Aidan Ware, Gallery Director

When we think of art, we don’t necessarily think of economy and yet there is an intense and transformative connection. Robust economies are those built on innovation and invention, creative practices and outcomes that become drivers of production, commodity, and public desire. Innovation, like art, is the creation of something new. Whether that’s a new way of looking, expressing, or experiencing. So, when we look at contemporary art we may come to understand that the meaning lies not so much in the understanding of what it is, but in the comprehension and imagination of what it could be. Art has the same multiplicity as innovation, the same curiosity, and the same processes of thoughtful experimentation.

In 2007, the Conference Board of Canada estimated that the annual contribution of the arts and culture industry was 7.4% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product). According to The Globe and Mail article ‘Canada’s creative industries can lead the economic charge’ by Edgar Cowan (July 3, 2015), this is more than the combined total for mining, forestry and fisheries sectors, and the Canadian Armed Forces.

With these astonishing statistics, we can see that creative exchange is a poignant and dramatic indicator of our social-economic durability and stability. As we head into our fall programs, we have a tremendous opportunity to talk about economy and art; to discuss and more importantly, engage, in the process of creative interchange. When we launch the Taco Stand Project in November, we want you to be part of the conversation and to participate in the trading of knowledge and skills. Do you have a recipe you want to share? A knitting pattern you can offer? An art-making demonstration you can lead? Poetry you can perform? A novel you want to share? If so, we want to see you at the Taco Stand. Please join us and be part of this creatively driven, inspiring, idea exchange.

Application for Taco Stand Project

Idea Exchange, Queen’s Square will embark on a remarkable community project in Fall 2016 and Winter 2017. Opening on November 25, 2016, the exhibition With Mexico, From Love, will bring Mexican artists together with Mexican/Canadian artists. This major exhibition will resemble a chaotic market scene and as part of the project, a taco stand will be installed in the Queen’s Square lobby. It will function as a space for free community exchange –whether that’s people sharing knowledge, offering demonstrations, performing poetry, talking about their art practice, or exchanging  stories, and so on. We are inviting the community to contribute to the taco stand, share skills and ideas, and to be part of this incredible project.

Guidelines & Eligibility

Idea Exchange seeks participates for the Taco Stand Project from Saturday, November 26 until Saturday, February 18, 2017 at our Queen’s Square location, 1 North Square, Cambridge.

  • Participants who are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge, art or craft practice, stories, demonstrations etc. with the public
  • Participants must be 18 years of age or older
  • There is no participation or application fee for participants
  • Participation in this project is on a volunteer basis – there will be no remuneration or sales of products or services.
  • Participants must provide their own materials necessary to their presentation/demo
  • Idea Exchange will provide the Taco Stand structure for placing materials necessary to the presentation/demo as well as electricity if required
  • Picnic tables will be setup in lobby for public to sit/work at during presentation
  • Upon acceptance of application, project participants will be scheduled into a preferred date/time upon availability
  • A sound system is available if required

Open hours of theTaco Stand Project will be:

  • Weekdays: Monday to Friday, 10:00am – 12:00pm or 2:00 – 4:00pm
  • Weeknights: Wednesday, 5:00 – 7:00pm
  • Weekends: Saturday, 10:00am – 12:00pm or 2:00 – 4:00pm, Sunday, 2:00 – 4:00pm (when event schedule allows)

Application may be submitted with 2 or 3 images of what you would like to share with the public.

The last day of the project is Sunday, February 19. Final deadline for application is Thursday, February 16. Earlier applications will have best choice of selection for dates and times.

Successful applicants will receive notice within one week of their application.

For further information, please contact Karen Murray-Hopf at 519.621.0460 ext.155, or

Ends on 9/23/2016

Application for Idea Exchange OriginalWorks Market 2016

Idea Exchange OriginalWorks Market is seeking new entrants to show and sell smaller original works of fine art (paintings, drawings, prints, photography and printmaking) and fine crafts (pottery, jewellery, apparel, stained glass, cards, home décor, etc.).

Guidelines & Eligibility

Idea Exchange seeks artists and artisans to participate in OriginalWorks Market which will kick off at our Friday Night ART Live event on Friday, November 25 at 7:00pm at Queen’s Square, 1 North Square, Cambridge and run until Friday, December 23.

  • OriginalWorks Market will run from Saturday, November 26 until Friday, December 23.
  • All works must be original and priced under $300. 
  • Works are taken on a 30% consignment basis.
  • Each artist/artisan must commit to 5 volunteer hours over the duration of the Market. 
  • Inventory drop off dates will be Tuesday, November 15 from 9:30am – 8:00pm and Saturday, November 19 from 10:00am – 5:00pm.
  • Inventory pickup dates will be Thursday, December 29 from 9:30am – 8:00pm and Friday, December 30 from 9:30am – 4:00pm.

The online application must be submitted with a maximum of 5 images of your artwork.

Final deadline for application is Friday, September 23, 2016 (11:59pm). 

Successful applicants will receive notice by Friday, October 7, 2015.  All juror decisions are final.

For further information, please contact Margaret Duggan at 519.621.0460 ext. 156 or Karen Murray-Hopf at 519.621.0460 ext. 155