Artfest News January 2016

Happy New Year!

I hope you had wonderful holiday and a well-deserved downtime break.

This Artfest News contains information about:

  • Artfest Ontario 2016 show schedule and application links
  • Artists Advantage membership updates
  • NEW* Taking Care of Art Business Day workshop
  • Sponsor Spotlight
  • Artist Spotlight
  • Art Business Tip: Preparing a successful show application.

Artfest Ontario Shows

We are very excited about the 2016 show season. If you are a Canadian artist or artisan we invite you to submit a show application. Artfest is hosting three juried art & craft shows this year:

  • Artfest Port Credit May 27-29
  • Artfest Kingston July 1-3
  • Artfest Toronto at the Distillery Sept 2-5

Submit your show applications now to all three events. We look forward to working together. Please click below to review the guidelines and submit your application form.

Artists Advantage News

Many of you have heard about the new Artists Advantage membership program. Please join us! The more members we have, the more negotiating power we command on your behalf.

New* All Artist Advantage annual members receive a discount of $10 on each Artfest show application fee.

There are many additional great savings and benefits when you join including event liability insurance, printing, website design, hotels, van rentals and much more.

Check it out.

New* Taking Care of Art Business Day

Mark your calendars on January 27th and join us in Toronto for Taking Care of Art Business Day. Let’s get together and discuss how to make this your most profitable art & craft sales year. And have fun doing it!

Artfest, Artists Advantage and Training Business Pros will be hosting an Art Business Day in Toronto on January 27 from 9:00am-4:00pm. With constant art business challenges nipping away at your heels, how do you leap ahead and stay profitable? We have selected a great line up of art business pros to share their expertise, give valuable tips and new information.

Join us on January 27 for a day devoted to you and your art business success. The cost is $27 or free for Artists Advantage members. Here is the speaker line up:

  • Al Hearn from Hearn Consulting is speaking about Successful Grant Writing
  • Shane Durnford - The Importance of Branding yourself as an artist and how to do it.
  • Paul Tobey from Business Training Pros- Increasing your art sales with Internet Marketing tools (TBC)
  • Nancy Mayer from Power Play- Creative Play for developing new art products.

Should be a fun day. I hope you can join us.
Networking, fun & breakfast refreshments provided. Book your seat now.

Successful Show Application 10 Tips

Written by Lory MacDonald, Artfest Ontario

Some of these tips may seem obvious to you, but I am going to be thorough and add things I have experienced as a show organizer. With so many events now using an online application form, the process can seem impersonal. It is more important than ever to be clear in your descriptions and to send in good photos.

  1. Having top quality professional photos is critical for submitting with your show applications. Do not assume that the show organizer is familiar with your work, as there is usually a team of jurors involved. Taking top quality product photos yourself is challenging. The big difference being: professional lighting, which is THE most important ingredient to enhance and show off your work. When you invest in professional photos, there are many benefits: it greatly increases your show application success rate; your photos can be used for any event organizer’s promotion and you and/or your product will likely be featured in key areas on the websites, rack cards, posters, Blog posts and more; you will be able to use them yourself in many ways; it brings the quality of your website up a notch; and it establishes you as a professional artist/artisan in the eyes of your customers, the public, show organizers and colleagues.  It will cost you a bit of cash if you do not have those skills (which most of us don’t). I suggest ganging up with a few of your artist colleagues and hiring a product photographer for a few hours or day to take all the shots. You can also rent professional lighting equipment from Vistek in Toronto and find helpful product lighting guidelines on the internet. Here are some helpful links to product photo tips:  READ MORE

Sponsor Spotlight: Kingston Accommodation Partners (KAP)

The success and growth of Artfest Kingston has been quite phenomenal. The public loves the artists and artisans booths, free live music, art workshops, creation of the 80 ft. community mural, theatre arts, giant puppets, sculpture displays, family picnic table painting, children’s programming and more.

Organizing a full free art & craft festival has many challenges, especially financial ones. Our fledgling sponsorship program has started to sprout, and we are very excited that the Kingston Accommodation Partners (KAP) have agreed to continue their commitment to Artfest Kingston for 2016. This is a dynamic group of hotel, motel, university residence, and B&B owners who work very hard to bring visitors to Kingston. They give back a lot to their community. The City of Kingston has much to offer with its historic downtown, award winning independent restaurants, thriving downtown shopping, art galleries, and tourist attractions. They have been a key part in rebranding the city as a tourist destination, and it is working well. Many of their hotel partners offer a special rate for Artfest Kingston exhibitors too. Thank you KAP for your support and help promoting Artfest Kingston worldwide. Kingston Tourism website.

Photo courtesy of TDStudios~ Thomas Dale

Photo courtesy of TDStudios~ Thomas Dale


Artist Spotlight: Donald Graves

Don Graves spent his youth in music and ended up pursuing conducting and voice as a career while nurturing a passion for painting. After acquiring a degree in Music from McGill University, time spent in an orchestra pit led him to a 28-year career at Sheridan College in Oakville. He co-founded Sheridan’s internationally renowned Music Theatre School and later becoming their Dean of the Faculty of Arts.  He then served as the Dean of Arts at George Brown College. For the past 20 years Don has also been a professional landscape artist in oils.

Don has believes that, “Singing, conducting, writing and painting are not as disparate as you might think. There is rhythm on a canvas: colour on a page, water reacts to rocks, fields to trees and the land to the sky. This is storytelling: Write a good story, paint a good story, take people somewhere they might not have been before; engage their desire to enter the painting and you’ve triggered their pursuit for more.”

Don began exhibiting in the Artfest shows in 2015 when we embarked on a new show in Port Credit. He has been instrumental in promoting Artfest events by distributing our Artfest Port Credit showguides, postcards and posters, writing press releases and articles for the west end newspapers, and spreading the word about Artfest. You can also see his work at the Art in Action Burlington Studio Tour.

 We hope you enjoyed this months Artfest News. Any comments or questions, please email me. All the best, Lory.

 Artfest Show Applications Link

Posted on January 9, 2016 .