Quite literally, biennial means “every other year”, and is most commonly used to describe large-scale international contemporary art exhibitions. Currently, there are over 250 biennials in the world, the majority of which are institutional. There are only six independent, city-based biennials in North America.
The Toronto Biennial of Art is Canada’s leading visual arts event focused exclusively on contemporary art from around the world. For 10 weeks every two years, local, national, and international Biennial artists transform Toronto and its partner regions with free exhibitions, performances, and learning opportunities in new and unexpected sites. Grounded in diverse local contexts, the Biennial’s city-wide programming aims to inspire individuals, engage communities, and contribute to global conversations.
Our collaborative, cross-disciplinary event aims to spotlight and amplify Toronto and Canada’s vibrant arts ecosystem through:
The 2022 Biennial will play a critical role in the city’s collective recovery through arts and culture—bringing creativity, community and connection back to our city when we need it most.
The Toronto Biennial of Art is a free, multi-venue event that features contemporary art from around the world over the span of 10 weeks. The inaugural 2019 Biennial welcomed artists, participants, and performers from more than 70 places of origin, including 29 Canadian and international First Nations and Indigenous communities. Almost half of the Biennial’s participants were BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), reflecting Toronto’s status as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.
The Toronto Biennial of Art has built a 2022 Exhibition program that will continue to support BIPOC artists, and fund commissions that represent a multiplicity of perspectives to challenge the status quo.
The Toronto Biennial of Art would not be possible without the generosity of its patrons, corporate partners, and government funders, as well as its committed team, board members, artists, and partners.
Key highlights of the 2022 Biennial include:
40+ In-Person & Online Public Programs
18+ Places of Origin
9+ Exhibition Sites
TBA aims to ensure that exceptional experiences with art are available to, and meaningful for, everyone. The disconnection and isolation we have all faced over the last two years makes it more imperative to find new, safe ways to enable everyone to connect to, engage with, and learn about contemporary art.
The Biennial will feature a number of participatory programs that enable the public, especially youth, to safely engage with artist works and programming through in-person, virtual and hybrid events and tools. Visit the Programs Overview page to learn more.
The Toronto Biennial of Art is a curated event. Artists from around the world are commissioned and invited by a curatorial team to contribute to exhibitions and programming in keeping with a specific theme, which varies with each edition.
There are a variety of ways to support TBA. Please visit the Support the Biennial page to learn more.
The second edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art ran from March 26 – June 5, 2022.
The complete list of 2022 artists and participants can be found here.
The Toronto Biennial of Art spanned nine indoor, outdoor, and partner Exhibition sites.
For a map of all 2022 Biennial sites, including hours of operation, accessibility, and transportation options, click here.
Curated by Candice Hopkins, Katie Lawson, and Tairone Bastien, with contributions from former TBA curators Clare Butcher and Myung-Sun Kim, the second chapter of the Biennial, What Water Knows, The Land Remembers, draws from polyphonic histories sedimented in and around Toronto, revealing entangled narratives and ecologies across time and space. This second edition of a two-part biennial extended and deepened concepts of relationality, envisioning an expansive form of kinship—between curators, with artists and collaborators, and with the human and more-than-human. Exhibition and programming sites for the 2022 Biennial moved inland from the shoreline, following the tributaries, above ground and hidden, which shape this place. Biennial sites were grouped in relation to these seen and buried waterways, and followed the trajectories of Etobicoke Creek, the Laurentian Channel, Garrison Creek, and Taddle Creek.
Read the 2022 curatorial vision in full here.
Artworks featured in the Biennial are not for sale through TBA.
Please get in touch with artist gallery representatives directly, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive contact information.
More than 40 local, national, and international participants led talks, workshops, performances, and learning programs that intersect and extend ideas emerging from the 2022 Biennial, What Water Knows, The Land Remembers. Programs took place at several Exhibition sites, as well as at nearby outdoor locations. Working across and between both the 2019 and 2022 Biennial editions, the Programs team continues centring complex, relational contexts in its approaches as it brings intergenerational visitors together again through virtual and in-person events.
Visit the Programs Overview page to learn more.
Toronto Biennial of Art Publications is a growing library of content, contexts, and concepts emerging from, and expanding on, TBA’s Exhibitions and public programs.
In the spirit of partnership, TBA and Art Metropole begun a publishing, distribution, and programming collaboration for the 2022 Biennial. A central Art Metropole bookshop at our 72 Perth Avenue site sold our first Exhibition publication, Water, Kinship, Belief, as well as related publication projects and artist books. Please visit the Publications page to learn more about where TBA Publications are sold.