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HOLD FAST Festival 2019

Call for Submissions

HOLD FAST: Contemporary Arts Festival

September 18th – 22nd –  St. John’s, Newfoundland

Deadline for submissions: May 4th 2019 (midnight)

Eastern Edge Gallery seeks local, national, and international artists for their 20th Contemporary Arts Festival – HOLD FAST! Opportunities for established works to expand into our communities through a residency program, workshops, artist talks, and culminating in a performance/installation based Art Crawl event! We hope to see proposals with engaged and informed artistic practices that can challenge or explore the ways in which art can make an impact.

About the festival:

HOLD FAST is a celebration of contemporary art practice held in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, a festival dedicated to immersive contemporary art and is the longest running in the province. HOLD FAST delivers accessible, meaningful and critically-relevant contemporary art programming across an array of media including: installation, performance, screenings, artist talks, dance, community events, and artist-led workshops for people of all ages.

Individuals, groups, curators, and collectives in all visual arts mediums & practices may apply.

The Art Crawl is the highlight event of the HOLD FAST Festival with contemporary art installations and performances that transform downtown St. John’s into a hub of artistic activity. For the Art Crawl, artists are encouraged to propose immersive pieces of work or performance that draw viewers in. These works are ideally adaptive to public locations such as parks, outdoor stages, parking lots, alleyways, in situ tents, and are meant to showcase the potential for encountering contemporary art outside of a gallery space!

  •  Performance art (site-specific or staged in public parks, storefronts, alternative art-spaces etc.)
  •  Local community collaboration (participatory art works or interventions with public space)
  •  Video/sound/off-site installation and sculpture

Professional fees for performance/installation, artist talk, and workshop will be paid when applicable. Eastern Edge Gallery covers some travel expenses and seeks to provide billeted accommodations for exhibiting artists.

We are dedicated to cultural diversity in our programming and encourage applications from contemporary artists and curators of diverse communities and backgrounds.

Additionally, artists may apply to our new Residency Program. These residencies will take place in the new EE Studios, located across the hall from Eastern Edge Gallery from July – September 18th with the expectation that the work explored over that time will be featured in the Hold Fast Festival. All interested artists should specify their interest in being considered for the residency program – for more information, click here.

Alana Bartol, HOLD FAST Artist is Residence 2018.


  •  CV/contact info (1-2 pages)
  •  Short artist bio (100-150 words for promotional use)
  •  Artist/curatorial statement about general practice (approximately 500 words)
  •  Art Crawl project description (include equipment list and special technical needs) (1-2 pages)
  •  Art Crawl Project overview (50 words summarizing core concept of project description for promotional use)
  •  Workshop proposal ( 250 words: aim for 2-3 hour workshop and include materials list)
  •  Image list (1 page)

Support materials in the following formats as appropriate to the proposal:

  •  Up to 10 images in Jpeg format 72 dpi, dimensions of 1024 x 768 pixels (approx. 500 KB), RGB or SRGB colour mode only
  •  Video (max. 5 minutes) (If too large to attach in email please provide link)
  •  Audio (max. 5 minutes)
  •  All submissions must be sent as email attachments (no zip files), and must not exceed 25 MB.

Please do not send additional documents. Please send images as JPGs and text files as PDFs.

Please indicate if you would like to be considered for the artists residency and if so include a residency project description with your submission. More information can be found here.

Artist project proposals should be sent by May 4th, 2019 (midnight) via email to:

HOLD FAST accepts digital applications only.

Logo design by Amery Sandford.

*Please note that funding is pending for HOLD FAST 2019. Artists will be notified of their successful applications by June 2019. Contracts will only be sent out when funding is secured.

We currently have partnerships and funding pending for HOLD FAST 2019. It is our aim to expand the festival to rural communities within Newfoundland and Labrador. Dates and locations for HOLD FAST 2019 are therefore subject to change, selected artists will be notified of any amendments upon funding confirmation.