people can fit?

Each table spot is roughly 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep, or half of a shared standard 6ft event table.  We will have few extra chairs available to accommodate people staffing the tables, however no more than two people at a time is comfortable. Take turns!

Is there assigned table placement/seating?

No, tables are available first come first serve at TIME on Saturday May 9. If you need assistance with your table don’t hesitate to ask any of the volunteers or coordinators! 

Can I share a table with a friend? Do we both need to apply?

It depends on what you mean! Each exhibitor spot (as in one fee, one application) is half of a standard 6 foot event table, about 3ft x 2.5ft of total tabletop space.

  • If you want to sit next to each other, but have your own separate exhibitor spots, please apply separately. On fest day, try to arrive together on the early side so you can find a table with both halves unclaimed.

  • If you want one shared 3ft exhibitor spot (half of a 6ft table) for you and a friend, you may apply with one application. Please include the relevant info, names, samples etc both artists. It’s possible but tight to squeeze behind the half-table spot, so you may consider taking turns staffing it at different times.

Can I exhibit for only one day?
Unfortunately we do not offer one day table spots; it’s a big logistical task to accommodate (especially since seating is not pre-assigned), and we want to prioritize people who can commit to  table both days. However, if you want to split the table with another person, or if different individuals will staff the table on each day, that is up to you to coordinate — we only ask that you indicate these plans in your separate applications or apply together. Please let us know if you have made any such arrangement!

Do table spots have outlets available?

Only one or two tables might have an outlet available, and these are reserved for people who require them as an accessibility accommodation. If you think this is you, let us know and we’ll plan for it.  

I’m coming from out of town. Where can I stay?

Unfortunately we are unable to offer a place to stay for visitors to Toronto. Hostels, short-term rentals and hotels are plentiful but really book up quickly for TCAF weekend, so it’s worth booking soon or reaching out to friends, family, or internet crushes to ask if you can stay. TCAF also has a 

Should I apply to Zineland Terrace? What kind of tablers are you looking for?

You probably should! All kinds of zines and zine creators are represented at Zineland, from perzines to chapbooks to mini comics to mail art. 

Key words: text-based, underground, works in progress, old as heck, super new, DIY, political, community-based, experimental, sketchbook, artists getting paid, collabs, punk zines, fanzines, photo zines, pretty zines, accessible prices, cut-n-paste, new friends, screenprinting, staple binding, limited edition, activism, mutual support, zine trades, all that good stuff. 

All applications will be reviewed by multiple members of the Zineland crew. We collectively aim to create an unusually welcoming, wide-ranging and community-oriented space. We encourage, invite, and prioritize applications and support for zinesters who are: new and emerging, queer, trans, Two-Spirit, Black, Indigenous to Turtle Island, people of colour, disabled, poor, underhoused, sex workers, youth, elders, suburban/rural drug users, activists, and loners. community-based projects, loners, newcomers, people with disabilities. 

Are any tables available for free or for a reduced fee?

There are sliding scale table spots available for people who find that the full fee is a barrier to participation and we have some flexibility in terms of total number of tables and placement. Please contact us directly at to access sliding options or for any questions about tables.


About the venue

Is the venue wheelchair accessible?

The Cumberland has an elevator that goes to all floors that Zineland programming will be taking place. The bathrooms do not have stairs, however the clearance makes it difficult to access the facilities with most mobility devices. The closest accessible washrooms with better clearance are in the Reference Library, Starbucks, or Tim Hortons on the east side of Yonge St.

What is the washroom situation with regards to accessibility and gender markers? 

Two shared washrooms are in the basement of the Cumberland building, just right of the elevators or left of the eastern escalators. There are no single stall washrooms.  Typically they are genderedm but during Zineland they will simply be labeled as having stalls only or urinals and stalls both. There are single stall washrooms across the street. 

In previous years, the Cumberland Terrace washrooms were sometimes locked or bizarrely patrolled by venue security. This was really uncomfortable for a number of people. We are sorry. We’d specifically asked for unlocked, gender neutral washrooms but somehow that was misinterpreted. This year, we prioritized making a clear agreement to prevent this weirdness. The contract we’ve signed with the venue has a special clause which states:

The Releasee hereby agree to accommodate the Releasor’s special request to keep the lower level washrooms adjacent to L20 open and unlocked during the rental hours to accommodate the visitors of the book fair. The Releasor acknowledges that the premises are open to the public and that there are possible risks associated with off-hours washroom availability. 

As a condition of the Releasee’s accommodation of this request, the Releasor recognizes these circumstances and shall accept primary responsibility for the safety and comfort of any and all book fair visitors who may access the washrooms. The Releasor shall provide signage at their sole cost and expense. The signage shall indicate that the washrooms will be unisex for the duration of the book fair and shall confirm the available facilities (e.g. stalls, urinals) in each washroom. 


Festival time!

What should tables bring?

Bring lots of zines! It’s impossible to know precisely how many zines to sell, but if you have several titles it’s wise to bring at least 10 of each if possible. Please also bring a table covering of come kind. Feel free to have fun with the decorations! 

You are responsible for bringing the business essentials: a float with Canadian coins and bills, a cashbox, and a price list. If you have a card reader, go for it. Some people prep small text descriptions of the zines to make it easier for shoppers. 

Please also consider packing:

  • Business cards if that’s your thing
  • Water and snacks
  • A phone charger
  • Basic toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant, hand sanitizer, tampons, mints etc)
  • Glasses
  • Umbrella (check the weather!)
  • Your own spending money or extra zine copies to trade

Can I step out for a moment? Can someone watch my table for me?

At some point, you will need to take a break for food, washroom, quiet or anything else. This is fine, breaks are healthy! However we suggest limiting breaks to 30 minutes tops when possible — many zinesters will tell you how important it is to physically be present if you want to make sales! If an emergency comes up and you need to leave, please let a Zineland staffer know. We want you to be there the whole day, please plan to be there until 6pm. Nothing is more depressing than a half-empty zine fair, and it kinda makes us feel bad. 

There may be a volunteer available to sit at your table while you’re gone, but we cannot guarantee this. Most often, exhibitors find it easiest to ask their neighbours to watch their stuff, and can later return the favour. Some vendors arrange to have someone they know relieve them at a specific time. 

You probably know this, but keep track of anything you would hate to lose. Keep belongings hidden under your tablecloth or chair, behind you against the wall, or nearby.  outside of your view or reach. Set-up and takedown can be particularly chaotic and things can go missing. We can’t be responsible for any lost or stolen goods.

Can I keep my stuff overnight at the venue?

We will be clearing tables at the end of each day as the venue is open to the public after Zineland closes for the night. But there will be space available to keep your things at the venue overnight! Your things can be locked in a room for safekeeping located in the basement. 

What amenities are there at the Cumberland or close by?

Most of the shops in the Cumberland are closed weekends, and more and more are closed permanently. Here are some tips for the neighbourhood:

Green room:
Zineland will to provide some snacks and refreshments like fruit, granola bars and nuts, but please come prepared for a full day of tabling. If you have any food allergies we need to know about, please email us at Water bottles are highly recommended!

We are in the process of making arrangements with the Cumberland’s ground floor restaurants (Salad Days, Little Hut & Esther Soups) so that they will remain open during Zineland (typically they are closed on weekends). All of them offer coffee and healthy and hearty lunch options for under $10 (!!!), and between them they can accommodate most dietary restrictions. Otherwise, we suggest walking south on Yonge St a block or two where you’ll find many options including Lebanese, Jamaican, Korean, Taiwanese, fast food and small grocery stores.

There’s a Rexall pharmacy just West on Bloor St, and also a Shoppers Drugmart nearby. Dollarama, tobacco shops and convenience stores are all a few blocks south on Yonge St, after Bloor St.

Easy and fast printing can be hard to come by on weekends, so we encourage vendors to have everything done a few days ahead of the festival. Of course, we’re zinesters, so that doesn’t always happen. In a pinch, Print Pros and Print Cloud (commercial printer)  are open for a few hours on Saturday, but we can’t attest to their service.

While we recommend bringing a hearty float with lots of change as well as any spending money in cash, there are ATMs of all major Canadian banks within a block of the venue. York Foreign Exchange is nearby and open on Saturday, should you require currency exchange. 


Zineland Terrace Announces Exhibitors and Programming for 2019

Zineland Terrace is a unique space for zine creators, readers, and well, everyone! Last year’s fair was a huge success, and we are excited to continue to offer a different kind of space for self-publishing during TCAF weekend.

Zineland Terrace will occur at The Cumberland Terrace (2 Bloor St W) on May 11-12, 2019. The event will run concurrently with the TCAF 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.

Read More

Zineland Terrace Returns to TCAF for 2019!

Zineland Terrace Poster by Jenna Rose SandsWe are proud to announce that Zineland Terrace, the TCAF Zine Fair, will be returning for its second year.

Zineland Terrace is a unique space for zine creators, readers, and well, everyone! Last year’s fair was a huge success, and we are excited to continue to offer a different kind of space for self-publishing during TCAF weekend.

Zineland Terrace will occur at The Cumberland Terrace (2 Bloor St W) on May 11-12, 2019. The event will run concurrently with the TCAF 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.

We are inviting any zine creator to apply! You do not need to make comics or have exhibited at TCAF before. We are taking a wide and supportive approach to what counts as a zine, and we want to showcase the broad and diverse spectrum of people working in the medium. To this end, we are especially encouraging local, emerging, and marginalized creators to apply to exhibit at TCAF’s Zineland Terrace.

Applications to exhibit are open from now until March 29th April 5th (extended) through this form:

Application results will go out within 10 days of closing.

There is no fee to apply. If you are accepted to exhibit, the table fee will be $70 (+HST, totalling $79.10).

The exhibitor fee goes directly to covering costs for the venue for the weekend, and covers both days. If the fee is a barrier for you to participate or apply, please send us an email at

Thank you to Jenna Rose Sands for our incredible poster art! Check her out @assiniysikew.