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TCAF - by Toronto Public Library | Courtesy of Christopher Butcher, Director of TCAF
TCAF - by Toronto Public Library | Courtesy of Christopher Butcher, Director of TCAF
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Celebrate The World Of Art + Storytelling: The Toronto Comic Arts Festival

Picture of Chloe MacPherson
Updated: 12 May 2016
Toronto Comic Arts Festival, the annual, week-long event in early May that celebrates comic and small press culture, is back at the Toronto Reference Library. During the work week, guests can check out mixers and exhibitions, meet new people, and see premiere works in the sequential art world. This all culminates with the main event during the weekend: the festival. TCAF is free for all to attend and is as accessible as it is friendly. For a sneak peek at what TCAF is all about and how it grew into one of the most popular comic arts festivals around, read on.
TCAF - by Toronto Public Library | Courtesy of Christopher Butcher, Director of TCAF
TCAF – by Toronto Public Library | Courtesy of Christopher Butcher, Director of TCAF

Over the more than decade-long run of this festival, the popularity and attendance have quickly grown from the original 600 people who showed up to now over 24,000. TCAF has become internationally recognized as one of the best free fairs to both attend and exhibit for every type of art and story lover. Because of this acclaim, the festival has been able to garner some big names in the print/online comic scene and animation industry while still keeping its roots in hosting some lesser-known artists. Past guests have included Bryan Lee O’Malley, Noelle Stevenson, Babs Tarr, Adrian Alphona, and Chip Zdarsky. No matter how niche someone’s preference is, it’s easy to find exactly what they like.

TCAF was co-founded by the owner and manager of The Beguiling, one of Toronto’s top shops to buy comics. The store’s connection to the fair is still very strong and is one main reason why TCAF has become so important – they care about the product and industry. As the festival has grown in status, so has The Beguiling’s relationship to the Toronto comic landscape. The store has expanded to another location – Page & Panel – on the ground floor of the Reference Library. Both of these shops regularly hold events and signings that attract a lot of attention and are extremely worth frequenting.

Page & Panel Shop - by TCAF | Courtesy of Christopher Butcher, Director of TCAF
Page & Panel Shop – by TCAF | Courtesy of Christopher Butcher, Director of TCAF

Check out the TCAF site for more information on the guests and schedule, or visit The Beguiling and Page & Panel shops and online sites.

For the better half of the fest’s existence, TCAF has been in affiliation with the Toronto Public Library and is held at their flagship location, the always accessible Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Bloor.

Cost: Festival is free for entry, some exhibits have fees

The festival runs May 14-15, 2016

Saturday, May 14th | 9am-5pm

Sunday, May 15th | 10am-5pm

Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, Toronto, ON, Canada, +1 416 395 5577