SPARK Open Call Exhibit Venue Information 2024

Selecting an Exhibit Venue

Traditional venues such as public and private galleries as well as non-traditional spaces are equally encouraged.
Non-traditional venues may include community centres, gyms, clinics, studios, cafes, shops, clubs, businesses with public access, the offices of community organizations, libraries, shopping centres, street-facing windows in commercial buildings, sports arenas, outdoor billboards, sides of buildings, photo trails through parks and other public spaces. Think outside the box (and walls!).

How to find a venue:

  • Look around your desired location for possible spaces to fit with your photographic theme and art;
  • Look up art and photography exhibits online in your desired location and check out the venues hosting other exhibits;
  • In previous catalogues and under the Archives tab in the main menu, exhibitors can find past participating venues in the Exhibits listings;
  • For 2024, SPARK will assist in finding a venue when possible, please email Festival Director, for a list of available venues and suggestions, Jennifer MacKenzie

Consider venues with the longest operating hours for maximum exposure of your work. Ideally, a minimum of 40 hours a week with at least one day of weekend viewing. If your venue is not open on weekends, it still might be possible to arrange with your venue representative one or more weekend viewing dates. Viewing times will be published along with each artist’s exhibit listing. At most venues, it is not necessary for photographers or their representatives to be present during hours of exhibit unless they choose to do so. This is an arrangement the exhibitor must make with their venue representative in advance.

Very Important: The venue information submitted in the online Venue Agreement Form is what will appear in all mentions of the Venue in the SPARK Photo Festival promotional materials. It is recommended that the Venue Representative carefully review the information for accuracy in advance of submitting the form.

Exhibit Installation Deadline: Midnight, March 31, 2024 (Please arrange for exhibit installation well in advance of the festival start date.)

Important topics you may want to discuss with the venue representative in advance of submitting this agreement:
– type of installation and hardware/logistics necessary
– hours of exhibit viewing for public
– reception options (if desired) and dates; receptions are not necessary but do help create a buzz for your exhibit. The reception can be any time throughout the month and does not have to be in the first few days of the festival.
– how the venue benefits from being a SPARK venue: you, as the artist, and the SPARK Photo Festival promote venue businesses through marketing, publicity, increased visibility and traffic for their space; each venue is marked on our interactive digital web map and the Toureka! app
– is the venue willing to share exhibitor costs (registration fee? cost of a reception?)
– cross-marketing opportunities, how you will market the venue, is the venue willing to use their social media assets to promote your exhibit and exhibit reception
– comment books and promotional materials (do they have space to set these items out?)
– if selling work how will the transaction take place (your role, venue role)
– insurance, type of installation, damage or theft of work; contact your insurance broker about a short-term, off-site insurance rider on your home policy. Most venues will have public liability insurance. If a concern, discuss insurance questions with your venue representative in advance.
– signage needs (see below).


Every exhibit will be provided with one sign to ‘identify’ the venue as a SPARK exhibit. The signage ‘design’ is consistent across all venues so as to be instantly recognizable by visitors. Exhibitors should discuss options with your venue representative and choose the type of sign that best suits their venue. While SPARK has placed a limit on the number of signs available to each exhibitor more signs are available by request. SPARK will do its best to supply your exhibit signage needs if you need more than one sign or a variety of signage.

Signs on sintra, foam core, and core-plast can last several years if used indoors. SPARK requests that exhibitors store or return all signage remaining in good condition after the festival ends. This not only makes more signs available the following year to those who need them, but also is environmentally responsible. Please note: the signage examples below are not to scale and are to illustrate only how the signs ‘look’.

TASTEFUL DISCREET SIGNAGE – 5 x 5 inches – use where there is not a lot of space or where larger signage would conflict with existing venue signage. Decals – indoor/outdoor use – have a peel-off paper backing with the decal undercoated with adhesive – works well on glass or other smooth flat surfaces.

5x5 inch
5 x 5 inch Decal
Tip: This is a 5-inch square, removable decal. Either sign, when installed with a diamond orientation appear to be larger. The two illustrations on the left are exactly the same size. (confirm with venue representative before applying to any surface and do not apply to frosted/coated glass.)

LARGER SIGNAGE – 8.5 x 11 inches – use when there is more space available and where larger signage won’t conflict with existing venue signage. Foam core and poster paper can only be used indoors. Both substrates can be installed non-destructively with velcro or sticky tack. Form core is 5mm thick. Directional arrow is available as left or right option on Foam Core only; on the Venue Agreement form please select LEFT or RIGHT.
(Note: the Left directional can also be used for ahead or up; the Right directional can be used for down).
8.5x11 inch
20x16 inch
LARGEST SIGNS – 20 x 16 inches
(exact size may vary depending on supply available
Outdoor/Indoor – Printed both sides on core-plast – Commonly known as lawn signs, these signs come with or without a metal H-bracket that can be sunk into the ground. Suitable for venues offset from the curbside or in high vehicular traffic locations. Also suitable when you want the sign to be seen from two different directions. These signs also are great for display windows, and can be suspended with fishing line. Even after use in extreme outdoor conditions, these signs can often be re-used. Core-plast is 4mm thick. Waterproof.

Please discuss signage with your venue representative and submit your choices the Venue Agreement Form, link below (Step 2).

Open Call Registration