Save the dates! One of my all-time favourite free summer art fairs happen in Toronto at Nathan Phillips Square. The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (TOAF) returns this July and is offering a “hybrid” way of exploring hundreds of the most incredible artists in the Canadian art scene. TOAF61 will kick off on July 8th with a ten-day online art fair followed by a full in-person art and entertainment fair at Nathan Phillips Square on July 15-17th featuring over 300 Canadian artists. I love attending this show as it’s a great opportunity to meet many of the exhibiting artists in person. It’s an amazing weekend to support the art community as their works are available for purchase. Need a wedding gift? A home or office refresh? You’ll want to be there.
In addition to the open-air fair, the stage will be jam-packed with live music, thought-provoking contemporary dance, and the awesome vibes of TOAF’s unique Beer Garden.
So, here’s what you can see & do during this year’s Toronto Outdoor Art Fair…
Kick-Off with Tiffany Pratt : Friday, July 8, 12:30 PM – Instagram Live
Join artist and designer Tiffany Pratt on Instagram Live for an energetic chat with TOAF61 artists to launch the 61st Toronto Outdoor Art Fair. Kick off the Online Fair with a virtual introduction to this year’s roster of artists, and get ready to join us July 15-17 at Nathan Phillips Square!
Artist Studio Tours: July 8 – 17
Tune in online at torontooutdoor.art for digital Studio Tours recorded by select TOAF61 artists. Meet the artists and discover the creative process behind your favourite artworks in these dynamic 5-minute videos.
Instagram Live Artist Chats: July 8 – 17
Artist Chats enrich the TOAF community by connecting artists and engaging our online audience. Follow @torontooutdoorart for 20-minute casual conversations between TOAF61 artists exploring similar themes in their work on IG Live.
NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE PROGRAMMING:
Visit 300+ Artist Booths : July 15-17
Browse and buy artwork from the 300 juried artists from across the country. For 61 years TOAF has launched and sustained the careers of Canadian Artists, helping them get discovered and build networks.
Art Nest – An ArtworxTO Project: July 15 – July 17
Curated by Rui Pimenta. Supported by Toronto Arts Council/ArtworxTO/ City of Toronto
Art Nest is a new TOAF programming initiative that provides six artists – having either current or past experience participating in TOAF – the opportunity to push the boundaries of their individual art practices beyond the physical and conceptual limits of the Fair’s iconic 10 x 10 square foot tent.
Artists, curators, and collectors will take you on thematic guided Art Tours to share their insights and lead engaging conversations face-to-face with artists in the show. New to TOAF61, we will be offering French and American Sign Language tours. Register for an Art Tour on the site or join in on the day of. All Art Tours will start from the Main Info Booth – West of the Reflection Pool at Nathan Phillips Square.
‘I Covet This’ with Danielle Suppa: Friday, July 15, 12:00 PM (free)
Danielle Suppa, Owner + Creative Director of SOUVENIR, has a keen eye for beautifully executed, purposefully and lovingly-made objects. Join her as she visits the artists behind her dreamy finds.
Francophone Artists at TOAF with Dyana Ouvrard: Saturday, July 16, 12:00 PM (free)
Join Dyana Ouvrard, Director of Le Labo, Toronto’s Francophone Media Arts Centre, for a French-language tour of Francophone artists at the Fair.
Art Collectors in Conversation with Hirbod Human: Saturday, July 16, 1:30 PM (free)
Join Hirbod Human, an art enthusiast, businessman and TOAF61 Juror, on art collecting 101, infused with his inspiring collecting stories and practical tips.
Behind Art Nest with Asad Raza: Saturday, July 16, 3:00 PM and Sunday, July 17, 3:00 PM (free)
Art Nest Artists talk about their processes and imaginations behind creating their first large-scale public artworks in an engaging conversation facilitated by Asad Raza, an expert in public art. Tours highlight three different artists on both Saturday and Sunday.
Story Walk with Que Rock: Sunday, July 17, 1:30 PM (free)
Que Rock, artist and TOAF61 Juror, will draw you in with his captivating storytelling, connecting the land and the everyday art around us through his stand-out artists of the Fair.
Fair Awards Tour: Saturday, July 16, 10:30 AM and Sunday, July 17, 10:30 AM (free)
Discover a selection of TOAF61’s award recipients for a deeper look into their works and what made them stand out to judges. Hosted by TOAF Team.
Live Painting with StreetARToronto (StART): July 15-17, Zone D
Watch talented mural and street artists create artwork live and in-person while they explore individual themes. Works are available for purchase! Bid on final works at the StreetARToronto Booth.
StART Photo Exhibit: July 15-17, Zone D
At this exhibit, you can explore and purchase professional canvas and gator board-mounted photographs of some of the brilliant street art around Toronto. The current exhibition features the evolution of StART projects throughout its 10-year history, using Toronto’s unique architecture as its picture frame – not just an amazing art piece, but a piece of Toronto history too!
If I Should Stumble: Saturday, July 16, 12:00 PM & 2:30 PM and Sunday, July 17, 12:00 PM & 2:30 PM
“Vertigo is the conflict between the fear of falling and the desire to fall” – Salman Rushdie. This movement installation uses stairs as both stage and nemesis in its expression of a fall from grace as dancers unpack the resiliency and challenges of women in day-to-day life. Goodwin interprets themes of personal power, female comradery, and spectacle in her choreography and vision.
- Choreography: Jenn Goodwin
- Song Credit: “Uja” from Tanya Tagaq’s album Animism
- Costume Design: Sarah Doucet
CHALKING – Presented by ĀNANDAṀ Dancetheatre: Friday, July 15, 7:00 PM, Saturday, July 16, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM, and Sunday, July 17, 3:00 PM
“What does it mean to align oneself in space and time?
Chalking deconstructs a body’s rotational possibilities — turning, spinning – into a vocabulary of tension and resistance, inscribing absence at the very heart of the body’s presence with others.
Five performers build and unbuild an idea of circularity. A specific language that is at once unfamiliar, yet somehow inclusive of the multiple aesthetics that the dancers represent is articulated. A language that in one way has the precision of an ancient form but one that is rooted in functionality rather than the decorative/narrative” – Padmini Chettur
- Choreography: Padmini Chettur.
- Composition: Maarten Visser
- Dance Artists: Nithya Garg, Tanveer Alam, Brandy Leary, Robert Kingsbury, Atri Nundy
- Rehearsal Direction: Harikishan S Nair
- ĀNANDAṀ Artistic Producer: Briana Brown
- Supported by ArtworxTO, Toronto’s Year of Public Art
In Partnership with Small World Music. Curated by Small World Music.
Big Smoke Brass Band: Friday, July 15, 5:00 PM (located at the Beer Garden)
Kick off the Fair with high-energy sound as Big Smoke Brass Band, a leading voice in the Canadian Brass scene erupts in joyful celebration.
Maria and The Band: Saturday, June 16, 1:00 PM and Sunday, June 17, 4:00 PM (located at the Beer Garden)
Revel in vibrant music from the Canadian and Brazilian group rooted in traditional forró “pé de serra” music and shaped by influences ranging from blues to arabesque.
Ammoye: Saturday, June 16, 4:00 PM and Sunday, June 17, 1:00 PM (located at the Beer Garden)
Move to Ammoye’s future-forward reggae sounds that pull from dancehall to R&B influences as her infectious voice invites you to reflect on justice and empowerment.
DJ Sawtay: Saturday, June 16, 5:30 PM (located at the Beer Garden)
Revel and groove to DJ Sawtay’s skilled spinning of Hip Hop, Funk, and Soul.
Young audiences and their families are invited to fun, stimulating, and high-quality art workshops with professional art educators and to a lovely art collecting program.
Budding Art Buyers: Friday, July 15, 10:00 AM – 6:30 pm, Saturday, July 16, 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM, and Sunday, July 17, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM Kids Zone @ Plaza
For young art lovers and budding collectors aged 14 and younger! Experience the beauty and wonder of discovering, searching and collecting a precious work of art. Purchase artworks by artists of the Fair for $10, $15, or $20 (cash only). Thank you to TOAF artists who have donated small artworks to this program to nurture the next generation of art admirers and collectors. No adults allowed!
Colourful World by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery: Saturday, July 16 – Sunday, July 17, 11:00 AM | 12:30 PM | 2:00 PM Presented by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery. Kids Zone @ Plaza
Dive into a world of colour, collage, and layers as Nilou Salimi facilitates this Power Kids workshop inspired by Biba Esaad, last year’s Power Plant Emerging Artist Award recipient. Explore a favourite memory or a dream for the future by creating outline images and layering on colour, texture, and design! Curated for young art makers, but all ages are welcome!
Full details and programming for the 61st annual Toronto Outdoor Art Fair can be found here: www.torontooutdoor.art
*Lead in photo: ‘Home Birth’ installation (interior view) by Artist Chason Yeboah at TOAF 2019