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.

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)

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. 

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SEP 22: Comics & Graphic Novels @ Word on the Street!

Comics & Graphic Novels @ Word on the Street
Sunday, September 22, 10am-5:00pm
@ Harbourfront Centre, Queen’s Quay
Free for the public to attend

Sunday September 22nd it’s marks the annual Word on the Street Literary Festival in Toronto! TCAF has entered a relationship with WOTS to help develop their comics and graphic novels programming and exhibitors for 2019 and 2020! We think this relationship will help promote some of Canada’s greatest comic creators and graphic novelists to the amazing crowd of book lovers that WOTS attracts each year.

Keep reading to see participating exhibitors and programming!

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Check out BLIND DATE, sponsored by TCAF and Entreviñetas

This past Fall, As part of TCAF’s growing partnership with Colombian comic artists, we collaborated with Enterviñetas and the Ministry of Culture of Colombia to launch a special project called Blind Date (or Cita a ciegas).
The Blind Date project pairs Colombian and Canadian comic artists who have never met to collaborate digitally across hemispheres to create a digital comic art project. Fun fact: this project resulted in the first grant specifically for comic artists ever in Colombia! So exciting!
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TCAF Joins Forces with University Researchers for “Comic Cons Research Project”

UPDATE April 11: This survey is now available in both French and English! [Link]

TCAF Joins Forces with University Researchers
New research project explores booming fandom event sector

Toronto – March 19, 2018. The Toronto Comic Arts Festival and the Ottawa Geek Market have teamed up with researchers from Carleton University, Ryerson University, and the University of Calgary to launch a multi-year research partnership. Over the project’s three years, researchers will study the role that North America’s comic conventions, comic art festivals and fandom events play in the creative economy and the cultural life of cities.

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