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News / March 13, 2014

New Art Fair Slated to Compete with Art Toronto

The Canadian Opera Company's rehearsal space at 227 Front Street East will be home to the new Feature Art Fair come late October. Photo via The Canadian Opera Company's rehearsal space at 227 Front Street East will be home to the new Feature Art Fair come late October. Photo via

A new satellite art fair is in the works to run concurrently with Art Toronto, Canada’s largest art fair, in late October.

The new fair, called the Feature Art Fair, is organized by the non-profit organization Association des galeries d’art contemporain (AGAC). AGAC also runs the Papier fair in Montreal each April.

Feature Art Fair will take place at the Canadian Opera Company’s rehearsal space at 227 Front Street East, two kilometres away from the Art Toronto fair at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Front Street West.

The new fair is planned to include some 20 galleries in total. The fair will be dedicated to contemporary art and each gallery will feature only a maximum of three artists.

Art Toronto typically includes roughly 100 galleries showing both contemporary and historical art. There is no restriction on the number of artists represented per booth.

In an email, AGAC executive director Julie Lacroix said that Feature is hoping for “an intimate satellite fair which will provide visitors with a fresh and exciting perspective on contemporary art.” She also noted that the event is inspired by American fairs such as NADA and the Independent, which which were founded by gallery-owners and are satellites to larger fairs such as the Armory and Art Basel Miami.

This is not the first time an alternative art fair has been planned to run concurrently with Art Toronto. In 2004, the Toronto Alternative Art Fair International began operations at the Gladstone Hotel, Drake Hotel and other venues. It was a more artist-focused fair. In 2006, it featured 25 exhibitors and 35 invitational artists, but it folded soon after.

Also, Feature is also not the only new art fair on the Toronto scene. May 8 to 11, 2014, will see the debut of the Love Art Fair, a sister fair of the Affordable Art Fairs in Amsterdam, New York, Hong Kong and elsewhere. Located at the Direct Energy Centre, it will specialize in works priced between $100 and $10,000, and as such is positioned to compete with the Artist Project, an independent-artist fair that runs each February and, like Art Toronto, is owned by Informa Canada.

Leah Sandals

Leah Sandals is a writer and editor of white settler Canadian (Irish and Ashkenazi) descent. She is also content editor at Canadian Art and has written for the Toronto Star, National Post and Globe and Mail, among other publications. Sandals welcomes tips, corrections and comments anytime at