Glebe Parking Garage – Call to Artists

Draft elevation drawing
 Monday December 2, 2013, 4:00 pm

INFORMATION MEETING: Thursday November 7, 2013, 5:30 to 6:30 pm 

BUDGET: $43,000

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program invites artists to submit proposals to develop, design and implement a public art commission for Glebe Parking Garage as outlined in this Call to Artists.

1.0   Introduction

Established in 1985, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program is committed to increasing awareness and appreciation of the visual arts in Ottawa by collecting, commissioning and exhibiting works of art focusing on local artists.  The Public Art Program commissions site-specific works of art for display in public places. One percent of funds for new municipal development are mandated for public art in order to enhance public spaces and make art accessible to everyone.

In keeping with the Percent for Art Policy, the City of Ottawa is pleased to invite artists to apply to develop, design and implement a public art commission to be installed within the limits of the Glebe Parking Garage project.  Artist teams may also apply.

The City of Ottawa is undertaking the construction of a 4 storey public parking garage at 170 Second Ave to increase the capacity of the existing surface parking lot. The garage will front onto both Second Ave and Third Ave with vehicular access from both sides. In addition to streetscape landscaping, the ground floor level has an open concept design with multi-use parking for cars, electric vehicles, disabled spaces and bicycles. The curved façade will feature two corner stairwells with glazed walls overlooking each Avenue.

2.0   Schedule

Construction for the Glebe Parking Garage project is scheduled to begin in spring 2014 and be complete by the end of October 2014. Installation of the Percent for Art commission shall commence towards the end of construction envisioned for fall 2014, dependant on the construction schedule.

The successful artist/artist team will be responsible for providing any utility and infrastructure requirements that must be coordinated with the building construction, to the project team through the Public Art Program Project Coordinator no later than May 2014.

3.0   Eligibility

This request for proposals is an equal opportunity, open to all professional artists living within a 150 km radius of Ottawa, or artist teams where the lead artist is living within the 150 km radius of Ottawa. Participants must be Canadian citizens or have permanent residence status. 

4.0   Design Principles

The design principles for the Glebe Parking Garage project will create additional parking spaces for the neighbourhood with multi-use parking for a range of vehicles and bicycles. The curved facade and landscaping details aim to create a more inviting space for residents and visitors alike. The planned parkettes at each end of the building aim to soften the transition from the commercial area of Bank Street, to the residential areas along Second and Third Avenues.

5.0   Public Art Project Vision

Public art for the Glebe Parking Garage will integrate visually significant elements that provide identity and distinctive character to the building. Artists may choose to respond to this request for proposals with a thematic or conceptual focus of a ‘mobility hub’, reflecting the proposed shared parking arrangements. The artwork will celebrate public art as practiced on the highest level of artistic excellence and complement the building design. Artists are encouraged to explore public art solutions with greater profile and visual impact, and in addition, artists may wish to consider the integration of subtle art elements incorporated into the design plan.

6.0   Design Requirements for the Public Art Project

The City of Ottawa is seeking an artist or artist team to create a work of art to be integrated into the Glebe Parking Garage Project that draws on the Public Art Project Vision.

Completed works of art shall:

  • Demonstrate contemporary artistic excellence
  • Inspire, intrigue and engage
  • Be safe for the public
  • Be made of highly permanent materials suitable for an outdoor environment, and requiring minimal maintenance
  • Comply with building and electrical, codes traffic regulation, and bylaws, etc.

7.0   Sites

Several potential sites for public art at the Glebe Parking Garage have been identified:

  • Glazed stairwells at either end of the building
  • Parkettes at either end of the building, currently proposed as having an armour stone boundary to shield vehicle lights from residential properties
  • Ceiling voids at either end of the building (approximate height is 3.5m)
  • Structural walls are available for works that are surface or sculpturally applied

Glebe Parking Garage drawings [PDF 410 KB]

*Artists are welcome to propose alternative sites.

8.0   Budget

The total budget for this commission is $43,000 plus HST.  The commission budget must include all costs required to design, fabricate and install the project. The Glebe Parking Garage project will supply and install the foundations for the artwork, within reason subject to negotiation with the project team, and providing the foundations can be installed during the construction time period.  

9.0   Proposal Honorarium

Selected finalists (maximum five) will be asked to submit detailed proposals.  An honorarium of $500 plus HST will be paid to the finalists for their detailed designs during the second phase of this competition.

10.0    Selection Criteria

Submissions should demonstrate the ability to address the Public Art Project Vision and the Design Requirements. All submissions will be evaluated based on previous work (digital images), experience and qualifications (résumé), and creativity of approach (written concept).

Please Note:

  • The City of Ottawa reserves the right to reject any or all applications, or part thereof, or to terminate or re-advertise any project.
  • The Art Selection Committee may adjust the commission budget and proposal honorarium at their discretion.

11.0   Submission Requirements

A complete submission package must include the support material listed below. Support material must be saved on CD or DVD in a recognized file format. All other file formats will not be accepted. Paper documents are not required.

Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request. If you are unable to view documents or require alternative file formats, please contact us.

A complete submission package must include the following: 

1.      Proposal Outline

Submit an outline of the proposed concept, one page maximum, in a DOC, DOCX or PDF file format. Indicate your approach to art making stating how you will interpret the commission, how you will meet the design requirements, and what materials and processes you would consider for the fabrication of the artwork with which you have experience.

1a.    Proposal Synopsis

As an introductory statement at the top of the Proposal Outline please include a concise synopsis of your concept in no more than 80 words. Your synopsis will be referred to during deliberations as a quick reference for the Selection Committee. Your synopsis should include the most pertinent, factual and memorable information concerning your proposal and must include the following: conceptual underpinning, proposed material, approximate scale.

2.      Current Résumé

Submit a current résumé, three pages maximum, focusing on experience directly relevant to the project in a DOC, DOCX or PDF file format. Resumes must include your name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.If multiple artists are involved, include each artist’s résumé and indicate one contact person.

3.     Samples of your Work

Submit a maximum of 10 files of images and or video/new media samples of previous work following the instructions listed below. Artist teams are also to submit a maximum of 10 files. Applicants, who wish to include a combination of digital images and video/new media content, are to submit no more than 10 files total on one CD or DVD. For each minute of video/new media subtract one digital image. 


Digital Images must be:

      • PC compatible JPG, TIFF, or BMP format
      • 72 dpi, no larger than 2 MB each
      • RGB format with a maximum of 1240 pixels (length or width)
      • Named with the number corresponding to the Image/ Media List followed by title and date of completion, separating each with an underscore, arranged with the most recent images first

Example: 01_ Title_Date.jpg

      • We will not accept materials that require software, plug-ins, extensions or other executables that need to be downloaded or installed
      • We will not accept images that are imbedded in any type of presentation, such as PowerPoint, websites or Word


Video submissions must be:

      • PC compatible
      • Viewable in Windows Media Player or QuickTime
      • Named with the number corresponding to the Image/Media List number followed by title and date of completion, separating each with an underscore

Example: 01_ Title_Date.avi

      • We will not accept materials that require specialized software, plug-ins, extensions or other executables that need to be downloaded or installed

4.     Image/Media List

Submit an Image/Media List with detailed information on samples of previous work in a DOC, DOCX or PDF file format. The Image/Media List must contain title, date, medium, dimensions, art budget and location of for each image. Arrange images beginning with the most recent artwork first.  

5.     OPTIONAL : Sketch of proposed artwork

If you wish you may submit a maximum of one sketch, drawing, or computer illustration of the proposed artwork in DOC, DOCX, PDF, JPG, TIFF, or BMP file format.


      • CDs and DVDs will not be returned. Please retain a copy for your records
      • The City of Ottawa will not be responsible for any loss or damage to any materials

12.0   Deadline and Notification 

Submissions must be received by hand or mail no later than Monday December 2, 4:00 p.m. This is not a postmarked deadline. Fax or e-mail submissions will not be accepted. Late or incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. All participants will be notified of the results of the initial stage of the selection process by email. 

13.0   Copyright/ Moral rights

Copyright including any and all designs, drawings, maquettes and final works of art shall remain the property of the artist. Moral rights remain with the artist. The City of Ottawa will seek permission to reproduce the images for non-profit publicity purposes.

14.0   Confidentiality of Information

Administrators and Art Selection Committee Members are required to treat both the content of applications and the deliberations of the committee as confidential. To protect confidentiality, committee members turn in their copies of application materials for shredding at the end of the assessment meeting.

Information provided by the applicant may be available to City of Ottawa staff, committees, and members of the jury. Personal information contained therein shall be dealt with on a confidential basis pursuant to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection Privacy Act.

15.0   Information Meeting for Artists

An information meeting will be held at 172 Guigues Avenue, Routhier Community Centre in the first floor Lounge on Thursday November 7 from 5:30 to 6:30 pm to provide potential applicants with the particulars of the site and the project. Artists selected for the second stage will be invited to attend a site information session. Members of the project design team will be in attendance to present design drawings and respond to inquiries.

Mail or Deliver Applications to:

Glebe Parking Garage – Public Art Proposal
c/o Public Art Program, City of Ottawa
172 Guigues Avenue, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 5H9

16.0   Inquiries

Send inquiries to: or call 613-244-4429

APPENDIX 1: Resource Material

Open House event

The City of Ottawa is not responsible for content found in the following resources:

Ottawa Neighbourhood Study

Glebe Community Association