Please read this page carefully; it answers the majority of questions vendors will have. For vendors applying to the Small Press Festival, some of these points (garment racks, etc.) will not relate to you, but we ask that you familiarize yourself with this document anyway, as it is our bible in terms of vendor issues.
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:
November 9th (vendor call closed)
December 14th LITERARY VENDORS ONLY (vendor submissions October 15th – 30th, payment from accepted vendors due no later than November 21st)
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.)
- general 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.
The vendor must be involved in the creation of the product in some way – no resellers or wholesalers – and for goods made by a third party (CDs, books), the product must be a small run.
Vendor selections will be made based on the following criteria:
overall appeal of your wares
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 sun-catchers.
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. The one exception to this is for food vendors – we will consider applications from food vendors with bricks and mortar stores or who do a limited amount of wholesale.
Do I need to submit samples?
We do not need to see samples in person but we need to see some form of website that includes images of your work.
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 regret that we cannot accept individual images sent via email. Please DO NOT email us images of your work – applicants who do so will be removed from consideration. We also are unable to consider personal blogs or Facebook pages.
Basically, we really want to see that you are a vendor who is serious about your work and about taking part in TIAM. Maintaining a dedicated website or Etsy page with up-to-date info and product listings shows us that you are professional in your attitude and business dealings.
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 table sizes and prices:
- 2ft x 2ft (cafe table – possibly with a centre pedestal – includes 1 seat) – $20
- 3ft x 2ft (half of a shared 6ft x 2ft table – includes 1 seat) – $30
- 4ft x 2ft (usually a pair of cafe tables side by side, but may also be a stretch of counter or half of a deeper harvest table – includes 2 seats) – $40
- 6ft x 2ft (full size banquet table – includes 2 seats) – $60
- small garment vendor (space equivalent to a 6ft x 2ft table – includes a 2ft x 2ft cafe table, plus 1 seat, plus space for a MAXIMUM 4ft garment rack) – $60
- large garment vendor (space equivalent to a 6ft x 2ft table – includes space for a MAXIMUM 6ft garment rack, no table, 1 seat) – $60
- odd corners (these are seating area within the venue made up of sofas, coffee tables and armchairs. Approximately 4′ x 2′ of table space) – $40
Can I share a table?
Sorry, because we offer a variety of table sizes, we do not permit table sharing.
Can I have 2 large spaces – I need to spread out.
Our goal with TIAM is to provide vendors with a regular place to sell their wares. Because we want to make this opportunity available to as many artisans as possible, our goal is to book as many vendors as we can for each event. So unless we don’t have enough vendors to fill the venue, we will never allow a single vendor to book multiple spots.
Can I request a specific spot/table, or refuse a spot that I don’t like?
The process of creating the market floor plan, with a variety of different types of vendors and different sizes of tables, and occasionally using different rooms/spaces for different events, is akin to playing high level Tetris with only one free hand while wearing an eye patch and being chewed on by a rabid dog. Which is to say, it’s a bit of a nightmare for us to fit everyone in effectively.
So while we will definitely work to accommodate requirements such as a hydro connection or ensure your very high display has ceiling clearance, we absolutely cannot consider requests by vendors for specific tables or locations.
I have/need my own racks and display set-up. Can I bring a shelf/display/stand/etc. in addition to the table provided?
Other than clothing vendors who may bring small rolling racks to accommodate hanging garments (see table sizes, above), all vendors must use the tables provided and are not permitted to bring any additional display items that do not fit on top of the table. There is no additional floor space to accommodate shelves, racks, other items of furniture, or customized displays as there is at a fair where you are renting a full-sized booth. The space you are allotted at TIAM is that of the table (maximum 6′ x 2′) plus space for 1 or 2 chairs behind that table. Sorry – there are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.
Garment vendors have the option of a space for a MAXIMUM 6ft rolling rack, or they may request a 2ft table with one chair which will give them room for a rack up to 4ft in length – but everything must fit into the space that would otherwise be occupied by a 6′ x 2′ table.
I don’t have a display – can you provide racks?
Sorry, vendors must supply their own display items. TIAM does not supply racks, lighting (other than the overhead lighting of the venue), table coverings or display items of any kind. Neither TIAM or the Gladstone Hotel can supply dollys or carts for load-in purposes.
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 little to no profit from the table rentals; that total covers the cost of the venue rental, taxes and PayPal fees, 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 a 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.
IT IS ILLEGAL TO PREPARE FOOD IN A HOME KITCHEN AND SELL IT TO THE PUBLIC. If you are selling food made in your home and do not have proof that you have your own separate industrial kitchen, we cannot include you in our event.
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.
Because of the rules regarding food vendors, we will consider applications from small companies (who are preparing food legally) with a storefront location or who do limited wholesale orders.
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 1 week 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 preference will be given to vendors who have not vended at the previous market – so vendors who are accepted for September can apply for October, but they will go to the bottom of the list in terms of selection. 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 applicants to this market should read before applying.
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.
Before you’ve paid: please be sure that you are able to take part on the specified date before submitting an application. Vendors who are accepted and cancel before paying for their table (or who lack the courtesy to bother contacting us at all) will be flagged and likely will not be accepted into another market.
After you’ve paid: while we understand that life events happen, 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 cancellations made by vendors or to transfer your spot (paid or unpaid) to a future market. If you are unable to take part, you forfeit both your space and any payment made.
In the event of the entire market being cancelled by the organizer or the venue (due to emergency, act of God, etc.), vendors will be offered a full refund on their table fees but will not be reimbursed for other incidental costs they might accrue in preparation for the event.
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, lighting, display racks that fit safely on your table, and a float to make change. (The Royal Bank at 2 Gladstone Avenue is open until 4pm on Saturdays.)
Neither TIAM or the hotel can provide lights, table coverings or additional furniture for you to use at the event.
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 (note – we WILL insist that perfume be removed if you show up wearing it).
- as per our agreement with the venue, no outside food is permitted. The Gladstone Cafe is open from 8am and serves a variety of coffee, tea, pastries and brunch items, and the Gladstone will be selling food and beverages at each event from a location in the Melody Lounge. (Water is always available for free at the bar area in each space.)
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 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.