Image showing the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, view from Albert Street
This competition is now closed.
As part of the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility project, the Indigenous Art Program has been developed to include opportunities to celebrate Indigenous art, culture and heritage.
There are five Indigenous public art opportunities as part of the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada project:
The Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada project invites senior and mid-career Indigenous artists from across Canada to submit their request for qualifications to be considered for permanent artwork(s) installed on the exterior pillars. This public art call for artists is a two-stage selection process. Artist and artist teams are encouraged to apply as well as consult with the host Algonquin communities.
Please email your submission documents to email@example.com
Budget: $425,000 plus harmonized sales tax
Contact: Dawn Saunders Dahl, Curator - Indigenous Art, Indigenouspublicart@gmail.com
If you would prefer to speak directly to Dawn, please email to coordinate a date and time.
To request an information package for this opportunity including architectural drawings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtual information sessions
Two information sessions were held in March where Dawn Saunders-Dahl and members of the Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility Project Team shared information about the Indigenous Public Art Calls to Artists, architectural inspirations for the facility’s design, programs, services and other features of the joint facility.
Please contact Dawn Saunders Dahl, Curator- Indigenous Public Art, Indigenouspublicart@gmail.com for a copy of the presentation slides and/or recording.
Submissions from senior and mid-career Indigenous visual artists/teams will require:
- Expression of interest that includes the approach to community engagement and consultation, what connects you and your work to the project (maximum two pages)
- Artist statement (maximum one page)
- Artist curriculum vitae /resume (maximum three pages)
- 10 images of previous work and image list
1.1 Honouring the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation, Canadian First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples
Ottawa is built on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation, the Omàmiwininìwag (Algonquin peoples, in the Algonquin language). 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.
1.2 About Ottawa
The origin of the name "Ottawa" is derived from the Algonquin word adawe, meaning "to trade". The word refers to the indigenous peoples who used the river to trade, hunt, fish, camp, harvest plants, ceremonies, and for other traditional uses. The first maps made of the area started to name the major river after these peoples. Located along the Ottawa River is the capital city of Canada. Ottawa is in close proximity to Quebec and the United States border has a metropolitan population of more than 1,000,000 living in the greater Ottawa area.
1.3 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.
This request for qualifications is open to Indigenous artists or artist teams. This request for qualifications is an equal opportunity, open to Indigenous senior and mid-career artists from Canada with experience creating permanent public artworks. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply. Eligible senior and mid-career artist are recognized as:
- having specialized training in the artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions).
- a professional by artistic peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition).
- being committed to devoting time and resources to artistic activities.
- having a history of public presentation or publication.
1.5 Public Art opportunities
The City of Ottawa invites Indigenous artists or artist teams to submit a request for qualifications to design, fabricate and install a permanent artwork on the exterior pillars. We encourage applicants to consult with the local Algonquin Annishnabeg communities to develop the artwork. Please contact us if you require contact information for the local Indigenous communities. This two-stage competition is held in accordance with the Public Art Policy.
2. Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada project background
2.1 Project background and context
Located at 555 Albert Street, the facility will house exhibition and collections space, reading rooms, a creative centre, children’s area, a genealogy centre and cafe, configured around a large town hall. Diamond Schmitt Architects stated that the building’s design draws from Ottawa’s rich history and natural beauty “with a dynamic form reminiscent of the nearby Ottawa River. The stone and wood exterior reflect the adjacent escarpment and surrounding green space on the western edge of downtown. The windows, top floors and rooftop offer unparalleled views of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Hills in Quebec.” The site was chosen for its configuration, access, unobstructed sight lines and proximity to other cultural institutions. Located at the edge of Lebreton Flats, the site is linked to the surrounding environment, and to the lands of our three founding peoples. It overlooks the landscape of the Ottawa River, a vital natural system in the heart of the city.
The Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility will be a landmark destination built on the shared values and passions of the partner institutions: knowledge, history, discovery, culture, creativity, collaboration, and connections. This innovative collaboration between a public library and the national library and archives will offer an enriched experience for customers and visitors, bringing together diverse collections, providing exhibition and event spaces, and free and open access to millions of documents and the rich Canadian documentary heritage. It will be built to a minimum of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification and be accessible by light-rail and multi-use pathways for cyclists and pedestrians. Learn more.
The Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada project team have engaged community members and elders from the Algonquin Host Nations during the architectural design phase, and there is also ongoing dialogue with urban Indigenous communities as the project progresses.
2.2 Partner organizations
Ottawa Public Library: Ottawa Public Library is the largest bilingual (English/French) public library system in North America. The Ottawa Public Library extends public access to information and services through the library’s 34 branches, physical and virtual, as well as two mobile libraries and a vending machine-style lending library service. Serving close to one million Ottawa residents, Ottawa Public Library’s mission is to inspire learning, spark curiosity, and connect people.
Library and Archives Canada: As the custodian of our distant past and recent history, Library and Archives Canada is a key resource for all Canadians who wish to gain a better understanding of who they are, individually and collectively. Library and Archives Canada acquires, processes, preserves and provides access to our documentary heritage and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.
Funding for the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility public art projects is in accordance with the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Policy with one per cent of municipal development funds and an additional contribution from Library and Archives Canada.
2.3 Project vision and description
The Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility will be a landmark destination built on the shared values and passions of the partner institutions: knowledge, history, discovery, culture, creativity, collaboration, and connections.
This innovative collaboration of library and archives will offer an enriched experience for customers and clients, bringing together diverse collections, providing exhibition and event spaces, and offering free and open access to millions of documents and the rich Canadian documentary heritage.
The joint programs and services will make this a truly unique offering in Canada.
The new facility will be a gathering place where people can connect to each other, their history, the resources they seek and the discoveries they make.
It will be a modern facility that will respond to rapidly developing technology, growing customer expectations and changing demographics.
Built to a minimum of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification and accessible by light-rail and multi-use pathways for cyclists and pedestrians, the facility will be part of building a sustainable Ottawa.
3. Public Art opportunity
3.1 Curator vision for Indigenous art and programming in the facility
The Indigenous Art Program for the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility will honour, support and showcase Indigenous art created by Indigenous artists from Canada. This program will integrate public art artwork by local, regional and national Indigenous artists (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) throughout the interior and exterior of the facility. Indigenous art will be integrated into the facility to create a welcoming and inclusive space representing strong, traditional and contemporary Indigenous artists. Selected artworks will inspire future Indigenous art programs within the facility.
3.2 Design requirements
The completed works of art shall:
- Demonstrate contemporary, innovative artistic excellence
- Show sensitivity to the host nation through consultation with Algonquin community members.
- Integrate with the style and function of Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility, complementing the building architecture, style, scale, medium and integrity
- Be durable and easily maintained, be made of permanent materials that are suitable to the Ottawa environment and require minimal maintenance. Ottawa is windy and this area will be salted in the winter months.
- Be safe for the public and have no protruding obstacles that would cause injury.
The pillars located on the exterior of the facility have been identified as the artwork locations. Visitors that enter from the Pimisi transit station through the landscaped plaza will see four prominent pillars, this entrance directly leads into the Ottawa Public Library and faces considerable external light in the afternoon. There are also pillars located where visitors can access via the main entrance on the south west side of the building. This entrance directly leads into the National Archives and Library and faces considerable light in the morning. Artists are required to utilize all pillars and have the option to use all or portions of the pillar surface areas, dependant on materials and budget. The art installation opportunities include: glass or tile mosaics, low relief sculpture, wood or metal engraving. Other material options as presented by the artist will be considered. The public art opportunity is for the artwork be integrated into the exterior pillars.
Image showing the location of external pillars
Image showing the location of external pillars
The exterior structural concrete columns located at building entrances and adjacent to the second-floor Indigenous terrace. The art installations will be integrated into the cladding for these 7 columns.
Column height: various, range from 4.2 to 9.7 meters (14 to 32 feet) Column diameter: 0.9 meters (3 feet)
The total budget for this commission is $425,000 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, anchoring or foundations and reinstatement of landscaping. This should also include the artist’s or artist’s team time, travel and attendance at meetings and events.
4. Request for proposal process
4.1 Selection process
The submissions will be reviewed by a jury. Artists will be assessed on their art development, creation, as well as their community engagement, exhibition and public art experiences. Algonquin artists can submit individually, or as a team. This public art commission will be awarded following a two-stage, arms-length, competitive process as follows:
Stage I: Qualifications will be evaluated by a jury consisting of artists with public art experience, Algonquin and Indigenous community representatives and representatives from the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada project. This jury will review and evaluate submissions from artists in accordance with the evaluation criteria and will shortlist a maximum of three artists to advance to Stage II.
Stage II: Shortlisted artists will meet with the project team remotely for an information session and will be given terms of reference for preparing proposals, drawings, budgets and references for Stage II of the competition. Shortlisted artists (maximum three) will be given an honorarium of $1500 plus harmonized sales tax for the preparation of community engagement plan, draft budget and work plan.
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 virtual interview to present their proposals and answer questions. It is expected that a finalist will be determined by the peer assessment committee by December 2021.
subject to change
|Request for proposal issued.
Information sessions dates with curator and project team
|Deadline for submissions – Request for proposal closing date
||June 18, 2021
|Peer Assessment Committee #1 and shortlisted artists selected.
Meeting with project team, curator, mentor
|Deadline for final submissions
||December 2021 / January 2022
|Peer Assessment Committee #2 & winning artist(s) selected
Initial meetings with Project Team and Mentor to 2024
|January / February 2022
|Final design, fabrication and installation
||2022 to 2024
5. Evaluation and selection criteria
All applicants must have demonstrated experience in the following areas:
- Experience working on public art projects integrated within large-scale architecture or landscape projects.
- Demonstrated experience with managing and leading projects of a minimum of $300,000 Canadian dollars.
- Experience in project management as related to the creation and installation of public artwork, visual art and/or design.
- Strong written and verbal communications skills with 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.
Submissions will be evaluated based on previous artwork and projects, qualifications, artistic practice and approach to engaging with the community. Shortlisted artists will be required to submit a budget and references in the second stage.
6. Submission requirements
Your submission must include all sections listed below.
- Materials may be written in English or French
- Documents must be submitted as one PDF file
- If you are experiencing difficulties using the online application form, please contact email@example.com to discuss applying via email.
- Late or incomplete submissions will not be reviewed and mailed applications will not be accepted due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- For any application process inquires please contact Hannah Kingscote, Public Art Officer by phone 613-244-4429, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
6.1 Artist statement
Please provide your artist’s statement. This statement should outline your artistic practice, thematic trends and your creative approach to artmaking. Artist teams shall provide one artist’s statement for the entire group. Do not exceed one page.
6.2 Expression of interest
Submit a maximum of two written pages explaining why you are interested in this opportunity.
- 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 collaborations and how you would work together on this project.
- In the context of this project, describe how you would engage with host Algonquin nation and local communities and what impact collaboration with the community would have on your design.
- Artist teams shall provide one description for the entire group.
6.3 Current curriculum vitae/resume(s)
Please submit a current résumé highlighting relevant experience on projects similar to or directly related to this opportunity. Artist Teams shall provide résumés for each team member. Each résumé should not exceed three pages and should be included in this submission.
6.4 Images - technical information
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.
Examples of the naming convention:
- 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/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
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.
8. Request for proposal conditions
8.1 Disclosure of information
Applicants shall not issue a news release or other public announcement pertaining to details of the Request for proposal, their Request for proposal submission, or the selection process, without the prior written approval of the City Of Ottawa.
8.2 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.
8.3 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.
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.