This site uses JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your Browser and reload the page to view the full site.

Calls and Opportunities: Public Art Program

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.

Connect with us!

logo facebook
  
logo twitter
  
logo instagram

Newsletter

email graphic, Public Art Program logo

Public Art Program – newsletter sign up form

  1. Enter contact info 
  2. Select “Public Art Program | Collect. Commission. Exhibit.
  3. Click “Subscribe” 
  4. Open confirmation email
  5. Confirm subscription 
  6. Welcome to the list! 

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.

Expression of interest: Exterior / interior glass designs or patterns

Ādisōke - Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, Indigenous Public Art
Algonquin artists: Exterior / Interior Glass designs or patterns

Image showing the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada, view from Albert Street

Image showing the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada, view from Albert Street

In celebration of local Algonquin art, culture and heritage, the Indigenous Public Art Program is holding a two-Stage Competition to select Algonquin artists/artist teams to develop permanent public artworks for Ādisōke - Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility building.

Please note: Do not submit design proposals as they will not be reviewed in Stage 1. Shortlisted artists will be issued a detailed Request for proposals in June.

Stage 1: Expression of interest
Deadline: Friday, May 27, 2022, 4:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time)

Emerging and mid-career Algonquin artists/artist teams are invited to submit an expression of interest 2-page max explaining who you are, your past artistic experiences and/or projects, and how you envision your artwork in or on Ādisōke - Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility building.

Stage 2: Request for proposals
Deadline: Monday, October 31, 2022, 4:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time)

Working with Indigenous artist/mentor Nadia Myre, and Curator of the Indigenous Public Art program, Dawn Saunders Dahl, shortlisted artist/artist teams will be invited to develop site-specific design proposals. Shortlisted artists/artist teams will be paid a fee of $1,500 (plus Harmonized Sales Tax, if applicable) to create an artwork proposal which they will present to an independent jury convened for this project.

Contact:

If you would prefer to speak directly to Dawn and/or Nadia please email to coordinate a date and time. To request further information about the Indigenous Public Art Program and architectural drawings, please contact Hannah Kingscote, publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

Selected proposals from Artists / Artist teams will be paid a fee of:

$30,000 (plus Harmonized Sales Tax, if applicable) for designs / patterns that will be installed on the interior and/or exterior glass.

Selected Artists / Artist teams will benefit from continued mentorship, as needed, to develop and create any final digital files of their artwork, leading to and including production/fabrication, and installation oversight. Selected artists will continue to develop the artworks with the Indigenous mentor, including consultation with the local Algonquin community.

Virtual Information session

Public Art locations and budget

Exterior glass and/or Interior glazing design or pattern: $30,000 (plus Harmonized Sales Tax, if applicable)

Design options include a 2D image/pattern transferred to a repeating graphic file to create an opaque design enhancement. Designs should maintain light levels whilst identifying the window surface for both exterior (bird-friendly), and interior spaces.

Exterior glass design or pattern repeated on all exterior glass to deter birds from flying into the glass windows and doors. Visit Safe Wings Ottawa for building best practices.

Design or pattern will be integrated into the glazing construction by sand blasting. Specific fabrication parameters for the design or pattern will be provided to shortlisted artists at the Request for Proposals stage.

Interior glass film design repeated on key glass barrier wall locations within the main town hall, 2nd and 3rd floors. Interior film design is to help avoid risk of collision so that visitors do not walk into glass.

Rendering showing the exterior glass areas highlighted

Rendering showing the exterior glass areas highlighted

Rendering showing the exterior glass areas highlighted

Rendering showing the interior glass areas highlighted

Schedule (subject to change)

Competition Milestones Planned Completion
Expression of Interest issued March 2022
Information session with Curator, Mentor and Project Team April 5, 2022
Deadline for Stage One submissions May 27, 2022
Peer Assessment Committee #1 June 2022
Meeting with Project Team, Curator & Mentor June 2022
Draft proposal submission - Technical Review / Feedback from Project Team September 26 - 30, 2022
Deadline for Stage Two - final proposals October 31, 2022
Project team consult with Algonquin community / elders November, 2022
Peer to Peer Presentations November 2022
Peer Assessment Committee #2 & winning artist(s) selected November 2022
Initial meetings with Project Team and Mentor November / December 2022
Final Design, Fabrication and Installation 2022 – 2024/5
Project completion – facility opens to the public 2025 / 2026

Submission Requirements

Your submission must include all sections listed below.

  • Materials may be written in English or French
  • Written documents must be submitted as one PDF file and images as individual jpeg files
  • A confirmation email will be sent when your application has been received.
  • Please email your application to publicartprogram@ottawa.ca
  • 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 Phone: 613-244-4429. Email: publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

Stage 1: Expression of Interest 

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

Emerging and mid-career Algonquin artists/artist teams are invited to submit an expression of interest 2-page max explaining who you are, your past artistic experiences and/or projects, and how you envision your artwork in or on Ādisōke - Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility building.

Current CV/Resume(s)

Submit a current résumé highlighting relevant art making experience. Artist Teams shall provide résumés for each team member. Each résumé should not exceed three (3) pages.

Images of your work (technical information)

  • Submit a maximum of ten (10) files along with an image list. These can be 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 (10) files. If additional files are included, only the first ten (10) files in the numerical sequence will be considered.

Please submit the Expression of Interest and CV/Resume as one PDF document, and your images as individual files.

Stage 2: Request for proposals

Deadline: Monday, October 31, 2022, 4:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time)

Working with Indigenous artist/mentor Nadia Myre, and Curator of the Indigenous Public Art program, Dawn Saunders Dahl, shortlisted artist/artist teams will be invited to develop site-specific design proposals. Shortlisted artists/artist teams will be paid a fee of $1,500 (plus Harmonized Sales Tax, if applicable) to create an artwork proposal which they will present to an independent jury convened for this project.

Full submission details will be provided to shortlisted artists in a Terms of Reference document, including:

Artist Statement – outlining artistic practice, thematic trends and creative approach to art-making.

Proposal outline – proposed concept, materials and processes in addition to community consultation process, engagement with mentor, budget and timeline.

Shortlisted artists will be invited to a workshop with the project team and fabricators to discuss Stage Two in more detail including how designs will be translated into fabrication along with costing options etc.

Following final submissions, shortlisted artists will be invited to participate in a peer to peer presentation session to share their proposals.

Expression of interest: Indigenous multi-purpose room

Ādisōke - Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, Indigenous Public Art
Algonquin artists: Indigenous multi-purpose room

Image showing the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada, view from Albert Street

Image showing the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada, view from Albert Street

In celebration of local Algonquin art, culture and heritage, the Indigenous Public Art Program is holding a two-Stage Competition to select Algonquin artists/artist teams to develop permanent public artworks for Ādisōke - Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada (OPL-LAC) Joint Facility.

Please note: Do not submit design proposals as they will not be reviewed in Stage 1. Shortlisted artists will be issued a detailed RFP in June.

Stage 1: Expression of Interest 
Deadline: Friday, May 27, 2022, 4:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time)

Emerging and mid-career Algonquin artists/artist teams are invited to submit an expression of interest (EOI) 2-page max explaining who you are, your past artistic experiences and/or projects, and how you envision your artwork in or on Ādisōke - Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility building.

Stage 2: Request for proposals
Deadline: Monday, October 31, 2022, 4:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time)

Working with Indigenous artist/mentor Nadia Myre, and Curator of the Indigenous Public Art program, Dawn Saunders Dahl, shortlisted artist/artist teams will be invited to develop site-specific design proposals. Shortlisted artists/artist teams will be paid a fee of $1,500 (plus harmonized sales tax, if applicable) to create an artwork proposal which they will present to an independent jury convened for this project.

Contact:

  • Dawn Saunders Dahl, Curator-Indigenous Public Art
  • Nadia Myre, Indigenous Public Art Mentor
  • If you would prefer to speak directly to Dawn and/or Nadia please email to coordinate a date and time. To request further information about the Indigenous Public Art Program and architectural drawings, please contact Hannah Kingscote: publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

Selected proposals from Artists / Artist teams will be paid a fee for one of two options:

  • $100,000 (plus harmonized sales tax, if applicable) for the design, fabrication and installation of artwork(s) for the Interior 2nd floor Indigenous Multi-purpose room (with an option for the 2nd floor Childrens’ Story Room), or
  • $30,000 (plus harmonized sales tax, if applicable) for the design only of artwork(s) for the Interior 2nd floor Indigenous Multi-purpose room (with an option for the 2nd floor Childrens’ Story Room).

Selected Artists / Artist teams will benefit from continued mentorship, as needed, to develop and create any final digital files of their artwork, leading to and including production/fabrication, and installation oversight. Selected artists will continue to develop the artworks with the Indigenous mentor, including consultation with the local Algonquin community.

Virtual Information session

Public Art locations and budget

Indigenous Multi-Purpose Room (2nd Floor)
This room has been developed to resemble a wigwam as requested through local Algonquin community consultation with the project team in the design development phase. Artists can choose one of two options:

  1. Design, fabrication and installation - $100,000 plus harmonized sales tax
    The artist/artist team will be responsible for developing and designing the artwork intervention(s), and will be responsible for fabrication and installation.
  2. Design only - $30,000 plus harmonized sales tax
    The artist/artist team will be responsible to oversee the design and integration, and will not be responsible for the fabrication or installation. This option may suit more integrated artwork proposals, where the fabrication and installation will be undertaken through the General Contractor.

Mentorship around costing as well as artwork and design integration will be provided as needed.

Permanent art installation options include but are not limited to: artwork installed on the doors for the space and/or the exterior walls directly outside of the room, furniture design, suspended lighting, pattern for ceiling fabric panels, stone mosaic pattern in the floor. Other options as presented by the artist will be considered. Room Details: fabric ceiling panels, wood acoustic panel walls, stone mosaic floor, exposed wood structure, solid wood doors and comfortable meeting chairs.

In addition to the Indigenous Multi-Purpose Room, artists may also propose artwork for the Childrens’ Story Room, creating an artistic dialogue between the two spaces. Room Details: Fabric ceiling panels, wood acoustic panel walls, carpeted floor, exposed wood structure, solid wood doors and moveable soft seating for kids.

Rendering of the exterior view of the Indigenous Multi-Purpose Room

Rendering of the interior view of the Indigenous Multi-Purpose Room

Rendering of the interior of the Children’s Story Room

Rendering of the interior of the Children’s Story Room

Schedule (subject to change)

Competition Milestones

Planned Completion
Expression of Interest issued March 2022
Information session with Curator, Mentor and Project Team April 5, 2022
Deadline for Stage One submissions May 27, 2022
Peer Assessment Committee #1 June 2022
Meeting with Project Team, Curator & Mentor June 2022
Draft proposal submission - Technical Review / Feedback from Project Team September 26 - 30, 2022
Deadline for Stage Two - final proposals October 31, 2022
Project team consult with Algonquin community / elders November, 2022
Peer to Peer Presentations November 2022
Peer Assessment Committee #2 & winning artist(s) selected November 2022
Initial meetings with Project Team and Mentor November / December 2022
Final Design, Fabrication and Installation 2022 – 2024/5
Project completion – facility opens to the public 2025 / 2026

Submission Requirements

Your submission must include all sections listed below.

  • Materials may be written in English or French
  • Written documents must be submitted as one PDF file and images as individual jpeg files
  • A confirmation email will be sent when your application has been received.
  • Please email your application to publicartprogram@ottawa.ca
  • 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 (Phone: 613-244-4429. Email: publicartprogram@ottawa.ca)

Stage One: Expression of Interest

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

Two pages max explaining who you are, your past artistic experiences and/or projects, and how you envision community engagement and your artwork in or on Ādisōke - Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility building.

Current CV/Resume(s)

Submit a current résumé highlighting relevant art making experience. Artist Teams shall provide résumés for each team member. Each résumé should not exceed three (3) pages.

Images of your work (technical information)

Submit a maximum of ten (10) files along with an image list. These can be 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 (10) files. If additional files are included, only the first ten (10) files in the numerical sequence will be considered.

Please submit the Expression of Interest and CV/Resume as one PDF document, and your images as individual files.

Stage Two: Request for Proposals

Deadline: Monday, October 31, 2022, 4:00 pm (Eastern Standard Time)

Full submission details will be provided to shortlisted artists in a Terms of Reference document, including:

Artist Statement – outlining artistic practice, thematic trends and creative approach to art-making.

Proposal outline – proposed concept, materials and processes in addition to community consultation process, engagement with mentor, budget and timeline.

Shortlisted artists will be invited to a workshop with the project team and fabricators to discuss Stage Two in more detail including how designs will be translated into fabrication along with costing options etc.

Following final submissions, shortlisted artists will be invited to participate in a peer to peer presentation session to share their proposals.

Expression of interest - Inuit Art Liaison

Introduction

On February 28, 2018, Ottawa City Council approved a Reconciliation Plan in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. One of the commitments made is to acquire more art from Indigenous artists into the City of Ottawa art collection, through a Direct Purchase program.

Opportunity

In 2021, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program will issue three Calls to Artists in order to procure Inuit artwork for its permanent collection. To achieve this, the Public Art Program will contract an individual to act in the role of Inuit Art Liaison. The role of the Inuit Art Liaison will be to encourage applications from eligible artists and/or their representatives (such as galleries) and assist with the preparation of applications as needed. The Inuit Liaison will also recommend strategies to ease barriers for Inuk artists in the application process.

Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility Project

The Indigenous Art Program for the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Joint Facility Project 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. The Direct Purchase opportunity invites Inuit artists to offer existing artwork(s) to be permanently installed inside the joint facility. Proposals will be reviewed by the Curator of Indigenous Art for the joint facility project.

Vanier St. Margaret’s church

Vanier boasts the largest concentration of urban indigenous and Inuit residents, at close to 4 per cent of the total population. St. Margaret’s Church Vanier on Montreal Road is home to Canada’s first and only female Inuit ordained Pastor and the only church to hold services in Inuktitut. This Public Art Plan [ PDF - 6.08 mb ] proposes that the City of Ottawa will be purchasing and installing a permanent Inuit artwork for this outdoor site. Proposals will be reviewed by the Curator of Indigenous Art for the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Joint Facility Project.

2021 Direct purchase for the City of Ottawa art collection

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program invites professional artists and their representatives to offer existing artworks for purchase. Selected artworks will become part of the City of Ottawa Art Collection. Direct purchase is a competitive program for participants to offer artwork for purchase to the City of Ottawa. More than 2,500 artworks are reviewed each year.

Scope of work and timeline

The Inuit Art Liaison will work closely with the Registrar and Public Art Officers to plan and develop an outreach strategy. This may include facilitation of a public information session. The goal of the contract will be to:

  • Distribute information about the calls for Inuit art to artists and galleries representing Inuit artists in the region as well across Canada
  • Encourage and support applications from eligible Inuit artists and/or their representatives (such as galleries) to the calls
  • For emerging artists and first-time applicants, assist with writing artist statements, digital photography/documentation of artworks and formatting of digital images
  • Advise selections committees for each call in the selection of artworks to procure
  • Assist with options to strategize alternate processes to ease barriers
Responsibility Description Dates
(subject to change)
Time allocation
Coordination and communication with Public Art team Information meeting. Will establish scope of work, timelines, and milestones. Spring to fall 2021 15 hours
Research Create list of eligible artists and artist representatives. Coordinate with Public Art Program to (?) Spring to summer 2021 60 hours
Distribution Library call and Montreal Road call Connect with eligible artists and artist representatives and coordinate their submission to calls. Spring to summer 2021 45 hours
Distribution of 2021 direct purchase call to artists Connect with eligible artists and artist representatives and coordinate their applications Spring/summer 2021 30 hours
Selection committee Review artwork possibilities with other selection committee members and make selection for Library and Montreal Road Summer 2021 20 hours
Total 170 hours

Dates subject to change in accordance with larger project timelines.
The budget for estimated scope of work of 150 to 170 hours is between $10,000 and $12,000 and should include all time, communications, expenses, travel (if applicable).
See Selection process below for more information on the City of Ottawa’s process for evaluating quotes and selecting winning applicants.

Application process

Candidates are encouraged to submit the following:

  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Expression of interest outlining the reach of their network, the approach to soliciting applications for the three opportunities for Inuit art
  • Hourly rate

Selection process

The Public Art Program will be contracting the services of the Inuit Art Liaison. Applicants will be reviewed on the basis of their experience (curriculum vitae) and expressions of interest. A video interview will be scheduled with the potential candidates prior to contracting.

Direct Purchase: Inuit art

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

Rendering of the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, view of the interior gathering space

Rendering of the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, view of the interior gathering space

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

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.

Rendering of the interior gathering space, with an area highlighted as a potential location for Direct Purchase artwork

Rendering of the interior gathering space, with an area highlighted as a potential location for Direct Purchase artwork 

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

Request for qualifications: Riverain Park public art

photograph of the Riverain Park entrance sign

Image: Riverain Park site

  • Deadline: June 27, 2022, 11:59 pm (Eastern Daylight Time)
  • Budget: $85,000 in Canadian Dollars (plus Harmonized Sales Tax, if applicable)
  • Contact: Allison O'Connor, Public Art Officer, publicartprogram@ottawa.ca
  • Online application form: Have your content ready for inputting, the form does not save your information if you leave or refresh the page.
  • Location: Riverain Park

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 (1%) 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 Riverain Park, in Vanier, Ottawa. This two-stage competition in held in accordance with the Public Art Policy. This Request for Qualifications document provides information, details and submission requirements relating to the 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 budget for this commission is $85,000 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, anchoring or foundations and reinstatement of landscaping and streetscaping. This should also include the Artist’s or Artist’s team time, travel and attendance at meetings and events if applicable.

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

As part of the first phase of the Vanier + Montreal Road Public Art Plan , the public art for Riverain Park will be one of many new public art pieces in Vanier. The artwork’s theme should focus on the natural environment of the area, and more specifically on the ecosystem of the Rideau River. The artwork should engage visitors through storytelling and provide opportunities to learn about the local flora, fauna and/or rich history of the Rideau River.

This artwork should integrate into the newly redeveloped urban park and its many amenities by providing an additional artistic element, with a possible interactive or practical component. 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.

a view of a park with trees in the summer

Image: Riverain Park site

3. Background

3.1 Project Background

The City of Ottawa is undertaking a number of initiatives in the community of Vanier with the common goals of improving neighbourhood’s vibrancy and livability under the banner of Vision Vanier. This includes the modernizing Riverain Park through the renewal of existing amenities and features, as well as adding new and exciting recreational uses. The Vanier + Montreal Rd Public Art Plan recommends the incorporation of artwork in the renewal of Riverain Park.

3.2 Neighborhood Background

Located on the east bank of the Rideau River, Riverain park is used by many downtown residents, and predominantly those from the neighbourhoods of Vanier, Overbrook, and Sandy Hill.

The neighbourhoods of Vanier, Overbrook, and Sandy Hill cover a large eastern sector of the downtown core of Ottawa. It is home to a high population density and diverse demographic. Vanier and Overbrook are rapidly developing neighbourhoods. Sandy Hill hosts many students from the University of Ottawa as well as international embassies. These three communities have a multitude of histories and stories, and an optimistic view of the future.

3.3 Site Background

The Riverain park runs parallel between the Rideau River and North River Rd. The area along the river is owned and operated by the National Capital Commission, while the park and its amenities are owned at operated by the City of Ottawa. Amenities include multi-use pathways, skatepark, tennis courts, basketball courts, and horseshoe pitch, in addition to an off-leash dog park, splash pad, children’s play structures, and adult fitness equipment. Several sites have been made available throughout the part for public art, including the North entrance, along the walkways, and adjacent to the basketball court. Details of the site options will be made available to the shortlisted artists during the proposal phase of the competition.

4. Request for Qualifications (RFQ) 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 $1,500 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

Competition Milestone Planned Completion*
RFQ issued May 2, 2022
Deadline for Application – RFQ closing date June 27, 2022
Peer Assessment Committee Stage 1 Mid July, 2022
Shortlisted Artists notified and issued with Terms of Reference End of July 2022
Deadline for draft submissions August 29, 2022
Technical review September 6 to 23, 2022
Deadline for final submissions October 11, 2022
Online survey October 14 to October 31, 2022
Peer Assessment Committee Stage 2: Presentations and interviews Week of November 7, 2022
Finalists notified and contracting End of November
Artwork installation Summer 2023

*schedule is subject to changes.

4.3 Inquiries

Inquiries regarding this RFQ 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 supports 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 and References

Submit a current resumé of your art training, public exhibitions and commissions of your artwork and projects and any other experience directly relevant to this opportunity on a maximum of three (3) pages. Include your name, mailing address, telephone number and email address. If you are applying as a team, submit a separate resumé for each team member and clearly identify the lead contact for this project.

In addition, submit contact information for two (2) professional references who can verify qualification and projects demonstrated in the submission. References will be called for shortlisted artists only for verification purposes. Please ensure these references are aware that they may be contacted by the City of Ottawa as part of the process for this Request for Qualifications.

6.3 Sample Projects

Submit the 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 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.

(Closed) Request for qualifications: Strandherd Drive Widening

 aerial view of construction site showing roadways, parking lots and two yellow dots that point to public art site locations

Aerial view of a section of the Strandherd Drive Widening construction site  

This competition is now closed.

The City of Ottawa invites professional artists or artist teams to submit qualifications for the opportunity to design, fabricate and install two permanent benches which also serve as resting places in the park area between Haven Baptist Church and Jockvale Road. In addition, artists are invited to propose a bench/resting place or sculpture installation at the Kennedy-Burnett Stormwater Management Facility, to the south of Strandherd Drive. This two-stage competition in held in accordance with the Public Art Policy. This Request for Qualifications document provides information, details and submission requirements relating to the Strandherd Drive Widening project and to this public art competition.  

1. Strandherd Drive Widening – Project Background  

The City of Ottawa is undertaking the widening of Strandherd Drive, to a four-lane cross section from Maravista Drive to Jockvale Road in Barrhaven. This is a major and complex infrastructure project spanning approximately 3.3. kilometres in length, and is a significant investment in Barrhaven. It will provide capacity for existing and future traffic volumes during peak periods and facilitate the movement of cyclists and pedestrians through the corridor as well as provide the underground infrastructure to support growth. To support the new development south of Strandherd Drive, the project also includes the expansion and retrofit of the Kennedy-Burnett Stormwater Management Facility to improve water quality. A multi-use pathway will also be constructed throughout the stormwater pond limits and will include a new pedestrian bridge. Construction began in summer 2020 and is anticipated to be complete in the fall 2023.

2. Public Art Vision  

The public art installation on Strandherd Drive will integrate visually significant elements that provide identity and distinctive character to the site. The bench artworks will artistically enhance the renewed adjacent streetscape in addition to incorporating contemporary elements to ensure a timeless design. They should serve a purpose to provide somewhere for pedestrian to pause and rest as they walk between Strandherd Drive, Haven Baptist Church and the residential community to the north. In addition, artists are invited to propose a bench/resting place or sculpture installation for the neighbouring Kennedy-Burnett Stormwater Management Facility to the south of Strandherd Drive. There is the opportunity to create a dialogue between the three artworks.

The artworks will enhance the site by creating an environment that is aesthetically interesting and engaging for the community, pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The artworks should be conceptually and visually innovative, and reflect a thorough and sensitive understanding of place, context and setting.  

3. Public Art Design Requirements

Completed works of art shall:

  • Demonstrate contemporary artistic excellence
  • Be conceptually timeless and enduring
  • Show sensitivity to the surrounding community and address site characteristics
  • Complementing the style, scale and medium of the renewed streetscape
  • Be engaging to pedestrians and adjacent vehicular traffic
  • Be safe for the public
  • Be made of highly permanent materials that are suitable to the environment and require minimal maintenance
  • Comply with all building codes and bylaws

4. Public art Sites and descriptions 

aerial view of construction site showing roadways, parking lots and two yellow dots that point to public art site locations

Aerial view of park between Haven Baptist Church and Jockvale Drive  

The aerial view above shows the park location on the north side of Strandherd Drive between Haven Baptist Church and Jockvale Road, providing pedestrian pathways between Strandherd Drive and the residential community to the north.

Reference plans:
Strandherd Drive Key Plan
Strandherd Widening Roll Plan

In addition, artists have the option to also propose a bench artwork for the neighbouring Kennedy-Burnett Stormwater Management Facility to the south of Strandherd Drive. A multi-use pathway borders the stormwater facility and connects Strandherd Drive to the residential community to the south. It also features a new pedestrian bridge at the south of the facility. Artists are welcome to propose a suitable location for artwork within this area.

Standard bench concrete pads will be provided by the General Contractor, and detailed specifications will be provided as part of the Terms of Reference document at the next stage. A suggested location for the concrete pads is shown as yellow circles in the park area image above, however other location suggestions are welcome. If proposed artwork bench(es) and/or sculpture require a different foundation base, please note that artists will be expected to provide stamped engineering drawings and specifications to the Project Team. The installation of any foundation will be undertaken by the General Contractor and the cost (within reason) will be covered by the construction project.

These benches will help create a unique sense of place and present an alternative to standardized benches. Although designated as public artworks, the artist-designed furnishings will need to fulfill the traditional functions of a bench or seating element, as well as meet safety requirements set out by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

5. Public Art Budget 

The total budget for this commission is $155,000 in Canadian Dollars plus Harmonized Sales Tax. This public art budget includes all costs to consult, collaborate, design, fabricate, store, transport and install the public art, plus the cost of engineering, attachments and anchoring to the foundations. This should also include the Artist’s or Artist’s team time, travel and attendance at meetings and events.   

6. Schedule (dates subject to change) 

Competition Milestone Planned Completion
Request for Qualifications issued February 2022
Deadline for Submissions – Request for Qualifications closing date April 6, 2022
Peer Assessment Committee Stage 1 April 2022
Shortlisted Artists notified and issued with Terms of Reference
Information meeting for Shortlisted Artists
Deadline for draft submissions June 15, 2022
Technical review June 2022
Deadline for final submissions August 2022
Online survey August 2022
Peer Assessment Committee Stage 2: Presentations and Interviews August 2022
Meeting with commissioned artist / artist team and Project Team September 2023
Fabrication and installation Fall 2022 – Spring 2023
Project completion 2023

7. Background information  

7.1 City of Ottawa Public Art Program  

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. 

7.2 City of Ottawa Honouring Statement

Ottawa is built on un-ceded Algonquin Anishinabe territory.  
The peoples 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 honours the peoples and land of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation. The City of Ottawa honours all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and their valuable past and present contributions to this land. 

7.3 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.

8. Request for Qualifications Process 

8.1 Selection process 

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

Request for Qualifications: Stage I
Qualifications will be evaluated by a Peer Assessment Committee consisting of artists with public art experience, a community representative and representatives from the Strandherd Drive Widening project. This committee will review and evaluate submissions from artists in accordance with the Evaluation Criteria and will shortlist a maximum of four artists to advance to Stage II.

Request for Proposals: Stage II
Shortlisted artists will meet with the Project Team for an Information Session remotely, and will be given Terms of Reference for preparing proposals, drawings and budgets for Stage II of the competition. Shortlisted artists will be paid an honorarium of $1,500 plus Harmonized Sales Tax for the preparation of a presentation to the Peer Assessment Committee.

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

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. Shortlisted artists should ensure they have access to a high-speed internet connection to enable this interview to be conducted virtually.

11. Request for Qualifications Conditions

11.1 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.

11.2 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.

11.3 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.

11.4 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. Person al information will only be used for evaluating your submission and administering the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Program.

12. 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.

Site-specific art, whether long-term or temporary, functional or aesthetic, standalone or integrated and in any media, is an original work that is created in response to the immediate context of the building and or landscape within the site.

Technical Review Panel, to be composed of conservation, design, engineering and project technical experts, responsible for reviewing the selected artist(s) public art proposal in regards to feasibility, maintenance, conservation and other technical considerations.

(Closed) Call for proposals: 2022-23 exhibitions (Corridor 45|75)

image shows an installation view of an exhibition in a long corridor of bright blue and white landscapes images.

Channeling Currents at Corridor 45|75, photo: City of Ottawa

This competition is now closed. The Call for proposals: 2024-25 exhibitions at Corridor 45|75 will be announced in March 2023.

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

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

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

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's 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 Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. The City of Ottawa is committed to supporting cultural activities that respond to the Calls to Action put forward in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Applications from Algonquin Anishinabe 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.

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.

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 two consecutive years are not eligible to apply.

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

Artworks with electrical components:

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

Honorarium

  • Exhibiting artists will be paid an exhibition fee in accordance with either the 2022 or the 2023 CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule, Section 1 (Exhibition and Screening Royalty Schedule, Institutional Category I). Curators will receive a professional fee.
  • The exhibition fee and the curatorial fee include all professional services related to the preparation, installation, consultation, writing tasks, and production of artwork(s) associated with the exhibition.
  • The City of Ottawa Public Art Program does not cover expenses related to travel, accommodation, per diems and the transportation of artwork(s).
  • Complex installations of any kind requiring special equipment or specific support beyond the City of Ottawa Public Art Program’s budget are the sole responsibility of the artist.

Assessment criteria and process

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

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

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

Compliance Review

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

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: 2022-23 exhibitions (Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery)

left image shows black and white 2D artwork hung on black and white gallery walls; right image shows a colorful installation of handmade animal sculptures propped up or hung in the space.

(left) Neeko Paluzzi – The little prince (installation view at Karsh-Masson Gallery); (right) Kim Vose Jones – Cirque de-Vice (installation view at City Hall Art Gallery), photos: City of Ottawa

This competition is now closed. The Call for proposals: 2024-25 exhibitions at Karsh-Masson Gallery‎ and City Hall Art Gallery will be announced in March 2023.

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

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

About Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery

Karsh-Masson Gallery and City Hall Art Gallery are located on the main level at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West. Both galleries are open daily from 9 am to 8 pm and are wheelchair accessible. Admission is free. (Hours of operation are subject to change due to Covid-19 closures.)

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

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

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's 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 Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. The City of Ottawa is committed to supporting cultural activities that respond to the Calls to Action put forward in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Applications from Algonquin Anishinabe 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.

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.

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 two consecutive years are not eligible to apply.

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

Artworks with electrical components:

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

Honorarium

  • Exhibiting artists will be paid an exhibition fee in accordance with either the 2022 or the 2023 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 2022 or the 2023 CARFAC-RAAV Minimum Recommended Fee Schedule, Section 4 (C.2.0 – Presentation and Consultation fees, Flat rate per half day, under 4 hours).
  • The City of Ottawa Public Art Program does not cover expenses related to travel, accommodation, per diems and the transportation of artwork(s).
  • Complex installations of any kind requiring special equipment or specific support beyond the City of Ottawa Public Art Program’s budget are the sole responsibility of the artist.

Assessment criteria and process

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

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

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

Compliance review

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

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) 2022 Direct Purchase Program

View of City Hall Art Gallery with several paintings, sculptures and photographs by different artists.

Image: Holding Pattern: 2021 Additions to the City of Ottawa Art Collection (installation view at City Hall Art Gallery), photo: David Barbour

This competition is now closed.

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. More than 2,700 artworks are reviewed each year.

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

Program objectives

  • To support eligible emerging, mid-career and established professional visual artists
  • 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), including prioritizing applications from Indigenous, equity-seeking applicants, and artists not currently in the City of Ottawa Art Collection.

Eligibility

Who is eligible?

  • Participants must be professional artists or representatives of professional artists such as a gallery or an estate
  • 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 your Artist Statement or Artistic Résumé)
  • Artists must be committed to their artistic activity
  • Artists must have created a body of work outside of basic training
  • Artists who identify as Algonquin Anishinaabe

Who is not eligible?

  • students who have not yet completed initial 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 program
  • 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 committee change for every program

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

  • A complete application must include support material listed below, up to ten images or ten minutes of time-based media or a combination thereof
  • Support material may be written in English or French

Application materials

Support materials

Items 1, 2, and 3 to be saved as one PDF

  1. Artist statement (maximum 500 words)
  2. Artistic résumé (maximum 1500 words)
  3. Image/media list - a direct reference to the artwork image files you are including in your application. The image/media list is an opportunity to add information or additional descriptions of individual artworks. Use this list to indicate series, edition, or other significant details in point form

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) that support the proposal statement and follow the guidelines listed below.

Image files must be:

  • JPG format and no larger than 1 mb each
  • Named with the corresponding image list number, title, date, medium, dimensions and price, 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_$price.jpg

Examples:

  • 01_The Mountain_2022_graphite, acrylic and metal_96 x 106 inches_$1500.jpg
  • 02_Untitled 3 detail_2018_chromogenic print on paper_206 x 122 cm_$0.jpg
  • 03_Installation at Karsh-Masson Gallery variable dimensions_2015_mixed media_ 0x0cm_$0.jpg

When ten artworks are not for sale, include detail images, images with alternate points of view, or images of artwork from a similar series. Images of artworks not for sale should be named with a price of $0.

Application form

Application assistance

We are available to help you prepare your application in the following ways:

  • Discuss eligibility of your application, requirements of the program and answer any questions about the application and evaluation process
  • Virtual information sessions (details at top of page)
    • The sessions will be aimed at first-time applicants however all are welcome to attend
    • Download the Microsoft Teams Live app or participate in the session using a web browser

Delivery of artwork

  • Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be no second stage to review artworks in person
  • If your artwork is selected for purchase, we will request delivery at a future date when it is safe to do so
  • All successful applicants will be contacted to arrange delivery of the artworks selected for acquisition

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 program’s limited budget cannot fund all applicants, regardless of their merit.

Contact us

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.

(Closed) National request for qualifications: Exterior pillars installation

Image showing the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, view from Albert Street.

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:

Opportunity Artist experience
Expression of interest: Indigenous Public Art Mentor Senior and mid-career Indigenous Visual Artists from across Canada
Indigenous Public Art: Direct Purchase - Inuit Art Local Inuit senior, mid-career and emerging artists and/or their representatives (with 150km radius of Ottawa)
Request for proposals: Algonquin artists – Indigenous Multi-Purpose Room, Exterior Glass Frit and/or Interior Film Design Mid-career, emerging Algonquin artists / artist teams. Selected artists and/or teams will have the opportunity to work with an Indigenous artist/mentor.
Request for proposals: Interior Pimisi entrance and exterior sculpture installation Senior, mid-career and emerging Indigenous artists from across Canada
Request for qualifications: Exterior pillars installation Senior and mid-career Indigenous artists from across Canada

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 publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

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 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 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. Introduction

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.

1.4 Eligibility

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.

3.3 Locations

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 four external pillars

Image showing the location of external pillars

Image showing the location of three 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)

3.4 Budget

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.

4.2 Schedule

subject to change

Competition milestones Planned completion
Request for proposal issued.
Information sessions dates with curator and project team
February 2021
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
July 2021
Technical review October 2021
Deadline for final submissions December 2021
Online survey 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
Project completion 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 publicartprogram@ottawa.ca 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 publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

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.

7. Resources

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.

(Closed) National request for proposals: Indigenous art - Interior Pimisi entrance and exterior sculpture

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

Image showing the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada building from Pimisi Station

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:

Opportunity Artist experience
Expression of Interest: Indigenous Public Art Mentor Senior and mid-career Indigenous Visual Artists from across Canada
Indigenous Public Art: Direct Purchase - Inuit Art Local Inuit senior, mid-career and emerging artists and/or their representatives (with 150km radius of Ottawa)
Request for Proposals: Algonquin artists – Indigenous multi-purpose room, exterior glass frit and/or interior film design Mid-career, emerging Algonquin artists / artist teams. Selected artists and/or teams will have the opportunity to work with an Indigenous artist/mentor.
Request for Proposals: Interior Pimisi entrance and exterior sculpture installation Senior, mid-career and emerging Indigenous artists from across Canada
Request for qualifications: Exterior Pillars Installation Senior and mid-career Indigenous artists from across Canada

The Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada project invites senior, mid-career and emerging Indigenous artists from across Canada to submit proposals to be considered for permanent artwork(s). This public art call for artists is a two-stage selection process. Indigenous artist and artists teams are encouraged to apply as well as consult with the host Algonquin communities.

Deadline for Submissions: Friday, June 18, 2021, 4 pm (Eastern Standard Time)
Please email your submission documents to publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

Budgets:

Exterior sculpture installation in north-west garden area and/or second-floor terrace

  • $150,000 plus harmonized sales tax

Interior installation Pimisi entrance

  • $100,000 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.

To request an information package for this opportunity including architectural drawings, please contact 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 mid-career and emerging Indigenous visual artists/teams will require:

  • Artist curriculum vitae/résumé (maximum three pages)
  • Artist statement (maximum one page)
  • Approach to community engagement and mentorship (maximum one page)
  • Ten images of previous work and image list

1. Introduction

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.

1.4 Eligibility

This request for proposals is open to Indigenous artists from across Canada. Both sites are open to senior, mid-career and emerging artists and artist teams, experience in creating permanent public art is an asset but not required. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply. Eligible senior, mid-career and emerging artists 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 from Canada to submit a request for proposal to design, fabricate and install permanent artwork for two sites. Two artists or teams will be selected to create art for exterior sculpture(s) and/or the interior wall location. We encourage applicants to tell a story and consult with the local Algonquin Annishnabeg communities to develop the proposal. Please contact us if you require contact information for the local Indigenous communities. Both opportunities are two-stage competitions that are 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 lite-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 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.

3.2 Design requirements

The completed works of art shall:

  • Demonstrate contemporary, innovative artistic excellence
  • Show appreciation 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 these areas will be salted in the winter months.
  • Be safe for the public and have no protruding obstacles that would cause injury.

3.3 Locations

Exterior sculpture/installation

The north west exterior park area at the first floor north exterior terrace has been identified as an artwork location. The public art opportunity is for sculpture and/or art installation integrated into the park, pathway and/or exterior elements. Art installation options include sculpture, lighting, sound, planting within the garden area. Other options as presented by the artist will be considered.

The exterior of the second-floor terrace has also been identified as an artwork location. The public art opportunity is for sculpture and/or art installation integrated into the terrace area. Art installation options include sculpture, sound and planting within the designated terrace area. Other options as presented by the artist will be considered.

Note: both locations may be selected for two artworks that speak to each other

Second floor exterior terrace with visual connection to the interior circular Indigenous multi-purpose gathering space/meeting room. Terrace is enclosed by curtain wall on the building side and guard clad with stone to waist height.

  • Space height: 3 meters (9.8 feet).
  • Terrace details: exterior balustrade guards with stone cladding, curtain wall with glass panels, precast concrete paver flooring.
Interior Pimisi entrance

The north east Pimisi interior area of the facility has been identified as the artwork location.  Visitors enter from the plaza area and the Pimisi transit station which directly leads into the Ottawa Public Library that faces considerable external light in the afternoon. The public art opportunity is for a 2D/low-relief artwork installation and/or video/film/animation projection to be located on a two-storey high interior wall within the Pimisi entrance lobby.

Lobby at the Pimisi entrance

Lobby at the Pimisi entrance

Two-storey high wall facing the Pimisi entrance doors, adjacent to the public stairs leading to the main gathering space at the first floor level.

  • Wall height: 9.2 meters (30 feet)
  • Wall width: 3.3 meters (11 feet)

Wall construction: drywall with metal studs cladding the structural concrete elevator walls, paint finish, power and data available.

3.4 Budget

The total budget for this commission is in Canadian dollars plus harmonized sales tax:

Exterior sculpture installation (North east garden and/or second floor terrace)

  • $150,000 plus harmonized sales tax

Interior Pimisi entrance

  • $100,000 plus harmonized sales tax

These public art budgets include 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 proposals 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. 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: Submissions 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 proposals 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 curator and project team remotely for an information session and will be given terms of reference for preparing proposals, drawings and budgets for Stage II of the competition. Shortlisted artists (maximum three) will be given an honorarium of $1500 plus harmonized sales tax for preparing a 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.

4.2 Schedule

subject to change

Competition milestones Planned completion
Request for proposals issuedInformation sessions dates with curator and project team February 2021
Deadline for submissions – Request for proposals closing date June 18, 2021
Peer Assessment Committee #1 and shortlisted artists selected
Meeting with project team, curator, mentor
July 2021
Technical review October 2021
Deadline for final submissions December 2021
Online survey 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
Project completion 2024

5. Evaluation and selection criteria

All applicants must have demonstrated experience in the following areas:

  • in the visual arts, public art experience is an asset but not required;
  • in project management as related to the creation of public artwork, visual art and/or design;
  • working within community engagement/consultation with strong written and verbal communication skills;

Submissions will be evaluated based on previous artwork and projects, qualifications, artistic practice and approach to engaging 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
  • Submissions must be received no later than: Friday, June 18, 2021, 4 pm (Eastern Standard Time). A confirmation email will be sent when your application has been received.
  • Please email your submission documents to publicartprogram@ottawa.ca
  • 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  publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

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 Proposal outline

Please submit an outline of your proposed concept, one page maximum. Indicate your approach to interpreting the commission opportunity, how you will meet the design requirements, and what materials and processes you would consider for the fabrication of the artwork.

6.3 Approach to community engagement

Please provide a description of your approach to community collaboration in the context of this project. Describe how you would engage with the Algonquin communities and what impact collaboration with the community would have on your final artwork. Artist teams shall provide one description for the entire group. Do not exceed one page. Please indicate which opportunity you are applying for within your application.

6.4 Current curriculum vitae/résumé(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.

6.5 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 this 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.

7. Resources

8. Request for proposals conditions

8.1 Disclosure of information

Applicants shall not issue a news release or other public announcement pertaining to details of the request for proposals, their request for proposals 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.

(Closed) Expression of interest – Indigenous Curator

Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility  

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

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

This competition is now closed. Learn More

The City of Ottawa is seeking an Indigenous Curator or team of curators to develop and curate an Indigenous Art Program for the new Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility. This two-stage competition is held in accordance with the Public Art Policy. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply.

1. Acknowledgement – Honouring the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation, First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples

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

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

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

The facility will contain 21 functional components made up of Ottawa Public Library-only spaces, Library and Archives Canada-only spaces, and shared spaces. The shared spaces will enhance the complementary but unique nature of Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada services, and will include:

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

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

3. Ottawa Public Library-Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility Project Schedule

* Project schedule and milestones subject to change

Project milestone Planned completion
Architect Design contract award and commencement December 2018
Commencement of the design process engagement and consultation plan January 2019
Facility design development 2019 to 2020
Design work completed – construction drawings tender ready Fall 2020
General contractor services contract awarded 2021
Construction commencement 2021
Substantial performance of construction 2024
Total completion of construction (contract) 2024
Building in service 2024
Total completion of construction (clearing contract deficiencies) 2025
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™ certification 2025

4. Indigenous Art Program Opportunity

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

5. Project Vision

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

6. Indigenous Curator Scope of Work

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

7. Schedule

*Schedule is subject to change
Deadline for applications: Monday, September 9, 2019, noon (Eastern Standard Time)
Finalist interviews: Thursday September 26 (in person or remotely)
Curator contracted: October 2019
Indigenous Art Program development: October 2019 to April 2020
Indigenous Art Procurement Initiated: May 2020

8. Budget

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

9. Selection Process

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

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

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

10. Selection criteria

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

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

11. Confidentiality of information

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

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

(Closed) Expression of interest - Indigenous Public Art Mentor

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

Rendering of the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, view from Albert Street

Rendering of 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 OPL-LAC project:

Opportunity Artist experience
Expression of Interest: Indigenous Public Art Mentor Senior and mid-career Indigenous Visual Artists from across Canada
Indigenous Public Art: Direct Purchase - Inuit Art Local Inuit senior, mid-career and emerging artists and/or their representatives (with 150km radius of Ottawa)
Request for Proposals: Algonquin artists – Indigenous Multi-Purpose Room, Exterior Glass Frit and/or Interior Film Design Mid-career, emerging Algonquin artists / artist teams. Selected artists and/or teams will have the opportunity to work with an Indigenous artist/mentor.
Request for Proposals: Interior Pimisi entrance and exterior sculpture installation Senior, mid-career and emerging Indigenous artists from across Canada
Request for qualifications: Pillars installation Senior and mid-career Indigenous artists from across Canada

The City of Ottawa is seeking an Indigenous Mentor, experienced with public art commissions, for the new Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Project. Senior and mid-career Indigenous visual Artists from across Canada are invited to submit an Expression of Interest. This call is held in accordance with the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Policy.

The Mentor does not need to reside in Ottawa, the work schedule is flexible within the work period and project milestones. The selected mentor will advise the proposal development for up to six shortlisted artists/teams and mentor up to two selected artists/teams. Mentor will also act as advisor during the selection processes for two Indigenous Public Art opportunities: the Indigenous Multi-purpose room (with Childrens’ Reading Room additional option) and the exterior frit and/or interior film design on glass public art.

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.

Budget: $30,000 Canadian Dollars plus harmonized sales tax

Contract Period: May 2021 to 2024 (approximately)

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.

Submissions from senior, mid-career Indigenous visual artists will require:

  • Artist curriculum vitae/resume - maximum three pages
  • Expression of Interest outlining your connection to this opportunity and your approach to community engagement and mentorship - maximum one page
  • Two references - names and current contact information

Note: Mentor artists are encouraged to also apply to Public Art Calls for Indigenous artists.

1. Introduction

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.

1.4 Eligibility

This Expression of Interest is open to Indigenous Artists who have public art experiences. This Expression of Interest is an equal opportunity, open to Indigenous Artists born in Canada, who have mentorship and public art experience. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply. Eligible Artists 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 history of creating and installing public art, presentation or publication.

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 Transit and multi-use pathways for cyclists and pedestrians. Find out 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 - 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 Vision for Indigenous Art and Programming 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 born in Canada. This program will integrate public art artwork made by local, regional and national Indigenous artists (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) throughout the interior and exterior of the facility. The Indigenous art will be integrated into the facility to create a welcoming and inclusive space representing strong, traditional and contemporary Indigenous artists.

3.2 Indigenous mentor opportunity

The City of Ottawa Public Art Program is seeking an experienced and highly motivated Indigenous Artist to provide mentorship for a local artist(s) and/or artist team(s). The mentor would take part in the Peer Selection Committee for the local Algonquin artist opportunities for the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility. The Artist mentor will work collaboratively with the Curator - Indigenous Public Art and Ottawa Public Art staff for a coordinated approach throughout the process. The Artist mentor must have public art experience, bring a high level of conceptual ability and innovation to the mentorship process and be well versed in local Indigenous art practices and cultural protocols.

Indigenous arts and culture hold an unmeasurable wealth of knowledge and for centuries Elders and knowledge keepers have provided support systems for younger generations on Turtle Island. We see as Elders and community members pass, that loss of knowledge combined with integration of different world views result in limited opportunities to continue to ‘pass the fire’. Mentorship goals are to provide positive experiences by providing the opportunity to transfer knowledge that will strengthen Indigenous artistic voice within the public art field. In the spirit of providing positive guidance, the mentor will provide support to local selected artist/teams that include all aspects of the public art process, but is not limited to:

  • design development and content
  • fabricator knowledge, connection and processes
  • installation connection and processes
  • budget, timeline, reporting inquiries

3.3 Indigenous mentor scope of work

  • Attend various meetings as required including one selection committee meeting for the Indigenous Art Local Call as an advisor (non-voting) for the shortlisted artists for the Indigenous multi-purpose room (with Childrens’ Story Room option) and frit and/or film glass design public art calls;
  • Deliver a public presentation for the community at large about the mentor opportunity (with Curator - Indigenous Public Art , as required in person or on-line);
  • Develop an innovative mentor approach that provides mentorship throughout the design, fabrication and installation processes for the local Artist call, subject to review with Public Art team and Curator – Indigenous Public Art;
  • Produce written final report that includes considerations for future public art/mentor processes.

3.4 Schedule (subject to change)

Competition milestones Planned completion
Expression of interest issued February 2021
Finalist interviews by May 26, 2021
Mentor contracted May 2021 to 2024
Building and artwork fabrication 2021 to 2024
Art installation 2024

4. Expression of interest process

4.1 Selection process

The successful proponent will be selected for this opportunity through an open call, as well as invitational process and interviews. An interview committee comprised of City staff and professional external or internal consultants will review and evaluate the candidates according to the selection criteria for interviews.

Finalists will be invited to:

  • prepare a work plan outlining their approach to the opportunity
  • refer to projects of a similar scope and magnitude, undertaken or completed that highlight their innovative practice.
  • interviews for selected applicants will include a discussion relating to a proposed work plan, public art experience, past curatorial and/or mentorship experiences.

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.

4.2 Selection criteria

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

  • An established art practice with previous experience with public art processes and mentorship/education experience;
  • Well versed in Indigenous art practices and cultural protocols;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills with a demonstrated understanding of the project and its context;
  • Access to on-line meeting tools will be an asset.

5. Submission requirements

  • Your submission must include all three sections listed below.
  • Materials may be written in English or French
  • Documents must be submitted as one PDF file

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 Mentor 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.

5.1 Expression of interest

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

  • What connects you and your previous work to this project?
  • Describe your experience with mentorship and/or education.

5.2 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.

5.3 References

Contact information for two professional references who can speak to your experience with public art and/or mentorship. Please ensure these references are aware that they may be contacted by the City of Ottawa as part of the evaluation process for this expression of interest.

6. Resources

7. Expression of interest conditions

7.1 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.

7.2 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.

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.