Call for Submissions CLOSED

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Festival Starts: Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Last Day: Sunday, January 17, 2024

Installation shots from the 2018 exhibition Flow.

Opening Reception and installation shots from the 2016 exhibition: Cosmic Geometry


We're excited to see your new work!

After a long hiatus during Covid we are excited to be back with a new Festival and international Call for Submissions. Artists from around the world are invited to submit bodies of work, installations or individual pieces to the Festival. The curators will draw from the pool of submissions to create different thematic group exhibitions as well as dozens of solo shows and installations.

We are open to submissions of artwork from all countries which have been made between Jan. 2019 and April 2023.

The World of Threads Festival is a leading international showcase of contemporary fibre and textile art. We are a not-for-profit initiative with charitable status run by a few dedicated volunteers. We believe that some of the most exciting and compelling artwork being made today is happening in the field of fibre arts. Through our initiatives we have discovered some remarkable artists and brought them to the attention of Canadian and international audiences.

To see examples of our past exhibitions and artwork start with our Festival Artwork Greatest Hits. We are working on adding full shows to our new website.

Festival 2023 will be focused around our usual venue Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. In addition to the beautiful gallery, we will also be using the Display Area Gallery, the Corridor Galleries, lobby and open public spaces of the entire facility.

Your work may be for sale and we will try to sell it. There will be a 40% commission on any sales.

Please share this Call for Submissions with anyone you know who might be interested.


Three Options for Submitting

Body of Work – Maximum 10 pieces + details.

Individual Pieces – Maximum 10 pieces + details.

Installations – Maximum 10 images + details and renderings.

All artworks must be made between January 2019 and April 2023. We are open to artists from all countries. All works submitted will be considered for the main gallery exhibition. Bodies of work will be considered for the solo shows in the halls. Installations will be considered for the main gallery and the public spaces. We may also curate smaller group shows in the halls.

You can send us as many submissions as you want and we will consider them. There is a submission fee for each submission.


Installation shots from the 2014 exhibition: The Red & The Black


Synchronistic Curating

Something that's different about World of Threads Festival is that we let the art guide us. Festival curators Gareth Bate and Dawne Rudman don't have predetermined curatorial ideas or impose our concepts on the artists. Each new festival is a blank slate. Shows develop entirely out of the submissions we receive.

To find our main exhibitions we look for connections and common themes between thousands of artworks. These works were made by hundreds of artists from around the world. Often artists seem to be on the same wavelength during a particular period. Over time, through many hours of sorting through artworks, the exhibition themes just emerge and become clear to us. All artworks are made from January 2019 to April 2023. This method has been very successful and resulted in compelling and unique exhibitions.


Important Festival Dates

Your work needs to be available from early Sept. 2023 to mid Jan. 2024.


Artwork shipments must arrive between: Sept. 11  - 15, 2023.

Artist in-person drop off dates: Mon. Sept. 11 - Fri. Sept. 15, 2023.

Festival install period: Mon. Sept. 18, to Oct. 9, 2023.


Festival starts: Tues. Oct. 10, 2023.

Opening Reception: Sat. Oct. 14, 2023.

Festival ends: Sun. Dec. 17, 2023.


Festival take down period: Mon. Dec. 18 - Fri Dec. 22, 2023.

Artists can collect work in-person between: Dec. 18 - 22, 2023.

Artwork return shipping to artists between: Tues. Jan 2 - 12, 2024.

Installation by Sun Young Kang


Festival Background

We began in Oakville, Ontario in 1994 as a single exhibition, expanding to a full festival in 1998 and becoming international in 2009. Festival 2018 attracted more than 60,000 visitors.

During the Festival we make a lot of effort to connect the artists for networking opportunities with each other. This is a great opportunity to meet fellow fibre artists from around the world in person. Some you may know only from social media. Bus tours bring in visitors from Toronto to Oakville for the opening reception.

Our website has become a central hub for lovers of fibre art with our Fibre Artist Interviews series. To date we have conducted over 137 interviews with Canadian and international artists. We have a following in 96 countries. We encourage you to spend some time on our new website to see what we have done in the past. We are also active on Instagram and Facebook.

In 2015 Dawne Rudman and Gareth Bate won the Oakville Arts Council Community Impact Arts Award, for bringing global attention to Oakville and elevating the fibre/textile art form around the world. In 2016 Dawne Rudman received the Community Spirit Arts Award, recognizing an individual that through their volunteerism has made an invaluable contribution to the Oakville community and contributed to nurturing and enhancing the arts. The World of Threads Festival was the winner of Oakville’s prestigious Community Spirit Award for Volunteerism in the Arts in 2007. The same year Dawne Rudman received Oakville Volunteer of the Year 2007, for her work organizing festival exhibitions.


Previous festivals have featured artists from: Countries: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Channel Islands, China, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guernsey, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Turkey, Ukraine and USA.

Canadian provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.


US States: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.


Installation shots from the 2012 exhibition: Quiet Zone

What Counts as Fibre Art?

That's a good question. Fibre art is incredibly diverse and our definition is continuously shifting. We’re open-minded. Our website has hundreds of examples of fibre artwork located under Blog and Past Artwork. You can see examples on this page.

Generally fibre art is made from perishable materials that use traditional techniques that include, stitchery, tapestry and papermaking.

We have exhibited a huge variety of techniques and media including: sculpture, installation, quilting, weaving and tapestry, hooking, knitting, installations, embroidery, lace making, crochet, felting, coiling, beading, thread painting, mixed media, soft sculpture, wearable art, basketry, sprang, paper-cut, recycled materials, fibre collage, assemblage, organic materials, stitch-relief, quilling and works using paper – the paper must hand-made or have been stitched or manipulated in some way.

However, more and more artists are using synthetic materials or materials that have nothing to do with fibre but use sewing or weaving techniques. We call that “fibre inspired” and we're totally open to experimental approaches. This is a term we coined to encompass artworks that use the techniques, forms, aesthetic or history of fibre arts but are not made from traditional soft or perishable fibre materials, e.g. bronze, wire, paint and plastic manipulation. We did an entire show based on "Fibre Inspired" called Memento mori. Unfortunely, we do not have the tech capability to exhibit video or sound work. Performance also doesn't work in this context.

What Doesn’t Count as Fibre Art?
We would probably not include works on paper that are essentially drawing or painting, unless the paper itself is somehow being manipulated or it depicts a fibre effect. If you are unsure if your work counts as ‘fibre or textile art’ before working on your submission please contact the Festival Chair: Dawne Rudman.


Installation shots from the 2016 exhibition: Late in the Season and 2014 exhibition: Solo Shows and Installations.


Galleries for 2023

Queen Elizabeth Park Community & Cultural Centre, Oakville



Chair & Festival Curator: Dawne Rudman

Festival Curator: Gareth Bate


Installation shots from the 2016 exhibition: Cosmic Geometry

Frequently Asked Questions