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Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC) is a not-for-profit initiative and space devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial practice and inquiry in Toronto, Canada, and beyond.

Founded by independent curator Shani K Parsons and opened at Artscape Youngplace in late 2013, CDCC began as an experimental project space devoted to intimate, critically engaged, guest curated projects. In 2016, responding to a call from the wider community for increased opportunities to engage with the space and mission in ways that extend beyond small-scale exhibition-making, we relaunched as Toronto's only independent centre devoted to curatorial practice and inquiry. 

Now in its sixth year, Critical Distance has produced and co-produced over 30 exhibitions in our third floor gallery space and throughout the larger community/cultural hub we call home. All of our exhibitions are accompanied by related events such as talks, screenings, and workshops that have now featured well over 100 artists and curators working in all media. 

From the beginning our programs have garnered recognition from Canadian Art, NOW MagazineAkimblog, and Independent Curators International, and we have featured prominently in city-wide festivals and events including CONTACT Photography Festival, Ontario Place, Toronto Art Book Fair, Edition Art Book Fair, and the Images Festival. Organizational partners to date include Gallery 44, South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC), The Power Plant, AboriginalCuratorial Collective, the Koffler Gallery, SAW Video Media Arts Centre, and others.


Our mission springs from the interests, motivations and methodologies of contemporary curatorial practice, foregrounding critical inquiry, collaboration, and experimentation in making new connections between artists, art forms, ideas, images, objects, environments, and audiences. In providing an open platform for the support and presentation of research, development, writing, design, and production of exhibitions and other curatorial projects, Critical Distance seeks to stimulate curiosity, conversation, and critical thinking on contemporary culture and the act of curating itself through the lenses of collecting, organizing, displaying, and viewing or experiencing.


Part gallery and publisher, part professional network: CDCC is a hybrid organization that pursues multiple interrelated objectives, including:

Critical Curating, Compelling Programming

— To produce a wide-ranging annual program of exhibitions and projects supported by the production of original publications, editions, and related events

— To provide institutional support and an open, inclusive platform for curators and artists to mount fully realized exhibitions and curatorial projects within a critical framework

— To encourage and support diverse, innovative, and challenging curatorial and artistic perspectives and practices that engage topical, challenging and visually/conceptually compelling objects, ideas, and experiences

Community Building, Outreach, and Discourse

— To foster curatorial community and critical discourse and collaborations at local, regional, national, and international levels of engagement

— To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas on curating and exhibition-making as a way to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life in a space that is welcoming, unintimidating, and accessible for all

Curatorial Resources, Education, and Advocacy

— To offer learning opportunities and shared resources for curators and artists at all stages in their professional development

— To engage in education, advocacy and promotion of economic sustainability and best practices in curating and exhibition-making


With a focus on critically engaged, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and art forms, and community outreach and education in art and exhibition-making, Critical Distance is an open platform for diverse curatorial perspectives, and a forum for the exchange of ideas on curating and exhibition-making as ways to engage and inform audiences from all walks of life.

For more information, visit our website at

Please note we are in the process of upgrading the CDCC website to be more functional and accessible. Also this slideshow is super old. Will post to social when it's all updated. Thanks for your everloving patience.

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