Year: 2011 - 2014

Location: City-wide, Toronto

Field: Contemporary Design, Festival 

Role: Research & Development Director


Toronto Design Offsite Festival is the largest design festival in Canada, taking place over one week every January in Toronto.  

During my time at TO DO, I mainly worked on the strategy for the annual Festival and ensured the future direction of all projects and events. More specifically, I oversaw market intelligence, communications, partner liaison, sponsorship and I directed a series of short interviews of key designers and curators, as well I curated TO DO‘s first ever featured exhibition for the 2014 Festival. As part of our cultural partnership program, I conducted a research on NYC Design Week and invited Wanted Design NYC to join our vibrant roster of partners and supporters to foster meaningful collaboration beyond our Canadian boundaries.

January 20–26, 2014, TO DO presented 65 exhibitions, events and window installations across the city at 61 venues, involving 450 emerging and established designers and artists; welcomed over 26,000 visitors during Festival week; distributed 15,000 printed guides; engaged designers and design-enthusiasts with social media (2,659 on Facebook, 1,036 on Twitter, 808 on Instagram); connected with over 5,800 e-newsletter subscribers; gave out 14 awards juried by 4 design professionals, plus 4 People’s Choice awards; and hosted over 500 guests at our Opening Party; all with the help of over 50 volunteers. During the 2013–2014 year, TO DO also launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign; provided information to 32,463 unique web visitors; and presented the work of 17 designers at two international design shows.

In 2014, we expanded our programming and presence in the city with 65 events , exhibitions, and window installations, included works by over 450 designers and artists exhibiting at these venues: ARTiculations, Artscape Triangle Gallery, Clint Roenisch Gallery, Cooper Cole, Design Exchange, Design Within Reach, Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, Gladstone Hotel, Harbourfront Centre, LUBO Design, MADE, Mjolk, OCAD University, Onsite [at] OCAD U, Ontario Crafts Council Gallery, Ryerson University, Institute without Boundaries at George Brown College, Style Garage, Toronto School of Art, Type Books, and more.

Based on our audience survey in 2014, we realized:

The City of Toronto conducted a research in 20016 on Canada's Design landscape, and found out that with over 27,970 designers, Toronto has the largest design workforce in Canada and the third largest in North America (after New York and Boston).

Read more here ...


 The 2014 Festival's Map

The 2014 Festival's Map

Image Credits: Marcin Barciak, String Theory, Bev Hisey, Light it Up, Shiny Pretty Things, Philip Beesley 

—The Team Sanam Samanian, Executive Director Deborah Wang, Creative Director Gelareh Saadatpajouh, Research & Development Director Michael Madjus,Communications Coordinator Stephanie Kruschen,Programs Coordinator Ange-line Tetrault,Operations Manager Mike Spears,App/Mobile Designer Marcin Barciak,Photographer aftermodern.lab inc.,Graphic Design —Special Projects Christina Hug Megumi Kimura Vivien Leung Fanny Martin Alison Snowball Safoura Zahedi * —Board of Directors* Noa Bronstein Andrea Carson Barker Ilan Ishai Natasha Lebel Shaun Moore Deborah Wang (as of February 28, 2014) Founders — Joy Charbonneau Shaun Moore Katherine Morley Julie Nicholson Jeremy Vandermeij Deborah Wang Christina Zeidler Sponsors — Herman Miller Cutler and Gross Gladstone Hotel Bosley Bennett Jones archiTEXT Indie Ale House SMASH Bloor Cinema Astley Gilbert Colour Innovations Partners — Interior Designers of Canada Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario Association of Chartered Industrial Designers of Ontario Toronto Society of Architects IIDEXCanada Interior Design Show Subtle Technologies MOCO LOCO Designlines Archello Wanted Design NYC