Call for Submissions

Our next call starts
April 1, 2023

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Festival Starts: Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 14, 2023

Last Day: Sunday, December 17, 2023

This page will be updated with new information soon.

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


We're excited to see your new work!

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. We also mount dozens of solo shows. We are open to submissions of work made since Jan. 2019 to April 2023.   

Something that's different about World of Threads is that we let the art guide us. Festival Curators Gareth Bate and Dawne Rudman don't have predetermined curatorial ideas or impose their concepts on the artists. Each new festival is a blank slate. Shows develop entirely out of the submissions received. To find our main exhibitions, we look for connections and common themes between thousands of artworks. These works having been 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 exhibitions themes just emerge and become clear to us. All artworks are made within the last two years before the show. This method has been very successful and has resulted in compelling and unique exhibitions.

Festival 2023 will be focused around Queen Elisabeth 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.


Three Options for Submitting

Body of Work – Maximum 10 pieces + details.

Individual Pieces – Maximum 10 pieces + details.

Installations – Maximum 10 images + details and renderings.


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


Festival Background

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 couple of dedicated volunteers. The Festival is ambitious and constantly expanding into new territory. 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.

We began in Oakville, Ontario in 1994 as a single exhibition, expanding to a full festival in 1998 and becoming international in 2009. Festival 2016 had 315 artworks by 134 artists from 23 countries. The festival draws visitors from across the region and internationally and has featured work submitted by hundreds of artists from around the world. Festival 2016 attracted more than 60,000 visitors. In 2015 Dawne Rudman and Gareth Bate won the Oakville Arts Council 2015 Community Impact Arts Award, for bringing global attention to Oakville and elevating the fibre/textile art form around the world.

Our website has become a central hub for lovers of fibre art with our Fibre Artist Interviews series. We currently have a following in 95 countries. To date we have conducted over 135 interviews with Canadian and international artists. We encourage you to spend some time on our website to see what we have done in the past. For some examples of previous artists and exhibitions look under Artwork or check out our Artist Interviews and Curator Interviews. We are working on getting the albums up from the last festival.


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, USA.

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


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 Artist Interviews and Artwork. 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, earth works, paper work, quilting, weaving, conceptual work, hooking, knitting, embroidery, lace making, crocheting, felting, coiling, mixed media, soft sculpture, wearable art, basketry, recycling materials.

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, paint and plastic manipulation. We can't take exhibit video work or performance. We did an entire show based on "Fibre Inspired". (See Memento mori exhibition),

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’ 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