Call for Submissions: CAFKA.25 Biennial

Submission Deadline: August 31, 2023

Sara Mozafari’s Reliving Thousands of Suppressed Collective Memories (2023) for CAFKA.23, installed at Kitchener City Hall. Photo Credit: Julie Hall.

Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener + Area (CAFKA) is seeking submissions for its next biennial exhibition of contemporary art in public spaces, set to launch in June 2025. CAFKA is a non-profit artist-run centre and Ontario’s longest-running public art forum, presenting a biennial exhibition of contemporary art in public spaces across Waterloo Region. CAFKA takes contemporary art out of the gallery, making it a critical and integral part of community life, accessible and free to everyone.

Kandis Friesen’s artist talk for One Thousand, One Hundred (2023) for CAFKA.23, installed at Waterloo Park. Photo Credit: Eric Almberg.

CAFKA invites proposals from artists working across disciplines from local, national and international communities. The Programming Committee will assess proposals and portfolios, considering artists’ experience and potential to develop work in public spaces. Please refer to our current biennial programming for examples of installations, performance art, video and exhibition locations. Selected artists will be paid CARFAC solo exhibition fees, and will receive curatorial, logistic and administrative support for their project, working closely with CAFKA’s programming committee and staff, to develop and realize their work.

We welcome submissions from artists of all backgrounds, including but not limited to: Indigenous artists, Black artists, artists of colour, LGBTQIA2S+ artists, artists with disabilities, and artists who belong to other equity seeking communities. Should you require accommodation at any time throughout the submissions process, please contact

Behnaz Fatemi’s performance exhibition of Voices of a Revolution (2023) for CAFKA.23, installed temporarily at Kitchener City Hall. Photo Credit: Eric Almberg.

Submissions can be project-based or practice-based in scope. For project-based submissions, please submit a short bio, artist statement, CV, and project proposal, along with images that support your project proposal (max. 10 images). For practice-based submissions, please submit a short bio, artist statement, CV, along with a portfolio of recent work (max. 10 images) that best exemplifies the type of work you would contribute to the biennial.

Submissions Should Include:

  • a short bio (150 words)
  • an artist statement (250 words)
  • a letter of interest/intent or a project proposal** (500 words)
  • your CV, including your name, contact information (address, email, phone), and links (website, social media)
  • up to 10 images, or links to video/audio work (1 minute of video/audio = 1 image)

** Project proposals should include any technical requirements, a proposed budget, and possible sites if identified and/or applicable.

Please email your submission as a single PDF to with the subject line “[Your Name] CAFKA.25 Submission” no later than August 31, 2023. Video/audio documentation should be linked to an appropriate platform such as Youtube, Vimeo, Bandcamp or SoundCloud.

We thank all applicants, but only those selected by the committee will be contacted.

Successful applicants will be notified by late September.

Lan “Florence” Yee’s Seeking (2023) for CAFKA.23, installed at Riverside Park. Photo Credit: Meg Ross.

Please note: CAFKA’s biennial takes place in the public realm in primarily outdoor spaces. Proposals that rely on the physical characteristics of gallery spaces are not recommended as indoor spaces are limited. Proposed projects should take into consideration public intervention (i.e. unsupervised “touch”) and outdoor environmental conditions such as wind and rain, as well as the potential for vandalism. The CAFKA.25 program will include artists selected from this open call as well as invited artists.

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