Presented by Yellow Pad Sessions,  OPTIMISTA: Ciné-confrenes for a Hopeful Tomorrow  is a series of cultural events that explore social themes of courage, compassion, love and community. Yellow Pad Sessions and OPTIMISTA invite Montréal-based emerging and established visual artists and media artists to submit works for the 2022-2023 season. 

Yellow Pad Sessions’ mandate is to promote art for social change which is brought to life by OPTIMISTA’s programming. OPTIMISTA (Festival)'s mandate is to facilitates multi-disciplinary arts events that offer the public an evening of hopeful celebration, uplifting art, and creative practices that explore complex entanglements of personal and social narratives. 

Selected artists will be provided compensation which reflect the 2022 CARFAC-RAAV minimum fee schedule



The overall goal of the cineconference is to convey a message of hope through curating and programming multidisciplinary arts. Each individual event is, however, anchored by one specific theme: 


  • COURAGE (October 2022) 

  • COMPASSION (November 2022)

  • LOVE (February 2023)

  • COMMUNITY (March 2023) 

OPTIMISTA will be held over the course of four unique evening events slated for Fall 2022 and Winter 2023. Selected works will be shown in an exhibition accompanying an evening of film screenings, live performances, and public talks that intersect with festival themes. The fine arts exhibition is intended to provide another dimension to the programming by exploring varied perspectives and methods while supporting the work of local artists and creative voices. 

OPTIMISTA encourages innovative and creative contemporary works that speak to personal experiences, celebrations of community, and explore the beauty of the human spirit. OPTIMISTA is interested in socially informed practices that speak to one of the following themes: courage, compassion, love, and community. Works can represent multiple themes but they will be selected under one which the curators deem most appropriate. 

Please note that OPTIMISTA cannot support the production of works, therefore we are looking for previously made works or ones that are independently made and must be ready in time for installation. 






  • Photography 

  • Sculpture

  • Painting

  • Illustration/Drawing

  • Animation/Video Art/Intermedia Works


  • Works must be related to at least one of the following themes Courage, Compassion, Love, and Community

  • Candidates must have full creative rights to the project

  • Projects must be independent and non-commercial

  • Can be an individual work or a series of works (note we will only accept up to 5 so if a series has more than 5 we will take a selection of the series)

  • We encourage traditionally under-represented artists to submit a project

  • Works must have been made in the last 5 years

  • We accept previously exhibited works

  • We accept works done by students but will only accept works not done as projects for courses in post-secondary education

  • Presented at least one professional exhibition



Artistic works will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of OPTIMISTA Curatorial staff. Our evaluation criteria is based upon three areas: 

  • Relevance to Theme (as expressed by the artist's submission) 

  • Does the work relate to a specific theme? Does it bring an unconventional or multi-faceted series of perspectives? 

  • Ability to engage with the public and fit within the exhibition space Is this piece engaging and thought-provoking? Is the piece feasible for the festival to host and fit within site limitations? 

  • Engagement with an overall theme of hope and optimism 

  • Does an element of the work present a hopeful message? Does it present complex and nuanced commentary on optimism?  



To complete your application, you must fill out a google form. Before submitting, ensure you have provided the following information: 

  • Contact information: email, website, social media (if applicable) 

  • CV and artist bio (150 words). 

  • Project title

  • A letter of interest to participate in the festival, specifying the theme to which you are applying, the description of your project and your artistic approach; (750 words max).

  • Documentation: 5 images and if relevant, 1 video

  • Year of creation of works

  • Technical requirements


We will not accept unsolicited proposals or applications and will only accept applications until the deadline of June 30th, 2022 and those that are submitted via the dedicated form. Applications submitted via email will not be accepted. 



▶︎ DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: JULY 10, 2022 (Extended deadline) 




Selection Review: July 2022 

The curatorial team will meet to review applications periodically throughout the month of July. An approximate notification date will be communicated during this time. 


Notification of Results: August 2022 

All applicants, regardless of status, will be notified of the results throughout the month of August. Note this will be on a rolling basis and approximate times can only be determined closer to the date. 


Unfortunately, due to the high volume of submissions, we cannot guarantee feedback for rejected submissions. 


Announcement of Results: August 2022  

Selected submissions will be announced at the Festival launch event in late August 2022. 


Dates of Exhibition: will be confirmed upon announcement of artists. Selected works will be scheduled to exhibit on one of the following dates which best corresponds with its theme.  

Questions? Please email us via We look forward to your submission!