Apply now for Blind Date 2021

Applications now closed. Thank you for your interest.

 

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (Toronto, Canada) and Entreviñetas Festival (Bogotá and Medellín, Colombia), in alliance with the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, are proud to be mounting a third and final year of the Blind Date project (Cita a ciegas) in 2020.

In 2018, TCAF and the  Ministry of Culture of Colombia launched the Blind Date project (Cita a ciegas), which aimed to connect two comic artists from each country to collaborate digitally. Two comic artists — Anna Kwan from Toronto, Canada, and Mariana Gil Ríos from Medellín, Colombia — worked together to create a shared digital graphic work over the course of the Fall, using the internet to develop the piece from their respective countries. You can see the result of their project here: https://www.blindpostcards.date/. In 2019, Karen Shangguan and Laura Cañas collaborated on the second iteration of the project, and their collaborative comic A First Meeting was featured in the TCAF 2020 Exhibitor Showcase, available on gumroad, 

We are delighted to host a third year of this initiative in 2019, and we are inviting Canadian artists to submit their interest in being considered. The selected Canadian artist will receive $1000 to support the creation of this work. The selected Colombian artist will receive 5 million Colombian pesos. 

The Canadian artist and Colombian artist will jointly develop a comic art project around the theme of “conversation” with the expectation that they:

  • Deliver a total of 8-10 pages of comic, or the webcomic equivalent, to be hosted online and formatted for digital audiences
  • Meet digitally at least once every two weeks (for example through Skype, video calling, screenshare, etc.) with ongoing correspondence between meetings
  • Create some official documentation of the artistic process that can be publicly shared
  • Complete and submit the final project by January 30, 2021

If you are interested in participating, please submit your application to this email or to registration@torontocomics.com by December 20, 2020 at 11:59pm. We recognize the short turn around for this deadline, so we are making the application process as straightforward as possible. Please send the following three parts to registration@torontocomics.com with the subject heading “Blind Date 2020 Application”

  • A selected artist’s CV or bio (no longer than 2pgs) with relevant experience
  • Digital portfolio of 5-7 works/images of comic art
  • A short statement of interest (max. 400 words) OR a 15 minute phone interview (let us know if you’d like to take this option and we can schedule it)

Canadian creators interested in participating in the project do not have to be exhibitors at TCAF to apply.

Want to Work with Us? Taking Applications Now for Festival Production Manager, Marketing & Communications Manager, and Programming & Partnerships Officer

Deadline extended to December 14, 2020 @ 12:00 pm EST.

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is hiring for 3 positions to work on our 2021 Festival, to be held in May 2021. We are currently looking to hire a Festival Production Manager, Marketing & Communications Manager, and Programming & Partnerships Officer. Details on these positions are below.

TCAF welcomes those who have demonstrated a commitment to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion and will assist us to expand our capacity for diversity in the broadest sense. In addition, to correct the conditions of disadvantage in employment in Canada, we encourage applications from members of groups that have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including but not limited to, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour), persons with disabilities, and those who identify as women and/or 2SLGBTQ+. Please note that all interested candidates are encouraged to apply and self-identify; however, applications from Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

If you are interested in applying, please email a resume with a short (200ish word) cover letter in the body of the email to contact@torontocomics.com. You can apply between now and December 11, 2020 December 14, 2020.

Festival Production Manager

The Festival Production Manager is a lead position of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF). They are responsible for the management and execution of the Festival’s exhibitions, receptions, panels, and additional organizational events. General duties include event planning, execution staffing, and management.

The Festival Production Manager reports directly to the Executive Director, and will work closely with the entire Festival staff.

The Festival Production Manager will need to work at least 5 hours per week, though these hours will ramp up as the festival approaches. We expect that you would work approximately 5-6 hours per week for four months after hiring, ramping up to approximately 15-20 hours per week for the 2-3 months before the festival, and full time for 4 weeks before the festival.

Duties and Responsibilities:

– Work with leadership to plan TCAF from start to finish according to program and organizational requirements, target audience and objectives
– Work with TCAF Executive Director to maintain and coordinate master timelines, and departmental goals/milestones
– Working with TCAF Executive Director, to lead the TCAF team with the day-to-day logistics, supply orders, and inter-departmental communication
– Work with TCAF Programming & Development staff to ensure Artist deliverables & accreditation are fulfilled on time
– Assist TCAF Executive Director to prep event budgets and ensure budget adherence in conjunction with finance and other department heads
– Create and update Festival Staff contact sheet
– Receive incoming Festival materials, and distribute to the appropriate department lead.
– Participate in weekly Festival Staff meetings
– Participate in conference calls and/or meetings with vendors and select event partners
– Work with Executive Director to assess progress against production timeline
– Work with Executive Director to secure production needs and site visit dates for each venue
– Work with Volunteer Coordinator to plan production timelines for Festival Receptions
– Prepare and implement production schedule to enhance the event’s success
– Source and negotiate with vendors, contractors and suppliers.
– Supervise TCAF personnel (contractors, seasonal staff, vendors etc.)
– Function as a liaison to venue partners and vendors to track incoming contracts, exhibition formats, invoices, etc.
– Coordinate all event operations
– Ensure events are staffed appropriately, and executed smoothly at every phase of each event (set up, execution, break down)
– Step up to resolve any problems that might occur during the Festival
– Event wrap up report

Qualifications:

– Excellent communication & record keeping skills
– Proven project management skills and experience
– Detail-oriented, team-player, and able to work under multiple deadlines
– Command of contemporary diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts, paradigms and issues highly desirable, including, but not limited to, anti-oppression and intersectional approaches
– Experience supervising staff positions
– Fluency in Google Drive (Docs, Sheets) MS Office, and Adobe Suite
– Experience in film, theatre, or literary festivals
– Knowledge of Comics and publishing industry a plus

Festival Employee, on a 8-month contract. December 2020 – July 2020

Compensation: $7,500 – 8,000 total

Marketing & Communications Manager

The Marketing & Communications Manager is a lead position of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF). They are responsible for the management and execution of the Festival’s marketing, social media, internal communications. General duties include event planning, execution staffing, and management.

The Marketing & Communications Manager reports directly to the Executive Director, and will work closely with the entire Festival staff.

The Marketing & Communications Manager will need to work on average 8 hours per week; with a lower amount of hours worked at the beginning and end of the contract, however these hours will ramp up as the festival approaches. These hours would be near full time for the three to four weeks surrounding the festival.

Duties and Responsibilities:

– Develop & execute an annual marketing plan for the organization that incorporates strategies for TCAF and any other ongoing initiatives or events, in consultation with the Executive Director
– Develop advertising and promotional strategies in line with departmental budget, working closely with in-kind partners to increase scope and reach
– Responsible for communication strategies and execution of TCAF website, Social Media feeds, and e-newsletters in partnership with applicable departments
– Monitoring and reporting the results of all marketing and advertising campaigns Brand Management
– Project managing the printed Festival Guide
– Coordinate the development of key organizational messages and brand voice across in-person and digital platforms with the Executive Director, staff team and Marketing Committee
– Develop the creative brief in alignment with the strategic direction and in partnership with the ED and programming team for external designers
– Approve brand alignment and visibility at all organizational events to maximize the Festival and event experiences
– Maintaining consistent use of brand guidelines for by all internal and external stakeholders and festival partners Communications:
– Develop publicity plans, in conjunction with the Executive Director and Programming Department, which includes developing, reviewing and approving press releases and press outlets
– Manage festival volunteers, including social media team, photographers and videographers to assist with the documentation of all Festival events 

Qualifications:

– Excellent communication & record keeping skills
– Detail-oriented, team-player, and able to work under multiple deadlines
– Command of contemporary diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts, paradigms and issues highly desirable, including, but not limited to, anti-oppression and intersectional approaches
– Experience supervising staff positions
– Fluency in Google Drive (Docs, Sheets) MS Office, and Adobe Suite
– Experience in film, theatre, or literary festivals
– Knowledge of Comics and publishing industry a plus

Festival Employee, on a 8-month contract. December 2020 – July 2020

Compensation: $7,500 – 8,000 total

Programming & Partnerships Officer

Reporting to and working closely with the Executive Director and other departments, Festival Programming & Partnerships Officer is accountable for activities relating to the overall planning, programming and execution of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival and other programming initiatives.:

The Programming & Partnerships Officer will need to work an average of 8 hours per week, though these hours will fluctuate up as the festival approaches.

Duties and Responsibilities:

– Completing background work for and executing internal elements of programming plans and new programming initiatives for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival
– Leading internally-focused new programming initiatives
– Support the development and programming plans
– Cultivate and manage external partnerships with cultural agencies and other programming stakeholders
– Liaise with programmers throughout the festival curation process
– Oversee internal relationships with key departments and personnel
– Day-to-day management of festival programming

Qualifications:

– Excellent communication & record keeping skills
– Proven project management skills and experience
– Detail-oriented, team-player, and able to work under multiple deadlines
– Command of contemporary diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts, paradigms and issues highly desirable, including, but not limited to, anti-oppression and intersectional approaches
– Fluency in Social media platforms, Google Drive (Docs, Sheets) and MS Office
– Experience in film, theatre, or literary festivals
– Knowledge of Comics and publishing industry a plus

Festival Employee, on a 8-month contract. December 2020 – July 2020

Compensation: $6,000 total

Page & Panel Holiday COVID-19 Shopping Update

SundayHey everyone,

We don’t usually post Page & Panel updates in this space, but this year we need all the help and exposure we can get.

We’re happy to say that Page & Panel will still be here for your holiday shopping needs. It’s going to be essential for all small businesses, especially retail like ours, that customers shop locally this year.

We will be open this week from Tuesday to Saturday for curbside pickup and online delivery. Ways you can order:

  • tcafshop.com has more products than ever! And many new sections to help you browse those products
  • Didn’t see what you were looking for? Need suggestions? Give us a call at 416-323-9212 or email contact@tcafshop.com and we’ll work with you to pull together whatever may need. We’re happy to put together recommendations for any taste or age group.
  • Last but not least! We’ve added free shipping within Canada for orders over $100.

We’re going to be trying out a few different hours this week and next, but for now these are our hours:

Curbside Pick Up & Phone Order Hours:

Wednesday – Friday: 12pm – 6pm
Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 4pm

Keep your eyes on this space and @tcafshop on Instagram for the latest.

Thanks,
Staff of Page & Panel

TCAF 2021 Application Period Delayed

Hi everyone,

When we cancelled the festival in March 2020, we told creators and publishers that applications for our 2021 festival would open on August 1st, 2020. As conditions and public health advisories surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, we can’t currently confirm festival dates for 2021. Therefore, we will not be able to open applications as scheduled. 

We’re hopeful that we will be able to announce festival dates soon, but we need more time to see how current health policies play out.

There will be a festival of some kind, but we don’t know what that looks like yet. We’ll provide an update in November 2020. 

Miles Baker
Executive Director

Building a Better TCAF

We’ve created a form to collect anonymous feedback for those of you who don’t feel comfortable sharing your concerns and suggestions publicly. The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) Board is committed to reviewing your comments as part of our commitment to action and doing better.

Kindly note, all fields are optional and you are encouraged to share as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

A subcommittee of three Volunteer Directors, Coralie D’Souza, Kawai Shen, and Khristine Cuthbertson will review your feedback and bring recommendations for changes to the TCAF Board in September 2020. We commit to communicating those changes publicly on the TCAF Blog. All specific responses to this form and any personal contact information shared will be kept within the subcommittee. We invite you to share this form as well, the more information we’re able to collect the better informed our policies will be.

We are also currently reviewing our existing Conduct & Harassment Policy and will be creating an Anti-Racism Policy, along with clear and safe processes for bringing these issues forward, and for addressing these issues, going forward.

We whole-heartedly agree. #TCAFCanDoBetter

TCAF’s Commitment to Ending Anti-Black & Anti-Indigenous Racism

“Stay safe.”  We say it so often and without thinking. It’s even starting to lose its meaning. 

These words have a very different meaning to Black and Indigenous peoples, groups who are subject to greater precarity, particularly when intersecting with gender, class, and other forms of systemic discrimination.

In the wake of recent events, including the widespread outpourings of solidarity against anti-black racism in North America, and specifically in Canada, the killings of 8 indigenous persons by police since just this April — we are taking stock and acknowledge the systemic and institutional barriers we play a part in. 

Simply put, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF)—whose leadership currently lacks Black or Indigenous representation —can do better. 

We exist to support creators of comic works in their broad and diverse voices in order to promote the medium of comics as a legitimate medium of literary and artistic worth. We believe we have a role to play in supporting diversity in our field and are making a commitment to do so, with intention. 

We will begin with a commitment to learning by ensuring our staff and volunteers and the board receive resources and materials to help facilitate their understanding of issues raised by BIPOC communities, with attention to intersectional identities, including but not limited to QTBIPOC identified individuals. We are also exploring new ways of applying an anti-racist lens in building our community, including our staff and volunteers, with the understanding that accounting for anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism must be at the forefront.

We do not see this as a one-time project, but a life-long one that will inform the organization we aspire to be going forward. We look forward to working with the larger comics industry, and community to do so and will provide updates as we develop our plans.   

— Christopher Butcher, Miles Baker + The TCAF Board (Coralie D’Souza, Gary Sherman, Kawai Shen, Khris Cuthbertson, Peter Birkemoe)

Regarding Conduct & Harassment in the Comics Industry

In light of the recent allegations made by women against various men in the comics industry, we at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF) wish to make it unequivocally clear that all forms of harassment and predation, including subtler forms such as grooming, are not tolerated by the festival.

We recognize that TCAF plays an important role in the comics industry, that the festival is an active space for networking, and this tasks us with the responsibility of continually addressing and revisiting the challenges of maintaining a safe space for all attending and aspiring creators. 

We are currently reviewing our existing Conduct & Harassment Policy, with the aim of explicitly addressing events we host or co-host with our cultural and business partners off the main exhibition sites of the festival where TCAF staff are harder to identify. We will announce revisions before our next live event.

In addition, we will be reviewing our past and current processes for inviting and handling reports of harassment and will provide updates as necessary.

— Christopher Butcher, Miles Baker + The TCAF Board (Coralie D’Souza, Gary Sherman, Kawai Shen, Khris Cuthbertson, Peter Birkemoe)

Word Balloon Academy: Labour Organizing with Vanessa Kelly

As a part of the Word Balloon Academy program, TCAF presents an interview Vanessa Kelly from the Art Babbitt Appreciation Society (ABAS), a Vancouver-based labour organizing group that has exhibited at the comic arts festival, VanCAF. Please note this interview has been edited for length and clarity.
You can learn more about ABAS at their official website and from this article by Our Times which goes into more detail about specific working conditions for animators and their relations with employers.
The groups mentioned by Vanessa include IATSE, the Animation Guild, and ACTRA. Listeners may also be interested in GWU, an organizing group in the gaming industry who you might have seen at the Hand Eye Society Ball, an event hosted by TCAF’s partner, Hand Eye Society.
One of the challenges in talking about labour organizing is that workers can take on the significant risk of retaliation from employers. Because of this, organizers are often not at liberty to disclose certain details about campaigning, especially ongoing campaigns. This makes knowledge more difficult to share. While there are online resources that document and analyze past campaigns, learning about organizing is greatly benefited from contacting groups experienced in labour rights like ABAS.

Vanessa and other organizers contacted regarding this program also noted that labour organizing can improve working conditions outside of a collective agreement between unionized workers and their employer. In addition to ABAS’ campaign to have employers recognize overtime pay of non-unionized animation workers, workers can achieve other goals such as pooling funds to purchase healthcare or creating a public payment schedule like the one organized by CARFAC. These types of goals are especially beneficial to freelance workers who usually do not have a central employer, or even a small group of central employers, to organize around.

If you found this podcast helpful or would be interested in similar content in the future, please let us know. We are always trying to improve the Word Balloon Academy to support the professional needs of artists. We’d also sincerely appreciate it if you could support our emergency fundraiser for Page & Panel. Thank you!

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is looking for a Volunteer Coordinator!

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival is looking for an enthusiastic individual to help recruit and coordinate a team of approximately 250+ volunteers. The Festival attracts 25,000 attendees per year across multiple downtown Toronto venues in early May. The Assistant Volunteer Coordinator will work with the Volunteer Coordinators to help provide support for some of the best volunteers in the industry! (It’s true! We get compliments on our volunteers all the time!). 

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