Artist FAQs

Thank you for considering submitting a project for FIGMENT Toronto at Toronto’s Olympic Island! The information below is intended to guide you through the conception, proposal, construction, installation, maintenance, and removal of your FIGMENT project.

Disclaimer:

This document is by no means definitive, but it does consolidate the knowledge we’ve gained from other FIGMENTs in other cities in the past. It does not replace communication with your curator; please read and respond to all emails from your curator by the requested deadline. If you have a question about submitting your project to FIGMENT Toronto or what is possible at the venue, please first review this information; if it does not clearly answer your question, you may email torontocuratorial@figmentproject.org

 

Contents:

What are the 11 Principles of FIGMENT?
When and where is FIGMENT Toronto?
What does the island look like? Can I see a map of the island?
Who can submit a project to FIGMENT?
What kind of content is appropriate for FIGMENT projects?
What are the deadlines?
What is the artists’ timeline for FIGMENT Toronto?
What about funding?
When can I install my project? What are the installation and setup hours?
When can I install my project? What are the installation and setup hours?
Is it true registered artists can camp on the island Saturday Night?
Can I DJ at FIGMENT?
Can I distribute fliers for my band/art project?
Can I sell my CD?
Can I collect email addresses for my mailing list?
Can I bring my car?
Is there electrical power available?
Should I bring an extension cord?
My project is light-based. Will there be darkness?
Do you have any guidelines on materials that can be used for FIGMENT projects?
There are some supplies that I need. Can I get them from FIGMENT?
Can I give away or serve food as part of my FIGMENT project?
Can I put stakes down or make holes in the ground?
Trees – Can we hang anything (sign, art, string, etc.) from a tree?
Is there access to water?
Can I have tables and chairs?
Can I have a tent?
Compressed Gas – Can I bring compressed gas to the site?
Animals – Can I bring a pet or other animal?
What else should I bring?
What if I did not submit a project to FIGMENT but I still want to bring it?

What are the 11 Principles of FIGMENT?
Drawing inspiration from other community-based arts events, the development, production, and experience of FIGMENT are guided by the 11 principles of FIGMENT: Participation, Decommodification, Inclusion, Self-Expression, Self-Reliance, Giving, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leave No Trace, Immediacy, and Gratitude. You can read more about our 11 Principles here.

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When and where is FIGMENT Toronto?
FIGMENT Toronto is being held July 26-27, 2014 weekend on Olympic Island. The closest and most convenient route is the Centre Island Ferry. Ferries to the Toronto Islands leave from the Ferrydocks at Queen’s Quay West which is located south of Queen’s Quay between Yonge Street and Bay Street.

Please note – the ferry schedule is different for each route and weekdays versus weekends, so make sure you check Saturday and Sunday. You can view the complete schedule on the Toronto Islands – Ferry Schedules & Fares website.

Maps and more details on directions to FIGMENT Toronto and Olympic Island are included on our Getting There page.

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What does the island look like? Can I see a map of the island? 
If you have never visited the island before or perhaps need a refresher, feel free to use Google Maps Street View located on our Island Map page for a feel of Olympic Island. We will be taking over all of Olympic Island for FIGMENT 2014.

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Who can submit a project to FIGMENT?
Anyone can submit a project to FIGMENT! Adults, children, professional artists or those looking to create their first piece! Anyone who can bring their project to FIGMENT by their own means and de-install it when the event is over is welcome to submit.

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What kind of content is appropriate for FIGMENT projects?
FIGMENT has hosted a wide variety of artistic endeavors in other cities: Street theater, costuming, sculpture, inflatable art, dance, performance art, installations, social experiments, mobile art, workshops, games, community building projects, arts & crafts, sound art, bands & DJs, lectures & seminars on themes of participatory art & culture, and anything else you can imagine! Please do remember that FIGMENT is an event for everyone when deciding on subject matter for your project.

Installations, performances, activities, or other projects that can be set up outdoors are welcome. We may have performance areas available for performances, and certain parts of Olympic Island provide suitable stage-like platforms. You can set up your own area or host a scheduled event or performance. If you have an idea for FIGMENT and have questions about whether it’s plausible, don’t hesitate to get in touch. No matter what you do, the one requirement is that it somehow engages audience participation. Just bring it to FIGMENT and try it out!

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What are the deadlines?
Key projects will be given placement on a rolling basis. If you have a large project or a project that requires specific placement or infrastructure, please submit it as soon as possible so that we can accommodate it. The final deadline for project submission will be announced soon!

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What is the artists’ timeline for FIGMENT Toronto?

  • Timeline will be announced soon!

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What about funding?
FIGMENT is a community-based event organized and run by volunteers. Its success is dependent on community participation. FIGMENT does NOT provide funding for the production, transportation, or insurance of works to, at, or from the site. FIGMENT encourages artists to apply for outside grants and fundraise for your project within your personal capacity. Please note that no corporate sponsorship (including logos and credit lines) is permitted at the event. In addition, nothing may be sold at the event. As FIGMENT grows, we will strive for art grants from the City of Toronto and Provincial/Federal art grant organizations.

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When can I install my project? What are the installation and setup hours?
You must make arrangements in advance with your curator (contact information provided upon project acceptance) regarding installation, tear down, or other material delivery matters. In general, we expect artists to set up their projects the day before the event (July 25th, 2014) and remove their projects after the event is over (after 7pm, July 26th)–not during the event itself. If you cannot meet this guideline, it is especially important to coordinate a plan with your curator.

As you design your project, think modular. Ideally, you should have nearly all the major construction complete before bringing your installation to the venue, with minimal assembly on site. Be sure to coordinate a crew to install and tear down! In general, projects should require no more than 4 people to move them. If it takes more than 4 people to move, we strongly recommend splitting your project into multiple sections to improve mobility. Take note of each section’s weight as you plan to transport them.

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When can I de-install my project? 
De-installation will occur immediately after the event has ended but no sooner. If you are a temporary project or one day Saturday project, you may de-install after your performance or at the end of day on Saturday July 25, 2014.

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Is it true registered artists can camp on the island Saturday Night?
Yes it is! The City of Toronto Parks and Recreation is very generous to allow registered artists the privilege of camping on Olympic island with the best skyline view of the City of Toronto. This is part of a special artist event and allows us to do security shifts of the island art. Only event leads, volunteers who work the two day weekend and registered artists will be extended this invitation from the city. Please note you are responsible for your own sleeping arrangements, food, and drink. You must also be cleaned up and packed up no later than 11AM Sunday morning so we are not overcrowding the island event. More details will be provided to you upon registration and confirmation.

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Can I DJ at FIGMENT?
If you would like to DJ at FIGMENT, we would recommend getting together with friends to propose a project as a collective, and making your DJ stage part of the proposal. Previous FIGMENT events have had collectives including Disorient, Fairytale Collective, and Wax, all of which included DJs as part of their themed area. If you want to propose a project that involves multiple DJs, you will be responsible for curating the group during FIGMENT Weekend. Please contact torontocuratorial@figmentproject.org for more information on how to curate a DJ area.

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Can I distribute fliers for my band/art project?
Please do not distribute fliers or printed materials at FIGMENT. We are trying to provide as waste-free an event as possible. If you have business cards or would like to share how your website or contact information with individuals interested in your performance and art, please feel free to do so. Many artists and performers have business cards they share with interested participants and fellow artists. We will also post your website information on the FIGMENT Toronto projects pages.

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Can I sell my CD?
We kindly ask that you do not sell anything – including CDs – at FIGMENT. FIGMENT is an entirely free and non-commercial event in which everyone volunteers their time and effort to participate… the organizers, the artists, the participants. Interactions between people are not mediated by commercial transactions of any kind. Everything at FIGMENT is free, and there is no advertising, nothing for sale, and no one insisting that you have to give a donation to participate. We understand that many of you make your livelihoods by selling your art and we support you – FIGMENT is just not the time or place. You can always direct participants to your website or provide them with a business card on how to connect with you outside of FIGMENT. We will also post your website information on the FIGMENT Toronto projects pages.

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Can I collect email addresses for my mailing list?
Yes, you may collect addresses, but we ask that you manage the list and make it clear to participants that they are signing up for your list and not the FIGMENT list. Please do not leave unattended clipboards around the site; keep the list with you so that you can get participants excited about your project.

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Can I bring my car?
You can drive and park in public parking at the Ferry Docks if public transportation is not logistically feasible. Just remember that the Toronto waterfront is under construction and give yourself extra time.

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Is there electrical power available?
Electricity may be available for installations. Artists should plan to be self-reliant for electricity; consider batteries and solar power first if you need it. If your project requires power, please contact the curatorial team at torontocuratorial@figmentproject.org as early as possible.

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Should I bring an extension cord 
If you have been in touch with FIGMENT and are approved for power, yes, please bring at least a 100feet of extension cord. The longer the cord, the better! Don’t forget to mark your cord with duct tape and your name on both ends so others know it belongs to you.

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My project is light-based. Will there be darkness?
We will announce more on this soon!

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Do you have any guidelines on materials that can be used for FIGMENT projects?
Why, yes, thank you for asking! Below are some general guidelines. They are not exhaustive, so please consult with your curator on the materials you will be using.

METAL & FIBERGLASS. These are suitable materials for holding up to the elements.

GLASS & PLEXIGLASS. Glass and unframed or unsupported Plexiglass are not suitable for FIGMENT, because when these break they leave behind dangerous shards.

PLANTS & ANIMALS. If your project involves plants or other living creatures, please inform your curator so that we may coordinate any needs for shade or water (as both are limited).

DURABILITY. This is not a traditional art event. When you design an installation for FIGMENT, imagine 15 children climbing on it at once, while passersby kick it or spill their lemonade over it. Then imagine that happening 8 hours each day for a whole weekend! You may be able to deter some abuse, and FIGMENT events have never been subjected to intentional vandalism; however, people young and old will play with anything that moves or shines! Furthermore, if it rains, we have limited shelter, and water will gather in low-lying areas. So build for the apocalypse!

WOOD & WOOD-LIKE MATERIALS. For the sake of durability under pressure from people and the environment, please follow these guidelines for your wood or wood-like materials:

  • Plywood should be weather-treated, at least ½” thick.
  • Oriented Strand Board (OSB) should be at least, ¾” thick, preferably 1”.
  • Wherever possible, use pressure-treated materials.
  • Consider coating these materials with 2 layers of deck paint.
  • Do NOT use medium density fiberboard (MDF) under any circumstance! It will not hold up.

DECORATIONS. Beware how small or moving parts are prone to fall off or need constant repair. Participants may pry off anything shiny and pretty that isn’t securely fixed. Consider a child’s mentality and curiosity. Avoid sharp-moving parts, or pointy things that stick up–even if it seems obvious that they should not be touched. FIGMENT should be fun, and a trip to the ER is never fun.

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There are some supplies that I need. Can I get them from FIGMENT?
FIGMENT promotes self reliance, so please make every effort to bring all the supplies that you need for your project. As an all volunteer event, we give our time and passion to the event, but it’s a bit more challenging to buy things. FIGMENT can help direct you to free, donated and low cost resources from which to source materials. Please get in touch with us for more information: torontocuratorial@figmentproject.org

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Can I give away or serve food as part of my FIGMENT project?
We ask that artists and participants do not give away or serve complex food. There are food venues on the other Toronto Islands. If your food is part of a performance piece and not complex, please consult your curator

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Can I put stakes down or make holes in the ground?
In general, stakes or other things that make large holes in the ground are prohibited in Olympic Park. If you need help coming up with alternatives to anchor your installation or tent, or if you feel there is no other option than to stake, please consult your curator.

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Trees – Can we hang anything (sign, art, string, etc.) from a tree?
In general, we ask that you are very careful when tying anything to the trees in Olympic Park. Toronto Parks and Recreation is focused on conservation! If you think you need to tie something to a tree, consult your curator to investigate the possibility of doing so without harming the tree.

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Is there access to water?
We have access to a small amount of potable water. There are also drinking fountains along the walking path of Olympic Island and around the other Toronto Islands.

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Can I have tables and chairs?
We have a small number that we have allocated based on requests for artists who submitted prior to our deadline. We are not able to accommodate everyone’s requests due to sheer numbers, so chairs and tables should be considered an extra. If you have portable tables and chairs that you can carry and really need them for your project, we recommend bringing them if possible.

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Can I have a tent?
You can us a small tent or shade structure as long as it is part of the performance or art installation. It must be able to be secured without causing damage to the surroundings and grounds. Please read the Stakes or Holes FAQ for information about securing your tent structure. For larger structures, please contact torontocuratorial@figmentproject.org to plan and address your needs.

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Compressed Gas – Can I bring compressed gas to the site?
Please contact your curator if any projects involve compressed gas.

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Animals – Can I bring a pet or other animal?
Animals are allowed on the site – Just please be mindful they are under control and adhere to City of Toronto Parks and Recreation rules about animals in parks. Make sure to bring lots of cleanup baggies and our volunteers on Sunday appreciate if you have a way to take those baggies home to your own garbage bin.

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What else should I bring?
We have already mentioned the need to bring your own power, power cords (100+ ft), tools, and installation crew. Here are some other important things to bring:

  • Smiles, patience, cooperation, and a helping hand.
  • Drinking water
  • Food
  • Sun Protection (SPF lotion, hat, glasses)
  • Flashlight/Headlamp
  • Outdoor shoes (comfortable yet durable)

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What if I did not submit a project to FIGMENT but I still want to bring it?
We encourage you to bring projects that you can carry into the site on foot. Projects will not be on our map or schedule, but FIGMENT is about serendipity and discovery so that’s quite all right. Unregistered projects will not have access to power. Please take your portable project with you when you leave the site and leave no trace.

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