Please read this page carefully, it answers the majority of questions vendors will have. If you have questions not answered here, please contact us.
Before you apply:
What is the date and location?
TIAM takes place at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West. The dates for the autumn series are as follows:
September 14th (vendor submissions July 15th – 30th)
October 12th (vendor submissions August 15th – 30th)
November 9th (vendor submissions September 15th – 30th)
December 14th LITERARY VENDORS ONLY (vendor submissions October 15th – 30th)
Who can vend at TIAM, and how are the vendors selected?
Artisans can apply to vend at TIAM in one of five categories – fashion (anything wearable: clothing, jewellery, accessories); consumables (food, candles, soap, stuff that you use up); literary (small press, self-published books, zines, magazines, comics); music & entertainment (CDs, bands, indie record labels, theatre tickets, etc.); and arts & crafts. (Please ensure that you choose the correct category for your products when completing the form, as it can cause your application to be mis-filed and overlooked.)
Ideally, products will have been created by the person selling them, and preference will go to unique or one-of-a-kind products. In the case of artistic creations manufactured by a third party (CDs, t-shirts, books) products must be small runs and the artist must not have access to wider distribution.
We are aiming for a diverse variety of products: vendor selections will be made based on the following criteria:
appeal of your wares
total number of applications in your category
number of other similar vendors in your category
table size required vs table availability
additional requirements, such as hydro
- for future markets, whether you have vended with us before will also be taken into consideration
As a guide, we are looking for products that are fun, hip, and slightly edgy, as opposed to cutesy and crafty. Our first market included corsets, comics and kimchi, and items with a youthful, urban appeal will take precedence over things like doilies or lawn ornaments of bent over fat ladies.
Can I take part if I sell vintage stuff?
Sorry, no vintage items permitted unless they are used as the materials for a new item (ie. vintage fabrics reworked into new one-of-a-kind items, purses made out of old books, bowls made of melted vinyl records, etc.). There are plenty of cool vintage shops and flea markets throughout the year where vintage vendors can sell their stuff. TIAM is specifically for people who are creating what they’re selling.
Can I apply if I’m not from Toronto?
Sure, although preference will go to vendors from the GTA first and foremost.
Can I apply if I own a shop or if my stuff is sold in shops?
Sorry, TIAM is intended to promote artisans who do not have access to a larger customer base. Artisans with their own bricks and mortar storefront shops (Etsy shops are okay) or who wholesale significant quantities via retailers are not eligible to take part.
Do I need to submit samples?
No, but we need to be able to see images of your products and ideally a previous market/fair display. Our preference, first and foremost, is to view a website dedicated to your art/business. We will also consider an Etsy (or similar) shop, and finally a Facebook page dedicated to your business. We are less inclined to accept applications that send us to a personal Facebook page or blog where we have to poke through pictures of your vacation or your cat to find images of your work. If you are serious about your small business, then a dedicated website shows that.
Note – applications that do not include a link to a website where we can see your work will not be considered for inclusion.
How big are the tables and what is the cost?
We offer a variety of tables including 2ft, 3ft, 4ft and 6ft. These are priced at $10 per linear foot, so the range is $20 – $60.
Can I share a table?
Because we offer a variety of table sizes, for the most part, the answer to this is no. However, because we realize some vendors have only one product (ie. self-published authors with one title), we will consider shared tables IF the vendors sharing the table submit the application together, and ONLY IF they are in the same category. Once you have been accepted, you cannot add other vendors to your table. Note that the same restrictions regarding number of vendors behind a table apply even if you are sharing a small table with another artisan.
I have/need my own racks and display set-up.
With the exception of clothing vendors who may bring small rolling racks to accommodate garments, all vendors must use the tables provided. You may bring your own displays, but they must fit safely on the tables. No other racks or stands may be used.
Can I vend at other markets/craft shows?
TIAM has no restrictions on vendors taking part in other events. However, some other shows, most notably the One of a Kind Show, do, and have been known to enforce those rules. Please read all contracts carefully.
Does TIAM take a percentage of my profit?
No, the only money you pay to TIAM is the fee for your table, which includes tax and PayPal fees. All profit you make selling your wares belongs to you. TIAM charges admission to people attending the event and that is where our income from the event is derived. TIAM will also be donating 40% of door proceeds to a local charity.
Why is the admission $5? That seems high compared to other events. Won’t it scare customers away?
While there are some people who might balk at paying $5 to get in, we feel that this price is fair. Here’s why:
- charging admission at the door allows us to keep vendor table prices exceptionally low. TIAM makes no profit from the table rentals; it covers the cost of the venue rental, and that’s it.
- $2 from each $5 admission goes to a charity partner for that market.
- with over 50 carefully curated vendors, $5 is a fair price when customers know the quality of products will be high. A cover charge also helps weed out the folks who are “just browsing” or killing time, from the people who are there to shop and genuinely support local artisans.
- charging an admission gives us more opportunities to promote the event as we can give away free passes via contests, offer early bird discounts, etc., all of which helps spread the word and create buzz about the event.
Do I need insurance?
With the exception of food vendors, TIAM does not require vendors to have insurance for the event. The venue carries appropriate insurance for incidents such as slip and fall, or issues related to the building. However, vendors who are selected will be required to sign a contract providing indemnity to TIAM regarding theft, breakage and customer issues. (Essentially, if your stuff gets shoplifted, broken or if the customer has a problem with your product, you agree to take full responsibility and not hold TIAM liable.) So if these issues are a concern to you, or if you sell something breakable, especially expensive, or something that could cause an allergic reaction, we encourage you to purchase appropriate insurance for your merchandise.
I’m a food vendor – what do I need to do to take part?
As the venue where TIAM is held has their own on-site restaurant, food vendors are limited to packaged, prepared foods such as cookies, pickles, etc. – things that customers would more likely take away as opposed to consuming on-site. Note that neither TIAM or the venue can provide refrigeration or storage of your items, and everything you bring must fit safely on or underneath your table.
To adhere to local bylaws, food vendors must be able to provide documentation to demonstrate that they comply with the following:
- municipal food handler’s certification
- use of an industrial kitchen to prepare the food sold at the event (either certification of your own industrial space or a receipt for a rented space)
- insurance on your products in case of allergic reaction, choking, etc.
Can I help promote the event?
Yes! Please help us spread the word via your website, Facebook page, Twitter account or mailing lists that you keep for customers.
How do I apply? What is the deadline to apply? When will I know if I’ve been accepted?
Event dates and vendor submission periods are listed at the top of this page. Each market will have its own submission period. We will only consider applications made during the call for vendors – please do not contact us outside of this window asking to be added to a market. Vendors will be notified within 2 weeks of the end of each submission period to confirm their inclusion.
Can I apply to vend at more than one market during the season?
Vendors may apply to all markets but will not be accepted to vend at more than 1 market in a row. So if you are accepted for September, you will be disqualified to vend in October, but may apply to take part again in November. The only exception to this will be for small press vendors who may vend in November and also apply to the small press event in December.
Hey! Why is the December market only small press? What about the crafters?
There are a gazillion craft fairs in Toronto during the month of December, and almost no book events. Since most craft vendors are already doing many shows in December, we decided to make the December market exclusively small press in order to provide local authors, zinesters and small publishers a place to sell their creations during the holiday market season. This market has a separate set of qualifications that will be posted in early October when we call for vendors for this event.
After You’ve Been Accepted:
Payment for your space must be made in advance, via PayPal. Vendors who fail to submit payment within the allotted time period will forfeit their space.
Due to the variety of different tables sizes, it is often difficult for us to replace a cancelled vendor, especially in the last week prior to the event. As such, we are unable to offer refunds on vendor cancellations. Please be sure that you are able to take part on the specified date before submitting an application.
Vendors are given 1.5 hours for load in and set up. Vendors who are not set up when the doors open to the public forfeit their table and their table rental fee.
The rooms that we are using are generally well-lit, with both overhead lighting and south- and west-facing windows that make the spaces bright if the weather is good. Vendors should make a point of requesting a hydro outlet on their application if they need one, as not all tables have hydro access.
What to Bring
TIAM supplies a table (possibly ugly) and an appropriate number of seats. That is all. You should bring table coverings, signage, appropriate display racks (must fit safely on your chosen table size) and a float – neither the venue or TIAM organizers will be able to break large bills if you need change for a sale. (The Royal Bank at 2 Gladstone Avenue is open until 4pm on Saturdays.) Note, our venue is a designated heritage property – vendors may NOT affix signage, hooks or displays of any kind to any part of the permanent structure of the venue including walls, door, pillars, banquettes, counters, etc..
What Not to Bring
- we ask that vendors refrain from wearing perfume or any scented product during the event
- as per our agreement with the venue, no outside food is permitted. The Gladstone Cafe is open from 7am and serves a variety of coffee, tea, pastries and brunch items.
Can I bring a friend to help me or come halfway through the event to relieve me so I can take a break?
Because space behind the tables is often tight, especially where vendors are back-to-back, we must insist that you run your booth with the minimal number of people possible.
TIAM has staff on hand to help vendors with things like running short errands or minding your table while you take a quick break. Because we offer this service to vendors, there is absolutely no vendor guest list. In order to keep table prices as low as possible for vendors, TIAM organizers take no profit from your table rental – we make all of our income from admission sales at the door. So expecting us to comp friends of vendors is like us expecting you to give us free product. It also means that you’re taking money directly away from our partner charity.
For vendors with 2ft and 3ft spaces, you may have only 1 person working your table at any time. If you wish to have a friend relieve you, they will be expected to pay the regular cover charge to enter the event. You may request a receipt for this admission if you choose to consider it a business expense.
For vendors with spaces 4ft and up, you may have a maximum of 2 people working at your table at any time, and the additional person MUST arrive with the primary vendor at load-in to have their admission comped. If you wish to have additional persons relieve you, they will be expected to pay the regular cover charge to enter the event. You may request a receipt for this admission if you choose to consider it a business expense.