Thanks to DECAF volunteer Caroline Starr for this guest post!Maybe you recently moved to the neighbourhood. Maybe you’ve noticed Danforth East popping up on a lot of “Best Of” lists in the city and decided this is the weekend to check it out. Maybe you’re friends with one of the very talented vendors and they encouraged you to come support them. Maybe you’ve been in the neighbourhood for a while, but never made it down the arts fair before.
If it’s your first time at the fair, here are a few things you might like to know.
– Danforth East Community Arts Fair, or DECAF, as those of us who dig acronyms like to call it, is completely volunteer run. Art loving volunteers pour through applications early in the spring and make the hard calls as to who will fill the sixty-odd spots that cover the park with creative goodness on the third weekend of September every year. Many of the volunteers are affiliated with local businesses or our stand-out parent community association, DECA. All are passionate about promoting and helping our community grow and improve through events like DECAF. If you’d like to volunteer with DECAF or DECA, please check out deca.to for opportunities.
– East Lynn Park, our home base, is located between Coxwell and Woodbine subway stations (a little closer to Woodbine). Street parking is available. The park is stroller friendly, and wheelchair accessible (thanks to an update this spring).
– DECAF is committed to making art accessible, for both artists and our many visitors each year. Our entry fees are among the lowest in the city for comparable events, and when we’re choosing artists, we work to ensure that artists from a wide range of mediums and with pieces from a variety of price points are represented, so everyone can join in the fun! Many of Toronto’s best known makers set up shop at DECAF in their early days, and have gone on to exhibit at much larger shows like One-of-a-Kind.
– Danforth East is a community on the rise. After you’ve taken your time and perused the many vendors that are set up for the weekend, take some time to check out many of the businesses that work with DECA and DECAF to support the fair, including The Canine Social Club, Silly Goose Kids, and Fresh Paint Art Cafe (our sponsors also include Toronto Honda, Toronto Kia and Deb Dorsey/Homeward Realty). Danforth East is also home to a variety of unique businesses, including Viking Bakery, Toronto’s only Icelandic bakery; Now Magazine’s Best Gourmet Takeout (East of York); three maker retail spaces: Artisans at Work, DesignNook, and NiceNook; The Tool Library and Sharing Depot; many successful DECA Pop-Up shops turned local success stories and much, much more. It’s a great place to spend a day!
– Did you like what you saw at DECAF? Have suggestions for improvement? Please feel free to message us on Facebook, or Twitter! We’d also love to see your Instagram shots! Please tag us at #DECAF16 and follow along at @deca_arts for great pics over the weekend!