Toronto Arts Council and The Toronto District School Board

are pleased to invite applications for artist participation in:

tdsbCREATES Arts Festival 2018-19

Now in its sixth year, tdsbCREATES is an exciting initiative that celebrates student creation and honours the unique and powerful exchanges that take place between professional artists and students in TDSB schools across the city. We aim to inspire students, their families, and teachers to embrace arts and culture as an essential component of a well-rounded education and fulfilling life. The festival will foster cross-cultural connections and shared understanding across a wide range of perspectives and experiences.  The public celebration of student work will also acknowledge the important role that artists and teachers play in nurturing creativity and artistic expression.

tdsbCREATES celebrates a diversity of student voices from different backgrounds, personal/social identities, and neighbourhoods of Toronto.  Students are encouraged to explore a theme (to be determined) through artistic creation in one or more of the arts. Multi-disciplinary work is encouraged!

A roster of artists supports the following tdsbCREATES initiatives:

  • Artist-in-Residence Programs in Dance, Drama, or Visual Arts for students in Grades 1-6.
  • Mentor Artists | tdsbCREATES Art and Film Project for Grades 7-12.
  • Mentor Artists | tdsbCREATES Dance and Spoken Word Project for Grades 7-12

Application Process

Toronto-based artists in all arts disciplines and from diverse backgrounds are invited to submit an application to work with students during tdsbCREATES in two ways:

  1. Artist-in-Residence  Program – Grades 1-6 Time Frame: February-May 2019
  • Each residency is five (5) full days in one school, working in two classrooms
  • Artists will participate in pre-planning and professional learning with teachers in advance of the residency.
  1. Artist Mentors – Grades 7 – 12 Time Frame: January-May 2019 (some opportunities available in November-December 2018 depending on school requests)

Artist mentors are required to provide support to students and teacher-mentors in the following projects:

tdsbCREATES Art and Film: a juried/curated exhibition of art collaborations by student groups

tdsbCREATES Dance/Spoken Word:  a juried/curated showcase of original dance and literary performance works created by students.

Artist mentors will support students at different stages in the process of creating their works. At all times, students must remain the authors and creators of their artistic creations.  The role of the artist mentor is to:

  • Assist students with the development of specific techniques or skills to help them strengthen or clarify their intended message
  • Critique student work providing specific, constructive feedback related to project criteria
  • Ask focused questions to help students make meaningful artistic choices and to refine their work
  • Listen encouragingly to students and engage them responsively and respectfully without taking control

The amount of time will vary from approximately 4-8 hours of mentorship with each group.


To be eligible to work with the tdsbCREATES Program, applicants must be professional artists.

A professional artist is someone who has developed their skills through training and/or practice; is recognized as such by artists working in the same artistic tradition; actively practices his or her art; seeks payment for her/his work; and has a history of public presentation.

Applicants must be Canadian Citizens, or Permanent Residents (Landed Immigrants), or have an application pending for Permanent Resident status, or be a Protected Person (approved refugee claimant) and, if requested, be able to provide documentation to verify this.

We welcome applications from those who self-identify as Indigenous artists, artists of colour, artists who are Deaf, have disabilities or are living with mental illness, artists who self-identify as 2SLGBTQIAP, newcomer and refugee artists, young and emerging artists and artists working outside the downtown core.

Artists must have been a resident of the City of Toronto (“M” postal code) for at least one year prior to the applications deadline, and live and work in Toronto for at least 8 months a year. A Post Office Box address cannot be used to meet the residency requirement.

Artists working in TDSB schools (all positions) are required to provide:

  • An approved Vulnerable Sector Check (through Toronto Police Services)*

Application Details – How to apply

To be considered for the tdsbCREATES roster for 2018-2019  please complete the application by following the link below. Selected artists will be  invited for an interview in September.


Application deadline:  August 24th, 2018 5:00 pm.