Application FAQS

Accepting Applications until February 22nd, 2021

We are a proud community sponsor of Pelham Public Libraries and the Arts

Festival proceeds benefit the Pelham libraries and provide annual scholarships to graduating Pelham students who are pursuing post-secondary studies in fine arts from E.L. Crossley Secondary School, Notre Dame College School and to Pelham students enrolled in the Art and Design Program at Niagara College. The Festival also supports various community arts projects

Fundraising Mandate

The Pelham Art Festival offers a venue for artists to show and sell their work, for clients to see and choose the pieces they may wish to purchase and to raise funds for the Pelham Library System, arts scholarships and community arts projects.  Artists donate back 15% of their sales to support this effort.

More information is available at Our Mandate.

Contact: Chair: Heidi TeBrake ([email protected]) I Treasurer: Els Swart ([email protected])


Please also read through our Application Guidelines and our Application Tips for more information.

How Do I Apply?

Learn more about applying to our 34th Online Pelham Art Festival

There is an application for previously accepted returning artists and an application for new artists who apply to be juried into the Festival. All applications are submitted online through the Pelham Art Festival website. If you have applied before, please login to reapply. New artists create an account here. Please check spam and junk folders if you have not received an email confirmation. Keep your login information safe, since you will need it later to check your results on your Artist Dashboard. When new artists are accepted by the jury process payment is due.

Help! I Forgot My Password.

If you forgot your password, you can reset it via the login page, using the 'RESET PASSWORD' button. Use the email associated with your account, and a temporary password will be emailed to you. Check your spam/junk mail folders. Once you log in, you can change your password to something more memorable and secure under 'Your Profile'.

When Is The Application Deadline?

Deadline: February 22, 2021 at 11:59 PM

Returning Artist and New Artist Application 2021

Changes have been made for 2021 to accommodate the unknowns related to COVID-19. In planning for the 2021 Pelham Art Festival. Concurrent plans were made for an in-person or an online Festival.  

Returning artists applications are given access to early booking, and because of the inknowns related to COVID-19, were delayed to take place between October 1, 2020 and December 1, 2020. Applications received after the returning artist deadline are held on a waitlist in order of receipt until after the new artists applications are juried, on or soon after February 22, 2021.

New artist applications for the jury process are given priority from December 1, 2020, to February 22, 2021. Jurying will be completed within days of the final registration date.

Extended application is now available until February 22, 2021. Please note that for this year, previously juried 2020 artists apply as returning artists even though the 2020 show was cancelled. For this year, the call for artists to participate online may be extended if there is space available. Updated information will be posted as it becomes available.

Can I submit an application with another Artist?

The Festival is committed to supporting individual artists as part of our mandate. Studio applications and collectives are not accepted since we facilitate artists as entrepreneurs to give opportunity for artists to meet face to face with the public.

International Artists

If you are applying from outside of Canada, it is your responsibility to get the appropriate paperwork to enter Canada to sell your works. We do not provide invitations to artists for visa applications. All travel, accommodations, shipping and customs expenses are your responsibility. We recommend working with a licensed customs broker to import your works into Canada.

Online Festival 2021

PAF accepts 80% original artworks and up to 20% may be reproductions such as giclée or limited-edition prints for the Online Festival. An artist page with up to 15 images will cost $150.00.  A page with up to 25 images will cost $225.00. The fees that were paid for a single booth will be transferred to a basic online package.  If you paid for a triple panel or a double booth the difference between your online cost and the fee you paid will be refunded to you. Refunds will be available if you need to cancel for the online show by April 15, 2021.

How many online Festival applications can I submit?

You can only submit one application per Festival category (2D Works, 3D Works, Painting, Craft & Design, Photography & Digital Media, Youth Art & Poster). It is to your benefit that you tailor your application to the Festival category under which you are submitting. The same panel of jurors review all of the applications, regardless of category. One page with a variety of categories listed will show up in different searches.

You may submit up to 2 categories in your Festival application. For example, if you create works in ceramics as well as painting and you would like to showcase both in your online gallery, your submission must include two separate, cohesive sections, one for each body of work. If both sections are accepted, then you will be allowed to showcase works in those categories.

Returning artists submit one application for in-person Festivals.

Why won't my images upload?

Check to make sure your images are saved in the correct format and that they are not too small or too big. Be sure you have filled in the title, size and medium of each piece. You can check this by clicking on each thumbnail of your uploaded images to make the text boxes show. If you do not have a title/size etc. put 'N/A' for not applicable. Photos taken in good lighting present best.

Image Formatting Instructions:

  • Valid files types: .jpeg or .png.
  • Maximum size: images should be no larger than 1024 x 1024 pixels and 4mb (max) in size. Images that exceed this size will be automatically resized to fit and may be distorted.  
  • Minimum size: no less than 500 x 500 pixels (height & width)

Selection Process

How are applications selected?

Jurors select the strongest work based on artistic excellence, originality and consistency of ideas and design. The jurors base their decision solely on the material in your application, paying particular attention to the 7 images you submit.


How much does it cost to apply?

Up to 15 images - $150.00
Up to 25 images - $225.00

There will be a non-refundable $25 application-handling fee.

A complete cost breakdown can be found on our Fees and Deadlines page.

How do I pay my application fee?

Payment through our application system online:

Once you have uploaded your images and information, you will be directed to a secure payment portal. You will not be able to make changes to your application once payment is submitted. You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your payment, so please check your spam and junk folders if you have not received it. There are no service charges or taxes on the application fee. PAF does not accept cheque or cash payments for booth or online Festival fees.  For 2021, refunds will not be made after April 15, 2021. 

What if I don’t have a credit card?

You can use a debit card or prepaid credit card to pay your application fee (available at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart etc.)

Why do I have to pay an application fee for the Festival?

Did you know that PAF is a not-for-profit Canadian Art Festival?  Your application fee goes towards the processing and administration of your application, and to artist support like application feedback and information sessions, as well as to allowing PAF to continue its work in the Canadian arts sector. This year, a portion of the fees goes towards setting up a new professional website capable of showcasing your art on a secure e-commerce platform. Your fees also go towards advertising and promotion to create visibility for the Festival so you can sell your work to the public. It is because of the careful administrative work and time that PAF committee and jurors dedicate to the Call for Artists that the $25 application-handling fee is non-refundable.

Please read our Application Tips page carefully.

What is the Artist Code of Conduct?

The Artist Code of Conduct is a section of the Liability and Code of Conduct Agreement. All artists must agree to it as part of their participation at Pelham Art Festival.


Does participating in Pelham Art Festival Online mean I need to have my own website or social media accounts? 

No, you do not need to create your own website. Our platform is accessible for artists even if you do not have your own website and e-commerce platform.  You will list your uploaded artworks for sale directly from your Pelham Art Festival web page and payment will be made through the e-commerce button. You can also link your own social media accounts and website and we hope you will help to promote your participation in the Pelham Art Festival via your social media channels if you have them, but it is not a requirement to participate.

What if I already sell artwork via my own website or other sales platform?

You may post a link to your own website in your contact info for potential clients to visit and see other work not available on your PAF online gallery but throughout May 1-15 and for the rest of May, all sales for art pieces in your PAF Online gallery must be purchased using the PAF’s e-commerce platform. 

Does my work have to be for sale or can I show pieces that have already been sold for reference? 

It is not mandatory to put your artwork for sale on the Pelham Art Festival platform. You are welcome to show samples of works that have been sold as long as you mark them as ‘not for sale’ when uploading to prevent visitors from buying them. You can instead use this as an opportunity to connect with collectors for commissions. If an artwork is sold after the show as a result of contact made with the buyer at the show, the Festival Committee requests the 15% commission be forwarded to the Treasurer; Els Swart; ([email protected]).

How many artworks can I put in my gallery for sale?

You can have up to 15 artworks or up to 25 artworks for sale at a time depending on your chosen package. As one is sold, it can be replaced by adding a new artwork. Up to 15 or 25 artworks will be published for sale at one time.

Can I sell cards or other small items?

Your photo could include multiple items at the same price point… e.g., cards, jewellery, scarves, each numbered or labelled individually.  On your details page you will describe each item. The product may come in different colours, for example, and ask that the purchaser identify which colour they want via email. As an item is sold, indicate SOLD next to the colour on the descriptions page.

How can I see my uploaded work?

You will receive a notification of your application results via email in April, 2021. You can also see your results by logging into your Artist Dashboard on that date. No phone calls please – notifications will not be given over the phone. Please check your junk and spam email folders if you have not received your results. All decisions are final. The Pelham Art Festival will not appeal any decisions. To make sure that your results letter does not accidentally end up in your spam folder, make sure that you add “[email protected]” to your address book as a safe sender.

How do I process Payments?

  • Individual pieces of art are for sale through the Online Pelham Art Festival website. The customer will purchase one chosen artwork at a time. Each artwork has a ‘BUY NOW’ button which will send a message directly to you about the pending sale.
  • The Artist will have contact directly with customers online or by any method that works for you. 
  • The Artist is to respond as quickly as possible to facilitate the sale.
  • Make sure the client understands the artwork description carefully before they buy.  Come to a decision if taxes/shipping/delivery is included or must be paid for separately based on your location.
  • The ‘BUY NOW’ button will take the client directly to a checkout link where they make payment.
  • The client will use credit card, visa debit, or prepaid credit card to complete the purchase online.
  • Payment is made to the Pelham Art Festival e-commerce site and after May 15, 2021, the total sales minus the 15% donation is transferred to the artist. (in approximately 10 days)
  • The artist will reach out to the client to confirm shipment/delivery. Shipping arrangements will be made directly with the client, and the format will depend on mutual convenience and location. In some cases, professional shipment may be needed to transfer breakable products. Shipping costs can be agreed upon at this time. The purchaser shall pay shipping costs directly to the artist (via e-Transfer is preferable) before the ­item is shipped or delivered.

Where Do I Find Support?

Admin support will be available for you if you need it through [email protected]
Please state the title of your question in the heading of your email so your question will be forwarded to the person who can help you. 
with subject line: PAF 2021 Photographing Your Art for the Online Gallery + Your Name 
with subject line: PAF 2021 Artist Gallery Setup Support + Your Name 
with subject line: ‚ÄčPAF 2021 General Support + Your Name

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During the In-person Festival

Preparing for Pelham Art Festival 2022 (In-person Cancelled 2021)

We welcome returning artists every year and new artists are welcome to apply for the jury process.

Returning artists have priority from October 1, 2021 and December 1, 2021.

New artists apply between October 1, 2021 and February 15, 2022 and have priority between December 1, 2021 and February 15, 2022.

PAF accepts 80% original artworks and 20% may be reproductions such as giclée or limited-edition prints. Artists are welcome to replace original art or prints on display as needed. To keep booths current, original artworks should have been completed within the last three years. Please see our Guidelines for more.

All works must be hand-made by the artist. Machine-made or mass-produced works are not permitted and will result in an automatic disqualification. Please see our Reproduction Policy for details.

Since the Festival is a fundraising event, the Festival Committee reserves the right to jury returning artists who consistently experience little to no sales to offer opportunity for new artists to display and sell their work. In such an event, the request to return will be held on a waitlist in order of receipt after the new artist applications have been juried on or after February 15, 2022.

New artists 2022: How do I find out if I will be accepted into the Festival?

You will be provided with your application results by email on or near January 31 /early February. You can also see your reults by loggin into your Artist Dashboard early February. No phone calls please – results will not be given over the phone. Please your junk and spam email folders if you have not received your results. All decisions are final. The Pelham Art Festival will not appeal any decisions. To make sure that your results letter does not accidentally end up in your spam folder, make sure that you add “[email protected]” to your address book as a safe sender.

Booths for In-Person Festival

$150.00 for single booth; $150.00 for corner booth; $225.00 for triple panel; $300.00 for double booth

Please see our Fees and Deadlines page for detailed cost breakdown.

Double, Corner, and 3 Panel Extended booths vs. Single booths:  Although there is a growing demand for additional booth space, in reality there are a limited number of booth spaces available. The Festival Committee reserves the right to jury all artists who have and are requesting additional booth space to assess the applicant’s need for displaying their work in an additional space. Given the wish to include as many artists as possible for the 2022 Festival, we ask that artists who have had double, corner, and 3 panel booths for many years to please consider whether a single booth may meet their needs.

NB:  Double, Corner, and 3 Panel Extended Booths are not available to New Artist Applicants. Double, Corner, or 3 Panel Extended Booths are available to Returning Artists if you were previously approved for a Double, Corner, or 3 Panel Extended Booth.
To request additional booth space or location change, please email the Artist Registrar Committee at [email protected]

Do you provide display equipment?

Booth walls consisting of pegboard sheets (6’x8’) are set up in advance for the In-person Festival. You are responsible for bringing your own hooks, displays, small table and chairs.

Can I build my own booth?

No. The only exceptions are stand-alone jewellery display cases and display supplies for sculptors, ceramicists and glass artists using plinth displays.

Does participating in Pelham Art Festival mean I need to have my own website or social media accounts? 

No, you do not need to create your own website since you will be able to continue to use the Pelham Art Festival website after the show! Our platform is accessible for artists who do not have their own website or e-commerce, and you can list your artworks for sale directly from your PAF webpage. You can also link your social media accounts. We highly recommend promoting your participation in PAF via your social media channels if you have them, but it is not a requirement to participate.

Can I leave artwork in my booth overnight?

YES. Professional security is arranged after hours for Friday and Saturday evening and overnight. The Pelham Art Festival and the Town of Pelham are not responsible for any lost, stolen, damaged items during the Festival so please insure your artwork. Volunteers and limited carts/dollies are available to assist you in transferring your artwork to and from your vehicle at the beginning and end of each festival.

Do I need to be present during the festival? What hours am I expected to be at my booth?

Yes, you do need to be present. This is not a gallery festival and clients look forward to meeting the artists. Our mandate is that the Artist is Present – each artist must set-up and manage their booth for the duration of festival hours. We recommend that you bring a friend, family member, or colleague, to help you over the weekend and to give you a chance to take a break. Festival volunteer booth-minders are available to assist you when you need to take a short break.

The public hours of the Festival are:
Friday Opening, 7pm - 10pm
Saturday, 10am - 5pm
Sunday, 10am - 5pm

How do I process payments?

You are responsible for bringing your own preferred payment processing system (Square, etc.) We recommend using your own secure hot-spot for payment processing and other needs. Many artists bring petty cash for cash transactions.

A 15% Commission on Total Sales (excluding taxes) in cash or by cheque is accepted at the conclusion of the show at 5:00 PM on Sunday. If an artwork is sold after the show as a result of contact made with the buyer at the show, the Festival Committee requests that the 15% commission be forwarded to the Treasurer; Els Swart ([email protected])

If an artist wishes to cancel their application for any reason, the Pelham Art Festival requires written notification on or before April 15, 2022 so a refund minus a non-refundable $25 application fee can be made to you. If the request for cancellation is made less than three weeks before the show every effort will be made to fill the space with an artist from the waitlist and a refund will be issued to you if the booth can be filled.

Can I only sell the work I submitted in my application?

You may sell more.  The images you submit in your application should be consistent with the work you intend to show at the Festival. They do not have to be the exact same artworks. You should only be showing works relevant to the category/medium you are selected for.

Am I allowed to sell artist cards or prints at the Festival?

YES. Artists are allowed to sell artist cards and prints at Pelham Art Festival. Please refer to our Reproduction Policy for full details.

What is the Artist Code of Conduct?

The Artist Code of Conduct is a section of the Liability and Code of Conduct Agreement. All artists must agree to it as part of their participation at Pelham Art Festival.

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COVID-19 Safety Measures:

Given the fact that the annual Mother’s Day weekend festival needed to be cancelled again this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pelham Art Festival Online has been set up. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our dedicated team of volunteers, patrons, community partners and art lovers have come together in 2021 to present the first Pelham Art Festival Online event, creating a new digital platform that will be used to promote the work of artists and support our mandate to raise funds for the Pelham libraries, art scholarships and community art projects. 

The PAF team cares about the health and safety of our artists and the public we serve. Although we had to  cancel the in-person show in 2020 and again in 2021, we are hopeful to return to an in-person show in May 2022, following the safety guidelines provided by Niagara Region Public Health. Thank you for your support!