Call for Submissions: HOLD FAST Contemporary Arts Festival 2021

Dates: Aug 25-28 2021
Deadline: May 21, 2021



Holdfast is back, delivering unprecedented art in unprecedented times! Eastern Edge seeks local and Atlantic artists to present their work as part of HOLD FAST Contemporary Arts Festival. HOLD FAST is a celebration of contemporary art held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, a festival dedicated to immersive contemporary art and is the longest running in the province.

HOLD FAST is more committed than ever to delivering accessible, meaningful and critically-relevant contemporary art programming as we weather the storm together.

Each festival artist will give an artist talk, share skills in an artist-led workshop and present their work in the downtown Art Crawl*. There are also two residency slots available to assist the creation and development of work. We hope to see proposals with engaged and informed artistic practices that can challenge or explore the ways in which art can make an impact in our community.

Individuals, groups, curators, and collectives in all visual arts mediums may apply.

Selected artists will be provided the following fees:

  • Festival Performance Fee (Art Crawl): $423
  • Workshop Fee: $322
  • Artist Talk Fee: $322
  • Travel Stipend (for artists outside of St. John’s metro area): up to $300
  • Artist Residency Fee: $1,801

*The Art Crawl is an evening of contemporary art installations and performances that transform downtown St. John’s into a hub of artistic activity. For the Art Crawl, artists are encouraged to propose a variety of contemporary art actions, which may include:

  • Performance art (site-specific or staged in public parks, storefronts, local galleries, etc.)
  • Local community collaboration (participatory art works or interventions with public space)
  • Video/sound/off-site installation and sculpture
  • Online projects (web-based and digital artworks that can be presented online including experimental and interactive digital projects)


  • CV/Resume or other document telling us who you are. Please include contact information and your pronouns. (Max 2 pages)
  • Short artist bio (50-100 words for promotional use)
  • Artist Statement or Curatorial Statement (Max 1 page)
  • Art Crawl Project description (include equipment list and special technical needs) (Max 2 pages)
  • Workshop ideas/proposal (Up to 3 hours per workshop, include material and technical needs) (Max. 1 page)
  • Images (10 max) with image list, or link to video clips/audio files with accompanying descriptions.
  • Clear outline of how the proposed project and workshop considers COVID-19 safety protocols, including an alternative or online plan in the event of a COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Optional Residency Proposal (One paragraph, highlighting your interest in a suitable space to create the work up to 8 weeks prior to the festival)

*All submissions must be sent as email attachments (no zip files), and must not exceed 25 MB. Please send images as JPGs and text files as PDFs. You may also provide a video submission instead of written documents as .mp4s or links to Youtube, Vimeo, etc.

We are dedicated to an equitable selection process in our programming and encourage applications from contemporary artists and curators from BIPOC, queer, and feminist perspectives. If you would like to self-identify as representing one of these perspectives, you may do so in your application. However, this is not a requirement.

You can learn more about the accessibility of Eastern Edge Gallery here:

Please send your submissions to
Subject line: “HOLD FAST Call for Submissions 2021”

HOLD FAST accepts digital applications only.
Artists will be notified of their successful applications by June 4th 2021

For HOLD FAST 2021 updates follow our website and facebook page linked below! || || Instagram: @holdfastfestival

Image: Mural by Lily Taylor 2019,