Call for Submissions: Beyond the Tarmac

Northcrest Developments

Beyond the Tarmac: An Open Call for Submissions


  • Call for large-scale activations on the Downsview Airport Lands
  • Available funding: up to $100,000
  • Date posted: April 29, 2024
  • Optional site visit: June 11, 2024, book here
  • Submission deadline: June 20, 2024, 11:59pm
  • Interviews for shortlisted applicants: August 15 – September 15, 2024
  • Finalist contacted: October 15, 2024
  • Implementation period: January 2025 – December 2025


Calling artists and teams that think big! Northcrest Developments invites calls for proposals for a high impact festival, performance, installation, or activation on 600 metres of taxiway. Where airplanes were once made, complete communities are coming. The site is a blank canvas ready to be infused with creativity. In the future and in the interim, this will be a place of big ideas. Do you have one that will take off?


The project will take place on the Downsview Airport Lands. It must be experienced or viewed from the Interim Activation Zone, as outlined in the images below. It must be experienced from the outdoor areas only. However, your proposal can include the exterior of hangar buildings, which are visible from the Interim Activation Zone. Projects can utilize as much or as little of the Interim Activation Zone as they require. This total maximum space represents up to 290,000 square feet, which can support up to 50,000 people.

  • This project is guided by the Arts and Culture Downsview Workplan.
  • Applicants must have the experience, expertise, and certification (where required) to execute the proposed project.
  • Applicants must be available to deliver the project in 2025.
  • The call is open to applicants of all types, including not-for-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, registered charities, artist collectives, and individuals.


  • The total funding allocation of $100,000 will be distributed to a single project or shared amongst several projects with lower budgets. Each applicant can ask for between $10,000 and $100,000. For budgets that exceed $100,000, supplementary external funding must be secured by the applicant.
  • Projects with secured or anticipated additional sources of funding are welcome. Please indicate these additional sources and whether they are confirmed or pending in your application.
  • The budget should be inclusive of all fees, equipment rental, materials, installation costs, transportation, insurance, permits, and so on. It is important that all creators are paid fairly for their work. Please see the minimum recommended fees for artists on the CARFAC website. The fee excludes taxes.
  • Northcrest plans to market and promote the activity to its audience. Applicants may choose to collaborate on marketing and promotions by carrying their own budget or may rely on Northcrest for this function.

Selection Process

A panel of seven local and city-wide arts and culture experts will review the submissions and select a shortlist of up to ten applications. Two representatives from Northcrest will sit on the panel. Submissions will be pre-scored accordingly:

  • Strength of proposal to meet the creative brief – 20 points
  • Strength of the team and previous work – 10 points
  • Demonstrated ability to execute work with a clear budget – 10 points
  • Project’s connection to priorities of the Workplan – 10 points

While these scores will be used to guide a final discussion among panel members, the shortlist will be identified at the discretion of the panel to ensure a diversity of projects for the second stage of the process. Preliminary scores will not be publicly available.

Stage Two: A shortlist of applicants will be invited to more fully develop their proposals and attend an interview, which can take place in-person or virtually. The interviews will take place between August 15 – September 15, 2024. Applicants will be given a $500 honorarium to prepare for and attend the interview. More details will be provided to the shortlisted applicants, though this phase will require preparing a presentation that addresses bespoke questions about the project.

Submission Requirements

Applicants must submit one pdf document that includes:

  • A list of project team members with their role and relevant credentials and indicating a project lead.
  • An overview of the proposal (250 words max): What is your proposed project? Where and when would you want it to take place, and for how long? What makes it noteworthy and able to animate, amaze, awe, amplify, and/or engage? And finally, why are the Downsview Airport Lands the place for this?
  • A site map with an indication of where the proposed project will be located and where the audience can experience or view it from.
  • A statement on how your proposed project responds uniquely to the site and its architecture, history, or future (250 words max).
  • Equity, diversity, inclusion, and local support are priorities of the ACD Workplan. In 250 words or less, please share, as per your comfort level, details about your team’s identity, perspective, social location, and/or connections to Downsview that you bring to this project. This statement may also detail plans to incorporate mentorship or peer learning in the project.
  • Up to five multimedia assets that illuminate your proposed project and/or showcase your previous work (photos, videos or audio are acceptable with no more than 5-minutes of total video material).
  • Budget overview, which may include, but is not limited to: artistic costs, including artists’ fees; expenses, including hospitality, logistics, grounds transportation, etc.; production costs, including technical equipment, site operations, signage, build costs, etc.; and health and safety, security, and emergency services.

How to Submit

Please email your submission to by 11:59pm EDT on June 20, 2024. WeTransfer links are accepted for larger files.

For additional information or questions, please contact:

Questions about this competition can be sent to Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any accommodations or support during this application process.

Northcrest Developments
161 Bay Street, Suite 1305
Toronto, ON M5J 2S1

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Twitter @northcrestdev