The TD Discovery Series Special Projects - Guidelines

Mandate | Eligibility | Support offered | Application process


The TD Discovery Series Special Projects, made possible by the generous support of TD, is an initiative created by Toronto Downtown Jazz (TDJ), producers of the annual TD Toronto Jazz Festival. The initiative encourages the creation, development and presentation of special projects by jazz musicians in the City of Toronto. Through a juried process, successful applicants will be awarded a bursary and obtain marketing and public relations support from TDJ and TD.

Why TDJ Special Projects

The city of Toronto features one of the most vibrant jazz communities in North America. With the Special Projects initiative, Toronto Downtown Jazz and TD provide support for the outstanding jazz musicians who work and live in Toronto, while at the same time establishing a year-round presence on Toronto’s jazz scene.


  • Special Projects are open to individual musicians and ensembles of any size.
  • Special Projects are open to jazz musicians of any age or career status. However, the musician submitting the application must be recognized by his/her peers as an active member of the Toronto jazz scene.
  • Projects must take place between January 15 and April 30, 2020.
  • The Special Project for which the application is submitted must take place at a venue located in the city of Toronto. For the purposes of this application, the city of Toronto is defined as any address whose postal code begins with M.
  • Special Projects are defined as projects which fall outside the usual scope of the submitting performer or group’s activity (i.e. not “just another gig”).
  • All participating artists must be paid for their involvement in the project.
  • Musicians/ensembles may only submit one application per deadline.

In addition:

  • Projects must be self-presented by the artist or group submitting the application. Projects presented by venues, schools or festivals, or applications from artist agents, managers, management companies, record labels or distribution companies will be disqualified.
  • It is expected that you have a venue on hold for your project at the time of the application.
  • Fundraising concerts or events are ineligible.

Please note:

  • Musicians/ensembles may only be awarded Special Project recognition once in a calendar year.
  • Special Project support is intended for single-date or short-run events only and not for ongoing (i.e. year-round) support.
  • Musicians/ensembles may only submit one application per deadline.

The submission deadline is November 29, 2019 at 5:00 pm Four projects will be chosen.

Support offered

Successful applicants will be offered marketing and public relations support from TDJ and TD, accessing a wealth of resources and contacts typically reserved for official TDJ presentations including:

  • A $750 bursary to offset the artistic, production or marketing expenses of the Special Project
  • A featured article in a TDJ e-newsletter (over 12,000 subscribers)
  • Prominent positioning on the home page and a dedicated event page
  • A dedicated TDJ press release, sent out to all of the local major jazz media
  • Mentions on the Toronto Jazz Festival Facebook (more than 9,000 likes) and Twitter (more than 22,000 followers) pages
  • Dedicated posting on The Artistic Director’s Guide to Jazz at
  • An on-location mini-shoot or performance shot, courtesy of Sean Story and Skyloft Productions, for use in press kits and on your website.

Note: special consideration will be given to those projects which not only go beyond the usual scope of the submitting performer or group’s activity, but also make a unique contribution to the city’s cultural calendar – events which are particularly creative in their nature.

Application Process

Download the Special Projects application here. Please read the entire application carefully to ensure your project meets the eligibility criteria and for complete submission details.

We strongly encourage all applicants submit online using the online submission form.

If submitting by mail, send (or drop off) completed applications to (please note that our address has changed):

Attention: Special Projects
Toronto Downtown Jazz
403 – 40 Holly Street
Toronto, ON
M4S 3C3

Do not submit your application by email or fax.

The submission deadline is November 29, 2019 at 5:00 pm

For more information about TDJ Special Projects, please contact Artistic Director Josh Grossman at (416) 928-2033 ext. 27 or [email protected].

Site by GoodWeb & plousia