Calls and Opportunities: Public Art Program

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About the Public Art Program

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 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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For inquiries or assistance, please email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca or call 613-244-6852.

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By signing up for our newsletter, you will receive calls and announcementsregarding 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: Inuit art

Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, Indigenous Public Art

As part of the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility Project, the Indigenous Art Program has been developed to include public art opportunities to celebrate local Indigenous art, culture and heritage.

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program recognizes the Inuit art community residing in Ottawa, and invites Inuit emerging, mid-career and senior artists and/or their representatives to offer existing artworks for direct purchase. Proposals are reviewed by a peer assessment committee and the Curator- Indigenous Public Art. Selected artworks will become part of the City of Ottawa Art Collection. Artwork from this diverse collection is presented at over 170 public sites across Ottawa.

Deadline: Friday, May 27, 2022, 4:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time)

Budget: $45,000 (plus Harmonized Sales Tax)

Contact: Dawn Saunders Dahl, Curator - Indigenous Public Art, Indigenouspublicart@gmail.com

If you would prefer to speak directly to Dawn, please email to coordinate a date and time.

Please email your submission documents to publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

To request an information package for this opportunity including architectural drawings, please email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

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 Indigenous visual artists will require:

  • Artist curriculum vitae/resume - maximum 3 pages
  • Artist statement - maximum one page
  • Up to 10 images of artwork available for purchase

Eligibility

  • Participants must be emerging, mid-career or senior 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.

Public Art design requirements

The completed works of art shall:

  • Demonstrate contemporary, innovative artistic excellence;
  • Be durable and easily maintained, be made of permanent materials that are suitable to the Ottawa environment and require minimal maintenance.
  • Be safe for the public and have no protruding obstacles that would cause injury.
  • Be on a free-standing base that can be easily moved.

Public Art location

Artwork will be mounted on a free-standing base to be positioned within the main floor gathering space or other interior location as appropriate. Artwork must be easily moved to accommodate programs and events.

Public Art budget

The total budget for this commission is in Canadian Dollars plus harmonized sales tax: $45,000

This should also include the artist’s or artist’s team time to deliver artworks.

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.

Direct purchase schedule (subject to change)
Competition milestones Planned completion
Direct purchase issued February 2021
Artwork delivered 2023 to 2024
Project completion 2024

Submission Requirements

  • Materials may be written in English or French
  • Documents must be submitted as one PDF file

Please email submission documents to publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

Current curriculum vitae/resume(s)

Submit a current résumé of your education, training, curatorial or consultative experience and any other experience directly relevant to this opportunity on a maximum of three pages.

Artist statement

Please provide your artist’s statement. This statement should outline your artistic practice, thematic trends and your creative approach to art-making.

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. If additional files are included, only the first ten files in the numerical sequence will be considered.

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.

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.

Our preferred application method is for applicants to send all support material electronically using our online application form. Please have your content ready for inputting as the form does not save your information if you leave or refresh the page.

Alternatively, you may send all submission materials in one email to publicartprogram@ottawa.ca with the subject line ‘OPL-LAC Public Art: Indigenous Artist Direct Application’

  • 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 or if you do not receive an email two weeks after your submission, please contact Hannah Kingscote, Public Art Officer, by email or phone 613-244-4429

(Closed) Call for proposals: 2024-25 exhibitions (Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery)

(left) Karina Kraenzle, Andrew Morrow, Cindy Stelmackowich – Stacks and Queues, City Hall Art Gallery, photo: House of Common; (right) Norman Takeuchi – Long Division, Karsh-Masson Gallery, photo: City of Ottawa

left image shows framed artwork hung on a red wallpapered wall beside small glass covered sculptures on a concrete plinth, a glass windowed wall in the background; right image shows a colorful installation of large diptych paintings hung in the space.

This competition is now closed.

Ottawa is built on un-ceded Anishinabe Algonquin territory. The peoples of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation have lived on this territory for millennia. Their culture and presence have nurtured and continue to nurture this land. The City of Ottawa honours the peoples and land of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation. The City of Ottawa honours all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.

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 5 pm (excluding holidays) and are wheelchair accessible. Admission is free. (Hours of operation are subject to change due to facility operations.)

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 8 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 2024. 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 encourages applications from individuals with lived experience and identity as a member of Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities, persons with disabilities, women and other equity-deserving groups. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Anishinabe Algonquin 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 Anishinabe Algonquin Host Nation, 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 Corridor 45|75, Karsh-Masson Gallery or City Hall Art Gallery within the last four consecutive years are not eligible to apply.

Only one proposal per applicant will be considered and the first application received by the Public Art Program will be the one that is 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 either the 2024 or the 2025 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 for an optional talk or tour in accordance with the 2024 or the 2025 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, regular monitoring 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

Support material

Read through the Call for proposals completely before beginning your online application and make sure you have all the required information ready.

  • A complete application must include the support material listed below
  • Support material may be written in English or French
  • Files must be saved in a format compatible with Windows 10
  • To format a PDF document, utilize “Save as” or “Export” from a Word or similar text-based document

Save items 2, 3 and 4 as one PDF.

1. Proposal synopsis (80 words maximum)

Summarize the proposal statement. The peer assessment committee will refer to the synopsis as a quick reference during deliberations.

2. Proposal statement (two pages or 1,000 words maximum)

  • Describe the proposed exhibition’s content and theme, and how you will situate your artwork within the gallery space. A clear understanding of both spaces is necessary for the committee to visualize your exhibition (see gallery floor plans for reference).
  • Two-person and group exhibitions must clearly outline a cohesive theme and rationale.
  • Applications will be considered for both galleries. Requests to exhibit at either gallery must be explained in the proposal statement, however not all requests are granted.
  • Due to the highly public nature of the galleries, proposed exhibitions must be as self-sufficient as possible.  
  • Outline any technical or electronic specifications of the exhibition.

3. Artistic resumé (three pages or 1,500 words maximum per artist)

If multiple artists are involved, include each artist’s resumé.

4. Image/media list (two pages maximum)

List the following information about each image/media file included in your application: artist’s name, artwork title, date, material and support, dimensions, and duration of artwork (if applicable). This list may also include additional information or a description about the individual artworks.

5. Digital image files and time-based media files

Upload ten digital image files or ten minutes total of time-based media content (or a combination of both for a total of 10 units) that support the proposal statement and follow the guidelines listed below.

  • At least half of the images/media files submitted must be artwork that will be included in your final exhibition should your application be successful.
  • Curated, two-person and group exhibitions: send ten files maximum.
  • Applicants who wish to include a combination of digital images and media files: send ten files maximum with no more than ten minutes of content total. For each minute of video/audio content, remove one digital image (i.e. send 6 JPG images and one video file that is 4 minutes long or send 6 JPGs and 2 video files that are 2 minutes long each).
  • Strict adherence to the naming convention outlined below is necessary for images to be uploaded into our database and successfully viewed during the peer assessment committee meeting. Failure to adhere to this format may render your file unusable.

Image files must be:

  • Saved as JPG at 72 dpi and no larger than 1 MB each
  • Named with the corresponding image list number, title, date, medium and dimensions, each separated by an underscore. Do not leave a space before or after the underscore. File names must not exceed 150 characters.

Format for naming image files:

01_Artwork Title_year_medium_dimensions.jpg             

Examples:

01_The Mountain_2014_graphite, acrylic and metal_96 x 106 inches.jpg
02_Untitled 3 detail_2019_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.jpg
03_Installation at Karsh-Masson Gallery_2015_mixed media_variable dimensions.jpg

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).

Support material that requires specialized software, plug-ins, extensions, or other executables that need to be downloaded or installed will not be reviewed. Applicants are responsible for testing support materials to ensure readability.

Deadline and notification

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

The Public Art Program will send applicants 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.

Applicants will be notified of the peer assessment committee’s decisions by email within three months of the deadline date.

Results are final. Due to the volume of applications received for this competition, artistic feedback will not be provided. If your application is not successful, you are encouraged to try again!

Copyright and moral rights

The artist shall retain the copyright of the artworks. Moral rights also remain with the artist. The City of Ottawa will seek copyright permission to reproduce images of the artwork for non-commercial purposes.

Confidentiality of information

Personal information in your application is collected under the authority of the City Council approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your application 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 applications and the deliberations of the committee as confidential. Committee members turn in their copies of materials for shredding and delete their computer files at the end of the peer assessment meeting.

Addenda

Question: How are exhibition costs, artist fees and curatorial fees allocated, and which are covered by the gallery versus which ones are covered by the artist?
Answer:
Exhibiting artists will be paid an exhibition fee in accordance with either the 2024 or the 2025 CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule, Section 1 (Exhibition and Screening Royalty Schedule, Institutional Category I). Curators will receive a professional fee.

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. The cost to prepare, produce and transport the artworks to the exhibition space are the sole responsibility of the artist.

The Public Art Program covers the cost of all standard exhibition deliverables such as the printing/installing of vinyl lettering, the printing of exhibition booklets, and the installing/dismantling artworks and equipment. We will cover the writing fee should the artist wish to hire a writer for the exhibit booklet’s interpretive text. Artists who are successful in the competition will receive a breakdown of these items in their contract and will also be able to discuss details during their standard 5-month check-in meeting with the Public Art Officer, Exhibitions.

To offset our Program's limited budget, artists often apply for additional funding through various organizations that include the City of Ottawa or the Ontario Arts Council, to name a few.

Question: Am I eligible to apply if I took part in a previous exhibition as a guest writer?
Answer:
Yes, those who previously took part in exhibitions as guest writers for the exhibit booklet’s interpretive text are still eligible to apply. However, applicants who have exhibited as artists or curators at Corridor 45|75, Karsh-Masson Gallery or City Hall Art Gallery within the last four consecutive years are not eligible to apply.

Question: Are City of Ottawa employees eligible to apply?
Answer:
No, unfortunately all full-time and part-time City of Ottawa employees or elected representatives are not eligible to apply.

Question: Can you clarify what “participating in the local arts community” means, and is my connection to Ottawa sufficient?
Answer:
The strength of your artistic connection to Ottawa and level of participation in the local arts community will be assessed during the peer-assessment phase by way of jury discussion. We suggest clearly outlining your connection to Ottawa in your proposal.

Question: Does the City of Ottawa Public Art Program cover expenses related to shipping of artwork?
Answer:
No, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program does not cover expenses related to travel, accommodation, per diems, shipping or transportation of artworks as outlined in our honorarium criteria.

Question: Does the City of Ottawa Public Art Program provide TV screens for use in exhibitions? Can you provide technical information about these?
Answer:
Artists who are successful in the competition are welcome to use the gallery equipment. The gallery has two high-quality projectors, a few media players, and many TVs – this will be discussed and if you are selected for an exhibition.

If an artist requires any additional equipment, they will have to source/rent it elsewhere at his/her/their own expense. Artworks that require electricity must be approved by an accredited certification or evaluation agency prior to being installed. 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. 

Question: If I am selected for an exhibition and more than half my works change by the time the exhibition time comes around, is that ok?
Answer:
No, this is not acceptable. As is outlined in the Support material section of the Call, at least half of the images/media files submitted in your application must be artwork that will be included in your final exhibition should your application be successful. The gallery reserves

the right to refuse to display works of art that are not consistent with the original proposal at the sole discretion of the gallery and may result in a cancellation or postponement of the exhibit.

Question: How do you assess if an artist is professional?
Answer:
Based on our eligibility criteria, artists are considered to be professional if their peers recognize them as such. This is based on their commitment to their practice, history of public presentation, and artistic training. Training doesn’t have to take the form of a college or university education – art classes, workshops and apprenticeships are all recognized. The peer assessment committee’s evaluation is based on the strength, merit and professionalism of the proposal and support material that accompanies it, as well as the suitability to the gallery spaces.

Question: Do I have to pay to exhibit my work, or do I get paid to exhibit?
Answer:
You do not have to pay to exhibit your work. Exhibiting artists will be paid an exhibition fee in accordance with either the 2024 or the 2025 CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule, Section 1 (Exhibition and Screening Royalty Schedule, Institutional Category I). Curators will receive a professional fee. The City of Ottawa Public Art Program does not cover expenses related to travel, accommodation, per diems and the transportation of artwork(s) and complex installations of any kind requiring special equipment, regular monitoring or specific support beyond the City of Ottawa Public Art Program’s budget are the sole responsibility of the artist.

Question: How do I get images of my works to submit?
Answer:
You can photograph, photocopy or scan your artworks, depending on what is most suitable. Submit these files as JPEGS and in adherence to our image file standards as outlined on the call. If you require assistance with your application, please email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca or phone 613-580-2424 ext. 14167

Question: Are there size requirements for artworks?
Answer:
There are no size requirements for artworks, as long as they can fit in the gallery space. See gallery floor plans below for more information in this regard:

Artworks in an exhibition can be varied in size, just like they can be varied in media, approach, etc.

Question: Are there any stipulations regarding the display/framing of artworks?
Answer:
No. You can exhibit unframed works, canvas works, framed works, etc. The only stipulation is that your artwork arrives with appropriate hardware to allow for hanging/installation. If the artist does not provide hardware, the gallery will provide hardware and reclaim it at the end of the exhibition. 3D artwork or complex installations may require gallery stanchions, plinths, or additional security support. The gallery can provide these based on availability.

Question: Are there certain themes that are more suitable for exhibiting in Karsh-Masson Gallery, City Hall Art Gallery or Corridor 45|75, and are there themes that are not allowed?
Answer:
The City doesn’t censor artists. You are welcome to apply with works that cover any theme which will in turn be assessed by way of selection committee discussion. As accessible and public gallery spaces, we try to be respectful of the galleries’ diverse audience. For example, subject matter that displays nudity will be accompanied by a discretionary sign.

Question: What are the timeline considerations for selected exhibitions?
Answer:
Exhibition timeslots are determined further into the process (post selection) and are based on many factors. Selected artists/curators will receive notice of their exhibition dates well in advance of exhibition start dates. If you have a preferred exhibition season, please select using the online form. Although the Public Art Program will do its best to accommodate the preferred exhibition season, there are no guarantees due to overall scheduling impacts.

Both galleries present a combined total of approximately 8 exhibitions annually, each of which lasts approximately eleven weeks.

Question: If my exhibition is selected, do I have to be in-person at the allotted gallery space at certain times, and do I have to be there during delivery of artworks, install, etc.
Answer:
Selected artists and curators are contracted to be present on installation and dismantle dates. Artists are also responsible for the delivery and pick-up of their artworks from the gallery space. Delivery and pickup times for artwork can be worked out in the months prior to the exhibition start date.

Contact Us

Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery are operated by the City of Ottawa Public Art Program.
publicartprogram@ottawa.ca
613-580-2424 ext. 14167

Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request. If you are unable to view documents or require alternative file formats, please complete an Accessible Documents Request Form.

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. 

(Closed) Call for proposals: 2024-25 exhibitions (Corridor 45|75)

Alexander Finlay - Alter Ego, Corridor 45|75, photo: David Barbour

image shows an installation view of an exhibition in a long corridor; brightly coloured portraits of superheros hang in the vitrines.

This competition is now closed.

Ottawa is built on un-ceded Anishinabe Algonquin territory. The peoples of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation have lived on this territory for millennia. Their culture and presence have nurtured and continue to nurture this land. The City of Ottawa honours the peoples and land of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation. The City of Ottawa honours all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.

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. (Hours of operation are subject to change due to Covid-19 closures.) 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, framed, non-porous, not needing climate controls 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 architectural drawing); 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 encourages applications from individuals with lived experience and identity as a member of Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities, persons with disabilities, women and other equity-deserving groups. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Anishinabe Algonquin 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 Anishinabe Algonquin Host Nation, 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.

Architectural drawing

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 Corridor 45|75, Karsh-Masson Gallery or City Hall Art Gallery within the last four consecutive years are not eligible to apply.

Only one proposal per applicant will be considered and the first application received by the Public Art Program will be the one that is 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 either the 2024 or the 2025 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, regular monitoring 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.

Support material

Read through the Call for proposals completely before beginning your online application and make sure you have all the required information ready.

  • A complete application must include the support material listed below
  • Support material may be written in English or French
  • Files must be saved in a format compatible with Windows 10
  • To format a PDF document, utilize “Save as” or “Export” from a Word or similar text-based document

Save items 2, 3 and 4 as one PDF.

1. Proposal synopsis (80 words maximum)
Summarize the proposal statement. The peer assessment committee will refer to the synopsis as a quick reference during deliberations.

2. Proposal statement (two pages or 1,000 words maximum)

  • Describe the proposed exhibition’s content and theme, and how you will situate your artwork within the gallery space. A clear understanding of the space is necessary for the committee to visualize your exhibition (see gallery floor plan for reference).
  • Two-person and group exhibitions must clearly outline a cohesive theme and rationale.
  • Due to the highly public nature of the gallery, proposed exhibitions must be as self-sufficient as possible.  
  • Outline any technical or electronic specifications of the exhibition.

3. Artistic resumé (three pages or 1,500 words maximum per artist)
If multiple artists are involved, include each artist’s resumé.

4. Image/media list (two pages maximum)
List the following information about each image/media file included in your application: artist’s name, artwork title, date, material and support, dimensions, and duration of artwork (if applicable). This list may also include additional information or a description about the individual artworks.

5. Digital image files and time-based media files
Upload ten digital image files or ten minutes total of media content (or a combination of both for a total of 10 units) that support the proposal statement and follow the guidelines listed below.

  • At least half of the images/media files submitted must be artwork that will be included in your final exhibition should your application be successful.
  • Curated, two-person and group exhibitions: send ten files maximum.
  • Applicants who wish to include a combination of digital images and media files: send ten files maximum with no more than ten minutes of content total. For each minute of video/audio content, remove one digital image (i.e. send 6 jpg images and one video file that is 4 minutes long or send 6 jpgs and 2 video files that are 2 minutes long each).
  • Strict adherence to the naming convention outlined below is necessary for images to be uploaded into our database and successfully viewed during the peer assessment committee meeting. Failure to adhere to this format may render your file unusable.

Image files must be:

  • Saved as JPG at 72 dpi and no larger than 1 MB each
  • Named with the corresponding image list number, title, date, medium and dimensions, each separated by an underscore. Do not leave a space before or after the underscore. File names must not exceed 150 characters.

Format for naming image files:

01_Artwork Title_year_medium_dimensions.jpg              

Examples:

01_The Mountain_2014_graphite, acrylic and metal_96 x 106 inches.jpg
02_Untitled 3 detail_2019_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm.jpg
03_Installation at Karsh-Masson Gallery_2015_mixed media_variable dimensions.jpg

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).

Support material that requires specialized software, plug-ins, extensions, or other executables that need to be downloaded or installed will not be reviewed. Applicants are responsible for testing support materials to ensure readability.

Deadline and notification

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

The Public Art Program will send applicants 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.

Applicants will be notified of the peer assessment committee’s decisions by email within three months of the deadline date.

Results are final. Due to the volume of applications received for this competition, artistic feedback will not be provided. If your application is not successful, you are encouraged to try again!

Copyright and moral rights

The artist shall retain the copyright of the artworks. Moral rights also remain with the artist. The City of Ottawa will seek copyright permission to reproduce images of the artwork for non-commercial purposes.

Confidentiality of information

Personal information in your application is collected under the authority of the City Council approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your application 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 applications and the deliberations of the committee as confidential. Committee members turn in their copies of materials for shredding and delete their computer files at the end of the peer assessment meeting.

Addenda

Question: How are exhibition costs, artist fees and curatorial fees allocated, and which are covered by the gallery versus which ones are covered by the artist?
Answer:
Exhibiting artists will be paid an exhibition fee in accordance with either the 2024 or the 2025 CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule, Section 1 (Exhibition and Screening Royalty Schedule, Institutional Category I). Curators will receive a professional fee.

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. The cost to prepare, produce and transport the artworks to the exhibition space are the sole responsibility of the artist. The artist is also responsible for writing the exhibition text, if applicable.

The Public Art Program covers the cost of all standard exhibition deliverables such as the printing/installing of vinyl lettering and the installing/dismantling artworks and equipment. Artists who are successful in the competition will receive a breakdown of these items in their contract and will also be able to discuss details during their standard 5-month check-in meeting with the Public Art Officer, Exhibitions.

To offset our Program's limited budget, artists often apply for additional funding through various organizations that include the City of Ottawa or the Ontario Arts Council, to name a few.

Question: Are City of Ottawa employees eligible to apply?
Answer:
No, unfortunately all full-time and part-time City of Ottawa employees or elected representatives are not eligible to apply.

Question: Does the City of Ottawa Public Art Program cover expenses related to shipping of artwork?
Answer:
No, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program does not cover expenses related to travel, accommodation, per diems, shipping or transportation of artworks as outlined in our honorarium criteria.

Question: Does the City of Ottawa Public Art Program provide TV screens for use in exhibitions? Can you provide technical information about these?
Answer:
Artists who are successful in the competition are welcome to use the gallery equipment. The gallery has two high-quality projectors, a few media players, and many TVs – this will be discussed and if you are selected for an exhibition.

If an artist requires any additional equipment, they will have to source/rent it elsewhere at his/her/their own expense. Artworks that require electricity must be approved by an accredited certification or evaluation agency prior to being installed. 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. 

Question: If I am selected for an exhibition and more than half my works change by the time the exhibition time comes around, is that ok?
Answer:
No, this is not acceptable. As is outlined in the Support material section of the Call, at least half of the images/media files submitted in your application must be artwork that will be included in your final exhibition should your application be successful. The gallery reserves

the right to refuse to display works of art that are not consistent with the original proposal at the sole discretion of the gallery and may result in a cancellation or postponement of the exhibit.

Question: Are there limitations to attaching and/or hanging artwork in the Corridor 45|75 space?
Answer:
Corridor 45|75 is a unique exhibition space that has some limitations. Although the walls are gallery quality (made of drywall with plywood backing) in which screws and nails can be used to hang artwork, hanging heavy artwork from the ceiling is not permitted as the ceiling tiles are not weight-bearing. Please also note that the display space itself is protected by tempered glass doors that are not airtight, so artwork that is framed, protected, non-porous, not needing climate controls and can be easily cleaned is best suited for this this environment. Other hanging limitations are size based, imposed by the dimensions of the space. For this spatial limitation, we suggest visiting the space in person and reviewing the Corridor 45|75 architectural drawing that you can receive by emailing publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

Question: How do you assess if an artist is professional?
Answer:
Based on our eligibility criteria, artists are considered to be professional if their peers recognize them as such. This is based on their commitment to their practice, history of public presentation, and artistic training. Training doesn’t have to take the form of a college or university education – art classes, workshops and apprenticeships are all recognized. The peer assessment committee’s evaluation is based on the strength, merit and professionalism of the proposal and support material that accompanies it, as well as the suitability to the gallery spaces.

Question: Do I have to pay to exhibit my work, or do I get paid to exhibit?
Answer:
You do not have to pay to exhibit your work. Exhibiting artists will be paid an exhibition fee in accordance with either the 2024 or the 2025 CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule, Section 1 (Exhibition and Screening Royalty Schedule, Institutional Category I). Curators will receive a professional fee. The City of Ottawa Public Art Program does not cover expenses related to travel, accommodation, per diems and the transportation of artwork(s) and complex installations of any kind requiring special equipment, regular monitoring or specific support beyond the City of Ottawa Public Art Program’s budget are the sole responsibility of the artist.

Question: How do I get images of my works to submit?
Answer:
You can photograph, photocopy or scan your artworks, depending on what is most suitable. Submit these files as JPEGS and in adherence to our image file standards as outlined on the call. If you require assistance with your application, please email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca or phone 613-580-2424 ext. 14167

Question: Are there certain themes that are more suitable for exhibiting in Karsh-Masson Gallery, City Hall Art Gallery or Corridor 45|75, and are there themes that are not allowed?
Answer:
The City doesn’t censor artists. You are welcome to apply with works that cover any theme which will in turn be assessed by way of selection committee discussion. As accessible and public gallery spaces, we try to be respectful of the galleries’ diverse audience. For example, subject matter that displays nudity will be accompanied by a discretionary sign.

Question: What are the timeline considerations for selected exhibitions?
Answer:
Exhibition timeslots are determined further into the process (post selection) and are based on many factors. Selected artists/curators will receive notice of their exhibition dates well in advance of exhibition start dates. If you have a preferred exhibition season, please select using the online form. Although the Program will do its best to accommodate the preferred exhibition season, there are no guarantees due to overall scheduling impacts.

Corridor 45|75 presents a total of approximately 3 exhibitions annually, each of which lasts approximately fifteen weeks.

Question: If my exhibition is selected, do I have to be in-person at the allotted gallery space at certain times, and do I have to be there during delivery of artworks, install, etc.
Answer:
Selected artists and curators are contracted to be present on installation and dismantle dates. Artists are also responsible for the delivery and pick-up of their artworks from the gallery space. Delivery and pickup times for artwork can be worked out in the months prior to the exhibition start date.

Contact us

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

613-580-2424 ext. 14167

Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request. If you are unable to view documents or require alternative file formats, please complete an Accessible Documents Request Form.

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. 

(Closed) 2023 Direct Purchase Program

 Metamorphosis: 2022 Additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection (installation view at City Hall Art Gallery), photo: City of Ottawa

view of the 2022 exhibition installed

This competition is now closed.

Ottawa is built on un-ceded Anishinabe Algonquin territory. The peoples of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation have lived on this territory for millennia. Their culture and presence have nurtured and continue to nurture this land. The City of Ottawa honours the peoples and land of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation. The City of Ottawa honours all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.

About Direct Purchase

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program invites professional artists, and their representatives, to offer existing artworks for purchase. Applications are reviewed by a peer assessment committee and artworks recommended for purchase will become part of the City of Ottawa Art Collection. Artworks from this diverse collection are presented in over 170 public sites across Ottawa. Direct Purchase is a competitive program for participants to offer artwork for purchase to the City of Ottawa.

Before submitting your application, please review the Eligibility section below.

Program objectives

  • To support eligible emerging, mid-career and established professional visual artists
  • To purchase existing artworks to be added into the City of Ottawa Art Collection
  • To support activities that address the priorities identified in the Renewed Action Plan for Arts, Heritage and Culture in Ottawa (2013 - 2018) [1.62 MB], including prioritizing applications from individuals with lived experience and identity as a member of Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities, persons with disabilities, women and other equity-deserving groups and artists not currently in the City of Ottawa Art Collection.

Eligibility

Who is eligible?

  1. Professional artists, or
  2. Representatives of professional artists, such as a gallery or an estate who is applying on behalf of professional artist(s).

Professional artists must have completed specialized training in their artistic field or be recognized by their peers as a professional artist.

Participants must either be the author of the artwork or must 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 the Artist Statement or Artistic Résumé).

Artists must be committed to their artistic practice.

Artists must have created a body of work outside of basic training.

Artists who identify as Anishinabe Algonquin.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's equity-deserving communities, including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual identities. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Anishinabe Algonquin 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 members of the Anishinabe Algonquin Host Nation, 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.

Who is not eligible?

  • Students who have not yet completed arts training.
  • Individuals who are not authors nor representatives of professional artists.
  • Artists who do not live, nor have not lived, within a 150 km radius of Ottawa.
  • City of Ottawa employees or elected representatives in compliance with the City of Ottawa Employee Code of Conduct and all applicable laws and regulations.

Restrictions

  • Applicants, not including galleries, may only submit one application at a time within this opportunity.
  • Meeting all eligibility requirements does not guarantee purchase of artwork.

Assessment criteria

Applications are assessed by a Peer Assessment Committee according to:

  • Artistic merit
  • Regional importance
  • Innovation
  • Conservation and maintenance requirements

Who is on the Peer Assessment Committee?

  • The composition of the 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 Peer Assessment Committee change for every opportunity.
  • Members of the Peer Assessment Committee are selected after the competition closes and must declare conflicts of interest prior to participation.

Deadline and notification

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 within two weeks after your submission, please contact us for confirmation.

All participants will be notified by email of the results of the first stage of the 2023 Direct Purchase by August 2023.

Results are final. Due to the volume of applications received, artistic feedback will not be provided.

If your application is not successful, you are encouraged to try again!

The peer assessment committee is comprised of new members for each competition. If your artwork was not recommended for purchase understand that your submission may have been supported but the Direct Purchase’s limited budget cannot fund all applicants, regardless of their merit.

Copyright and moral rights

The artist shall retain the copyright of the artworks. Moral rights also remain with the artist. The City of Ottawa will seek copyright permission to reproduce images of the artwork for non-commercial purposes.

Confidentiality of information

Personal information in your application is collected under the authority of the City Council approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your application 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 applications and the deliberations of the committee as confidential. Committee members turn in their copies of materials for shredding and delete their computer files at the end of the peer assessment meeting.

Contact us

Erica Chi
Erica.chi@ottawa.ca
613-244-4434

Sarah Patterson
sarahm.patterson@ottawa.ca
613-244-4384

For general information about the City of Ottawa Public Art Program or technical issues contact publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request. If you are unable to view documents or require alternative file formats, please complete an Accessible Documents Request Form.

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. 

(Closed) Request for qualifications : Laroche Park

This request is now closed.

Aerial rendering of the Laroche park redevelopment plan showing the placement and design of the park amenities and new field house

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 Opportunity

The City of Ottawa invites professional artists or artist teams to submit qualifications for the opportunity to design, fabricate and install permanent, site-specific artwork for the newly redesigned Laroche Park, in Mechanicsville, Ottawa. This two-stage competition held in accordance with the Public Art Policy. This Request for Qualifications document provides information, details and submission requirements relating to the 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 Budget

The total public art budget for this commission is $65,000 in Canadian Dollars (plus Harmonized Sales Tax, if applicable). 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. This budget should also include the Artist’s or Artist’s team time, travel and attendance at meetings and events if applicable. The site’s cement and excavation for the foundations, as well as the reinstatement of landscaping and streetscaping, will be covered by the City, within predetermined specifications. 

1.5 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. Public Art project vision

The revitalization of Laroche Park will amplify the recreational nature of this site and offer an increase in amenities for the growing neighbourhood of Mechanicsville. The public artwork will provide an additional artistic element to the park with a possible interactive or practical component.
 
This artwork will be the first in the City of Ottawa’s public art collection located in Mechanicsville. This new artwork should reflect the unique history of Mechanicsville, its ties to the river, and the various industries, such as lumber, rail yards, and ice houses, that developed around the community and employed its residents.
 
The artwork is required to be safe for the public, as well as vandal resistant. Objects that provide places to hide or obscure sightlines art are discouraged.

3. Site background and information

3.1 Project background

The City of Ottawa is redeveloping and updating Laroche Park in the neighbourhood Mechanicsville, West of downtown Ottawa. Laroche Park is located between Stonehurst Avenue and Bayview Station Road and south of Burnside. It’s a sports park accessible by LRT at Bayview Station and vehicle parking on Bayview Station Road. Its amenities include a playground with splash pad, full basketball court, space for a seasonal full-size rink, ultimate frisbee and baseball pitches for rent and a field house. 
The new replacement field house has two multi-purpose rooms with a grand entryway, a skate equipment room, a kitchen with an outdoor serving window and a patio area. It is the space for community and social events, meetings and will host a variety of programs. 

3.2 Neighborhood background 

The Mechanicsville neighbourhood is part of the city of Ottawa and is located north of Scott Street, east of Parkdale, west of Bayview Station Road and overlooks the shores of the Ottawa River at Lazy Bay. Its industrial, working-class roots derive from employment in the nearby sawmills, train yards, ice, coal and wood dealers, and of course, garages. The original homes in this area were built from scrap material from the sawmills and the trainyard and supported by railway ties so residents could easily move their homes. Today, Mechanicsville has retained many of the original homes, but has seen an increase of high-density rental units, and infills.

Many Mechanicsville residents have little to no backyards, therefore Laroche Park is everyone's playground. The ice rinks have been central to winter activities for almost 100 years and the youth are passionate about basketball.   

3.3 Site background

Laroche park has a rich history of being Mechanicsville’s backyard, a place for children to play and neighbours to gather.  This working-class neighbourhood grew along the shores of Ottawa River at Lazy Bay, which at one time approached the edge of Laroche Park.  Both Lazy Bay and Laroche Park were used by the neighbourhood for recreation such as swimming and skating.   Today, Laroche Park is the heart of the Mechanicsville community, a place where its residents gather, and a home to a variety of recreation activities, programs and events.

3.4 Site information

The outdoor location designated for public art is on the North end of the park, near Bayview Road. This location is in proximity to the basketball court, seasonal skating rink and children's play area. Mature and new trees line the park fence near the site.

This site served as a disposal area in the early 1900’s, which required the Laroche Park Project to undertake extensive archeological retrievals, excavation and topsoil remediation. Therefore, there are geotechnical restrictions that will need to be considered when engineering the depth of the footings for the artwork.

4. Request for qualifications process

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

4.1 Selection process

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

Stage I - Request for qualifications:
Qualifications will be evaluated by a peer assessment committee consisting of artists with public art experience, a community representative and representatives from the 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.

Stage II - Request for proposal:
Shortlisted artists will meet with the project team for an information session, either in person or remotely and will be given terms of reference for preparing proposals, drawings and budgets for Stage II of the competition. Shortlisted artists (maximum four) will be paid an honorarium of $1,000 in Canadian Dollars (plus Harmonized Sales Tax, if applicable) for the preparation of a virtual presentation to the peer assessment Committee.

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. The finalist will be determined by the peer assessment committee after the presentations and deliberation.

Technical review: 
A technical review of proposals will be requested prior to the final proposal 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.

Online survey:
A portion of the final proposals will be presented to the public though an online survey for community feedback. Feedback will be provided to the peer assessment committee for their consideration.

4.2 Competition schedule

Laroche Park - Competition schedule
Competition milestone Planned completion
Request for qualifications issued December 16, 2022
Deadline for application – Request for qualifications closing date February 12, 2023
Peer Assessment Committee - Stage 1 End of February, 2023
Shortlisted artists notified and issued Terms of Reference Early March, 2023
Deadline for draft submissions April 9, 2023
Technical review April 9, 2023 to April 27, 2023
Deadline for final submissions May 14, 2023
Online survey May 17, 2023 to June 4, 2023
Peer Assessment Committee - Stage 2 Presentations and interviews Early June, 2023
Finalists notified and contracting June 2023
Artwork installation November 2023

4.3 Inquiries

Inquiries regarding this request for qualifications must be directed to Allison O’Connor, Public Art Officer by email at publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

5. Evaluation criteria

All submissions will be evaluated based on the artist’s ability to address the public art vision (expression of interest), demonstrate their experience and qualifications (resumé), and show previous artwork (sample project and digital images).

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

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

  • Support material may be written in English or French
  • Submissions must be received by the deadline outlined in schedule above
  • Please send all application material electronically using our new online application form.

Have your content ready for inputting as 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 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 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.

6.2 Resumé

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.

6.3 Sample projects (optional)

Submit detailed information on one or two relevant projects of similar scope and size, undertaken or completed. Each sample should include the following information for each project: project title, team members, client name and location, budget, duration, project overview, role on the team, methodology and any other unique or relevant information.
Please be clear which uploaded images in the next section relate to these samples. Please note that uploaded images have a limited description field.

6.4 Samples of previous artwork and detailed list

Upload 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. If more than ten files are submitted, only the first ten will be reviewed.

*Upload files directly into application form. Please consult form in order to prepare your files. Please note that uploaded images have a limited description field of 50 words.

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.