Become part of Stratford Summer Music’s History!

Call for Submissions: Design Our New Icon!

Are you a visionary, local graphic designer or artist with an affinity for music? Ready to show off your creative talent to people across our region and beyond? 

We’re launching a call for submissions process to update our organization’s icon, and we want YOU to be a part of it! If we chose your design, you’ll earn a $1000 honorarium.

Submission deadline is May 24, 2024.



For more information, listen to Crystal's interview at CJCS:

What is an Icon?

Before we delve into the details of our invitation, let’s define what an icon is. An icon is a symbol, often graphical, that represents a concept, function, or identity. In our context, the icon will serve as a visual representation of Stratford Summer Music, encapsulating our organization’s essence and values. It will accompany our logo which contains the current year (pictured in the graphic above).

Who’s eligible?

  • The process is open to designers and artists who are 18+ and live or work within Perth County.
  • No experience is necessary. We’re interested in seeing a variety of submissions from all levels of artists – from emerging talent and “moonlighters” to professionals.

Note: by submitting your design package, you automatically consent to our terms and conditions outlined below.

Why participate?

Show everyone your creativity and skills

This is your chance to unleash your imagination and bring your unique vision to life. Let your creativity shine as you design an icon that best represents our organization’s culture.

Gain recognition

Imagine seeing your design displayed prominently as the new representation of our brand! Not only will the selected design become our official icon, but you’ll also receive credit for your work and gain exposure among our audiences. 

A chance to earn money

We believe in rewarding exceptional talent. The selected designer/artist will receive an honorarium of $1000.

Inspiring elements

Since 2001 SSM has provided accessible and uplifting musical programs and performances for residents and summer visitors. Over the years, we’ve brought many incredible, world-recognized musicians to our stages. Our vision is to celebrate the joy of music and to be recognized as one of Canada’s most inspiring music festivals. If you are able to think bright and energetically, it will match the essence of the summer season we primarily operate.

For our new icon, we’re looking for a sleek design that captures the spirit of the dynamic, world-class music we celebrate. 

  • It should be elegant, modern, and unique. It should be striking and immediately clear that it IS Stratford Summer Music to our audiences. If it can be used within our name and keep legibility, great!
  • We’d like a design that has elements tied to music and maybe even Stratford’s community, one especially known for its vibrant art scene.
  • We’re looking for designs that will work both digitally and in print
  • The icon should be monochromatic (black and white only). As examples, we’re inspired by the icons for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Arts Centre, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Remember—this call for submissions isn’t just about creating an icon; it’s about strengthening our connection to our community, leaving a lasting impression, and shaping the future of our brand. Together, let’s make this process a journey of creativity, inspiration, and innovation.

How to submit your design

One: General

  • All designs must be submitted via email to Crystal L. Spicer, Executive Director by Friday, May 24, 2024. Emails must have timestamps before 4 pm that day for consideration. Please use the subject line: Stratford Summer Music Icon Submission. Hard copy submissions are not eligible.
  • One distinctive icon design per submission, per designer/artist please.
  • All designs must be original work and be attributed to a sole designer/artist. However, if you collaborated on developing the concept, you must credit all persons involved in its creation. 
  • There are no fees to enter. 

Summary of timing:

Call for submissions begins: April 10, 2024
Submissions must be received by: May 24, 2024—no later than 4 pm.
Top three finalists notified by: Week of June 3, 2024
Final design will be revealed publicly on:  August 11, 2024 (or closing event)

Two: Selection

Eligible submissions will be reviewed according to the timing above by a jury, formed from SSM’s: Artistic Director, Executive Director, and a designated board member (TBD); with input from our staff and Marketing Consultant.

We thank every artist for their time, talent, and submission. Only the submittors of the top three chosen designs will be notified, via email during the week of June 3, 2024. If you would like feedback on your design after the August reveal, please contact us at the email above with your request. We reserve the right to limit the feedback provided.

One design concept from among the top three submissions will be selected as our icon. The $1000 honorarium cannot be split and will be awarded to the sole designer/artist named in the submission.

Three: Design files

  • Please include art files showing your proposed design concept, in both PNG and PDF
  • You may submit your files as either: 1) attachments to an email sent to the link above, or 2) via a shared (cloud) link to download your files. Zip file attachments are acceptable. 

Once selected, we will work with the chosen designer/artist to provide additional file types for the icon, such as vector art, JPEGs, etc.

Four: Information to include with your submission package:

All submissions must include your full name, preferred email and telephone number, and a brief (300 words maximum) description of the concept behind your creative design. *Proof of age, and residency or work location in Perth County must be included to be considered.

Four: Information to include with your submission package:

All submissions must include your full name, preferred email and telephone number, and a brief (300 words maximum) description of the concept behind your creative design. *Proof of age, and residency or work location in Perth County must be included to be considered.

Judging criteria

  • Design entries will be reviewed and judged for excellence in concept, illustration, and messaging as well as effectiveness, quality, and creativity of the design.
  • The top three scoring designs will move forward for final judging. The designer of the selected final icon will receive a $1000 honorarium in thanks for their work.


Please read these terms and conditions carefully before entering your submission. If you do not agree to these terms and conditions, do not submit. Your consent is taken immediately with your submission.

By submitting your design in this process, you agree to the following terms and conditions:

  • Stratford Summer Music (the organizer) has ownership of the winning design, and the winning designer will disclaim any intellectual property, trademarks and all other rights related to the design. 
  • The organizer reserves the right to modify, alter, or adapt any submitted artwork as needed, at any time, including but not limited to color adjustments, resizing, and typography changes.
  • The organizer may reject any submission package at their discretion, for any reason, including but not limited to inappropriate content or copyright infringement.
  • You represent and warrant that the artwork and package contents you submit is original, and that you are the sole author and owner of all rights, including copyright, to the submission.
  • You agree to indemnify and hold harmless the submissions process organizer from and against all claims, damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses arising out of or related to any breach of these terms and conditions or any alleged infringement of intellectual property rights by your submission.
  • The organizer reserves the right to terminate or suspend the submissions process at any time, without notice or liability.
  • Stratford Summer Music isn’t responsible for incorrect, illegible, or incomplete credit/copyright information after submission.
  • This process and all its outcomes are bound by any applicable federal, provincial, and/or municipal laws and/or regulations.
  • By entering the submissions process, you agree to these terms and conditions and consent to the collection, use, and disclosure of your personal information for the purposes of the process. *Your contact details and proof documents will be held confidentially, except for your name which will be released publicly if you’re selected as the final designer. Stratford Summer Music may request (a) photo(s) of the chosen designer to share publicly.

Thanks, artists!

We look forward to reviewing some creative and distinctive designs.

Please download a copy of our printable flyer to share this Call for Submissions with your circles and watch for updates on the submissions process via our social media channels and this site.

Questions related to this process may be asked via the main office: or 519-271-2101.