Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ArtBreakers Illustration Society?

AIS is a non-profit group founded by four artist friends: Laura Bifano, Graeme McCormack, Tim Mack, and Tessa Riecken. The society was created to provide illustrators and designers with an event and community that is their own. Initially it was created as an infrastructure to host The Market, our flagship event, but recently we’ve been focused on events and involvement that foster the art community in Vancouver, BC. Read our Mission Statement and Code of Conduct here.

Who organizes ArtBreakers?

ArtBreakers is entirely volunteer-run by a few artist pals just trying their best: Laura Bifano, Graeme McCormack, Tessa Riecken, Tim Mack, Kimberly Parker, and Amory Abbott. ArtBreakers events like the Market are supported day-of by a team of amazing volunteers (for more info check out the Volunteers FAQ section.)

Can I become a member of the Society?

Membership is in the works and though we don’t have any specifics to announce yet, our goal is to provide opportunities for the community to support and get involved in the society in different individual ways. Right now volunteering for our yearly market is one option, but we are also looking to expand our society in the future by providing workshops, collaborative events, and potentially even a mentorship programme.

How do I stay up to date with AIS and upcoming events?

Newsletter, newsletter, newsletter:

Market FAQ

NOTE: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Market has been postponed until 2021. Read our full statement here.

How did the Market get started?

After feeling that opportunities for illustrators to share their work in Vancouver were shrinking, we decided to make our own party. ArtBreakers started as a somewhat cheeky idea, but then grew into a proper non-profit Society that represents artists and fosters their community.

How can I participate in the Market as a tabling artist?

Sign up for that newsletter or follow us on our socials and once applications are open you’ll be able to apply through

How do you choose artists?

Each artist who is featured at the market applies through our application process several months before the event. We spend hours in a room, eating pizza and reviewing every artist. This is a curated show so it’s not guaranteed that the most talented applicants will automatically be admitted. We weigh every single applicant against the whole show. Our goals are to create an inclusive, vibrant, positive and diverse group of artists that represent much of what our community has to offer in terms of talent. We try to avoid dominating the market with artists from a particular industry or style. This is about community building after all, and the more we can spread awareness about the immense amount of talent the better. Positivity and attitude matters.

When will I find out if I got in?

Because we take our selection process very seriously, it may take some time before you hear back from us. We also understand that prepping as an artist for the Market takes a considerable amount of pre-planning. We try our absolute best to have acceptance notifications out at least 3 months before the event. If you have not heard from us past this period, please check your “Spam” folder! Sometimes our emails get filtered into “Spam” settings.

When will I know where my table is?

Communicating, coordinating and laying out a table plan for the Market takes time and careful consideration. We try our absolute best to have a Table Plan ready and distributed to artists as quickly as we possibly can.

Does applying for the Market cost anything?


Does tabling at the Market cost anything?

Yes. Table fees for the 2021 Market will be posted here as soon as we have more details.

How is the Table Fee decided?

The event space, its services, and advertising for the Market all come at a considerable expense. 100% of the Table Fee is put toward running the Market. We are a volunteer-run non-profit and do not pocket any money from the event.

Will you guys be doing portfolio reviews?

We’ve done them in the past and look forward to doing them again soon. We are entertaining a number of different options for connecting prospective artists with professionals to get positive and critical feedback on growing their work.
Stay tuned for more info about what we will be offering in 2020.

Can my company or organization sponsor the Market?

Yes! Our events are largely possible only because of help from Sponsors. Please reach out to if you think your organization would be a good fit.

I’m a comic book artist/fan artist/can I exhibit at Artbreakers?

We love fan art! We love comics! However, the lack of illustration shows in the Pacific NorthWest means that carving out a niche where artists can promote their intellectual properties is more important than ever. Fanart or comics does not automatically disqualify you from the show, but we do give priority to artists whose portfolios lean more heavily towards original concepts.

Why have you moved to the Roundhouse?

Heritage hall is dope, we loved it but now we need more space! For the past two years, we’ve had to turn down some incredible artists simply because of a lack of space. This year we’re hoping to nearly double the size of the show so we can showcase more talent to the public. The Roundhouse also has the facilities to host panels and workshops, something we’ve been wanting to do since the beginning.

Is there parking?

There is a limited amount of metered parking around the venue, so it’s probably best to take the sky train or arrange your own transport.

Can I bring cash, or is card better?

Most artists will take both, but carrying cash is always helpful!

Will there be panels this year?

You betcha! We’ve yet to determine the specifics of our programming, but as soon as we know, you’ll know!
You can sign up for our newsletter over at, or give us a follow over on IG or twitter. Panels and workshops will be announced closer to the event.

Is the show wheelchair accessible?

Yes! There is access through the roundhouse community centre and turntable plaza.

I want to run a panel/ workshop/ talk! How can I get in on this action?

Email us at and submit a brief paragraph outline of your panel idea.

Do I need tickets to get into the show?

Nope! The show is free to the public.

Volunteer FAQ

How can I be an ArtBreakers volunteer?

Sign up for the newsletter or our socials and we’ll notify our audience when we are looking for volunteers. If you are really keen email with your CV and we’ll keep you in mind.

How are volunteers compensated?

As a non-profit we are not currently able to financially compensate our volunteers, however we try to work with all our volunteers to make sure they are getting something valuable out of working with us. We poll our team after every event to make sure we provide something that is tailored for every individual. For students that might look like a portfolio review from one of the ArtBreakers organizers, or a one-on-one session to answer questions about their chosen industry. We are open to what works for you!

Are volunteers vetted?

To ensure that everyone at an ArtBreakers event has a safe and comfortable time we require that all volunteers meet with someone on the ArtBreakers team at least once before we bring them on. In accordance with our Code of Conduct, we reserve the right to refuse any volunteer application, and to ask a volunteer to leave at any time.


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