CAFKA is pleased to share two calls for submissions for its upcoming biennial exhibition of contemporary public art, Stay with me, June 3 - July 22, 2023. Applications for Regional Artist Projects and Film Series submissions are due February 12, 2023. 

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, CAFKA - Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener + Area is an artist-run, charitable organization that produces a biennial exhibition of contemporary art projects in the public spaces of the Region of Waterloo. As Ontario’s longest-running public art forum, CAFKA has supported a diverse spectrum of local, national and international artists in the presentation and dissemination of ground-breaking, contemporary, interactive and interventionist public artworks to audiences through biennial programming, annual exhibitions and special projects. As a pillar within Kitchener-Waterloo, CAFKA’s free biennial program in unexpected public spaces expands contemporary art experiences outside gallery environments and positions them as critical and integral parts of community life—accessible to everyone. Through the biennial, lectures, tours, workshops and related special projects, CAFKA develops opportunities for people in the community and beyond to learn and come together around contemporary art in public space.

This year’s biennial theme, Stay with me... is a declarative, yet vulnerable and tender gesture that beckons us to pause, reflect and come together–not only around the discourses, ruptures and speculative possibilities in the works presented–but also with each other. How might we honour tradition, disruption, and difference, while collectively forging ahead? The recent past has brought into sharp relief the uncertainty and tenuous nature of our shared existence–collective vulnerabilities, ruptures that divide, and yearning for belonging. Stay with me... cultivates reciprocity for the individual and collective–offering public platforms with, and without words, while advocating for acts of care, accountability and learning/unlearning with one another. Continuing conversations from the previous biennial, artists and collaborators are guided by lexicon generated from themes in their work guiding program development.

Click to download Waterloo Region Artists submissions package

Click to download Screening Series submissions package