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Please note that the deadline for this call has now passed. We thank everyone who applied! East End Arts invites artists to submit an application for Women Paint Riverside! The deadline for this call is July 14, 2021 at 11:59 PM EDT.


East End Arts and our partners are inviting women and other *gender marginalized mural artists to be a part of an exciting transformation of a laneway within the Riverside Business Improvement Area around Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue, Toronto, this September, 2021! Throughout this project, we are committed to exhibiting the work of artists from diverse communities with a specific commitment to featuring the work of artists who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.

*East End Arts and our partners respect trans women as women. We use the term gender marginalized to be inclusive of trans feminine, trans masculine, Two Spirit, non-binary and gender queer folks who may not identify as women.

Applications are open until July 14, 2021, 11:59 PM EDT.


A partnership between East End Arts, Women Paint, Native Women in the Arts, and the Riverside BIA, ‘Women Paint Riverside’ is an exciting opportunity to beautify and enhance the Riverside neighbourhood with a series of interconnected murals, exploring the relationship between the vibrant urban Riverside community and the Don River from which it takes its name. The project builds upon the area’s existing public art legacy, and will feature the work of 10 street artists, as well as an opportunity for the participants from Girls Mural Camp 2021 to put what they learned at camp this summer to the test as apprentice mural artists. 

Working with  co-curatorial consultants Bareket Kezwer and Ariel Smith, Women Paint Riverside aims to bring diverse women, transfeminine, transmasculine, Two Spirit and non-binary street artists, muralists and graffiti writers together to create new work, bring attention to the importance of the Don River within an urban setting, and share their diverse stories in public spaces—a place these voices are often underrepresented. 

Women Paint Riverside will take place on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, which is also the traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Haudenosaunee confederacy and the Anishinaabe. This territory is subject to the dish with one spoon treaty, a covenant between the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee to share and care for the land and resources in the lower Great Lakes area.

In many Indigenous nations across Turtle Island, women and Two Spirit people have long carried sacred responsibilities to protect the water, and are strong  leaders in the growing movement for water sovereignty around the great lakes. Given the close relationship of the Riverside community to the Don River and Lake Ontario, the murals for this exciting laneway transformation will all explore the element of water.

Laneways and alleys have historically been areas that do not always feel safe for women and other gender marginalized people, and can be associated with the threat of violence. Projects like Women Paint and Girls Mural Camp take up space in the public sphere and help facilitate discussions about important issues that affect our overlapping communities such as misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, white supremacy, colonization and gentrification. 


“Currents of Change”

The Riverside neighbourhood is in the midst of a great shift. The Don River is at the heart of a huge infrastructure project looking at the ecology and the environment of the floodplain – literally changing the shape of the river. As we have seen in the many historic floods of recent years, despite our best efforts to control the element of water that is so closely knit with our community and our city, we remain lake people, and our lives are directed by the currents of change in those lakes and rivers. Some of these changes are massive, political and cultural, like moving a river, but some are tiny personal moments shared between people beside the water that forms the geography of this place we call home. We invite artists to consider in their proposed works the incredible power and beauty of these waters, their eons of supporting human life, and the urgency required to protect them.

Women Paint Riverside builds on Riverside’s long history and connection celebrating the Don River, and asks participating artists and viewers to remember our environment, ecology, mobility, built form in the neighbourhood, waterways, and the traditional keepers of those waterways. 

The project will also build upon and connect to the existing repertoire of Riverside BIA’s ‘open air gallery’ of 10+ public art pieces, including the ‘Tkaranto Past, Tkaranto Future’. This work, completed in 2017 by artists Chief Lady Bird (Chippewa/Potawatomi), Odinamaad (Anishinaabe), Dave Monday Oguorie (Ojibwe/Nigerian), and Philip Cote (Shawnee/Lakota/Potawatomi/Ojibway/Algonquin), speaks to Indigenous knowledge and worldviews.  Featuring a large eagle feather the artists shared the meaning: “The eagle feather is the highest honour you can receive, based on contribution to the community, given from one Indigenous person to another. The Tkaranto skyline provides a contemporary connection whereby the feather becomes your medicine and symbolizes the enduring Indigenous presence here in Tkaranto.” Indigenous community members spoke to how this mural had touched them and helped re-build connection by physically inviting and recognizing them in the community. ‘Women Paint Riverside’ will help to further build upon that positive connection.

‘Women Paint Riverside’ will provide a platform and opportunity for artistic expression for women, transfeminine, transmasculine, Two Spirit and,  non-binary muralists in a cis male-dominated field. 


  • Ariel Smith is a nêhiyaw, white settler, and Jewish filmmaker, video artist, writer, and cultural worker. Having created independent media art since 2001, much of her work has shown at festivals and galleries across Canada and internationally. Ariel is largely self-taught, but honed many of her skills by becoming heavily involved in artist-run centres in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. Her passion for artist-run culture has become an integral part of her practice. Ariel has over a decade of experience in arts administration and management. She has worked as the Technical Director of SAW Video Media Arts Centre in Ottawa Ontario from 2006 to 2014, was the Director of the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition from 2013 to 2016 and, most recently, was the Executive Director of imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival where she oversaw the 2016 and 2017 festival editions. Ariel has worked as a programmer and/or curator for such organizations as Galerie SAW Gallery, the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Reel Canada, and imagineNATIVE. She was a guest curator for Àbadakone, an international Indigenous exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in 2019/2020 Ariel currently works as the Artistic and Managing Director at Native Women in the Arts and is completing an MFA in film production at York University.
  • Bareket Kezwer is a muralist, community engaged artist and facilitator, curator, cultural producer, graphic designer, frequent collaborator and eternal optimist. Her multidisciplinary practice is motivated by a desire to spread joy, cultivate individual and collective gratitude, celebrate the power of kindness and compassion, and support the growth of inclusive and connected communities. She programs and facilitates projects that uplift and connect people through creative engagement and increase representation of Toronto’s diverse population. In 2017, she founded Women Paint, a street art jam celebrating the strength, resilience and diverse stories of women and gender non-conforming humans. As the initiative’s creative director, she has produced 80 murals by emerging and early career artists and facilitated an intergenerational community mural with residents in Rexdale. In her murals, she works with bright colours, bold patterns and typography to captivate people’s attention and fill them with delight. She is passionate about creating art that both aesthetically and psychologically brightens environments.


There will be 10 artists chosen for ‘Women Paint Riverside’. They will be selected via a two-stage call, with a five-person peer assessment committee representing the field and local Riverside BIA-community, facilitated by our curatorial consultants and East End Arts (EEA). 

Stage One will be an open call requiring a written description and submission of six (6) pieces of support material that they feel represents their work. 

Stage Two will invite 20 artists to submit a more fulsome application, including a mock up of their design. Recognizing the work that goes into producing a mock up and EEA’s commitment to paying artists a fair living wage, each of the Stage Two artists will receive a $500 honorarium,


EEA will host an online information session with Bareket Kezwer and Ariel Smith, in order to help applicants with their applications, or answer any questions about this call for artists. Join us on Thursday June 24th at 6:00pm on Zoom for this Info Session. Register at this link to join.


Selected artists will be paid $500 – $4500, based on the square footage of their assigned space. Walls will range from 6×8 feet to 36x16feet

All 10 mural sites are of varying sizes, textures and materials. Shortlisted artists will be asked to create their design without knowing their final mural site and will be expected to adjust their design to fit their assigned space. 

To create consistency between the murals, artists will be asked to work with a pre-selected colour scheme, which will be made available to short listed artists for the creation of their mock ups.

For those artists requiring lift equipment, it will be organized by East End Arts. 

Acrylic paint in the colours specified in the colour scheme will be available to the selected artists. Those wishing to work with aerosol paint will be responsible for providing their own. Artists will be responsible for providing all other supplies. 

Storage within close walking distance will be provided for selected muralists. 


Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Artist/collective shows a standard of work that is in keeping with EEAs goals for artistic excellence.
  • The support materials provided demonstrate Artist’s capacity to deliver a high-quality project of similar size and scope.
  • The bio/and or support materials demonstrate Artist’s ability to plan, manage and meet project timelines and budget while achieving success at executing art projects of a similar scale.
  • Is the submission complete and clear?


  1. Info Session on Zoom: June 24, 2021 at 6PM
  2. Deadline for applications: July 14, 2021 by 11:59PM EDT
  3. Notifications to Short Listed applicants: July 28, 2021
  4. Short List deadline to submit mockups for Round 2: August 10, 2021
  5. Notification to Finalists: August 20, 2021
  6. Painting: September 10-24, 2021


Thank you for your interest in Women Paint Riverside! To apply, please fill out the Google form below.


Please note that these are the questions you will be asked on the form:

  • Name of Artist or Collective:
  • Email Address:
  • Phone Number: 
  • Postal Code:
  • Website:
  • Social Handles:
  • Why do you want to participate in Women Paint RIverside? (max 200 words)
  • Describe your previous mural experience. (max 200 words)
  • Please provide a written description of your proposed mural (max 200 words)
  • Do you have an up to date working at heights safety training? 
  • Do you have an up to date aerial lift certificate?
  • Do you have any accessibility needs we should be aware of? 
  • Are you available to paint September 10-24? 
  • Are you comfortable mentoring a youth artist?
  • Please provide an artist bio (200 words) and attach a CV
    & promotional headshot (attach
    ** This Bio & Headshot  will be used as promotional material for selected artists.
  • Provide 6 examples of your previous work as support materials.
  • Are you a member of any of the following Equity Seeking Groups:
    Local East Toronto Resident
    Person of Colour
    Person Living with Disability/ies
    Low Income Community Member
    High Density Tower Community Member
    Crescent Town Community Member
    Bengali Community Member
    None of the Above

If you have any questions about the application process, you can email Bareket Kezwer at No phone calls, please.


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