Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Announces the 2023 Project Support Award Winners

Frances Price, President of the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts, announced today the recipients of the Project Support prizes. “In 2023, the 25th anniversary of Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts, we have awarded 4 prizes to very interesting and worthy projects in the visual arts. We look forward to following their work as it unfolds over the next year.”

Since its founding 25 years ago, TFVA has distributed well over 1 million dollars in prize money to the visual arts community in Toronto.

The Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts is an independent, membership based, non-profit organization that promotes knowledge of the visual arts to its members through an extensive education program, and provides support and recognition for artistic achievement to artists and art organizations in the GTA.

At the conclusion of each description there is a short video from each of the Project Support Awardees.

A Description of each of the Projects:

$10,000 to the Doris McCarthy Gallery (DMG), University of Toronto, Scarborough

TFVA awards a 2023 Project Support prize to the Doris McCarthy Gallery (DMG), University of Toronto, Scarborough (UTSC). This coming fall, 2023, the DMG will host a solo exhibition of works by Scarborough-based artist, Erika DeFreitas, who was an TFVA Artist Prize finalist in 2016. In conjunction with the exhibition, three emerging Scarborough artists will be chosen to undergo a mentorship led by DeFreitas. The mentorship will allow artists to further their practices and show their work as part of the exhibition in ancillary spaces on the UTSC campus. The TFVA Project Support prize money will go towards the artists’ residencies; providing the funds to create new work, the preparation of an exhibition, learning the process of working with a professional gallery, and gaining insight into the process involved in being a full time practicing artist. There will be artist talks, exhibition tours, studio visits, portfolio critiques etc. The mentorship aims to foster the development of talent and resources available to emerging artists in the Scarborough region and create a thriving creative community.

Click here to listen as Sandy Saad-Smith, Curator, describes the project and the impact of the TFVA prize.

$10,000 to the Inuit Art Foundation

TFVA will provide a 2023 Project Support prize to the Inuit Art Foundation for Up Front – a public art project. Upfront is an ambitious public art project providing four mid- career Inuit artists with the opportunity to create new work in the form of digital vinyl murals. Four separate murals will be commissioned and hung successively on the exterior of 199 Richmond Street West (outside the Onsite Gallery) and will be visible 24/7. The artists will be mentored and supported through Onsite Gallery/OCAD. This is the first time these artists will have the opportunity to work with a University. In turn, the public art will help reshape the public’s perception of contemporary Inuit artistic practice.

Click here as Alysa Procida, Executive Director, describes the project and the impact of the TFVA Project Support Prize.

$5,000 to the South Asian Visual Arts Centre

This is the 25th anniversary of SAVAC and the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts is pleased to offer project support funding to SAVAC’s long standing film and video program entitled MONITOR. The SAVAC organization does not have a dedicated presentation space but rather partners with local and international artist-run centres, public galleries, and museums to develop, present, fund, and/or support art by people of colour. TFVA will be supporting the catalogue design, materials and printing for the 15th edition of MONITOR. This includes the presentation of experimental short films and videos that initiate dialogue around the shifting nature of politics, economies, and landscapes across the Global South and its diasporas. The series engages with Canadian and an international community of artists, curators, and critics. MONITOR will premier in Toronto before going on tour across Canada and abroad. All iterations of MONITOR are available to watch in the research library at 401 Richmond through Vtape.

Click here to listen to the project overview from Indu Vashist, Executive Director, SAVAC.

$5,000 to SUR Gallery

The TFVA Project Support prize assists with the SUR Gallery’s upcoming exhibition entitled, Feminist Archival Strategies. The show is both a physical curated exhibition with media art works as well as a virtual exhibition of archival video works from the 1980’s that help build collective memory for future generations. The new media art works are by four women from the Latin American diaspora Canada and who will explore personal and cultural histories with a feminist lens. TFVA will support the showing of the works of these four contemporary artists. The show, to be held on October 5 – December 2, 2023, is accompanied by a series of online and in-person talks with the exhibiting artists and members of the community. Sur Gallery, of the Latin American-Canadian Art Projects, is dedicated to the implementation of art projects which showcase and promote contemporary Latin American and Latinx artistic practices.

Click here as Tamara Toledo, Director/Curator, describes the project and the impact of the TFVA Project Support Prize.

Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts
Contact: Barbara Lemaire:
Website: | Instagram: