Group Exhibition
‘Shared Terrain’

‘Shared Terrain’ is a group exhibition that will be presented as part of ‘Nordic Bridges’, a year-long initiative led by Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre fostering cultural exchange between the Nordic Region and Canada.

This exhibition seeks to explore collaboration between Canadian and Nordic artists and designers. It is structured around an exchange and conversation between creative thinkers from distant locations. Five selected Canadian artists will be paired with one of five Nordic artists. An introduction will be made. Over three months this fall, the pairs will collaborate remotely on a collaborative work piece generated through conversations between them.

Collaboration allows for further investigation into one’s personal practice while learning about another individual approach to creative thinking and making. The process will provide an inventive space to create and ask various questions. How can similarities and differences build a connection between the pairs? How can each artist benefit from this cross cultural exchange? What relationship can be formed through these dialogues between creators? How can they inspire one another? What can one discover about their own practice through engagement with different perspectives?

Artists are invited to explore ties between their creative practices in many ways, but also with respect to their geographical locations and cultural histories. Canada and Nordic countries share similar qualities that may reveal connections among artistic approaches. While the Nordic regions may greatly vary from each other, some commonalities to Canada are: Indigenous knowledge, sovereignty and land rights; interest in sustainability and the preservation of natural landscapes; relationships with materials available in the regions; and range of experiences found in urban and rural environments.

Artists will be invited to explore these ideas through a series of online engagements. The outcome of this collaborative process is a collaborative work which will be exhibited during the 2022 DesignTO Festival. This may take the form of a conversation, a physical work, or an alternate approach that responds to the experience of sharing.

Nordic artists and designers participating in the exchange are:

Wednesday Architecture –
Teemu Salonen –
Randi Samsonsen –
Katarina Spik Skum –
Lillian Tørlen –

Call for submissions

We invite submissions from artists and designers working in all mediums and formats. Artists or designers working in long-term collaborative pairs may apply as a collective.

The exhibition will be featured as part of the DesignTO Festival, January 21-30, 2022, and co-presented with Harbourfront Centre.

All submissions must include the following:

  • Bio on you and/or your creative practice (max. 100 words);
  • Artist statement (max. 150 words);
  • Description of why you want to participate in this collaborative project (max. 150 words);
  • Description of your previous experience with working collaboratively (max. 150 words);
  • 5 images of past projects or work (realized or speculative, jpg format, no larger than 1MB each) with image descriptions; and
  • a CV.


All submissions are due Wednesday September 1, 2021 by 11:59pm EDT.

How much does it cost to submit?

There is no fee for this submission or for participating in the Group Exhibition. However, if selected, you will be responsible for arranging drop-off and pick-up of your work to Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto. Artist’s fees will be paid to artists selected for the exhibition.

When and where is the exhibition?

As permitted by pandemic protocols, the exhibition will open Friday, January 21 and run until Sunday, March 20, 2022. An opening reception will be held during Festival Week if permitted. The exhibition and reception will be held at the Artport Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto. We reserve the right to modify dates and delivery methods if required.

What happens next?

Successful submissions will be notified by email by mid-September. Each Canadian artist will be paired with a Nordic artist to begin the exchange program. The exchange will be facilitated by DesignTO’s programming team. Details will be provided and a schedule of interaction will be mutually agreed upon.


Email any questions to Olga Klosowski Schellenberg, Programs Coordinator, at with this subject line: Group Exhibition + your name.

Going into its eighth year, the group exhibition is a signature program of DesignTO, a non-profit arts organization that produces Canada’s largest and leading annual design festival. This exhibition is co-presented with Harbourfront Centre.