Call for Submissions: Mayworks’ Labour Arts Catalyst 2024

Another Park is Possible installation, Mayworks (2019)

Call for Submissions: Mayworks’ Labour Arts Catalyst

Deadline: Monday, June 5, 2023, 11:59PM

Mayworks’ Labour Arts Catalyst program pairs artists with labour justice organizations in a collaborative art-making process. This initiative aligns with the vision of Mayworks to incite the creation of art that furthers our struggles for better working and living conditions. We invite artists across disciplines to apply for this opportunity to create original work informed by research alongside their selected labour organization. The goal is to present the works at the Mayworks Festival in May 2024.

This year’s participating organizations are: Disability Justice Network-Ontario, United Steelworkers Toronto Area Council Injured Workers Program, and Caribbean Solidarity Network.

Submissions are welcome from artists working in all disciplines: theatre, performance, music, installation, sculpture, film and video, visual art, digital media, and beyond.

Artists will select the organization with whom they wish to work during the submission process. Artists will retain copyright and creative control of their work, but are expected to share a work in progress with the labour organization for feedback prior to completion of the artwork.

To learn more about the program process and timeline, please visit

Soon & Very Soon by David Yu, developed through the 2021 Labour Arts Catalyst.

Each of the three selected artists will receive $2,000 toward the creation of their artwork. If the artwork is presented during the Mayworks Festival 2024, artists will receive an additional exhibition fee of $800.

Artists are expected to cover the expense of creating their artwork for the Mayworks Festival in 2024. Mayworks will apply for funding to help artists offset costs such as research, development production and mentorship, but this funding is not guaranteed.

Project development including meetings with labour organizations, research, and interviews may be done remotely. Presentation at the festival (performance, installation, other) and other accompanying programming such as artist talks and workshops require artists to be in Toronto. Mayworks will apply for funding to offset travel costs but this funding is not guaranteed.

Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, reside in Ontario and be available according to the timeline and locations.

Email and/or attend our Q&A session on May 9 at 6PM.

To explore the Mayworks Festival 2023 program including projects developed through our Labour Arts Catalyst, please visit

Revolution Must Mean Life by Maysam Ghani, developed through the 2021 Labour Arts Catalyst.

Mayworks acknowledges we live in a society rooted in oppression and inequalities; that structural injustice and unconscious prejudice influence our experiences; and the importance of incorporating the knowledge and guidance from oppressed people’s experience within the organization. We encourage applicants from systematically marginalized groups to apply.

Mayworks Festival of Working People & the Arts annually presents new works by a diverse range of artists, who are both workers and activists. We prioritize the participation of artists and audiences from communities facing systemic discrimination.Our programming offers bold, insightful, responses to pressing issues at the intersection of art, social justice and labour. We are actively engaged in a dialogue that challenges the logics of capitalism and seeks to further our struggles for better working & living conditions.

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Mitra Fakhrashrafi
Curatorial & Programming Coordinator