Vendor FAQ

Got questions? Planning to apply? This FAQ is a companion document to the full vendor contract and provides all the information vendors will need in order to decide to apply. It is important that you read this document in full, as it is the basis for the legal, binding contract that you will be required to adhere to if you apply and are accepted.

When do your markets take place?
The market schedule for 2024 is as follows:

Goth Pride Market – Saturday, June 22nd – vendor call is now closed
Vampire Vintage & Variety Market – Saturday, July 27th – vendor call runs from May 27th to June 17th
Goth Beach Party Market – Saturday, August 17th – vendor call runs June 24th to July 15th
F-F-F-F-Fashion Market – Saturday, September 21st (date tentative)
Hallowmas Market – Saturday, October, 12th (date tentative)
Vampire Vintage & Variety Market – Saturday, November 16th (date tentative)
Winter Holiday Market – Saturday, December 7th (date tentative)

Where does this market take place?
Ground Control Toronto, 1279 Queen Street West, Toronto

The nearest major intersection is Queen West and Dufferin; the 501 Queen streetcar stops less than a block away in both directions (Queen West at Brock), and the closest parking is a block west in the Green P lot at 1325 Queen Street West.

Note for both drivers and transit riders – there is major construction along King Street West from Shaw to Dufferin for all of 2024. This does not affect the area adjacent to our venue but many transit routes in the area are being diverted at various times to accommodate road work. Please check transit schedules and updates (especially for the 501 Queen, 504 King and the 29/929 Dufferin lines) before heading to the neighbourhood.

Ground Control is fully accessible, has wifi available, and has an ATM on site.

Is there admission?
This event is free to the public.

What size are the tables and how much are they? Can I bring my own?
Unless otherwise noted, tables supplied by the venue are approximately 2ft deep.

  • 2ft table (regular height, supplied by venue) — $40
  • 2ft table (bar height, supplied by venue) — $40
  • 2.5ft round table (bar height, supplied by venue) – $40
  • 4ft table (either two 2ft standard height tables pushed together, OR two 2ft bar height tables pushed together, OR half of a shared 8ft table, supplied by venue)  — $80
  • 4ft plus (half of an 8ft table situated directly in front of a stretch of the bar where the vendor may use the bar as additional display space – note that seating is beside the table, there is no space behind the table in these spots, supplied by venue ) — $120
  • whole 8ft table (supplied by venue)  — $160
  • medium booth; 8ft wide by 6ft deep, along a wall; suitable for a vendor with a clothing rack or displays that do not fit easily on a table top (all furniture supplied by vendor) — $175
  • BYO 6ft table (supplied by vendor) — $120

For vintage markets ONLY:

  • small booth; 8ft wide by 4ft deep (all furniture supplied by vendor) — $160
  • large booth; 10ft wide by 6ft deep (all furniture supplied by vendor) — $200

Space is also available on the stage for vendors selling larger pieces such as furniture. Note that this space is accessible only by three steps near the back of the stage. Please email to inquire about using this area for vending.

Seating will be either chairs or bench/banquette seating, depending on the table location. Each vendor is entitled to ONE seat per registration; seating for additional people at your table will be available only after all vendors are set up.

Can I pick my spot?
Sorry, no. Because we are a curated market, we are often juggling and re-arranging the floor plan right up until event day. We need the flexibility of being able to arrange vendors in a way that best accommodates everyone, and allowing vendors to choose specific spots makes that incredibly difficult.

Additionally, while we do everything in our power to accommodate physical disabilities and allergies (stuff that might cause you to be physically sick or in pain), due to the architectural features of our venue, we are unable to curate a floor plan that accommodates issues such as as noise sensitivity or claustrophobia.

Can I share a table?
No, sorry. Each vendor must apply individually. Vendors who are accepted may not add anybody else’s work to their table. Your acceptance is based on your products only.

Can I have someone come to help me?
Vendors may have another person help run their table/booth, or to relieve them for breaks, and they may have additional people to help with load in or out, but the space behind/beside the tables is limited, so keeping the number of people working at your space to a minimum is appreciated. To avoid over-crowding, vendors with 2ft tables (either height) seated along the banquettes in the front lounge may have only one person seated at their table at any time.

What can I sell?
This is a curated market and will be open to vendors whose wares may appeal to folks of a dark or alternative nature.

For our artisan markets, our selection process will prioritize handmade items, we will also consider artists selling works of their own art manufactured by a third party (for instance, authors selling books or graphic novels; bands with music media and related promotional items such as t-shirts; or functional art where the artist’s work is printed onto items such as clothing and accessories, housewares, etc.). Vendors should have an active part in the creation process of the items they will be selling.

For our vintage markets, all vintage/thrifted/collectible items should have a dark, alternative appeal.

Food and Drink
Vendors wishing to sell food or drink, or any product that is ingested, in any form, must provide copies of the following documents to TDAM organizers prior to acceptance AND bring documents with them on event day in case of a health inspection:
– a current Food Handler’s Certification accepted by the public health department where the business is based
– proof of liability insurance
– documentation (either an inspection certificate or a receipt for a kitchen rental) showing that their food was prepared in an inspected and certified kitchen
Only food that is prepared in advance, safe and stable at room temperature, and appropriately packaged will be considered acceptable for sale.

Cosmetics and Body Care Items
Vendors of cosmetics and body care products must provide proof of liability insurance — which will require that their products have been registered with Health Canada. We recommend working with the Handcrafted Bath & Body Guild to obtain appropriate insurance if you do not currently carry any.

Scented Products
Vendors with scented items of any kind should ensure that their products are wrapped or sealed to prevent excess fragrance from their merchandise affecting other vendors or customers. Vendors will not be permitted to spray scented products in the market area.

What can I NOT sell?
You may not sell any item prohibited by law; this includes but is not limited to guns, weapons, and drugs.

You may not sell any type of live animal. All specimens/oddities/taxidermy must be ethically sourced.

You may not sell items depicting logos, artwork, or characters for which you do not hold the legal copyright.

You may not sell any item that may be considered racist, religious or anti-religious, defamatory towards any individual, group, or organization, or that veers into the realm of cultural appropriation. Considerations will be made for works of satire; if you are unsure, contact us.

You may not sell any product or service that purports to cleanse, cure, heal, or provide guidance for any type of medical, emotional, spiritual, or societal ailment or concern, even if a disclaimer is included on the product or package.

You may not sell any item that you were not directly involved in creating, with the exception of vintage/thrift/collectible sellers taking part in vintage-specific or category-specific events only. We do not accept importers or resellers of new items.

I’m vending at a different market around the same time, can I still apply to vend with you?
Yes, but… By submitting an application you are indicating your intention to accept a spot if it is offered. Vendors who apply and are accepted to a TDAM event and then ghost us, or who back out in order to take part in another event on the same day will not be considered for any future TDAM events.

Does your event include live performers? What about tattoo artists or tarot card readers? Can I take part in this way?
We do not include live performers, DJs, tattoo or piercing artists, nail art technicians, or consultative businesses such as tarot readers.

What can I bring to display my merchandise?
Vendors are responsible for all table coverings, displays, and lighting for their table/booth. Keep in mind this is a nightclub with black walls and minimal overhead lighting or electrical outlets — you will absolutely need to bring your own battery-powered lighting.

Vendors who book a table, of any size, must keep all of their display and merchandise on the table (or underneath for storage). You may not bring any additional shelves, racks, banner stands, or displays that do not fit on top of your table. Please note that the 2ft tables have a central cast-iron base, making underneath storage limited.

Vendors with booths are required to bring their own tables, racks or shelves, but must keep their display within the allotted space. Vendors with booths may not arrange their tables and displays so that the entrance to the space is blocked – all displays should be arranged around the sides and back of the booth to allow vendors and customers to enter  the booth easily. You may not place a table or display of any kind across the front of the booth parallel with the aisle. This is to allow safe access in case of emergencies. Vendors requesting a booth will be required to supply a floor plan of their booth to organizers prior to acceptance.

How can I take payments?
Vendors must bring their own cash float or devices on which to process debit or credit sales. Event organizers and venue staff will not be able to make change or process sales on a vendor’s behalf. There is wifi in the venue, as well as an area to charge POS devices,  and an ATM on site.

How are you promoting the event?
TDAM has a comprehensive promotion campaign that includes flyers, extensive event listings, press releases to local media, paid advertising, social media listings, and other promotions such as featured vendors, and day-of promotional activities to draw customers to our event.

Promotion is also done at our venue on an ongoing basis through flyers, posters, and via social media to the venue’s 20K+ followers.

We do not do street postering because the local by-laws mean that every illegally-placed poster (basically anything not on an official City of Toronto noticeboard) can result in a $250 fine. Yes, per poster.

All vendors accepted to a TDAM market will be expected to do their part to help promote the event to their own customers and social media followers.

How busy is it?
We aim for a minimum of 500 people through the door. Our My Bloody Valentine Market saw between 750 and 800 customers over the course of the day, and our Spring Fête Market had between 500 and 600 guests. However, circumstances such as weather, traffic/road work (because Toronto), and other events taking place on the same day can all affect the turn-out. We make no guarantee as to total attendance.

How do I pay for my table?
Upon acceptance, vendors will receive an acceptance letter and contract. Payment can be made via eTransfer or PayPal. Vendors will have four days from the date of their contract/acceptance to make the payment in full, or the spot will be offered to the next person on the waiting list. We regret that we are unable to offer payment extensions to any vendor.

What is your cancellation policy?
Once you have been accepted and paid for your space, there is absolutely no refund, for any reason. In the event of an illness or emergency, you may send someone to run your table, with your merchandise, in your place.

If the event is cancelled by Toronto Dark Arts Market or Ground Control, a full refund will be issued. We are not responsible for other expenses incurred by you in the process of preparing for the market.

Got any tips on how to make my application more appealing?
We are sorry that we cannot offer every person who applies a spot at our event. We typically have 35 spots available, but get over 100 applications per market.

Some tips to make your application stand out:
– Make sure everything on your application is accurate and spelled correctly. If stuff is inaccurate, we won’t go crawling the internet to find you.
– Make sure your socials/website/shop pages are up to date, and show current work that reflects what you’d be bringing. Bonus points if we can see that you use your socials to help promote events you take part in.
– Consider downsizing – due to the architectural features of our venue, we have more small tables/spots than we do large ones. Visit a market beforehand if you can, to see what we’re working with.
– Do one thing and do it well. Vendors with many different items in multiple categories are less likely to score a spot than someone presenting work with a clear, consistent theme and vision.
– Original art is always preferred over works that are of copyrighted characters, logos. etc.

Still have questions? Drop us a line via our Contact page.

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