Important Dates

Deadline for Submissions: Friday, February 28, 2020
Results Announced: Friday, March 27, 2020
Dates of Festival: October 15-25, 2020
Application Submission Form:

Application Info Sessions and Site Tours:
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 (3:00-5:00) at 651 Dufferin Street
Thursday, February 13, 2020 (5:00-7:00) at 651 Dufferin Street
*please note that there will be no tours available for the CAMH theatre (1001 Queen St West)
(Both sessions will also be streamed online through Facebook Live)

Rendezvous with Madness

The Rendezvous with Madness Festival (RWM) is the first and largest art and mental health festival in the world, hosted each year by Workman Arts in Toronto, Canada. The festival presents local, national and international work exploring themes of mental health and/or addiction issues.

In summer 2020, Workman Arts will move from 651 Dufferin Street (our home for the past 10 years) to the brand new McCain Complex Care and Recovery Building at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). This world-class facility will feature a 300-seat auditorium that will be the new home for the Rendezvous with Madness Festival.

Installation and Performance at 651 Dufferin (Dufferin/Dundas)

The 2020 Rendezvous with Madness Festival will be our last at 651 Dufferin St. It has been the home of Rendezvous with Madness for the past 10 years and we will say our ‘goodbye’ by transforming the entire building into an art activation space that will last throughout the 11-day festival. The activation includes theatre, art, performance, dance, multi-media installation, films, media art, workshops, lectures, community conversations and everything in between.

Artists are asked to propose projects which creatively and effectively transform the space and allow audiences to engage with each other and the site. The work should address relevant mental health and/or addiction topics which centre people with lived experiences at their core.

Live performance at CAMH (1001 Queen St West)

The 2020 Rendezvous with Madness Festival will also be our first in the new 300 seat theatre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (1001 Queen Street West). This site will feature our film series as well as our mainstage performance series.

Artists are asked to propose projects that have a running time of 60-90 minutes. Productions should include artists with lived experience of mental health and/or addiction issues.

Support and Timeline

Each project selected will receive $500-$1000 (depending on scale and needs of the project) to help actualize the project. Letters of confirmation for external grant applications will be made available for successful projects and peer-led grant writing support is also offered through Workman Arts’ regular programming. Festival promotion and basic technical needs will be provided as part of the Rendezvous with Madness Festival.

Who can Apply

Individual artists, artist collectives, artist run centres, galleries, festivals, theatre companies, community groups, mental health service organizations and collaborative community projects are all welcome to apply. Projects must specify how many members of the artistic team identify as having lived experience. You do not have to be a member of Workman Arts to apply.

Applications can include proposed or completed work in film, new media, visual art, installation, sculpture, textile art, craft, photography, performance, theatre, dance, music, sound art, socially engaged practice, workshops or lectures all of which can be permanent, semi-permanent, durational, accumulative, time based, single events and/or a series.

Workman Arts is committed to creating opportunities for marginalized people. We encourage applications from artists with disabilities, Indigenous and racialized people, trans and non-binary individuals as well as those living on ODSP or OW and/or who experience precarious housing.

Please note that 651 Dufferin is not a wheelchair accessible space. 1001 Queen Street West (CAMH location) is wheelchair accessible.

If you need assistance with your application or experience barriers in applying, please contact Cara Spooner at 416-583-4339, ext 4, or

We will host two information sessions and building tours on Wednesday February 5 from 3-5 PM and on Thursday February 13 from 5-7 PM at Workman Arts. Both sessions will also be shared online via Facebook Live for those who cannot attend in person. Follow us on Facebook to receive our notifications on Facebook.

If you require accessibility supports for these sessions, please contact Justina Zatzman at 416-583-4339, ext. 9 or

Selection Process

The selection jury will include members of the Workman Arts staff, guest curators and representatives from partner organizations. The jury will be looking at the nature of the project’s content, who and how people with lived experience are involved, how the context is being addressed, the feasibility of the project, budget considerations and site requirements.

How to Apply

Please fill out the online Google Form to submit an application. Questions on the form include:

  • Description of the proposed of project
  • Description of how the proposed project addresses and transforms the site
  • Description of how the proposed project will centre people with lived experience and how many on the team identify as having lived experience
  • Space requirements, technical requirements, installation requirements and/or audience set up requirements
  • Budget

To download this call as a PDF, click here.

Rendezvous with Madness will open a separate call for film submissions in spring 2020 with a May 1 deadline. To receive notice when the call opens, please sign up for our e-newsletter.

If you have questions, need assistance with your application, or experience barriers in applying, please contact
Cara Spooner
Public Programming & Partnership Manager
416-583-4339, ext 4
Click below to watch a playback of our info session.