Monday, 4 August 2014

TCAF announces new guidelines for 2015; ask creators to exhibit every other year

Image by Michael DeForge, for TCAF

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, more generally referred to as TCAF, have opened up exhibitor applications for 2015, and there's been some interesting changes to the guidelines. Most notably, that artists who have tabled last year, i.e. 2014, will most likely not be given exhibiting space for 2015. The comics events/convention scene has simply grown and grown over the past few years, with more and more shows cropping up -even here in the UK, and TCAF is widely regarded as one of the best and biggest shows, so I have no doubt the demand for space is very high. SPX have their unique lottery system, and with TCAF, MoCCA, and now Thought Bubble all fully curated, it's interesting to see how organisers are responding to that demand, and what measures and adjustments are being made. Here's the key bit addressing applicants:

'We are asking creators to exhibit every other year. If you exhibited in 2014 it is highly unlikely that you will be allocated a space for 2015 without extenuating circumstances (i.e., a major new print release, a gallery show, etc.). There are still many ways to participate in TCAF without a table, including programming and workshops. Most publishers are exempted from this rule.'

'...preference for exhibition space will be given to:

a) Comics creators (versus illustrators/animators/fine artists/other creative persons),
b) Creators with new major works debuting at or around TCAF 2015,
c) Those creators who have not exhibited in 2014.'

The aim for all shows is, I'd imagine (publishers aside), to find a balance between accommodating main-stays, artists who are popular on the convention circuit, whilst also accommodating newer and fresh talent, providing opportunities for those looking to exhibit for the first time. This seems pretty fair to me, although it's possible still for people to slip through the cracks- how do you define 'new major works' for example. If you're wanting to apply to TCAF, they'll be accepting responses until Friday, October 17th, 2014, here.