Introduction

TCAF is The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, taking place in 2017 at Toronto Reference Library and the surrounding Bloor/Yonge neighbourhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is celebration of comics and graphic novels and their creators, which culminates in a two-day exhibition and vendor fair featuring hundreds of comics creators from around the world. Other Festival events include readings, interviews, panels, workshops, gallery shows, art installations, and much more. The full program and list of participating creators will be listed at this website, as well as in printed and digital program guides available on-site at the festival.

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2017
Main Exhibition: Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14
Professional Development: Friday May 12
Free To Attend – All Ages

Primary Venues:

Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto
The Marriott Bloor Yorkville, 90 Bloor Street East, Toronto
The Masonic Temple, 888 Yonge Street, Toronto
The Pilot Tavern, 22 Cumberland Street, Toronto

Tom Spurgeon

Tom Spurgeon

/ Comics Reporter

TCAF is the jewel of North American shows, so if you want to do a show, that's the one I would do first. ... a significant show on the world stage, and aspirational in many ways to all of us that are working on shows of our own, collectively and individually.

The Beat/Devastator 2015 Indie Exhibitors Survey

The Beat/Devastator 2015 Indie Exhibitors Survey

/ The Beat / The Devastator

The #1 Convention for Indie Comics Exhibitors in North America. In terms of overall sales and exhibitor satisfaction, TCAF still ranks as the best indie fest covered by this survey thus far. [Exhibitors] gushed: “TCAF is well organized, thoughtfully curated, and brings in an excited crowd ready to try new things.”

History & Staff

The Abridged History of The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, and the people who make it happen

History

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival exists to promote the breadth and diversity of comics, and what is considered comics, as legitimate medium of literary and artistic worth. We seek to promote the creators of these works in their broad and diverse voices, for the betterment of the medium of comics and to reach as wide an audience as possible for them.

The first Toronto Comic Arts Festival (“TCAF”) was held on the weekend of March 29th 2003. It was the natural progression of years of disparate book signings, author appearances and miscellaneous events put together by a group of volunteers interested in promoting the literary and artistic merits of comic books and graphic novels. Approximately 600 members of the public attended the first festival, with 25 staff and approximately 70 creators in attendance.

Attendance and excitement grew during subsequent events, held every two years. TCAF 2005 was held the weekend of May 28-29, and saw approximately 6,000 attendees visit the large tents set up on the grounds of Honest Ed’s department store. TCAF 2007 moved back indoors to the Victoria College building on the University of Toronto, and it also featured about 6,000 attendees over the August 18-19 weekend. TCAF 2009 was held in conjunction with Toronto Public Library in their massive flagship location, Toronto Reference Library. 10,500 people visited the festival on the weekend of May 9th and 10th, engaging over 300 exhibitors consisting of authors, artists, publishers, from 6 different countries including France, Germany, Japan, and England. Since 2010 TCAF has been held at Toronto Reference Library, with attendances increasing annually – we welcomed 12,500 attendees in 2010, 15,000 in 2011, and 18,000 in 2012 & 2013, 22,000 in 2014, 24,000 in 2015, and 25,000 in 2016 across all Festival events.

While a Festival the scope and size of TCAF was a natural progression of locally organized events, often in coordination with Toronto comic emporium The Beguiling, it also grew from equal parts agitation and inspiration caused by other large-scale events dealing with the comic book medium. While most of shows of this nature are pop-culture events and tend to be insular in nature, we wanted to do something that dealt more specifically with the art form of comics itself, with an emphasis on genre appreciation and open interaction between creators and their community.

Staff

Co-Founder, Festival Director: Christopher Butcher

Co-Founder: Peter Birkemoe

Managing Director: Miles Baker

Support Manager: Andrew Townsend

Programming Coordinator: Andrew Woodrow-Butcher

Volunteer Coordinator: Dan Seljak

A/V Coordinator: Parrish Kilthei

Media Coordinator: Nathalie Atkinson

Additional Support: Kim Hoang, Julie Man

VanCAF Liaison: Andrea Demonakos