This competition is now closed. The Call for 2021 Direct Purchase applications will be announced in 2021.
Public Art Program
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About Direct Purchase
The City of Ottawa Public Art Program invites professional artists and their representatives to offer existing artworks for purchase. Proposals are reviewed by a peer assessment committee and selected artworks will become part of the City of Ottawa Art Collection.
Direct Purchase is a competitive program for participants to offer artwork for purchase to the City of Ottawa. More than 2,500 artworks are reviewed each year.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be a change in the Direct Purchase process this year. There will be no second stage to review artworks in person. If your artwork is selected for purchase, we will request delivery at a future date when it is safe to do so.
All eligible applications are reviewed by a peer assessment committee based on artistic merit, regional importance, innovation, and conservation and maintenance requirements. Recommendations for purchase are made by a peer assessment committee based on available funds. The composition of each committee aims to balance representation of artistic specialization, practice, style, and philosophy, as well as fair representation of official languages, gender, geographic areas, and culture-specific communities. Peer assessment committee members are chosen based on their knowledge and experience, fair and objective opinions, ability to articulate ideas, and ability to work in a team environment. Members of the committee change for every program. City employees are responsible for the selection of peer assessment committee members. If you are interested in participating as a peer assessment committee member, please contact us.
The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse community, including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. On February 28, 2018, City Council approved a Reconciliation Plan in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. One of the commitments is to acquire more art from Indigenous artists into the City of Ottawa Art Collection. Applications from artists and representatives of diverse origins, First Nations, Inuit and Métis are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.
Personal information in your submission is collected under the authority of the City Council approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your submission and administering the City of Ottawa Public Art Program. City of Ottawa employees and peer assessment committee members are required to treat both the content of submissions and the deliberations of the committee as confidential.
- Participants must be professional artists or representatives of professional artists such as a gallery or an estate
- Participants must either be the author of the artwork or represent the author of the artwork
- Artists must live, or have lived, within a 150 km radius of Ottawa or the artwork must have a local connection (please indicate this in your Artist Statement or Artistic Resumé)
- Artists must have completed specialized training in their artistic field or be recognized by their peers as a professional artist
- Artists must be committed to their artistic activity
- Artists must have created a body of work outside of basic training
Only one submission per artist will be considered. City of Ottawa employees or elected representatives are not eligible to participate.