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Calls and Opportunities: Public Art Program

About the Public Art Program

35th anniversary logos in a banner formation

2020 marks the 35th anniversary of the City of Ottawa Public Art Program, one of the first of its kind in Canada!

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program collects, commissions and exhibits artwork to create conversations and make art accessible to everyone. Art is integrated into our daily lives through the City of Ottawa Art Collection,  public art commissions, and exhibitions at Karsh-Masson Gallery, City Hall Art Gallery and Corridor 45|75.

One of the first acquisitions

5 images side by side of a purple landscape with orange mountains in background.

Joyce Devlin, Along the Way (details), 1978, silkscreen, City of Ottawa Art Collection, 1985-0015

One of the first public art commissions

two images side by side showing different views of this suspended sculpture of clouds with people hanging off of it.

Victor Tolgesy, McClintock's Dream (details), 1978, papier-maché, acrylic, City of Ottawa Art Collection, 1978-0001

One of the first City of Ottawa Art Collection exhibits

Three sepia toned images of three different artworks from this exhibition placed side by side: a collage, a photograph of stairs, a painting of a building at Lansdowne.

A Sense of Place: Ottawa viewed through artists' eyes
City of Ottawa Art Collection (from left to right):
Kathy Gillis, Sara's Concern (details), 1980, collage and acrylic on canvas and oil on panel, 1986-0018
Richard Nigro, King Edward Variety (details), 1981, cibachrome photograph on paper, 1985-0026.05
Deborah Cosman, Cattle Castle (details), 1984, watercolour on paper, 1985-0012

One of the first of its kind in Canada, the Public Art Program has been committed to promoting and increasing awareness and appreciation of the visual arts since 1985. The Program enhances Ottawa's cultural identity by incorporating contemporary art by professional artists into city planning and development, fostering a sense of place and of who we are.

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By signing up for our newsletter, you will receive calls and announcements regarding the City of Ottawa Art Collection, public art commissions, and exhibitions at Karsh-Masson Gallery, City Hall Art Gallery and Corridor 45|75 all in one place.

Request for Qualifications - Rideau Street and William Street renewal

Rendering of Rideau Street and William Street Renewal

Rendering of Rideau Street and William Street Renewal

Closing date: Monday, December 14, 2020, noon, Eastern Standard Time
Total budget: $65,000 plus Harmonized Sales Tax
Contact: Hannah Kingscote, Public Art Officer
613-244-4429
publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

1. Introduction

1.1 Public Art Program background

Established in 1985, as one of the first in Canada, 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. A renewed Public Art Policy incorporates the strengths of past decades in Ottawa and reaffirms the objectives of commissioning professional artists to create original works of art for integration into public places. The Public Art Policy mandates one percent of funds from municipal development are mandated for public art in order to enhance public spaces and make art accessible to everyone.

1.2 Public Art Opportunity

The City of Ottawa invites professional artists or artist teams to submit qualifications for the opportunity to design, fabricate and install a permanent, site-specific linear artwork at three new OC Transpo bus transit shelters on Rideau Street and William Street. This two-stage competition in held in accordance with the Public Art Policy. This Request for Qualifications document provides information, details and submission requirements relating to the Rideau Street and William Street renewal project and to this public art competition.

1.3 Acknowledgement - Honouring the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation, First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples

Ottawa is built on unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation. The people of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation have lived on this territory for millennia. Their culture and presence have nurtured and continue to nurture this land. The City of Ottawa would like to honour the people and land of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation. The City of Ottawa would also like to honour all First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, their elders, their knowledge keepers, both young and old, their ancestors and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.

1.4 Eligibility

This request for qualifications is an equal opportunity, open to local, national and international professional artists and artist teams with experience in creating permanent public art and working with multidisciplinary teams. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activities that are inclusive of Ottawa's diverse communities including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. Applications from First Nations, Inuit and Métis are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages (English and French) as having the same rights, status and privileges.

2. Rideau Street and William Street renewal project - background

2.1 Rideau Street and William Street Renewal – Project Vision

The City of Ottawa is undertaking the detailed design and construction of a renewed Rideau Street, from Sussex Drive to Dalhousie Street. This project involves the reconstruction of the streetscape elements and transportation components within the Rideau Street right of way, and also the renewal of a portion of William Street, between George Street and Rideau Street.

The design for the renewed corridor will increase pedestrian space to serve the needs of the LRT Confederation Line at Rideau Station, in addition to renewing the street surface infrastructure. The renewal work aims to create an inviting and accessible place whilst acknowledging Rideau Street as an important public space within downtown Ottawa. The project will add street greening to the space, create a bike friendly infrastructure and provide a balance of functionality and aesthetics.

2.2 Rideau Street and William Street Renewal – Project Schedule

*Project schedule and milestones subject to change

Project Milestone Planned Completion
General Contractor services contract awarded Winter 2020
Construction season Spring 2020 to end of year 2020

3. Public Art opportunity

3.1 Public Art Vision

The public art installations Rideau Street and William Street will integrate visually significant elements that provide identity and distinctive character to the site. The linear artworks will artistically enhance the renewed streetscape, and should also serve a purpose to deter people from leaning against the exterior rear shelter walls. The artworks should reflect the streetscaping strategy for Rideau Street and William Street which acknowledges the historic nature of the corridor, in addition to incorporating contemporary elements to ensure a timeless design.

The artwork will enhance the site by creating an environment that is aesthetically interesting and engaging for the community, pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The artworks should be conceptually and visually innovative, and reflect a thorough and sensitive understanding of place, context and setting. Applicants should be mindful of the daily use of the Rideau Street spaces and consider how artworks can contribute to an inviting civic realm in the heart of the nation’s capital.  

3.2 Public Art Design Requirements

Completed works of art shall:

  • Demonstrate contemporary artistic excellence
  • Be conceptually timeless and enduring
  • Show sensitivity to the surrounding community and address site characteristics
  • Complementing the style, scale and medium of the renewed streetscape, and of the new transit shelter design
  • Be engaging to pedestrians and transit riders
  • Be safe for the public and maintain a clear view through the back of the shelter (CPTED principles)
  • Be made of highly permanent materials that are suitable to the environment and require minimal maintenance
  • Comply with all building and electrical codes and bylaws

3.3 Public Art sites and descriptions

shows the location of the three new transit shelters, with one shelter on the north side of Rideau Street, and two shelters on the south side of Rideau Street.

The plan above shows the location of the three new transit shelters, with one shelter on the north side of Rideau Street, and two shelters on the south side of Rideau Street.

Three new OC Transpo transit shelters have been identified for artwork installations, and applicants are invited to consider proposing permanent, site-specific linear artworks for all three spaces when applying to this opportunity.

Proposed artwork should span the full length of the exterior rear wall of each shelter. The artwork should be free standing, however non-load bearing lateral bracing for the artwork may be available from the shelter columns. Linear artworks should be a maximum depth of 12 inches from the rear glazing of the transit shelter, so as not to impede pedestrian flow along the sidewalk.

The foundation concrete pad is a 350 mm depth at the rear of the shelter.

North shelter: rendering and technical dimensions

Rideau Street renewal - North Side shelter: rendering and technical dimensions

North front elevation

North Side shelter top view: rendering and technical dimensions

North top view

North shelter left: rendering and technical dimensions

North left elevation

Yellow outline shows the artwork space at the rear of the exterior glazed wall.

South east shelter: rendering and technical dimensions

Rideau Street renewal - South east shelter front: rendering and technical dimensions

South east front elevation

Rideau Street renewal - South east shelter top: rendering and technical dimensions

South east top view

Rideau Street renewal - South east shelter left view: rendering and technical dimensions

South east shelter left elevation

Yellow outline shows the artwork space at the rear of the exterior glazed wall.

South west shelter: rendering and technical dimensions

South west shelter front: rendering and technical dimensions

South west front elevation

Rideau Street renewal - South west shelter top: rendering and technical dimensions

South west top view

Rideau Street renewal - South west shelter left view: rendering and technical dimensions

South west left elevation

Yellow outline shows the artwork space at the rear of the exterior glazed wall.

3.4 Public Art Budget

The total budget for this commission is $65,000 in Canadian Dollars plus Harmonized Sales Tax. This public art budget includes all costs to consult, collaborate, design, fabricate, store, transport and install the public art, plus the cost of engineering, attachments and anchoring to the concrete slab. This should also include the Artist’s or Artist’s team time, travel and attendance at meetings and events.

4. Request for Qualifications Process

4.1 Process

This public art commission will be awarded following a two-stage, arm's length, competitive process as follows:

Request for Qualifications: Stage I

Qualifications will be evaluated by a Peer Assessment Committee consisting of artists with public art experience, a community representative and representatives from the Rideau Street and William Street Renewal project. This committee will review and evaluate submissions from artists in accordance with the Evaluation Criteria and will shortlist a maximum of four artists to advance to Stage II.

Request for Proposals: Stage II

Shortlisted artists will meet with the Project Team for an Information Session remotely, and will be given Terms of Reference for preparing proposals, drawings and budgets for Stage II of the competition. Shortlisted artists will be paid an honorarium of $500 plus Harmonized Sales Tax for the preparation of a presentation to the Peer Assessment Committee.

A technical review of proposals will be requested prior to the final submission date. Proposals will be reviewed by the project team, which will provide feedback on the technical and logistical feasibility of the proposed artwork. Draft proposals will not be shared with the voting members of the Peer Assessment Committee. Comments will be shared with shortlisted artists in order to be incorporated into final proposals.

At a date following the submission of Stage II documentation, artists will meet individually with the Peer Assessment Committee for a 30 minute interview to present their proposals and answer questions. It is expected that a finalist will be determined by the peer assessment committee in December 2020. Shortlisted artists should ensure they have access to a high-speed internet connection to enable this interview to be conducted virtually.

4.2 Schedule (Dates subject to change)

Competition Milestone Planned Completion
Request for Qualifications issued 5 November 2020
Deadline for Submissions – Request for Qualifications closing date 14 December 2020
Peer Assessment Committee Stage 1 7 January 2021
Shortlisted Artists notified and issued with Terms of Reference 8 January 2021
Information meeting for Shortlisted Artists 13 January 2021
Deadline for draft submissions 26 February 2021
Technical review 1 to 5 March 2021
Deadline for final submissions 29 March 2021
Online survey 9 to 19 April 2021
Peer Assessment Committee Stage 2: Presentations and Interviews 25 April 2021
Meeting with commissioned artist or artist team and Project Team Late April, early May 2021
Fabrication and installation May to Fall 2021
Project completion 2021

4.3 Inquiries

Inquiries regarding this  Request for Qualifications must be directed to Hannah Kingscote, Public Art Officer by email at publicartprogram@ottawa.ca or phone 613-244-4429

5. Request for Qualifications Requirements and Evaluation

5.1 Requirements

Applicants are required to address the following requirements in sufficient depth in their submissions. The onus is on the applicants to demonstrate that it meets the requirements specified in this Request for Qualifications.

  • Experience working on public art projects integrated within larger-scale construction projects preferred
  • Innovation and problem solving
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills
  • Knowledge and ability to interpret architectural drawings
  • Experienced working with stakeholders or others involved in the projects as required
  • Availability to deliver the project for the duration as set out in the project schedule 

5.2 Evaluation Criteria

All submissions will be evaluated based on the artist’s experience and qualifications (resumé), previous artwork (digital images) and ability to address the public art vision (expression of interest) in relation to this Call to Artists.

Please note: The City of Ottawa reserves the right to reject any or all submissions, or any part thereof, or to terminate or re-advertise the project. The decision of the peer assessment committee is final.

6. Submission requirements

Your submission must include all 4 sections listed below. Accessible formats and communication supports are available on request.

  • Support material may be written in English or French
  • Written documents must be submitted as a single PDF file
  • Submissions must be received by the deadline of Monday, December 14, 2020, noon Eastern Standard Time
  • New! Please send all support material electronically using our online application form. Have your content ready for inputting. The form does not save your information if you leave or refresh the page.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

The Public Art Program will send you a confirmation email when your application has been received and processed. If you do not receive an email from the Public Art Program two weeks after your submission, please contact us for confirmation.

All participants will be notified of the results of the selection process by email.

A complete submission must include all requirements as listed below:

6.1 Resumé and References

Submit a current resumé of your art training, public exhibitions and commissions of your artwork and projects and any other experience directly relevant to this opportunity on a maximum of three pages. Include your name, mailing address, telephone number and email address. If you are applying as a team, submit a separate resumé for each team member and clearly identify the lead contact for this project.

In addition, submit contact information for two professional references who can verify qualification and projects demonstrated in the submission. References will be called for shortlisted artists only for verification purposes. Please ensure these references are aware that they may be contacted by the City of Ottawa as part of the process for this Request for Qualifications.

6.2 Sample Projects

Submit a maximum of two written pages detailing information on relevant project experience, in up to three projects of similar scope and size, undertaken or completed in the past ten years. Each project example should demonstrate experience in related public art projects. Include the following information for each project: project title, team members, client name and location, detailed budget, duration, project overview, role on team, methodology and any other unique or relevant information. Images may be included but not required.

6.3 Expression of interest

Submit a maximum of two written pages explaining why you are interested in this opportunity.

Examples:

  • What aspects of this opportunity inspires and excites you?
  • What connects you and/or your work to the public art vision for this project?
  • What perspective / approach will you bring to the project?
  • If you are applying as an artist team, tell us about your past collaborations and how you would work together on this project.

*Please do not include proposal information or sketches of a proposed concept. These will not be accepted at this stage as this Call to Artists is a Request for Qualifications not a Request for Proposals.

6.4 Samples of previous artwork and detailed list

Submit a maximum of ten files in a combination of digital images and/or video/new media submission of previous artwork. An image file may include a collage of multiple images of the same project, in order to show details or alternate views. Artist teams are also to submit a maximum of ten files. If additional files are included, only the first ten files in the numerical sequence will be considered.

In addition, submit a list, maximum two written pages, with detailed information on the submitted digital images of previous artwork, using the name assigned to the file as per the examples below. Include title, date, medium, dimensions, budget, location, fabrication and installation process and other pertinent information of submitted samples of previous artworks.

Digital image file specifications:

  • JPG format
  • Maximum of 1,240 pixels (along the longest side)
  • Digital image files should be named with a number, followed by the title, date, medium, metric dimensions and cost, each separated by an underscore.

An example of this naming convention is as follows:

  • 01_Title_date_medium_ height x width x depth cm_ $cost.jpg
  • 02_Untitled_2014_LED and resin_1 x 4.5 x 7 m_$180,000.jpg

Video and New Media file specifications:

  • PC compatible
  • Viewable in Windows Media Player or QuickTime
  • Named using the same naming convention as above
  • Applicants are responsible to test their submission materials to ensure readability
  • Each minute of video/new media content counts as one digital image

Time-based media files must be:

  • Shared using a web link to each video or audio file. If the web link does not work, the content will not be viewed.
  • Cued to the excerpt you want presented to the committee (or provide detailed cue instructions in the description field).

Materials that require specialized software, plug-ins, extensions or other executables that need to be downloaded or installed, or materials that are embedded in any type of presentation, such as websites or Word or PowerPoint documents, will not be accepted.

7. Request for Qualifications Conditions

7.1 City Rights

The City of Ottawa reserves the right to reject any or all submissions, or any part thereof, or to terminate or re-advertise the Call to Artists. The decision of the Peer Assessment Committee is final.

7.2 Disclosure of Information

Applicants shall not issue a news release or other public announcement pertaining to details of the Request for Qualifications, their Request for Qualifications Submission, or the selection process, without the prior written approval of the City of Ottawa.

7.3 Copyright and moral rights

Copyright, including any and all designs, drawings and final works of art, shall remain the property of the Artist. Moral rights remain with the Artist.

7.4 Confidentiality of Information

City of Ottawa employees and Peer Assessment Committee members are required to treat both the content of submissions and the deliberations of the committee as confidential.

Information provided by the applicant may be available to City of Ottawa employees and members of the peer assessment committee. Personal Information in your submission is collected under the authority of the City Council approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your submission and administering the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Program.

8. Definitions

Artist Supply Agreement

The contract between the City of Ottawa and the selected Artist for the public art opportunity.

Peer Assessment Committee

A group of individuals with expertise in diverse parts of the arts sector, including disciplinary knowledge and other expertise. Such committees review and assess applications as part of the public art procurement process.

Professional Artist

An artist who:

  • Has specialized training in the artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions).
  • Is recognized as a professional by his or her peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition).
  • Is committed to devoting time and resources to artistic activities.
  • Has a history of public presentation or publication.

Technical Review Panel

To be composed of conservation, design, engineering and project technical experts, responsible for reviewing the selected artist(s) public art proposal regarding feasibility, maintenance, conservation and other technical considerations.

Calls and opportunities: O-Train Public Art

Request for proposals: Reflection/Inflection Arts Response Project

Release Date: October 1, 2020
Deadline for Submissions: November 30, 2020 - 4 pm Eastern Standard Time
Budget: $700,000 Canadian Dollars plus Harmonized Sales Tax
Project Contact: Katherine Ingrey, Public Art Officer, Katherine.Ingrey@ottawa.ca

Expression of Interest – Indigenous Curator

Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility  

Aerial photo of the site of the new Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility

Image: Aerial photo of the site of the new Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility.

This competition is now closed. Learn More

The City of Ottawa is seeking an Indigenous Curator or team of curators to develop and curate an Indigenous Art Program for the new Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility. This two-stage competition is held in accordance with the Public Art Policy. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply.1. Acknowledgement – Honouring the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation, First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples

Ottawa is built on unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation. The people of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation have lived on this territory for millennia. Their culture and presence have nurtured and continue to nurture this land. The City of Ottawa would like to honour the people and land of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation. The City of Ottawa would also like to honour all First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, their elders, their knowledge keepers, both young and old, their ancestors and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.

2. Project Background: Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility

The City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Public Library (OPL), in partnership with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) are building a new 216,000 square foot joint facility at 555 Albert Street that is anticipated to receive an average of 5,000 visitors a day. The OPL-LAC Joint Facility will contribute to the ongoing transformation of Canada’s capital into a world-class city through the creation of a prestigious modern facility that brings together and showcases a new Ottawa Public Library’s Central Library with Library and Archives Canada’s public services.

The facility will contain 21 functional components made up of OPL-only spaces, LAC-only spaces, and shared spaces. The shared spaces will enhance the complementary but unique nature of OPL and LAC services, and will include:

  • Exterior Spaces – a shared outdoor space for programs and activities, acting as an interface between the building and the public realm;
  • A Main Entrance and Town Square – a shared entrance space with access to OPL and LAC spaces, and meeting spaces, featuring a café and Gift Shop;
  • Public Forum and Meeting Spaces – large multipurpose spaces for programming and events for the community, as well as both OPL and LAC;
  • An Exhibition Gallery – museum-quality spaces featuring exhibitions of rare and unique LAC collections, travelling exhibitions; and OPL and City of Ottawa community exhibitions and;
  • A Genealogy Centre – a one-of-a-kind research space offering OPL and LAC services and collections.

The OPL-LAC Joint Facility, located at 555 Albert Street, will be near residential and mixed-use areas, the Pimisi light rail station, and green spaces. The site offers excellent sightlines and connectivity to the surrounding cityscape and natural environment, with views of the historic LeBreton Flats, aqueduct and Fleet Street pumping station, the Ottawa River, Gatineau Hills and the downtown Ottawa skyline. The OPL-LAC Joint Facility will also be located in close proximity to Chaudière Falls, a traditional sacred site for the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation and other First Nations. The site and its surrounding area and views will be important considerations for both architectural design and public art development. The facility will be positioned to maximize the site’s historic views and enhanced topography of the escarpment.

3. OPL-LAC Joint Facility Project Schedule
* Project schedule and milestones subject to change

Project Milestone Planned Completion
Architect Design contract award and commencement December 2018
Commencement of the Design Process Engagement and Consultation (DPEC) Plan January 2019
Facility design development 2019-2020
Design work completed – construction drawings tender ready Fall 2020
General Contractor services contract awarded 2021
Construction commencement 2021
Substantial Performance of construction 2024
Total completion of construction (contract) 2024
Building in service 2024
Total completion of construction (clearing contract deficiencies) 2025
LEED™ Certification 2025

4. Indigenous Art Program Opportunity

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program is seeking an experienced and highly motivated Indigenous curator or team of curators to develop and curate an Indigenous Art Program for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility. The curator will work collaboratively with the OPL-LAC Joint Facility Project Team and Indigenous stakeholders to determine a conceptual framework for Indigenous art integrations at the facility. In addition, the Indigenous Curator will work with the Architect and the Artist on Design Team for a coordinated approach to art integration at the facility. The curator must bring a high level of conceptual ability and innovation to the curation process, have a strong network of artists and art practitioners and be well versed in local and national Indigenous art practices and cultural protocols.

5. Project Vision

The Indigenous Art Program for the OPL-LAC joint facility will honour, support and showcase Indigenous art and cultures by integrating artwork by local, regional and national Indigenous artists (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) throughout the facility and/or the landscape. Including Indigenous art in and around the facility will create a welcoming and inclusive space that will represent strong and forward-thinking artists. The development and curation of the Indigenous Art Program for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility should be informed by research, best practices and engagement with Indigenous stakeholders and be planned in coordination with the Architectural Design Team. In addition, the development and curation of the Indigenous Art Program will be inclusive, be a balanced representation of multiple indigenous communities, and be sensitive to feedback from stakeholder engagement. Artists and artwork selected for the Indigenous Art Program may be procured through an open, invitational or curatorial selection process working with the Indigenous Art Advisory Committee. Multiple art opportunities in all mediums are encouraged, with an approximate overall art budget of $400,000.

6. Indigenous Curator Scope of Work

  • Review architectural and landscape plans to identity potential locations for art installations at the facility in coordination with the Architectural Design Team and the Artist on the Design Team;
  • Consult and engage with Indigenous stakeholders including members of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation, local/national Indigenous stakeholders in coordination with the Architect’s Design Process Engagement and Consultation (DPEC) Plan;
  • Attend and/or facilitate, meetings with OPL-LAC Project Team and stakeholders as required;
  • Develop an innovative curatorial approach to Indigenous art integration at the facility;
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy for the Indigenous Art Program that identifies objectives, sites, approaches and budgets for individual art opportunities;
  • Working with the Public Art Program, lead the Indigenous art procurement process including but not limited to;
  • Recommend procurement methods (open, invitational, curatorial) for specific opportunities;
  • Write Calls to Artists and solicit artists participation in selection process;
  • Plan and coordinate orientation workshop shortlisted artists as required;
  • Attend various Indigenous Art Program Advisory Committee meetings as a voting member, to curate and select artists;
  • Produce written progress reports and final report;
  • Deliver a public presentation for the community at large on the process and outcome of the Indigenous Art Program.

7. Schedule

*Schedule is subject to change
Deadline for Applications: Monday, September 9, 2019, noon E.D.T
Finalist Interviews: Thursday September 26 (in person or remotely)
Curator contracted: October 2019
Indigenous Art Program development: October 2019 – April 2020
Indigenous Art Procurement Initiated: May 2020

8. Budget

The fee for this opportunity is $50,000 in Canadian dollars plus HST and is inclusive of all costs associated with the development and curation of the Indigenous Art Program including attending meetings, consultation, travel, research, fees, etc.

9. Selection Process

The successful proponent will be selected for this opportunity through an open call process coupled with finalists’ interviews. An assessment committee comprised of City staff and professional external or internal consultants will review and evaluate the candidates according to the selection criteria and select up to five applicants for interviews.

Finalists will be invited to discuss their experience, past curatorial projects, and approaches as well as answer questions relating to working on this type of project.

The City of Ottawa reserves the right to reject any or all submissions, or any part thereof, or to terminate or re-advertise the project.

9.1 Selection Criteria

Indigenous Curators who meet the following criteria may be considered for an interview:

  • An established practice in Indigenous art curation;
  • Demonstrated previous experience developing and curating Indigenous art exhibitions, and/or public art;
  • Strong network of Indigenous artists;
  • Well versed in local and national Indigenous art practices and cultural protocols;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills;
  • A demonstrated understanding of the project and its context;
  • Creative and inclusive curation and consultation methodology.

11. Confidentiality of information

City of Ottawa employees and peer assessment committee members are required to treat both the content of submissions and the deliberations of the committee as confidential. To protect confidentiality, committee members turn in their copies of proposal materials for shredding at the end of the assessment meeting.

Information provided by the applicant may be available to City of Ottawa employees and members of the peer assessment committee. Personal Information in your submission is collected under the authority of the City Council approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your submission and administering the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Program.

13. Definitions

Artist on Design Team, a separate but coordinated art project for the OPL-LAC Facility. An Artist, embedded as a contributing member of the Design Team, to integrate public art concepts early in the design.

Design Team, Architecture and/or Landscape Team, forming part of OPL-LAC Joint Facility Project. This Team is responsible for the development of the joint facility design, architecture and related landscape elements.

Design Process Engagement and Consultation (DPEC) Plan, prepared by the Architect, outlines a public engagement plan for the entirety of the project that is flexible and allows for responsiveness to the information and ideas received by various stakeholders.

Indigenous Art Advisory Committee, a committee composed of the Indigenous Curator, additional art professionals, community representatives and project representatives responsible for the arms-length art procurement process and for providing high-level guidance to the Indigenous Art Program as required.

Call for proposals: 2021 exhibitions

Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery

This competition is now closed. The Call for proposals: 2022 exhibitions at Karsh-Masson Gallery‎ and City Hall Art Gallery will be announced in March 2021.

Once a year, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program invites professional artists and curators to propose an exhibition. Proposals are reviewed by a peer assessment committee and selected exhibitions are presented at Karsh-Masson Gallery or City Hall Art Gallery the following year.

Due to the temporary postponement of the current exhibition season, successful applicants might experience scheduling delays. 

About Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery

Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery are located on the main level at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West. Both galleries are open daily from 9 am to 8 pm and are wheelchair accessible. Admission is free.

Exhibitions at Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery feature the work of professional artists working in all media and include solo, group and curated exhibitions, exhibitions from the diplomatic sector, and circulating exhibitions from other institutions. Both galleries present a combined total of approximately 10 exhibitions annually, each of which lasts approximately eight weeks. Annual programming consists of artist talks and tours and an exhibition featuring the City of Ottawa Art Collection. An exhibition related to the Karsh Award is presented every two years at Karsh-Masson Gallery and the next one will occur in 2022. Although City Hall has 24/7 security, gallery staff are not onsite daily therefore exhibitions must be self-sufficient and cannot require regular maintenance.

A public gallery is a forum for the exploration of diverse ideas. The City of Ottawa exhibits artwork in all media that are of interest and importance to the community, that foster a sense of who we are, and that reflect current artistic practices. These exhibitions are presented in the public domain allowing for an appreciation, understanding and interpretation of our past and present through gallery programming.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse community, including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. The City of Ottawa is committed to supporting cultural activities that respond to the Calls to Action put forward in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Applications from First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists and curators are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Floor Plans

Eligibility

  • This call for proposals is open to professional artists and curators working in all media. A professional artist is someone who has specialized training in his or her artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions), who is recognized by his or her peers as such, is committed to his or her artistic activity, and has a history of public presentation.
  • National and international applicants are eligible, however priority is given to applicants who live, or have lived, within a 150 km radius of Ottawa or who have a local connection, such as participating in the local arts community. Successful applicants will be responsible for all costs related to shipping artwork to and from the gallery, travel and accommodation.
  • Applicants who have exhibited at Karsh-Masson Gallery or City Hall Art Gallery within the last two consecutive years are not eligible to apply.

Only one proposal per applicant will be considered. City of Ottawa employees or elected representatives are not eligible to apply.

Artworks with electrical components:

  • Artworks that require electricity must be approved by an accredited certification or evaluation agency prior to being installed at Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery. The object(s) must have an official certification mark or label indicating that the product has been independently assessed for safety. A list of recognized certification marks and labels is available.
  • For more information, visit the Electrical Safety Authority or call 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233).
  • Any costs associated with meeting the certification requirement are the sole responsibility of the artist.
  • Applicants must provide documentation that their artwork(s) meets ESA standards (i.e. certification mark) in their proposal.

Honorarium

  • Exhibiting artists will be paid an exhibition fee in accordance with the 2021 CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule, Section 1 (Exhibition and Screening Royalty Schedule, Institutional Category I). Curators will receive a professional fee.
  • The exhibition fee and the curatorial fee include all professional services related to the preparation, installation, consultation, writing tasks, and production of artwork(s) associated with the exhibition.
  • Each exhibition is allotted one presentation fee in accordance with the 2021 CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule, Section 4 (C.2.0 – Presentation and Consultation fees, Flat rate per half day, under 4 hours).
  • The City of Ottawa Public Art Program does not cover expenses related to travel, accommodation, per diems and the transportation of artwork(s).
  • Complex installations of any kind requiring special equipment or specific support beyond the City of Ottawa Public Art Program’s budget are the sole responsibility of the artist.

Assessment criteria and process

All eligible applications are reviewed by a peer assessment committee based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit, originality and professionalism
  • Cohesiveness of the artwork examples and the written proposal statement
  • Appropriateness and suitability of the proposal to the highly public nature of the gallery spaces
  • Technical and physical feasibility

Peer assessment committee members first review eligible applications individually then meet to review them together. The composition of each committee aims to balance representation of artistic specialization, practice, style, and philosophy, as well as fair representation of official languages, gender, geographic areas and culture-specific communities. Peer assessment committee members are chosen based on their knowledge and experience, fair and objective opinions, ability to articulate ideas, and ability to work in a team environment. Members of the committee change with every competition. City employees are responsible for the selection of peer assessment committee members. If you are interested in participating as a peer assessment committee member, please email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

Compliance Review

Following the peer assessment committee’s deliberations, the selected exhibitions will be announced on ottawa.ca. Members of the public are invited to bring forward, within a 30-day period, any concern that the peer assessment committee did not comply with the publicly-announced criteria and procedures of the selection process.

Contact us

Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery are operated by the City of Ottawa Public Art Program.
publicartprogram@ottawa.ca
613-244-6852

Public Art Program – newsletter sign up form
By signing up for our newsletter, you will receive calls and announcements regarding the City of Ottawa Art Collection, public art commissions, and exhibitions at Karsh-Masson Gallery, City Hall Art Gallery and Corridor 45|75 all in one place. 

Call for proposals: 2020-21 exhibitions

Corridor 45|75

This competition is now closed. 

Once a year, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program invites professional artists and curators to propose an exhibition. Proposals are reviewed by a peer assessment committee and selected exhibitions are presented at Corridor 45|75 the following year.

Due to the temporary postponement of the current exhibition season, successful applicants might experience scheduling delays. 

About Corridor 45|75

Corridor 45|75 is located at the O-Train Line 1 (Confederation Line)’s Rideau Station on the west concourse near the Rideau Centre entrance. It is open every day; opening hours coincide with the O-Train Line 1 operating hours. It is wheelchair accessible and admission is free through the Sussex Drive and Rideau Street entrance. Exhibitions at Corridor 45|75 feature the work of local professional artists working in all media and include solo, group and curated exhibitions. Corridor 45|75 presents approximately 3 exhibitions annually.

Important note about the exhibition space

Corridor 45|75 is a unique exhibition space located in a high-traffic underground light rail transit station one level above the train tracks. It is not a pristine, climate-controlled environment and is therefore best suited to artwork that is protected or framed and can be easily cleaned. The display space is protected by tempered glass doors that are locked but are not airtight. Behind the glass windows, the exhibition area is one long continuous space. Sections B to F are programmable (refer to floor plan); sections A and G feature permanent signage and cannot be used as exhibition space. Site-specific exhibitions that engage with this unique space will be the most successful. Although Rideau Station has 24/7 security, gallery staff are not onsite daily therefore exhibitions must be self-sufficient and cannot require regular maintenance. Artists are strongly encouraged to visit Corridor 45|75 and familiarize themselves with the current conditions of the space prior to applying.

A public gallery is a forum for the exploration of diverse ideas. The City of Ottawa exhibits artwork in all media that are of interest and importance to the community, that foster a sense of who we are, and that reflect current artistic practices. These exhibitions are presented in the public domain allowing for an appreciation, understanding and interpretation of our past and present through gallery programming.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse community, including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. The City of Ottawa is committed to supporting cultural activities that respond to the Calls to Action put forward in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Applications from First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists and curators are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Floor Plan

• Please contact us for an architectural drawing of Corridor 45|75

Eligibility

  • This call for proposals is open to local professional artists and curators working in all media. A professional artist is someone who has specialized training in his or her artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions), who is recognized by his or her peers as such, is committed to his or her artistic activity, and has a history of public presentation.
  • Applicants must reside within a 150 km radius of Ottawa.
  • Applicants who have exhibited at Karsh-Masson Gallery or City Hall Art Gallery within the last two consecutive years are not eligible to apply.

Only one proposal per applicant will be considered. City of Ottawa employees or elected representatives are not eligible to apply.

Artworks with electrical components:

  • Artworks that require electricity must be approved by an accredited certification or evaluation agency prior to being installed at Corridor 45|75. The object(s) must have an official certification mark or label indicating that the product has been independently assessed for safety. A list of recognized certification marks and labels is available.
  • For more information, visit the Electrical Safety Authority or call 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233).
  • Any costs associated with meeting the certification requirement are the sole responsibility of the artist.
  • Applicants must provide documentation that their artwork(s) meets ESA standards (i.e. certification mark) in their proposal.

Honorarium

  • Exhibiting artists will be paid an exhibition fee in accordance with the 2021 CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule, Section 1 (Exhibition and Screening Royalty Schedule, Institutional Category I). Curators will receive a professional fee.
  • The exhibition fee and the curatorial fee include all professional services related to the preparation, installation, consultation, writing tasks, and production of artwork(s) associated with the exhibition.
  • The City of Ottawa Public Art Program does not cover expenses related to travel, accommodation, per diems and the transportation of artwork(s).
  • Complex installations of any kind requiring special equipment or specific support beyond the City of Ottawa Public Art Program’s budget are the sole responsibility of the artist.

Assessment criteria and process

All eligible applications are reviewed by a peer assessment committee based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit, originality and professionalism
  • Cohesiveness of the artwork examples and the written proposal statement
  • How the artwork engages with the unique exhibition space
  • Appropriateness and suitability of the proposal to the highly public nature of the exhibition space
  • Technical and physical feasibility

Peer assessment committee members first review eligible applications individually then meet to review them together. The composition of each committee aims to balance representation of artistic specialization, practice, style, and philosophy, as well as fair representation of official languages, gender, geographic areas and culture-specific communities. Peer assessment committee members are chosen based on their knowledge and experience, fair and objective opinions, ability to articulate ideas, and ability to work in a team environment. Members of the committee change with every competition. City employees are responsible for the selection of peer assessment committee members. If you are interested in participating as a peer assessment committee member, please email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

Compliance Review

Following the peer assessment committee’s deliberations, the selected exhibitions will be announced on ottawa.ca. Members of the public are invited to bring forward, within a 30-day period, any concern that the peer assessment committee did not comply with the publicly-announced criteria and procedures of the selection process.

Contact us

Corridor 45|75 is operated by the City of Ottawa Public Art Program.
publicartprogram@ottawa.ca
613-244-6852

Public Art Program – newsletter sign up form

By signing up for our newsletter, you will receive calls and announcements regarding the City of Ottawa Art Collection, public art commissions, and exhibitions at Karsh-Masson Gallery, City Hall Art Gallery and Corridor 45|75 all in one place. 

Direct Purchase program

This competition is now closed. The Call for 2021 Direct Purchase applications will be announced in 2021.

Public Art Program – newsletter sign up form
By signing up for our newsletter, you will receive calls and announcements regarding the City of Ottawa Art Collection, public art commissions, and exhibitions at Karsh-Masson Gallery, City Hall Art Gallery and Corridor 45|75 all in one place. 

About Direct Purchase

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program invites professional artists and their representatives to offer existing artworks for purchase. Proposals are reviewed by a peer assessment committee and selected artworks will become part of the City of Ottawa Art Collection

Direct Purchase is a competitive program for participants to offer artwork for purchase to the City of Ottawa. More than 2,500 artworks are reviewed each year.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be a change in the Direct Purchase process this year. There will be no second stage to review artworks in person. If your artwork is selected for purchase, we will request delivery at a future date when it is safe to do so. 

All eligible applications are reviewed by a peer assessment committee based on artistic merit, regional importance, innovation, and conservation and maintenance requirements. Recommendations for purchase are made by a peer assessment committee based on available funds. The composition of each committee aims to balance representation of artistic specialization, practice, style, and philosophy, as well as fair representation of official languages, gender, geographic areas, and culture-specific communities. Peer assessment committee members are chosen based on their knowledge and experience, fair and objective opinions, ability to articulate ideas, and ability to work in a team environment. Members of the committee change for every program. City employees are responsible for the selection of peer assessment committee members. If you are interested in participating as a peer assessment committee member, please contact us.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse community, including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. On February 28, 2018, City Council approved a Reconciliation Plan in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. One of the commitments is to acquire more art from Indigenous artists into the City of Ottawa Art Collection. Applications from artists and representatives of diverse origins, First Nations, Inuit and Métis are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Personal information in your submission is collected under the authority of the City Council approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your submission and administering the City of Ottawa Public Art Program. City of Ottawa employees and peer assessment committee members are required to treat both the content of submissions and the deliberations of the committee as confidential.

Eligibility

  • Participants must be professional artists or representatives of professional artists such as a gallery or an estate
  • Participants must either be the author of the artwork or represent the author of the artwork
  • Artists must live, or have lived, within a 150 km radius of Ottawa or the artwork must have a local connection (please indicate this in your Artist Statement or Artistic Resumé)
  • Artists must have completed specialized training in their artistic field or be recognized by their peers as a professional artist
  • Artists must be committed to their artistic activity
  • Artists must have created a body of work outside of basic training

Only one submission per artist will be considered. City of Ottawa employees or elected representatives are not eligible to participate.