Call for Submissions: City of Toronto’s 2022 Awakenings Artist Mentorship program

2022 Program Mentor Ashley McKenzie-Barnes. Photo by Hyghly Alleyne.

Call for Artists: 2022 Awakenings Artist Mentorship

Application Deadline: July 29, 2022

The 2022 Awakenings Artist Mentorship program, in partnership with esteemed curator and creative director Ashley McKenzie Barnes is now accepting artist applications! This first-of-its-kind mentorship opportunity is open to emerging and mid-career artists 21 years of age or older, working in contemporary visual art, design and interdisciplinary practices with a focus on projects from the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Over the next 12 months, 10 selected artists will develop site-specific artwork responding to an anti-colonialism, anti-oppression and anti-racism Awakening, to be presented during June 2023 (Pride month) at 10 Toronto History Museums across the city. This work will be self-directed, with mentorship from Ashley McKenzie Barnes.

Artists 21 years of age or older are encouraged to submit their applications by July 29, 2022.

Ashley McKenzie Barnes is a Creative Director and Curator with more than 15 years of experience in the cultural, advertising, entertainment, corporate and non-profit sectors. Her work includes exhibitions, installations and campaigns for Samsung, Scotiabank, Harbourfront Centre, 19 Crimes Wine, Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp and music icon Lauryn Hill. She was named one of the 2019 curators for Nuit Blanche Toronto.

Sugar to Taste by Raquel Rowe – part of the Awakenings Artist Mentorship: A Revolution of Love Performance Series. Photo by Andrew Williamson.

Awakenings is a series of art projects created within Toronto History Museums by Black, Indigenous and artists of colour, operating under the principles of anti-oppression, anti-colonialism, and anti-racism.

The Toronto History Museums’ Awakenings program is the recipient of the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership. The program is also a recent recipient of the 2022 American Association for State and Local History’s (AASLH) Leadership in History Awards in recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

Toronto History Museums are committed to dismantling museums’ ongoing colonial legacies and working towards fostering reconciliation and healing. In 2020, Toronto History Museums adopted a bold and transformative mission, vision and narrative. Grounded in equity, anti-racism and anti-oppression, all 10 Toronto History Museums began to re-evaluate the stories they share, and the way they are shared, to create space for communities and impart knowledge.

Soiled by Samuel Davilmar – part of the Awakenings Artist Mentorship: A Revolution of Love Performance Series. Photo by Andrew Williamson.

General admission to 10 Toronto History Museums is now permanently free! The museums, owned and operated by the City of Toronto include: Colborne Lodge, Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum, Mackenzie House, Market Gallery, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum, Spadina Museum, Todmorden Mills and Zion Schoolhouse.

More information about Toronto History Museums is available online or follow Toronto History Museums on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook and on YouTube.

Call for Submissions Contact: Tamara Williams (she/her) at or by telephone at 416 392 7755.