We are currently seeking applications from artists and designers for runway and marketplace *** MODELS & TALENT – A casting call will be sent out in late 2019/early 2020. Please join our mailing list to receive the call:***



Table of Contents

1) Mandate & Artistic Policy

Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto presents Indigenous-made/designed fashion, crafts and textiles in runways, 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 dissemination and exportation of Indigenous-made works for the advancement and empowerment of 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 artists and their works in fashion, textiles and crafts. All self-identified Indigenous artists and exhibitors from across Canada and around the world are invited to apply to exhibit in runway and marketplace. Emerging, mid-career and established aritsts and designers are equally considered for programming.

IFWTO accepts applications of fashion, crafts or textiles of any style. Your application does not guarantee inclusion in Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto.

We use the words artist and designer interchangeably. All artists exhibited in runway, art exhibition, workshops and/or panels are paid artist fees by IFWTO based on CARFAC minimum fee schedule.

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 vision.

Selected works for the marketplace are based on artistic merit, technicality and skill, impact for the artist, retail readiness, potential interest by fashion industry, audience demand and opportunity to challenge audiences and overall cohesion to IFWTO vision.

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.


2) Eligibility

  • Self-identified Indigenous person of any international or national Indigenous nation
  • Emerging, Mid-Career or Established Artist / Designer
  • *non-Indigenous applicants to the Market Place will be considered, on a case-by-case basis, based on services and commitment to supporting Indigenous artists and communities.

3) 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, crafts 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, for runway, focuses on artistic expression and beyond commercial fashion. 

Runway and Marketplace selections are made by a selection committee through an organized juried process. The selection committee is comprised of Indigenous and non-Indigenous administrators and/or artists working in arts, fashion and/or culture, including IFWTO employees. The selection committee is formed and led by the Artistic Director.  

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 arcs, and representing the diversity of artistic and cultural perspectives from Indigenous nations in Canada and around the world. 

In 2018 we received over 130 submissions. The process of accepting and declining works is necessary, but emotional, for everyone involved and we understand how difficult it can be to receive such news. 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 beyond 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 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.

View IFWTO vision, mission and mandate

4) Application Fees

$20 – Showcase & Runway
$20 – Marketplace
$40 – Both, Showcase & Runway and Marketplace

  • Application fees are non-refundable
  • Application fees cover administrative costs of processing applications
  • Your application will only be reviewed upon successful receipt of your application fee

5) Artist Fees

Artist Fees are paid to artists/designers programmed in runway, art exhibition, workshops and panels. Fees are calculated based on CARFAC minimum fee schedule and are paid to successful applicants and curated/solicited artists/designers. 

Marketplace Exhibitors do not receive artist fees. The marketplace is juried but is not artistic programming. The Marketplace is an economic and industry development initiative.

6) Being an Artist in Runway

  • There are 4 runway shows. Each show will include 5 – 8 designers. There is one hair and makeup look for each runway show. Basic choreography is in place for models. Designers can work with models beforehand to direct specific instruction. Any specific instruction must work with choreography already in place. 
  • Artists/Designers are not required to be in attendance. IFWTO does not provide travel, accommodation or per diem. Artists/Designers might be eligible for travel funding from your municipal, provincial or federal governments (artistic and economic grants). We can help you find this support.
  • Designers/artists are expected to provide their collection, plus accessories and shoes within a specified timeline. IFWTO does not provide shipping costs.
  • We will work closely with all designers and artists to ensure the integrity of your work is honoured and respected (whether you are in attendance or not).
  • IFWTO works with set and lighting designers for each show. There is one set and lighting design to enhance and complement all designs.
  • Rehearsals are overseen and provided by IFWTO, including full-dress rehearsal, as per venue and production availability.
  • All technical, talent, hair & makeup are provided. IFWTO makes all final decisions for hair & make up for each show.
  • IFWTO casts all talent and models, based on your application specifications. IFWTO makes all final talent decisions and works closely with a choreographer to ensure the best presentation of your work in the group runway.
  • IFWTO does not allow designers to bring their own models or talent. If a designer wishes for a specific model, the model must attend our casting call to be considered and approved.
  • Designers/artists will have the opportunity to meet talent and models in-person/by-phone/online to discuss the presentation and representation of their work
  • Information you provide in your application will be used for print, online and promotional purposes. You will be required to provide two (2) high resolution images in addition to what you provide in your application.
  • We promote IFWTO to Indigenous, fashion, arts and mainstream media and industry, although we do not promote individual artists, unless media makes specific requests.
  • Programmed artists are printed in a catalogue, disseminated among industry patrons and general audiences
  • Programmed artists are provided with two (2) non-transferrable tickets to each runway show
  • Programmed artists are provided access to IFWTO industry networking and industry events
  • Programmed artists are eligible to register for hands-on workshops at a discounted rate
  • Additional print and web promotion materials is the responsibility of the artist
  • Programmed artists must provide updated high-resolution images and biographies upon request for the IFWTO catalogue, media, and promotional purposes.

7) Being an Exhibitor in the Marketplace

  • 54 Exhibitors will be selected
  • The marketplace is open May 29 – 31
  • In 2018 the response to the IFWTO marketplace was incredibly successful. Many exhibitors sold out of their products in their three days at the marketplace. Artists and designers made important connections with industry, media and customers that have supported their economic development and business growth.
  • Vendors must provide their own lighting, flooring, booth display, telecommunications, signage and more. If you would like to 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. Vendors receive a discounted parking pass but it does not guarantee a space.
  • IFWTO and Harbourfront Centre both provide an on-site marketplace coordinator who will coordinate your load-in, set up and loud-out.
  • Exhibitors will be required to sign a contract of their commitment to be in attendance.
  • Exhibitors must pay their exhibitor fee in advance. The exhibitor fee is non-refundable
  • Exhibitor fees are as follows (plus your application fee):
    • Artist: $200
    • Retailer/Supplier/Wholesaler: $250
    • Educational: $400
    • Non-Profits: $200
    • Food Vendors: $400
  • Electricity costs are extra
  • Exhibitor fees must be made by November 1, 2019. If fees are not paid on time, exhibition booths will be given to “next in line” exhibitors
  • Overnight, on-site security is provided and IFWTO is committed to ensuring the most successful and safe experience as possible. Although 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. 
  • Exhibitors are encouraged to get one-time public liability insurance
  • A basic set-up is provided, including two chairs, a table and a tent
  • It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to ensure a professional presentation

Harbourfront Centre provides the following to its exhibitors:

  • Vendor Coordinator on site to ensure that everything goes smoothly
  • Spacious 10′ x 10′ tented STANDARD booth with 2 tables and 2 chairs OR
  • Spacious tented 1 table space (1 table and 2 chairs provided)
  • Access to a power source (limited 15 Amp power)
  • Overnight Security Staff

8) The Venue – Harbourfront Centre (IFWTO Producing Partner)

MARKETPLACE – ANN TINDAL PARK  (outdoors) and Bays All (indoors)

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 an undeniable presence across Harbourfront Centre presenting in most of their spaces. With Harbourfront Centre, we are excited to present a festival of high quality that fosters and amplifies presented artists in all programming.

3) About Us

Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto is a four-day festival of Indigenous-made fashion, textiles and craft, taking place late spring at Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto for industry and audiences. We present artists at all levels of their practice, whose work expresses or challenges the deep and ongoing connection between contemporary fashion, Indigenous art and ancient and traditional practices. Additional educational and development components will include artist talks, panels, lectures and hands-on workshops.

Deadline: April 29, 2019, 11:59PM

INSTRUCTIONS – 4 step process. Each step must be completed for your application form to be reviewed

1. Read the Guidelines

2. Complete the Runway Application AND / OR Market Place Application

3. Email photos or sketches of your work

4. Pay your application fee(s)

Need help? Have Questions?