Got questions? Planning to apply? This FAQ is an abbreviated version of 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 adhere to if you apply and are accepted.
When do your markets take place?
The market schedule for 2024 is as follows:
My Bloody Valentine Market – Saturday, February 10th
Spring Fete Market – Saturday, April 13th
Pride Market – Saturday, June 22nd (date tentative)
Goth Beach Party Market – Saturday, August 17th (date tentative)
Hallowmas Market – Saturday, October, 12th (date tentative)
Winter Holiday Market – Saturday, December 7th (date tentative)
How can I sign up to be a Vendor?
The Vendor call for each event starts approximately two month prior to each event date, and runs for one month. We run each vendor call separately, so vendors interested in future markets should sign up for our Vendor mailing list, or follow us on Instagram or Facebook for announcements about vendor calls.
Once a Vendor call has opened, applicants can return to this website and complete an application after they have read the FAQ.
This is a curated market, so submitting an application does not guarantee you a spot.
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.
Ground Control is fully accessible, has wifi available, and has an ATM on site.
Is there admission?
No, 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 are approximately 2ft deep.
- 2ft table (regular height, supplied by venue) — $40
- 2ft table (bar height, supplied by venue) — $40
- 4ft table (either two 2ft 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
- small booth; 8ft long 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) — $160
- BYO 6ft table (supplied by vendor) — $120
Seating is supplied for all vendors and will be either chairs or bench/banquette seating, depending on the table location.
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. Please note that 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 in your place.
If the event is cancelled by Toronto Dark Arts Market or Ground Control for any reason, including government-mandated shut-downs, a full refund for the cost of your space will be issued. We cannot be held responsible for other expenses incurred by you in the process of preparing for the market.
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.
Having said that, the architectural details of the venue mean that certain types/sizes of vendor spaces will always be in the same area – for instance, booths are always along one wall, the 4ft plus spots are always along the bar, 2ft spots are always in the lounge. Selecting one of these spaces as your first choice will likely get you one of these spots.
We will make accommodations where possible for health issues (allergies, space requirements for mobility aids, proximity to the washroom), but again, cannot guarantee any vendor a specific spot. If you have a health issue that requires accommodation, please tell us in the comments/questions option on the application.
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. Vendors should keep in mind that space behind/beside the tables is limited, so keeping the number of people working at your space to a minimum is appreciated.
What can I sell?
This is a curated market and will be open to artisans and artists whose wares may appeal to folks of a dark or alternative nature.
While 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.
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 the event AND bring documents with them on event day in case of a health inspection:
– a current Food Handler’s Certification from the public health department where the business is based
– proof of liability insurance
– documentation 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.
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.
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 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/anti-religious; defamatory towards any individual, group, or organization; or that veers into the realm of cultural appropriation.
Vendors may not sell any product or service that purports to cleanse, cure, or heal any type of medical, emotional, spiritual, or societal ailment, 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; we do not accept third party vendors or importers.
What if I’m not very goth?
While we use a lot of goth-related imagery in our promotions, Toronto Dark Arts Market is not specifically just for people in the goth or punk sub-cultures. We welcome anyone who is interested in various flavours of alternative music, fashion, literature, art, or culture.
Our goal is to offer an alternative space for makers whose work doesn’t always fit into a more mainstream arts and crafts atmosphere. If you have questions about this, please contact us; while we obviously want to book vendors whose work is appealing to our target customer, our job is to facilitate, not gate-keep.
I’m vending at a different market around the same time, can I still apply to vend with you?
Yes. The point of creating this event is to provide makers of alternative products with as many places to sell their wares as possible. We don’t request or require exclusivity, and want to do everything we can to promote independent, alternative makers as well as other markets and businesses that support them. However, in order to more accurately direct our promotional campaigns, we do ask vendors to disclose any other markets they have applied to or will be taking part in around the same time.
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? Can I take part in this way?
We do not include live performances at our market as we wish to keep the focus on the vendors.
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 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 may bring their own tables, racks or shelves, but must keep their display within the allotted space.
Vendors may not affix anything to any part of the venue, including walls, floor, counters, etc., and may not block any aisle, passageway or shared vendor space with displays or merchandise.
Vendors will be expected to keep their space clean and tidy at all times.
How can I take payments?
Vendors will be expected to 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, paid advertising, social media listings, and other promotions such as featured vendors, swag bags, 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 the venue’s social media outlets and event listings. Ground Control runs events every night with attendance at some dance nights and concerts reaching 300+ people.
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.
Still have questions? Drop us a line via our Contact page.
Want a reminder about upcoming Vendor calls? Sign up for our Vendor Mailing List.