CAFKA - Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area

Registered Name: CAFKA - Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area

Business Number: 845086743RR0001

Our Mission

CAFKA – Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area is a non-profit, artist-run organization that presents a free biennial exhibition of contemporary art in the public spaces of the City of Kitchener and across the Region of Waterloo. Between exhibitions and throughout the year CAFKA promotes art education through its public tours and workshops, videos, public lectures and other ancillary programs and events.

About CAFKA - Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area

The CAFKA biennial serves as the vehicle for the expression of the community of artists, arts professionals, art students and friends of contemporary art in the public spaces of the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, Ontario. It is created to take the experience of contemporary art out of the gallery, to present it as a critical and integral part of community life, and to make that experience accessible to everyone in the Region. The exhibition is curated to engage public discourse around issues of public and private space, bringing groundbreaking artists from around the world to contribute to the discussion.

CAFKA plays an important role for artists from the Region and across Canada who seek to work outside the confines of the gallery, providing opportunities and support for public, interactive and interventionist work, supporting, since 2001, 229 Projects by 209 Artists. CAFKA’s collective and collaborationist ethic has provided many artists with additional problem solving, creative and logistical support in realizing big visions and complex projects at important and formative stages of their careers. 

The biennial exhibition galvanizes the community of artists in the Region, who dedicate countless volunteer hours on committees, as installation hands, and as hosts for visiting artists, to help make it all happen. Through the exhibition CAFKA initiates conversations around public space and the social and critical functions of art. CAFKA’s programming also finds resonance and support among local community activists, where issues of ecology, marginalized communities, cultural participation, technology and urban regeneration overlap to create a broad-based field of interest.

CAFKA’s commitment to public art and to bringing contemporary art to the general public is a major part of its mandate. Because of CAFKA, people of all ages, from all backgrounds and from all walks of life have been able to experience contemporary art. 

What People Are Saying

"Exciting, whimsical, made me engage with the city in a new way."

— Visitor survey response

"Went to a number of the exhibits with my 4-year-old daughter. Was a great context to explore contemporary art with her -- more casual and flexible than a gallery."

— Visitor survey response

"I really liked all the different ways to engage CAFKA: pub crawl, coffee crawl, bike tour. "

— Visitor survey response

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