Application Guidelines & Eligibility

Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto (IFWTO) is a four-day festival of Indigenous-made fashion, craft and textiles, taking place at Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto. We present artists at all professional levels of their career whose work expresses or challenges the deep and ongoing connection between contemporary fashion, Indigenous art and ancestral and traditional practices. Additional educational and development components include artist talks, panels, lectures, hands-on workshops and industry business-to-business opportunities.

IFWTO is an event presented by Indigenous Fashion Arts, a not-for-profit arts organization.

About Our Co-Producer, Harbourfront Centre
For more than 40 years, Harbourfront Centre has been on the cutting edge of all that is current and creative, bringing together the best in both Canadian culture and the rich mosaic of cultures from within our country and around the world.
Craft & Design at Harbourfront Centre is a dynamic axis point for contemporary expression in Canada and an integral part of the country’s largest public multi-disciplinary arts complex.

Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto will have a pronounced presence across the campus at Harbourfront Centre presenting in many of their venues. With Harbourfront Centre, we are excited to present a festival that fosters and amplifies Indigenous artists in all our programming.

Guidelines & Eligibility

Mandate & Artistic Policy
IFWTO presents Indigenous-made/designed fashion, crafts and textiles in runway presentations, curated exhibitions, artist talks, panels, lectures, hands-on workshops, and a marketplace for all audiences.

Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto is Indigenous-led and committed to becoming a leader in the presentation of and market-development for Indigenous-made works. Our goal is to advance and empower Indigenous artists and designers, connecting them and their work to Canadian and international audiences, festivals, buyers, retailers, curators and institutes.

IFWTO programs 60% or more Indigenous women-identified artists and their works in fashion, textiles and crafts. Indigenous artists and exhibitors from across Canada and around the world are invited to apply to exhibit in runway and marketplace programming. Emerging, mid-career and established artists and designers are equally considered for programming.

IFWTO accepts applications of fashion, crafts or textiles in any style. Please note that your application does not guarantee inclusion in IFWTO 2022, as there are limited programming spots available.

We use the words artist and designer interchangeably. All artists exhibited in the runway, art exhibition, workshops and/or panels are paid artist fees by IFWTO based on the CARFAC minimum fee schedule. Artists selected as a vendor in the marketplace are not paid artist fees and are not required to pay commission fees.
Selected works for the runway program are selected based on artistic merit, innovative vision, technicality and skill, impacts for the artist and audiences and overall cohesion to IFWTO’s annual curatorial vision and themes.
In certain programs, such as a “spotlight” program, an artist may be solicited or curated for a program. Solicited and curated artists are selected by the Artistic Director and sometimes a guest curator and/or advisor(s). These selections are in line with a specific curatorial vision.

Must be an Indigenous person, meaning First Nation, Inuit or Metis in Canada or international Indigenous person as defined by the United Nations. Emerging, Mid-Career or Established Artist / Designers are eligible to apply and will be considered equally

Selection Process
IFWTO is committed to managing a transparent selection process and presenting a high level of excellence in our programming, maintaining artistic integrity that mutually benefits programmed artists, IFWTO and our audiences. IFWTO prioritizes new fashion, craft and textiles works. Priority may be given to works that have not yet been presented nationally in Canada, provincially in Ontario, or locally in Toronto. Due to high submission volumes and the limited runway and/or marketplace spots, the selection committee may choose to prioritize works by an Indigenous designer that has not yet had the opportunity of a public presentation or, in the case of runway, that focuses on artistic expression rather than commercial fashion.

Runway and Marketplace selections are made by a selection committee through an organized juried process. The selection committee is composed of Indigenous arts professionals, and a representative from Harbourfront Centre Craft and Design. The selection committee is formed and led by the Artistic Director. For more information please see IFWTO Artistic Policy on the About Page.

Decisions are made by consensus, with considerable thought and discussion during deliberations. If a designer is not selected, it is not a comment on individual achievements, relationships, or the artistic value of the work. In addition to eligibility terms and artistic policies, the selection process must also consider available runway/marketplace slots, scheduling, thematic programming arcs, and representing the diversity of artistic and cultural perspectives from Indigenous nations in Canada and around the world.

IFWTO receives a large number of applications. The process of accepting and declining works is necessary, but emotional, for everyone involved. We understand how difficult it can be to receive news that an application has not been selected to show at the festival. While discussions of the selection committee in deliberations are confidential, we greatly appreciate feedback on our processes and in return are pleased to suggest alternative runway or marketplace strategies for your work outside of the official IFWTO program.

We pay close attention to potential conflicts of interest (direct and indirect) to ensure a transparent jury process. When there is any question of conflict, a discussion and objective decision is made for whether a selection committee member can judge an application to guarantee fair judging of all applicants. However, given our small but growing community of Indigenous designers, we believe we cannot disadvantage Indigenous artists who give their time to IFWTO (e.g. staff, board member, juror or contractor) by excluding them from artistic presentation opportunities, which is determined without their input or influence. Sometimes these applicants are eligible to submit their work to IFWTO; however, they do not influence programming decisions. In cases where their work is being considered, they are not present for programming discussions and decisions about their work, nor do they have input into the scheduling of it.

A direct conflict of interest occurs when a juror or their immediate family member (spouse or partner, parent, child, sibling, or member of their immediate household) will benefit financially from the success of an application. Indirect conflicts of interest occur when some factor makes it difficult for a juror to evaluate an application objectively and will be made apparent on a case by case basis.

To maintain public confidence in our jury process, we have outlined our practices and policies that ensure all applications are considered fairly even if an applicant is not successful. In considering conflict of interest, we identify direct, indirect, and perceived conflicts, and we manage them individually.

About Presenting at IFWTO
What to expect if you are selected to present your fashion, craft and/or textiles at IFWTO


You will be notified by email if you have been selected to be programmed at IFWTO in a runway show. There are four runway shows and each show includes multiple designers.

You will be notified by email if you have not been selected to be programmed at IFWTO.

Upon successful notification, programmed artists will be requested to provide further information (even if this is the same as your application):

  • Biography about the artist, designer, collective or brand
  • A written statement about the programmed collection
  • In accurate sequence, a description of each look
  • In sequence, a complete sizing chart of each look
  • 2 high resolution editorial images or full-coloured rendered sketches representing your collection – 1 high resolution headshot of the lead artist, designer or collective
  • If available, 1 (one) .EPS format of the brand logo
    Information you provide in your application may also be used for print, online and promotional purposes. IFWTO reserves the right to request additional information or photography if needed.

  • Artist Fees
  • IFWTO pays an artist fee (plus applicable taxes) to programmed designers based on group exhibition rates from the annual CARFAC minimum fee schedule.

If an artist is incorporated an HST/GST number must be provided by the artist. Artists are responsible for their own reporting for income tax purposes.
Runway Production

  • Venue, staging, set design and lighting design
  • Models
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Choreography
  • Shared Steamer
  • Rolling Racks
    Festival Access
  • Two (2) non-transferrable tickets to a designers own runway show
  • Discounted registration for hands-on workshops
  • Access to IFWTO industry networking and industry events

    IFWTO Recommends:
  • Document all bust, waist and hip measurements in inches for each of your looks with a description of the fit (i.e: fitted, loose) and a corresponding image (the image does not need to be professional) **Note, IFWTO does not cast industry-standard sized models, and therefore providing retail sizing (e.g. “size 2”) may not be an accurate fit. – Label and organize each look in individual garment bags
  • Prepare a kit for the day of your show, which should include safety pins, sewing needles, thread, extra notions (buttons, clasps, etc), trimming scissors, double sided tape and a hand-held steamer
  • Complete an editorial photoshoot 6 – 8 months prior to show day
  • Complete the production of your collection 6 – 10 months prior to show day

    IFWTO casts all talent and models, based on the measurements and specifications provided by the designer. IFWTO does not allow designers to bring their own models or talent on the day of the show. If a designer wishes for a specific model, the model must attend the IFWTO casting call to be considered and approved during casting. Models receive an honorarium for their participation.

    Runway choreography is created by the IFWTO company choreographer.

    IFWTO works with set and lighting designers for each show. There is one set and lighting design for all shows. Rehearsals are overseen by IFWTO, including full-dress rehearsal, as per venue and production availability.


You will be notified by email if you have been selected to be a vendor at IFWTO.

You will be notified by email if you have not been selected to be a vendor at IFWTO.

Upon successful notification, vendors will be requested to provide further information (even if this is the same as your application):

  • Biography about the artist, designer, collective or brand
  • 2 high resolution editorial images of your work
  • 2 high resolution product flat lay photos of your work
  • 1 high resolution headshot of the lead artist, designer or collective
  • If available, 1 (one) .EPS format of the brand logo
    Information you provide in your application may also be used for print, online and promotional purposes.

  • Spacious 10′ x 10′ tented STANDARD booth with 2 tables and 2 chairs (starting at $400) OR Spacious tented 1 table space (1 table and 2 chairs provided) (starting at $200)
  • Access to a power source is available (limited 15 Amp power) at an extra cost
  • Onsite and Overnight Security Staff is provided for the duration of the marketplace
  • There is Wi-fi available on-site, however the signal is weak and we encourage all vendors to ensure they have access to mobile data in case of outages
  • Vendors receive a discounted parking pass but it does not guarantee a space.
  • A marketplace coordinator to coordinate your load-in, set up and loud-out and be available to you for support for the duration of the marketplace.
    Festival Access
  • Access to IFWTO industry networking and industry events
  • Discounted registration for hands-on workshops

    IFWTO Recommends:
  • Prepare enough inventory for 3 days of sales.
  • Stock $3,000 – $8,000 (retail) worth of products.
  • Inventory valued at $100-$200 each sells best at IFWTO. However, items above and below that average price point also sell at the IFWTO marketplace.
  • Obtain one-time exhibitor liability insurance
  • Prepare your point-of-sale technology
  • Design your booth to align with your brand image, which could include lighting, flooring, booth display and furniture, signage and promotional materials
  • Prepare for your customers to want to try on your work, which could include hand-held mirrors and a small changing station
  • Prepare packaging that aligns with your brand image
  • Plan for support to load-in and load-out
  • Ensure your products have been tested for quality control
  • Create a sales plan and hire a great sales representative to manage your booth
  • If you are your sales representative, research and ask for advise from your peers about great sales approaches for selling out

    If you bring any electrical or display equipment, please detail those on the application form, and include the wattage. Our booths are located under tents outdoors, so we have limited electrical supply.

    Pay your non-refundable exhibition fee (exclusive of your application fee) as follows:
    Shared Tented 1 Table and 2 Chairs (price is double for Tented Booth, 2 tables and 2 chairs):
  • Artist: $200
  • Retailer/Supplier/Wholesaler: $250
  • Food Vendor: $400

    Vendor fees must be made by November 1 the year before the marketplace opens. If fees are not paid on time, vendor booths will be given to “next in line”

    Vendors (and/or their staff) must monitor their booth for the entire duration of the marketplace.

    IFWTO is not responsible for any lost or stolen products. In your signed contract, you will release IFWTO any responsibility for lost/stolen products, injuries, conflicts, etc.
    It is the responsibility of the vendor to set-up and tear-down the professional presentation of their booth

    Vendor profiles are printed in a catalogue, disseminated among industry patrons and general audiences Additional print and web promotion materials is the responsibility of the artist

    We promote IFWTO and all programmed artists to Indigenous, fashion, arts and mainstream media and industry. Media do make requests to interview specific individuals, although we do not promote individual artists. We encourage designers to engage additional promotion with their own teams to media and social media.