Northcrest launches $100K Open Call to activate Downsview Airport Lands

Northcrest Developments is calling on artists, creatives, programmers, and event producers to help bring the site of the Downsview Airport Lands to life through cultural events and installations.

The 600-metre-long taxiway. Photo courtesy of Northcrest Developments


Northcrest Developments, the lead developer reimagining the 370-acre Downsview Airport Lands, has issued an open  call for artists, creatives, programmers and event producers to help bring the site to life through cultural events and installations.

In the initiative titled “Beyond the Tarmac,” Northcrest is offering up to $100,000 in funding to help reimagine the taxiway—600 metres of tarmac, leading to the two kilometre runway, surrounded by airplane hangars.

This opportunity encourages visionaries to transform a historic industrial space into a place of possibility. Whether it be an installation or a boundary-pushing festival, Northcrest is challenging creatives to captivate audiences in 2025.

To ensure a diversity of onsite experiences, Northcrest is considering projects with budgets starting from $10,000.

“We’re looking for ideas that are imaginative, engaging, visually-striking, and barrier-free, which will bring people together and build on our vision of creating a new cultural destination in Toronto,” said Mitchell Marcus, Northcrest’s executive director of site activation and programming. “We have a unique and inspiring site that is filled with infinite possibilities for creative expression. We see the Downsview Airport Lands as an unprecedented opportunity for new experiences, community, and culture and we are excited to meet the creative minds who will contribute to this vision in the coming years through this open call.”

Beyond the Tarmac is the latest in a series of onsite artistic, cultural and community initiatives that Northcrest has led over the past two years, and that have drawn over 25,000 visitors to date. The almost century-old Downsview airport most recently served as a facility for Bombardier Aerospace, and Northcrest will be transforming the site into a series of new neighbourhoods over the coming decades.

Along with Beyond the Tarmac, additional collaborations with local creatives and artists on-site are planned for the coming spring. A series of murals have been commissioned to bring more public art to the site, which include work from muralist Jacquie Comrie, who will be creating “FLOAT,” a large 3,900-square-foot mural that will adorn the doors of one of the most prominent airplane hangars.

In June, Northcrest will host R.A.V.E. by Me Time; an immersive dance and theatre experience produced by Outside the March and The R.A.V.E. Institute in association with Luminato Festival Toronto. The experience will run for six public performances beginning on June 9.

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