Call for Proposals: QUIET PARADE 2024

Call for Proposals: QUIET PARADE

A participatory art project initiated by Aislinn Thomas
Curated by Ellyn Walker
Commissioned by The Blackwood

Application Deadline: Friday, February 2, 2024 at 11:59PM EST
Notification: Friday, February 9, 2024

QUIET PARADE is a sensory-friendly public parade initiated by artist Aislinn Thomas taking place at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus on the afternoon of September 18, 2024. We invite artists of all experience levels and practices to join us in considering accessibility in diverse material and celebratory forms.

QUIET PARADE is a platform to collectively create and experience a vibrant, extravagant, low-stimulation event that embraces accessibility as a shared and interdependent practice. QUIET PARADE is oriented towards care and aims to prioritize the wellbeing of all involved—including participants, publics, and organizers—throughout the process of its creation. The event will ultimately be shaped by our collective contributions and needs. All are welcome.

How to Apply

To apply, complete this form. Proposals will be considered for feasibility, impact, and alignment with QUIET PARADE’s goals.

The form is screen-reader friendly, and there is an ASL info video, produced by Deaf Spectrum.

If you would like assistance or an alternative format, please contact us by email: (Subject: QUIET PARADE); phone: 905-828-3789 (Blackwood Gallery); or anonymous form.

Applications are open until February 2, 2024 at 11:59PM EST. All applicants will be notified by February 9, 2024.


You are invited to interpret this Call for Proposals creatively and imagine your participation in a way that fulfills your needs and desires. “Float” can be broadly interpreted as any artistic contribution, including stationary or mobile floats, site interventions, performance, wearables, puppets, sculpture, text, and other participatory offerings. Community groups and organizations are encouraged to submit proposals. Please note that this is a non-commercial event, and there will be no advertisements on floats.

Contemplation prompts:

  • What is a low-stimulation, sensory-friendly celebration, and how can it be expressed?
  • How does your float contribute to sensory-friendly access and tranquility? What visual and tactile elements will you include or avoid?
  • Describe the relationship of your float to the parade route and the methods involved in its movement or installation
  • How might your contribution promote your own or others access, comfort, and joy? Does it explore experimental accessibility? Would your float benefit from the assistance of volunteers?
  • Does your project use interventionist or site-responsive approaches to address parade route challenges and limitations, such as pavement condition, designated smoking areas, pedestrian intersections, and wildlife ecosystems?


Selected proposals receive a $1,200 (CAD) artist fee. If you’re applying as a group/organization/collective, please specify in your application. Additional funds for float production are available based on project needs. Travel funding is not provided, but organizers can provide support letters for artists seeking external funding.

Key Dates

  • Proposal Deadline: February 2, 2024
  • Applicants notified: February 9, 2024
  • Virtual Meetings: February, May, August 2024 (optional)
  • Artwork Pick-up/Drop off: August 19-30, 2024
  • QUIET PARADE: September 18, 2024
  • Rain Date: September 19, 2024

The Changelings by Cadence Lemay-Gaulin and Sebastian Doak, part of Aislinn Thomas’ QUIET PARADE, 2022. Photo: Justin Jarvis. Courtesy of Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery.


QUIET PARADE is held on the traditional lands of the Huron-Wendat, Seneca, and Mississaugas of the Credit at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. The sensory-friendly parade occurs along the “5-minute walk,” a car-free pedestrian path. The site has challenges including areas with uneven pavement, a busy pedestrian intersection, smoking areas, and misleading signage. Artistic interventions addressing these issues are encouraged.

For details about the parade route and site, including barriers, visit The Blackwood’s website.

Access & Accessibility

QUIET PARADE embraces a dynamic and contextual understanding of accessibility. We approach access as an ongoing, collaborative process and are committed to addressing access conflicts. Points of access that we are planning for include live visual description, ASL interpretation, seating options, a Loud Zone, fragrance reduction, COVID precautions, documentation, and an Access Guide. We welcome ongoing access requests and value the expertise of lived experience.


Aislinn Thomas (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist whose recent work responds to disability. She is grateful to work alongside and in the legacy of so many who treat access and survival as spaces for creative acts, experimentation, and pleasure. Aislinn is a white, disabled and chronically ill settler of Ashkenazic and Western European descent. She lives in Unama’ki / Cape Breton, on ancestral and unceded Mi’kmaq territory.

Ellyn Walker is an interdisciplinary arts scholar and curator with a background in decolonial curatorial methodologies and place-making in the arts. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University and was the Acting Director/Curator of the Blackwood in 2021-2022. She is currently co-editing an anthology project called Curatorial Contestations: Critical Exhibition-Making Practices in Canada and holds the position of Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Art at Colorado College.

The Blackwood is a contemporary art centre at the University of Toronto Mississauga dedicated to open, public research. The Blackwood stages curated exhibition projects, supports artistic research, and engages in transdisciplinary knowledge production and circulation. Visit for more information. Bios of The Blackwood staff supporting QUIET PARADE can be found here.


QUIET PARADE is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the University of Toronto Mississauga:

The first iteration of QUIET PARADE took place in Kjipuktuk / Halifax in 2022, presented by Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery in partnership with Nocturne: Art at Night Festival and Eyelevel Gallery, and with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Arts Nova Scotia, Support 4 Culture, and the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Image Descriptions
1. Orange earplugs and the letters “QUIET PARADE” are scattered at various angles against an orange background.
2. Two QUIET PARADE (2022) participants pose wearing colourful knitted garments and bandanas. Both wear cream-coloured masks over their faces and the person on the right holds a cane in their left hand. Behind them is a large tree and more people.