Although our main focus is to support and advance curatorial practice and inquiry, we do accept artist portfolios on a rolling basis for potential inclusion in our annual program of exhibitions and public events. All artist submissions are reviewed on a biannual basis by our programming committee with an eye toward future solo or group exhibition opportunities produced by Critical Distance or guest curators seeking work for inclusion in their proposals. Artists are welcome to suggest curators they would be interested in working with — however submissions in which a curator is confirmed, and that demonstrate a consideration of our mandate, history/objectives, spatial constraints/opportunities, and multiple publics have the best chances for success.

Artists are also welcome to submit their own curatorial proposals for exhibitions and projects featuring other artists in solo, two-person, or group configurations. Such proposals should not include work by the submitting artist-curator unless a strong case can be made that the arrangement does not compromise the artist-curator’s criticality or constitute a conflict of interest. Please see the Curatorial Proposals page for guidelines on how to apply.

We define the term Artist to mean any person or group that is critically engaged in a continuous, professional-level creative practice, including architects, designers, writers, thinkers, performers, filmmakers, educators, and more.

Our Program
Critical Distance provides a venue and context for artworks and artists in all stages of development. Exhibitions are supported and promoted through the design, production, and distribution of exhibition announcements, press releases, brochures, limited edition catalogues, artworks, and/or objects (to be determined on a case-by-case basis), and the programming of related events throughout the exhibition run. An original curatorial essay will accompany each catalogue or brochure, and artists will receive some remuneration for their participation. Installation assistance, documentation, and insurance will also be provided.

Exhibiting artists are responsible for the execution, delivery, installation, and/or de-installation of their own artwork in collaboration with the curator (alternate arrangements may be made with artists who are not local to Toronto). Selected artists may be asked to contribute material for the catalogue and/or create a small limited-edition artwork in conjunction with the exhibition. To the extent that it is possible, artists are asked to participate in exhibition-related events such as the opening, catalogue launch, artists talks, performances, workshops, and/or other cross-disciplinary programming to be developed in collaboration with the curator.

As an independent curator-led initiative, our focus is on critically engaged, collaborative and/or cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and/or art forms, and community outreach and education in art and exhibition-making. Submissions that consider our mandate, programs, spatial constraints/opportunities, and audiences have the best chances for success. Site-specific project proposals (installation, architectural intervention, or interactive environment) are very welcome. Overall, project space programming reflects an interest in the artistic process and experimentation is encouraged.

The Space
At approximately 325 square feet in size, the project space is an intimate venue highly suited for solo and small group exhibitions, two-person shows, site-specific installations and interactive environments, and related events. Ceilings are 14 feet high and the gallery is wheelchair accessible. A full-height pocket door allows for division of the space into two distinct areas, one of which is suitable for projection-based works and film screenings. There is the option of using the third floor hallway gallery if the work calls for additional space; budgets and schedules would be adjusted accordingly. Click for a PDF of the floor plan

Submission Guidelines
Please send the following materials to opportunities (at) critical distance (dot) ca in support of your submission. (At this time we are able to accept digital submissions only.)

— 10–20 images from a recent and/or cohesive body of work
— List of titles, dates, media, and dimensions for each image
— List of any relevant URLs: artist’s website, projects, videos, exhibitions, publications and/or press
— Artist statement (250 words or less)
— An updated resume or CV and contact information
— Letter of introduction including your interest in Critical Distance (i.e., how you heard of us, how your project responds to our program, mandate, context)

If submitting a proposal for site-responsive installation/interactive environment, please include the following as well:

— Project description (500 words or less)
— Supporting images (sketches, plans, and/or diagrams relating to our floor plan)
— Estimated budget

Image resolution of 72 dpi is recommended — we will request higher resolution images and/or studio visits if your proposal if selected for further consideration. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Please address any questions to opportunities (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca. Submissions and questions sent to other email addresses at Critical Distance may be missed.

Review Process
A Programming Committee drawn from our Executive and Advisory Boards will be convened to review submissions on a biannual basis. Critical Distance programs exhibitions at least a year in advance, so decisions may not be made for many months. However all submissions will receive a response, so please be patient. Thank you in advance for your interest and participation.



CDCC Summer Sessions is a program through which Critical Distance makes space and exhibition support available to graduates of local and regional colleges and universities to present their thesis exhibitions in downtown Toronto.

Through our Summer Sessions program, selected degree candidates will receive:

— Free use of our exhibition and office space for one week (plus time to install and deinstall)
— Exhibition support such as consultation, installation assistance, print design, and staffing (if available)
— Serving supplies for the opening reception (student is responsible for food/drink and any permits)
— Seating for the student’s thesis defence, if needed
— Limited installation materials, equipment, tools, and supplies (determined on a case by base basis)
— Design/production of print and web materials, promotion with a widely distributed media release
— Blog post to mailing list and social media channels (over 4000 subscribers/followers)
— Listing on the Artscape Youngplace website, social media, and exterior signage (depending on timing)
— When possible, openings will be scheduled to coincide with other building events for maximum attendance

Summer Session shows will generally run for one week during late June or August, depending on the student’s schedule and project space availability.

If you are interested in applying, please send the following to opportunities (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca:

— Letter of introduction (i.e., who you are, how you heard of us, why you would like to show here)
— Desired time frame for exhibition
— Your updated resume or CV and contact information
— Any relevant URLs: websites, projects, videos, publications and/or press

Additional materials requested of Curators:

— Curatorial proposal including exhibition concept and description
— Exhibition checklist with artwork/object images (72 dpi jpgs) and info (name, title, date, media, dims)
— Links to artists’ websites or condensed bios/statements/CVs
— Sketches, plans, or diagrams relating to our floor plan

Additional materials requested of Artists:

— 10–20 images from your current and recent bodies of work (72 dpi jpgs), or web link (preferred)
— List of titles, dates, media, and dimensions for each image
— Artist statement (max 250 words)
— If submitting a site-specific proposal, include a project description (max 500 words) and supporting images (sketches, plans, and/or diagrams relating to our floor plan)

Timelines and Review Process
Once we receive your complete submission, we will send a confirmation email. Note this may take some time; please do not contact us to follow up unless you have not received a confirmation at least a week after you have sent it.

Address materials and any related questions to opportunities (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca. Submissions sent to other email addresses at Critical Distance may be missed. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

A Programming Committee of 3-5 individuals drawn from our Executive and Advisory Boards and Committees will assess submission packages on a rolling basis for artistic merit, feasibility, and space availability. Notifications to all applicants will be sent by the end of May each year. Good luck and thank you in advance for your interest and participation!