Call for Submissions

SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) is the only non-profit, artist-run centre in Canada dedicated to supporting South Asian artists. For over two decades, SAVAC has increased the visibility of culturally diverse artists by curating and exhibiting their work, providing mentorship, and facilitating professional development.

Our mission is to produce programs that explore issues and ideas shaping the identities and experiences of people from the region and its diasporas. We encourage work that is challenging, experimental and engaged in critical discussions that offer new perspectives on the contemporary world.

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Open Call: The Practice of Art – 10 July 2020

The Practice of Art

The current global health crisis and movements for racial justice provide an opening to engage the possibilities and limitations that arise for artistic practice during states of emergency. They have us asking: How do we practice art and to what end? What does it mean to continue, to insist on making art now? What changes? What doesn’t?

Through this open call, SAVAC is seeking proposals that reflect on the practice of art – and the art of practice. We are looking for works that center practice, for projects that confront it, surrender to it, undo it, cheat it, insist on it, or disregard it all together. We want to imagine artistic practice in a multiplicity of forms (production of works, research, works-in-progress, durational projects, etc.) and interrogate the act of practice itself (as labor, repetition, rehearsal, preparation, play, failure, collective action, etc.). Building on our artistic vision, we encourage works that are paced, imaginative, and inquisitive in method and content.

SAVAC invites artists, writers, performers, filmmakers, curators and multi-disciplinary creatives to submit proposals for projects/interventions/gestures that consider artistic practice in response to states of crisis and emergency – either directly or indirectly. Ideas could be implemented offline or online, in public or private space. Given the physical restrictions we are currently under, we encourage proposals that are creative yet accessible, nuanced yet easy to produce. Research proposals are also accepted, as well as proposals that involve interaction and participation with others.

We hope that this open call will support artists under these new conditions for artistic production. We recognize that the questions we pose above are broad, and we are open to collaboratively developing project ideas and conversing with artists around what artistic practice could look like at this moment. Accepted artists will be awarded an artist fee and a production fund in line with CARFAC recommendations. A total of 6 projects will be selected.

Deadline for applications is 10 July 2020, with projects commencing over the summer.

To apply, email the following to with the subject line “OPEN CALL 2020” and including the following separate documents as attachments:

Document 1: A project proposal, 500 words max. Please include a preliminary timeline and a list of (practical) requirements for your project if necessary.
Document 2: Your bio (250 words max) AND a link to your website OR portfolio OR CV

Rolling Open Call

SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) is a non-profit, artist-run centre in Canada dedicated to increasing the visibility of culturally diverse artists by curating and exhibiting their work, providing mentorship, facilitating professional development and creating a community for our artists. SAVAC was founded to be an organization staffed by people of colour, committed to support the work of artists of colour. We are always looking to work with and mentor new artists. If you are interested in working with SAVAC, please complete the following form. We will contact you if there are upcoming opportunities for which you would be suitable.

OAC Exhibition Assistance – On-Going, Summer Deadline TBA

OAC Exhibition Assistance grants assist individual visual artists, craft artists and media artists with costs directly related to preparation for a confirmed, upcoming exhibition. These costs may include materials, framing and presentation, crating and transportation. The exhibition may take place at any public site, providing that it is advertised and open to the public during specific hours.  A letter from the gallery or exhibition organizer confirming the applicant’s participation is required as part of the application.

This program provides grants of $500 to $2,000 to assist individual artists with costs related to presenting their work in an exhibition. Submissions will be evaluated according to Ontario Arts Council and SAVAC guidelines.

Eligibility (Applicants must be):

  • Ontario-based professional visual artists, craft artists, media artists and artist collectives who have a confirmed, upcoming public exhibition.
  • For this program, eligible collectives are defined as unincorporated groups of two or more artists who create collaboratively and exhibit together.
  • Collectives may apply in the name of the collective, or may choose an individual to represent it as the applicant. If the collective applies, OAC issues the grant cheque in the name of the collective.
  • For a group exhibition, each artist must apply individually for their own expenses.
  • Applicants must be Ontario residents with a permanent physical address in Ontario.

SAVAC’s guidelines are based on the following:

  • Recommender for artists of colour
  • Artistic merit and excellence
  • Contemporary visual and media-based art practices

To Apply:

We accept applications on an ongoing basis, but please note that we must receive your application before the start date of your exhibition. The summer deadline will be announced in July 2020. To apply, visit:


Suite 450
401 Richmond St. W.
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8

1 (416) 542-1661

Office Closed
Monday - Thursday
10am - 5pm
by remote appointment only


Stay up to date about upcoming submission deadlines, workshops,
exhibitions, and events at SAVAC.

Canada Council for the Arts Ontario Arts Council Toronto Arts Council Ontario Trillium Foundation