Call for Submissions


Call for Applications:
The Sharon Wolfe Artist In Residence program is intended to allow a disability-identified artist to undertake a project that advances their own artistic goals and practice, and which has the potential to benefit the wider community of artists with disabilities.

For the last 10 ten years, AAF has been presenting and promoting the work of exceptionally talented artists across the entire spectrum of disciplines. The Sharon Wolfe Artist In Residence program allows us to take this mandate a step further. Few artists have the luxury of devoting themselves completely to their practice; the vast majority must subsidize their work by juggling one or more paid positions. While funding poses a significant challenge for all artists, people with disabilities encounter a host of additional accessibility obstacles.

Named in honour of the organization’s founding Artistic Director Sharon Wolfe, the SWA Residency is intended to offer the resident artist an opportunity to devote themselves to a specific program of work, while simultaneously contributing to a larger dialogue and sense of engagement with the wider community of disability artists in Toronto.

The SWA Residency will provide the artist with a $5000 stipend, as well as access to a small studio space at the prestigious 401 Richmond building for up to two months between October 2013 and June 2014.

The SWA Residency is intended to benefit artists who have completed basic education or training in their discipline and can demonstrate a history of professional practice and exposure.

The residency is open to Canadian citizens or landed immigrants. Artists need not be residents of Toronto, but must be prepared to spend at least one month of their residency in Toronto at their own expense. For artists outside of Toronto, Abilities Arts Festival would provide all possible assistance in locating appropriate, accessible accommodations in the city.

Applications must include:
A professional CV;
A 2-3 page (max) description of the intended project, indicating the connection to the artists work and potential benefit to the larger community;
A schedule and timeline for the project;
A budget indicating how the funds would be spent (ie. subsistence; materials; equipment; accommodation; presentation).
Applicants are encouraged to include support materials documenting their work.

Applications will be assessed on the basis of:
Artistic merit;
Relevance to the applicant’s professional advancement;
The viability of the proposed program and budget; and
Overall value to the field of disability arts and community at large.

Applications will be accepted between July 30 and August 30, 2013.
Completed applications can be sent by mail to:

Sharon Wolfe Artist in Residence
Abilities Arts Festival
Suite S-30, 401 Richmond Street West
Toronto M5V 3A8

Or by email to:
Subject Heading: Application – Sharon Wolfe Artist in Residence

Photo credit: Runners Wheels by Steve Kean, from AAF’s Toronto: Street Level Exhibit

Tangled Kids Fest

Tangled Kids Fest!

Teachers! Parents! Caregivers!
It’s that time of year again…

The 2014 Kids Fest! features fabulous entertainment and opportunities for participants to engage with our inspiring performers. Elizabeth Morris returns with an extended pop-signing routine. Specializing in integrated dance, and a leader in Canada for their innovative creations and inclusive practices, Ottawa’s Propeller Dance will make their first trip to Toronto to perform at Kids Fest. And renowned break-dancer Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli will perform with Unity as well as leading a one-of-a-kind workshop for your most enthusiastic students!


*Wednesday, April 9, 2014 – 12:00 – 3:00 pm
*Thursday, April 10, 2014 – 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

*Same programming on both dates

Daniels Spectrum – Ada Slaight Hall
585 Dundas St. East
Toronto, ON

1. Download our Registration Form.
2. Fill it in.
3. Email it to

After some detailed feedback (thank you for your feedback!) regarding last year’s Kids Fest!, we have made a couple of changes to our programming:

WORKSHOP: This year, for the first time, we will be offering an exclusive dance workshop with Lazylegz for 20 students. The workshop will take place at Daniels Spectrum on April 9, 2014 at 10:00 am. The students in the workshop will also join Lazylegz to perform at the end of his set that afternoon, so be sure to register your class for the April 9th show if you are registering a student for the workshop. If you have a student that you believe would benefit from this opportunity and enjoy performing with Lazylegz, please indicate so on the registration form. Space is limited so we ask that each teacher choose one or two students from the class who would particularly enjoy the experience. As always, registration is first come, first served. If you have any questions about the workshop, please feel free to get in touch.

FOOD: Due to dietary restrictions and allergies, we will no longer be serving lunch. Please ensure that your students have eaten their lunch before the performance. We will be providing snacks.

REGISTRATION: Registration will be from 12:00-12:30 (9:00-9:30 on Thursday) and the performances will begin promptly at 12:30pm. Please make sure that you can arrive in time to register your class and find seats before the performance. Late arrivals have delayed the performances before so please be prompt to keep other classes from having to wait.

FEES: Each year, we ask for a minimum donation of $5 per child to help offset the cost of venue rentals, snacks and performers fees. We will no longer be collecting fees at the door. Please send cash/cheques to our mailing address.

ARTS & CRAFTS: Once your class is registered, we will send you a small package with a craft that you can complete with your class before the Festival. This will involve every student creating his or her own “tangle”. Like snowflakes, tangles are unique – no two tangles are ever the same! We are celebrating this uniqueness with a big art project. Each class will have a chance to contribute their own tangles to the project.

We look forward to seeing you this April!


Spring is bursting with artistic energy!

An update on AAF happenings…

There is lots of great art news to report. Get out your agendas and save these dates in April, May and June.


In Brief…
1) Call for submissions of New Media Works for Festival 2012 – deadline June 1.

2) Friday, May 11: Performance and Networking to Launch FULL SPECTRUM professional development series

3) FULL SPECTRUM Workshop Schedule: Attend workshops on May 26, June 2, 9 and 18

4) JOIN US at HotDocs and other Spring Disability Arts Events!

In Detail…

Call for Media Submissions:
AAF is inviting submissions of media works for: Portraits of the Artist: Media by / about artists with disabilities

Completed after 2010
Any length, genre
Submission format: dvd
Foreign language (not French or English) must be subtitled, captioned or include English transcript
Must include: one line and one paragraph descriptions, key credits and brief bios of the writer and director
Deadline: June 1

Send to: AAF, 401 Richmond St W, Suite S-21, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

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FULL SPECTRUM 2012 Launch, presented by TD Group:
Friday, May 11 from 6:30 to 9:00 at 401 Richmond St W.
Meet visiting artist Jan Derbyshire, director of Abilities Festival 2012 Extravaganza: The Queen Car-Tography. Re-connect with friends and colleagues across the arts community. Find out about 2012 Full Spectrum’s series of one-on-one and small group professional development series AND get priority registering for limited positions in this series.


Workshop Schedule: Attend workshops on May 26, June 2, 9 and 18…
Saturday, May 26, 11 am – 1 pm: The Artist in Words
Pre-registration required. Limited places. First come, first served. One-on-one sessions providing feedback and editing advice on one of those precious documents that describe your work to funders, sponsors, curators, programmers and audiences. Get an outside eye on your cv, project description, artist’s statement.

Saturday, June 2, 11 am – 1 pm: Photography Portfolio Review
Pre-registration required. Limited places. First come, first served. One-on-one sessions. Photographers get invaluable feedback on their work: critiques of individual works as well as general guidance on portfolio presentation.

Saturday, June 9, 11 am – 1 pm: Communication and Promotion Strategies
Communication with colleagues, mentors, programmers, publishers, media and your intended audiences can be particularly challenging for independent artists. With all that creative energy and what little funds you have going to your work, there may not always be a lot left over for getting the word out to the world about it. Come and hear three case studies from artists and small organizations with tips.

Monday, June 18, 6 – 8 pm: Full Spectrum Finale – A “Date” with the Arts Councils
This is your opportunity to get better acquainted with the Community Arts Programmes of the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. Brief presentations by Loree Lawrence of the OAC and Andrew Suri of the TAC, followed by individual “speed dating” meetings to address your particular issue or question. Pre-register for your “speed date.”

Tell us the workshop you’d like to attend and your name, phone number and/or email address.

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Join us for Abilities Arts Festival’s co-presentations at HOT DOCS…
THE PUNK SYNDROME: Sat April 28 @9:30pm and Mon April 30 @1:15pm (Cumberland), Fri May 4 @1:30pm (ROM)

THE FROG PRINCES: Sun April 29 @7:30pm, Tue May 1 @4:45pm, Sat May 5 @9:45pm (Tiff Bell Lightbox)

More info at:

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Other Spring Disability Arts Events
Visual Art Show: Wheelchair Serenade by Elaine Stewart.
Dates: May 1 to May 31, 2012
Location: Northern District Library, 40 Orchard View Blvd, Toronto, ON
More information: Follow this link

Access the Arts: Redefining Arts Accessibility
A see-it, feel-it, hear-it arts experience
Curator: Alisha Linseman; Coordinator: Darren Cooper
Dates: May 30 to June 17, 2012
Location: Milton Centre for the Arts, Holcim Gallery, 1010 Main St, Milton, ON
As part of National Access Awareness Week, the exhibition will feature artwork addressing the topic of accessibility by showcasing pieces that provide multi-sensory art experiences. The aim is to provide an interactive and engaging exhibition for an audience with diverse abilities.
More information: Follow this link

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Know any other relevant upcoming events?
Please send us news of your events for future posting. Join our mailing list @