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Public art

Calls to artists: commissions

Public art is coming to a neighbourhood near you! Public art commissions accompany major capital projects such as the O-Train Confederation Line. Using a percent of the capital project's total budget, new art commissions are planned for public sites and are awarded to an artist based on a peer assessment committee's recommendation. When complete, public art commissions enter into the City of Ottawa Art Collection.

To receive emails about new commissions, email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca with the subject line “subscribe – commissions.”  Calls to artists and announcements are emailed directly to subscribers.

Call to Artists: Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility - Public Art Opportunity

Published December 14, 2018

City of Ottawa logo and Public Art Program logo

Overview

  • Closing Date: Monday, February 4, 2019, 4:00 p.m. E.S.T.
  • Total budget: Approximately $600,000.00 Canadian Dollars + HST
  • Contact: Melissa Black, Public Art Officer
                  1-613-244-4261
                   Melissa.Black@ottawa.ca

1. Introduction

1.1 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 (1%) of funds from municipal development projects to be set aside for public art in order to enhance public spaces and make art accessible to everyone.

1.2 Public Art Opportunity

The City of Ottawa invites professional artists or artist teams to submit qualifications for the opportunity of Artist on Design Team to work collaboratively with the Architectural Design Team of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Joint Facility to design, fabricate and install a permanent, site-specific artwork integrated into the facility. This two-stage competition is held in accordance with the Public Art Policy. This Request for Qualifications document provides important information, details and submission requirements related to the OLP-LAC Joint Facility and to this public art competition.

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

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

1.4 Request for Qualification (RFQ) 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 on multidisciplinary design 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 artists are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages (English and French) as having the same rights, status and privileges.

2. Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Joint Facility Project Background

2.1 OPL-LAC Facility - Project Vision

The OPL and LAC Joint Facility will contribute to the ongoing transformation of Canada’s capital into a world-class city through the creation of a modern, prestigious facility that brings together and showcases a new Ottawa Public Library’s Central Library with Library and Archives Canada’s public services in a new combined municipal/national institution.

The collaboration between the OPL and LAC is based on shared values of intellectual freedom and access to information, and will result in the creation of an iconic and meaningful destination in the nation’s capital. This destination will reflect Ottawa’s and Canada’s heritage and origins, and at the same time acknowledge the future through the creation of an experience that is both local and national.

The objective of the project is to bring together, in a shared facility, a new Ottawa Central Library and Library and Archives Canada’s public programs and services in the National Capital Region. The project will be a defining image for 21st century Ottawa, celebrating community vitality and the history of Ottawa, the greater Ottawa area, and Canada.

The value in the OPL and LAC collaboration will be realized through:

  • Creation of a civic and national landmark;
  • Richer customer experience for all visitors to a joint facility;
  • Unique opportunities for shared programming, including exterior programming and events;
  • Enhanced access for OPL customers to national collections and resources; and
  • Increased visibility and exposure for LAC public services due to the high volume of visitors to the Ottawa Central Library.

2.2 OPL-LAC Joint Facility - Project Description

The overall size of the facility will be approximately 20,000 gross m2 (216,000 ft2) with 61% or 12,080 m2 (133,000 ft2) allocated to OPL, and 39% or 7,710 m2 (83,000 ft2) to LAC. The Project will be located at 555 Albert Street, a site owned by the City of Ottawa that is approximately 250 m from the Pimisi light rail station. It is conservatively anticipated that the joint facility will have an average of 5,000 visitors each day.

The City of Ottawa and the Government of Canada are committed to sustainability in their facilities and strive to reduce the environmental impacts of their operations. To demonstrate leadership in sustainability, the facility will obtain a minimum of level Gold certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) v4 for the Build Design and Construction.

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

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

2.3 OPL – LAC Joint Facility - Site

The OPL-LAC Joint Facility will be located at 555 Albert Street near residential and mixed-use areas, the Pimisi light rail station, and green spaces. The site offers excellent sightlines and connectivity to the surrounding cityscape and natural environment, with views of the historic LeBreton Flats, aqueduct and Fleet Street pumping station, the Ottawa River, Gatineau Hills and the downtown Ottawa skyline. The OPL-LAC Joint facility will also be located in close proximity to Chaudière Falls, a traditional sacred site for the Algonquin Anishinabe 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.

2.4 OPL-LAC Project Schedule

*Project schedule and milestones subject to change

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

3. Public Art Opportunity

3.1 Artist on Design Team

As Artist on Design Team, the selected Artist or artist team will work collaboratively with the architectural team during the design development process of the OPL-LAC Joint Facility, allowing for seamless integration of public art and artistic enhancements into the project design and construction. The preferred design team is the consortium of Diamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects and procurement of professional design services is currently in the negotiation and contract finalization phase. This public art opportunity is conditioned by a desire to leverage the Artists’ talent, vision and experience and to realize artistic concepts early in the design development of the OPL-LAC Joint Facility.

The selected Artist or artist team will bring creative energy, professionalism, design excellence and innovation to the OPL-LAC Joint Facility design process and will develop a public art concept to be integrated into the architecture and/or landscape. In addition, the Artist on Design Team will be required to attend and participate in public and stakeholder engagement sessions as part of the Architect’s Design Process Engagement and Consultation (DPEC) Plan, to engage and inform the development of a public art proposal.

Public art may take the form of a standalone or architecturally integrated artwork, digital artwork and other visual art forms. The fabrication and installation of artwork(s) may be managed directly by the Artist or by the Architect depending on the selected Artist(s) approach.  Regardless, the Architect shall be responsible for the engineering and design coordination of the base building modifications, such as structural and electrical modifications, necessary to support the installation of the selected artwork(s) as required.

3.2 Scope of Work

The proposed period of contract for the Artist on Design Team for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility will be approximately five (5) years from 2019 to 2024, with the peak period of productivity occurring during design development and construction coordination of the artwork. The contracted Artist(s) will be required to adhere to the responsibilities as set out in the Public Art Terms of Reference, issued to shortlisted artists, and to the Artist Supply Agreement that will include but are not limited to the following scope of work:

  • Act as an integral member of the design team in all phases, championing the importance of artistic excellence; 
  • Participate in meetings with the Design Team, public stakeholders and or Client Advisory Team (CAT) as required;
  • Identify locations suitable for artwork installation(s) in collaboration with the Architect with an approach to the facility design that holistically considers site, architecture, art, landscape, signage and wayfinding;
  • Collaborate with an Indigenous Art and Placemaking Program, a separate art opportunity for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility, to assist with site identification and for a coordinated and holistic approach to art at the facility;   
  • Develop artwork concepts, such as drawings and 3-D models or maquettes, including cost estimates, material samples, fabrication, installation, maintenance plans and conservation reports;
  • Present artwork concepts for review and approval by the Design and Curatorial Review Panel and Technical Review Panel during key design review milestones;
  • Manage the fabrication and installation of artwork, or inspect and oversee the artwork fabrication as coordinated by the Architect, as appropriate.

3.3. Public Art Vision

Public art for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility should add distinctive visual character to the facility, enhance user experience and be universal in appeal to the diverse patrons of the facility. The public art should elevate the OPL-LAC Joint Facility and the City of Ottawa Art Collection to an international level of design excellence, engaging in dialogue with the architecture and the site.  

Public art for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility should be original, site-specific, iconic, visually striking and representing the highest standards of contemporary artistic excellence. The artwork should create discussion and excitement attracting people to the new facility. The artwork should have a strong connection to place, be respectful of the site context and reflect OPL-LAC goals of creating a library and archives for the future that inspires learning, sparks curiosity and connects people.

3.4. Public Art Budget

The total budget for the Artist on Design Team contract is approximately $600,000 in Canadian Dollars (CAD) plus Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The public art budget is approximate and is subject to change. This budget includes all costs required to consult, collaborate, design, fabricate, store, transport and install the public art, including the Artist’s time, travel and attendance at meetings and events. The cost for engineering of the artwork for integration will be assumed by the Architect and costs for associated artwork infrastructure (anchoring, foundations and/or electrical) will be assumed by the Project, within reason and subject to negotiation.

4. Request for Qualifications (RFQ) Process

4.1 RFQ Process

The Artist on Design Team contract will be awarded following a two-stage, arms length, competitive process as follows:

  • Request for Qualifications: Stage I - Submissions will be evaluated by a Peer Assessment Committee consisting of artists, arts professionals and peers with public art experience, the Design Team lead Architect and project representatives. This committee will review and evaluate all submissions in accordance with the Evaluation Criteria listed below, and will shortlist a maximum of six (6) artists to advance to Stage II. Shortlisted artists must meet all of the requirements of 5.3.1 Gated Requirements, score a minimum of 70% and achieve the highest scores out of 80 points as per 5.3.2 Rated Requirements.
  • Presentation and Interviews: Stage II - Shortlisted artists will attend an Information Session with key members of the Design Team and the Project Team (in person or remotely) and will be issued a Terms of Reference with key information and details on Stage II competition requirements and the Artist Supply Agreement. Shortlisted artists (maximum six) will be paid an honorarium of $500 for the preparation of a presentation to the Peer Assessment Committee and will be reimbursed up to $1,500 CAD for travel to interview in Ottawa. Shortlisted artists will deliver presentations and will be interviewed by the Peer Assessment Committee (in person or remotely). The successful applicant will be awarded from a combined evaluation score from Stage I qualifications and Stage II interviews.

4.2 Request for Qualifications (RFQ) - Schedule

Competition Milestone Planned Completion
RFQ issued December 14, 2018
Deadline to submit inquiries on RFQ January 21, 2019
Last day for issuance of Addenda January 28, 2019
Deadline for Submissions – RFQ closing date Monday, February 4, 2019, 4:00 p.m. E.S.T.
Peer Assessment Committee Stage 1 February 2019
Shortlisted Artists notified and Terms of Reference issued February 2019
Information meeting for shortlisted Artists February 2019
Peer Assessment Committee Stage 2: Presentations and Interviews March 2019
Contract Award March 2019
Kick-off meeting with Design Team April 2019

4.3 Inquiries and Addenda

Inquiries regarding this RFQ must be directed to Melissa Black, Public Art Officer by email at Melissa.Black@ottawa.ca or phone 1-613-244-4261 no later than January 21, 2019. Responses to inquiries from applicants and new information will be posted on the website Ottawa.ca as a written Addendum no later than January 28, 2019. 

Inquiries and Addenda 

5. RFQ Requirements and Evaluation

5.1 RFQ Requirements

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

  • Demonstrated experience with managing and leading projects over $300,000 CAD;
  • Experience working on complex public art projects integrated within large-scale architecture or landscape projects; 
  • Innovation and problem solving;
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills;
  • Knowledge and ability to read and interpret architectural drawings;
  • Experienced in the requirements for engineering preliminary design, final design and construction, as well as fabrication and installation of public art, including the tendering process;
  • Demonstrated ability to create scaled, digital design drawings; 
  • Experienced working with stakeholders or others involved in the projects as required;
  • Availability to deliver the project for the durations as set out in the project schedule.

5.2 Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated based on two parts, first on Gated Requirement and then on Rated Requirement. Submissions that do not meet all of the Gated Requirements will not be further considered or evaluated.

5.2.1 Gated Requirements: (Pass/Fail)

Applicants’ résumés must demonstrate the minimum requirements listed here in order to be considered for this Request for Qualifications. For applicants applying as a team, the lead Artist must demonstrate the minimum requirements; a combination of team members’ experience will not be considered.

The minimum requirements are as follows:

  • Demonstrated seven (7) years or more of professional experience creating permanent public art; 
  • Demonstrated experience working on three (3) or more projects as Artist on Design Team and or lead Artist on a multidisciplinary team.

5.2.2 Rated Requirements: (80 Evaluation Points)

Rated Requirements will be evaluation on the following four (4) criteria for a total of 80 evaluation points: strength of qualifications (Résumé), previous experience (Sample Projects), professional approach (Expression of Interest) and artistic merit of previous artwork (Previous Artwork).  

Résumé: (20 points)  

  • Demonstrates an established practice in public art and/or visual arts.
  • Demonstrates appropriate level of experience required to manage and deliver the scope of work.

Sample Projects: (20 points)

  • Demonstrates relevant and innovative project experience.
  • Demonstrates experiences directly related to the RFQ Requirements.

Expression of Interest: (20 points)

  • Perspective or approach to role of Artist on Design Team is responsive to the project and the Public Art Vision.
  • Demonstrates inspiration, connection and/or excitement with the project.

Previous Artwork: (20 points)  

  • Demonstrates contemporary artistic excellence.
  • Demonstrates site specificity and responsiveness to context.

6. Submission Requirements

A complete submission must include the requirements listed below. Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request.

  • Support material may be written in English or French.
  • Written documents must be submitted as a single PDF file.
  • Applicants must submit a complete electronic application with all support material sent to publicartprogram@ottawa.ca via WeTransfer.com.
  • Submissions must be received by the deadline of February 4, 2019. 4:00 p.m. E.S.T.
  • Late or incomplete submissions will not be reviewed.

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

A complete submission must include all requirements listed below.

6.1 Résumé and References

Submit a current résumé of your art training, public exhibitions and commissions of your artwork, design team 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 résumé for each team member and clearly identify the lead Artist 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.

6.2 Sample Projects

Submit a maximum of three (3) written pages detailing information on relevant project experience, working as a member of a design team or multidisciplinary team in up to three (3) projects of similar scope and magnitude, undertaken or completed in the past ten (10) years. Each project example should demonstrate experience in related public art projects. Include the following information for each project: project title, team members, client name and location, detailed budget, duration, project overview, role on team, methodology, and any other unique or relevant information. Images may be included but are not required.

6.3. Expression of Interest

Submit a maximum of two (2) written page detailing your interest and approach related to this opportunity.

  • What connects you and/or your work to the public art vision for this project?
  • What aspects of this opportunity excite and inspires you, and why?
  • What perspective or approach will you bring to the role of Artist on Design Team?
  • If you are applying as an artist team, explain how you would collaborate.  

6.4. Previous Artwork and Detail List

Submit a maximum of ten (10) files in a combination of digital images and/or video/new media submissions 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 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.

In addition, submit a list, maximum two (2) written pages, with detailed information on the submitted digital images of previous artwork, using the name assigned to the file as per the examples below. Include title, date, medium, dimensions, budget, location, fabrication and installation process and other pertinent information of submitted samples of previous artworks.

Digital image file specifications:

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

An example of this naming convention is as follows:

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

Video/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 (1) 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. RFQ 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 RFQ, their RFQ 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 on Design Team, an Artist, embedded as a contributing member of the Design Team, to integrate public art concepts early in the design. 

Artist Supply Agreement, the contract between the City of Ottawa and the selected Artist for the public art opportunity of Artist on Design Team.

Client Advisory Team (CAT), the group consisting of representatives from the City of Ottawa, OPL, LAC, and a third-party Project Manager (City) representative. Each group may include additional organizational representation as required throughout the life of the Project to supplement the CAT.

Design and Curatorial Review Panel, responsible for reviewing the selected Artist(s) public art proposal in regards to artistic and conceptual merit, composed of members of the peer assessment committee or other public art/curatorial professionals, CAT and the Lead Architect.  

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

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

Indigenous Art and Placemaking Program, a separate but coordinated art program for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility, is open to First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists in response to recommendations from Ottawa Public Library’s Response to Truth and Reconciliation Report.

Integrated public art, artworks that are designed as an integral element of the architecture and/or landscape design. These works of public art are a permanent and fixed component of the construction of the site and are not transient or mobile in nature.

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.

RFQ, Request for Qualifications

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.

Standalone (non-integrated) public art is not a physical part of a building, structure or landscape, and is developed independently from the construction of the facility.

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.    

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
Vanier and Montreal Road Public Art Plan

Published July 30, 2018

Public Art Program logo

This competition is now closed. 

Are you on the list? To receive emails about new commissions, email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca with the subject line “subscribe – commissions.”  Calls to artists and announcements are emailed directly to subscribers.

The City of Ottawa invites curators, planning artists or public art consultants to submit their qualifications for consideration to develop a comprehensive Public Art Plan for Vanier and Montreal Road. This two-stage competition is held in accordance with the Public Art Policy.

Deadline Tuesday August 28, 4:30 p.m. E.S.T
Budget $20,000 CAD + HST
Development Time October 2018 – February 2019 (Approximately)
Contact

Melissa Black, Public Art Officer
melissa.black@ottawa.ca 613-244-4261

Introduction
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. One percent of funds from municipal development are mandated for public art in order to enhance public spaces and make art accessible to everyone.

Eligibility
This Request for Qualifications is an equal opportunity, open to curators, planning artists and public art consultants with experience in developing public art plans and or public art curatorial projects. 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. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. The City of Ottawa is committed to supporting cultural activities that respond to the Calls to Action put forward in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Applications from First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Project Background
The City of Ottawa is undertaking a number of initiatives in the community of Vanier with the common goals of improving neighbourhood vibrancy and liveability under the banner of Vision Vanier.

Projects include:

City staff will be coordinating and facilitating public engagement and consultation opportunities in the community over the next year asking residents, business owners, property owners, the Business Improvement Area, cultural groups and others for their opinions and ideas on a variety of plans, policies and programs. The proponent retained to produce the Vanier and Montreal Road Public Art Plan may wish to coordinate with existing community consultations or may wish to conduct their own public art specific engagement sessions.    

Montreal Road Revitalization
In summer of 2017, the City completed the Montreal Road Functional Planning Study, which outlined a vision for the 2km section of Montreal Road between North River Road and St. Laurent Boulevard. This vision is to construct a vibrant and welcoming main street with a well-balanced transportation network that will allow residents and businesses to thrive.

The City is now in the design phase of the project which focuses on refining the improvements proposed in the planning study and developing construction drawings. Once the detailed design is complete, the project will move forward into construction scheduled to start in spring 2019 and finish by 2021. The Montreal Road Revitalization represents a significant investment in the streetscape right of way and will have a large impact on redefining the public realm on the street. 

Vanier and Montreal Road Public Art Project
In keeping with the Public Art Policy, 1% of the construction costs of the Montreal Road Revitalization project and other eligible capital projects have allocated funds towards public art. The community’s diversity, unique history and character requires a comprehensive, inclusive and phased approach to developing Public Art for Vanier and Montreal Road. Phase 1 involves the development of a Public Art Plan informed by research, consultation and collaboration with the community and Phase 2 involves implementing the recommendations of the Art Plan by issuing Calls to Artists for the various public art opportunities.

Neighborhood Profile
Vanier is a historically francophone neighbourhood in the Rideau-Vanier Ward in Ottawa’s east end. The neighbourhood is located on the east bank of the Rideau River, across from the neighbourhoods of Lowertown and Sandy Hill, and south of Rockcliffe Park, New Edinburgh, Lindenlea, and Manor Park. Montreal Road is a designated traditional main street and is the main thoroughfare of the community with a mix of businesses, community organizations and residential properties. This is a well-established area with most of the housing constructed prior to the 1960’s with many residents able to trace their family histories to the area’s early days.

Vanier has a relatively small area with a high population density that is culturally diverse and home to a large indigenous and Inuit population. Despite challenges with community safety and economic development, the residents and communities are proud and engaged in the development and revitalization of Montreal Road and Vanier.

Community Resources

Opportunity
The City of Ottawa Public Art Program is seeking an experienced and highly motivated curator, planning artist or public art consultant to develop a Public Art Plan for Montreal Road and the surrounding Vanier communities*. The proponent will work collaboratively with the Montreal Road Revitalization Project Team, City of Ottawa staff and local stakeholders to determine a conceptual framework for art integrations. The proponent must bring a high level of conceptual ability and innovation to the planning process and inspire City of Ottawa staff and the community to reach for the best and most creative solutions for public art.

The Public Art Plan once developed, with considerable research and community consultations should be a strong conceptual plan with concrete recommendations for public art opportunities for Montreal Road and the surrounding Vanier communities* that identify context, themes, sites, approaches and budgets. The Public Art Program will implement the recommendations of the Montreal Road and Vanier Public Art Plan in Phase 2 of this project and will use the plan as a framework to govern future public art projects as additional funds become available. 

*The term communities refer to an inclusive understanding of multiple and diverse community groups, organizations, cultures, businesses and individuals residing within Vanier including First Nation, Inuit and Metis communities, Francophones, racialized communities, immigrants and newcomers.

Project Vision
The development of the Public Art Plan for Montreal Road and the surrounding Vanier communities should aim to be as inclusive and barrier free as possible, allowing space for diverse and marginalized voices and perspectives in the consultation process. The approach for engaging and consulting with communities should be an artistic and creative process in itself. The Public Art Plan should be strongly rooted in place and reflect the local values, stories, aspirations and character of the neighbourhood. In addition, the Public Art Plan should be innovative and forward thinking and present exciting and inventive approaches to public art. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation and in keeping with the City of Ottawa’s Reconciliation Action Plan the proponent should include Indigenous representation and culture in the Art Plan.

Project Objectives
The Public Art Program recognizes that public art is a constantly evolving form of visual expression and may vary in scale, size, scope and approach. Public art may take the form of neighbourhood interventions or larger iconic landmarks; standalone or integrated artwork; temporary or permanent; digital, socially engaged, performative, multi-media or other visual art forms. 

The proponent may identify multiple public art opportunities, in a variety of approaches and sites however, the Plan must address the following as a minimum:

  1. Permanent public art for Montreal Road integrated into the Road Revitalization Project, (themes, sites and approaches to be determined).  
  2. At least one public art opportunity dedicated to honouring and recognizing indigenous heritage and culture. If required an Indigenous Cultural Liaison may be retained to assist with community engagement and development of this opportunity.

Scope of Work

  • Research history, context and geography of Montreal Road and surrounding Vanier community;
  • Conduct site visits to survey assets and familiarize self with community and streetscape;
  • Review Montreal Road Revitalization landscaping and geometrical design plans to identity potential sites for public art on Montreal Road;
  • Develop methodology for community and stakeholder engagement;
  • Attend and or facilitate public meetings and or consultations;
  • Collaborate with Montreal Road Revitalization Project Team and City of Ottawa staff;
  • Consult and engage with diverse community stakeholders including organizations, residents, individuals and businesses to gather information and to solicit feedback on various components of the Public Art Plan;
  • Educate and inspire the public on creative and innovative best practices in public art;
  • Develop a comprehensive Public Art Plan for Vanier and Montreal Road that identify context, themes, sites, approaches and budgets ;
  • Coordinate with graphic and or web design professionals to develop the final Public Art Plan documentation;
  • Document process (photo and or video) and share on social media and or blogs.

Schedule * Schedule is subject to change
Deadline for Applications - Tuesday August 28, 2018, 4:30 p.m. E.S.T.  
Finalist Interviews - Thursday September 13 (in person or remotely)
Proponent contracted - September 2018
Public Art Plan development:  October 2018-February 2019
Public Art Plan Finalized: February 2019 

Budget
The fee for this opportunity is $20,000 in Canadian dollars plus HST and is inclusive of all costs associated with the research and development of the plan including attending meetings, consultation, travel, research, fees, etc.

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 proposals according to the selection criteria and select up to five applicants for interviews.

Finalists will be invited to discuss past approaches and working methodology as well as answer questions relating to working on this type of planning project. Only one proponent will be selected for this opportunity.

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.

Selection Criteria
Curators, planning artists or public art consultants who meet the following criteria may be considered for an interview:

  • An established practice in public art curation, creation and or consultation;
  • Demonstrated previous experience developing public art plans, and or implementation strategies;
  • Strong verbal, and written communication skills in both official languages (English and French);
  • Availability to spend significant time in the community for research and consultations;  
  • A demonstrated understanding of the project and its context;  
  • Appropriateness of proposed approach to the context;
  • Creative and innovation consultation methodology.

Submission requirements
A complete application must include the submission requirements listed below.

  • Support material may be written in English or French
  • Documents must be submitted as PDF files
  • Participants must upload a complete application with all support materials to WeTransfer.com by sending to melissa.black@ottawa.ca.

Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request.

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

  • What connects you and your previous work to this project?
  • What perspective or approach will you bring to the development of an art plan?
  • How do you propose to engage and collaborate with the community?
  • What is your vision for the Public Art Plan development?
  • Describe your experience in developing or curating similar public art plans.  
  • Describe your availability to be present in the community.
  • If applying as a team, describe your past collaborations and how you plan to work together on this project.

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

3.  Sample Planning Document
Submit a sample of a previous planning or communication document such as a public art plan, curatorial plan or master plan that demonstrates your experience in communicating complex ideas effectively and developing conceptual strategies.

4.  References
Contact information for two professional references who can speak to your experience on similar projects. Please ensure these references are aware that they may be contacted by the City of Ottawa as part of the evaluation process for this Request for Qualifications.

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.

Inquiries
Melissa Black, Public Art Officer
melissa.black@ottawa.ca
613-244-4261

Call to Artists: Elgin Street Renewal
Request for Qualifications (RFQ) – Artist in Residence

Updated April 27, 2018

This competition is now closed. 

Are you on the list? To receive emails about new commissions, email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca with the subject line “subscribe – commissions.”  Calls to artists and announcements are emailed directly to subscribers.

Introduction
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. One percent of funds from municipal development are mandated for public art in order to enhance public spaces and make art accessible to everyone.

Eligibility
This request for qualifications is an equal opportunity, open to professional artists and artist teams with experience in community-engaged art and in creating permanent public art. 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. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. The City of Ottawa is committed to supporting cultural activities that respond to the Calls to Action put forward in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Applications from First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Artist in Residence
The Elgin Street Artist in Residence opportunity seeks innovative and compelling projects from artist(s) who are interested in creative collaboration and interdisciplinary dialogue as an artistic practice. The residency provides an opportunity for an artist) to develop innovative strategies for public art involving diverse members of the local community or businesses in joint creative practices, broadening the community’s experience and connection to the arts.

The selected artist(s) will establish a series of opportunities for community interaction and collaboration with the Elgin Street community to take place during a 5 month residency period from August to December 2018. A creative, inclusive, community-engaged residency will bring together various sectors of the Elgin Street community into a collaborative dialogue on public art through exploring the challenges and opportunities of the site(s). The residency will result in the creation of permanent public art installed along Elgin Street. Temporary public art installations in addition to permanent public art are also encouraged.

Office space at City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue can be made available to the Artist in Residence as a workspace if desired.

The selected Artist in Residence will be expected to:

  • Produce a detailed Artist in Residence Plan that outlines the artist’s community engagement strategy and residency activities to be undertaken
  • Implement the Artist in Residence Plan plan by establishing a presence in the neighbourhood and online (social media, blogs, etc.) to interact, engage and collaborate with various and diverse sectors of the Elgin Street community (see “Community Resources” below for a comprehensive list of community organizations)
  • Produce reports for the Public Art Program on the progress and outcomes of the Artist in Residence Plan, as outlined in the successful artist’s agreement
  • Document all outcomes of the residency project (photos, written reports, etc.)
  • Produce a detailed Public Art proposal for a permanent and possibly temporary public art that was informed as a result of community engagement during the residency

Project background
On May 10, 2017, City Council approved the Functional Design for Elgin Street (Gloucester Street to Queen Elizabeth Driveway) and Waverley Street (Elgin Street to Jack Purcell Lane). The watermains and deep sewers under these streets are among the oldest in the city, dating back to the late 1800s. The need to replace this aging infrastructure created a unique opportunity to assess the road surfaces and redesign them to meet the City of Ottawa’s Traditional Mainstreet designation in the Official Plan, Complete Streets policy and Accessibility Design Standards.

The renewal of Elgin Street aims to create an appropriate balance and mix of uses that will adequately serve the local community, regional market and tourists alike. It will reinforce the role of Elgin Street as a main street serving the local neighbourhoods as well as the wider downtown area and Ottawa region.

The redesign for Elgin Street Renewal will include:

  • Wider sidewalks, shared use lanes (for cycling and vehicles), and transit facilities (bus stops, bus pads and shelters)
  • Traffic control signal system and traffic calming measures including raised intersections, narrowing lanes and reduced speed limit (30 km/h)
  • Flexible space to accommodate on-street parking, patios or other seasonal uses
  • Streetscape enhancements and street amenities including landscaping (such as tree planting, and hardscape features), public art and street furniture (including benches, waste receptacles, and bicycle racks)
  • Watermains, sanitary, storm and combined sewers
  • Utility reconstruction (Hydro Ottawa, Bell, Rogers, Enbridge)
  • Street lighting and signage
  • Road structure and pavement

Neighbourhood Profile
Elgin Street is a significant pedestrian promenade linking the neighbourhood of Centretown to the downtown core, the Canal, and Parliament Hill. It is a showcase civic street for Ottawa and consist of various land use contexts (downtown sector, traditional main street, residential and connectivity sector). Elgin Street runs north/south beginning at Wellington Street in Confederation Square, just east of the Parliament buildings and ends just west of the Pretoria bridge over the Rideau Canal. The boundaries of the road renewal project are from Gloucester Street to Queen Elizabeth Driveway where the street transitions from a Ceremonial Route to a Main Street with a thriving business area that boasts a number of businesses, restaurants, and bars. Progressing south, the street steadily becomes more residential, home to low rise apartment buildings. Elgin ends at the Queensway, where it turns into Isabella Street until the Queen Elizabeth Driveway. In addition, an eight-block section of Elgin Street from Lisgar Street to Gladstone Avenue has been identified by the Elgin Area Business Association as the “Red Mile” also known as “Sens Mile” – a street for Ottawa Senators fans to celebrate during the Stanley Cup playoffs. 

Schedule
The Elgin Street Renewal project is currently involved in the project’s detailed design and construction is expected to start in early 2019, with its completion anticipated for summer 2020. The five-month Artist in Residence is scheduled to take place between August and December 2018 followed by a period of design, engineering and fabrication of the public art. Installation of the public art will be in coordination with the construction schedule and must be installed by the summer of 2020 to coincide with the end of the Elgin Street Renewal construction.

Public Art Vision
Public art for the Elgin Street Renewal project will integrate visually significant elements that provide identity and distinctive character to the street. The artwork, as a legacy of the Artist in Residence, will enhance the roadway design and surrounding areas by creating an environment that is aesthetically interesting and engaging for the community, pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The artwork should be conceptually and visually innovative, and reflect a thorough and sensitive understanding of place, context and setting. 

Design requirements for public art installation
Completed works of art shall:

  • Demonstrate contemporary artistic excellence
  • Be a legacy of the community engagement from the Artist in Residence
  • Show sensitivity to the surrounding area and address site characteristics
  • Integrate with the style and function of the roadway design
  • Be engaging and safe for the public
  • Be made of highly permanent materials that are suitable to the environment and require minimal maintenance
  • Comply with all building and electrical codes and bylaws

Public Art Sites
Potential Public Art Sites have been identified on the Elgin Street Design Plan.  The Artist may select ideal locations for their proposed artwork anywhere within the roadway construction boundaries and adjacent public parks. Artwork installed along the sidewalk must not obstruct pedestrian traffic and must maintain a clearance in the right of way of 2 meters minimum. Exact installation sites for public art must be coordinated and approved with the Project Team to ensure that clearances are met so that the art does not conflict with other features such as benches, waste receptacles bike racks or operations such as snow plowing. Electricity for the artwork may be available for the artwork pending coordination with the Project Team. The public art for Elgin should be considerate of existing permanent public art in the vicinity and select sites accordingly.

The following locations have been identified as potential public art locations:

  • Nepean Street (North East corner)
  • Lisgar Street
  • Somerset Street
  • Maclaren Street (South West corner)
  • Gilmour Street
  • Minto Park
  • Lewis Street
  • Waverly Street (West side)
  • Frank Street (North East corner)
  • McLeod Street (South East corner)
  • Park Avenue (North East corner)

Commission budget
The total budget for this commission is $150,000 plus HST, and comprises of:

$15,000 Artist in Residence (August to December 2018)
$135,000 Public art installation

This budget includes all costs required to design, engineer, fabricate, store, transport and install the public art. The cost for anchoring / foundations and electrical will be covered by the Elgin Street Renewal project within reason and subject to negotiation.

Selection Procedure
This commission will be awarded following a three-stage arm’s length process as follows:

Request for Qualifications: Stage I – Qualifications will be evaluated by a Peer Assessment committee consisting of artists with public art experience, community and business representatives and a representative from the Elgin Street Renewal project. This committee will review and evaluate submissions in accordance with the selection criteria and will shortlist a maximum of four artists to advance to Stage II.

Residency Proposals: Stage II – Shortlisted artists will meet with the Project Team for an information session, (in person or remotely) and will be given Terms of Reference for refining their residency proposals. Shortlisted artists (maximum four) will be paid an honorarium of $1,500 plus HST for developing an approach to the artist in residence opportunity, a community engagement plan, a work plan, a draft budget and schedule for the residency component.

At a date following the submission of Stage II proposal, shortlisted artists will meet individually with the Peer Assessment committee for a 30-minute interview to present their Artist in Residency proposals and answer questions. The committee will evaluate shortlisted artists and will select one artist to proceed to contract for the Elgin Street Public Art, Artist in Residence. In addition, shortlisted artists will be reimbursed for travel and accommodation expenses in Ottawa for the interview, up to a maximum of $1,200 per artist or artist team with proof of expenses.

Public Art Proposal: Stage III - Following the Artist in Residency period, the selected artist(s) will prepare a detailed public art proposal for review, evaluation and approval by a technical committee and the Peer Assessment Committee.  A dialogue period between the artist and project team will result in finalising the public art proposal ready for fabrication and installation.

Selection Criteria – Stage I
All submissions will be evaluated based on the artist’s experience and qualifications (resumé), previous artwork (digital images) and creativity of approach (expression of interest).

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.

Community Resources
Councillor Catherine McKenney
Elgin Area Business Association
Centretown Citizens Community Association
Jack Purcell Recreation Association
Jack Purcell Community Centre
Elgin Street Public School
Bike Ottawa

References
Elgin Street Renewal
Elgin Street and Hawthorne Avenue Functional Design Study
Ottawa Past and Present - Elgin Street

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. The City of Ottawa will seek permission to reproduce the images for non-profit publicity purposes.

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.

Inquiries
Melissa Black, Public Art Officer
Melissa.black@ottawa.ca
613-244-4261

Call to artists: Expression of Interest
Rideau Canal Crossing Public Art Project

Updated April 27, 2018

This competition is now closed. 

Are you on the list? To receive emails about new commissions, email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca with the subject line “subscribe – commissions.”  Calls to artists and announcements are emailed directly to subscribers.

The City of Ottawa invites visual artists, no matter their medium, to submit an Expression of Interest to participate in a mentorship opportunity to design, fabricate and install an artist-designed public bench. Two artists will be selected to design benches that will be installed on the western side of the Rideau Canal, between the Rideau Canal and the re-landscaped wetland area. One bench will be commissioned specifically to an Algonquin artist or artist team. Theses benches should help create a unique sense of place. This is a two-stage open competition held in accordance with the City of Ottawa Public Art Policy.

Introduction
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 Ottawa over the past decades and reaffirms the objectives of commissioning professional artists to create original works of art for integration into public places. One percent of funds from municipal development is allocated for public art projects in order to enhance public spaces and make art accessible to everyone.

Eligibility
The Call to Artists will seek artists for two public art commissions. One bench must be designed by an Algonquin artist or team of artists. The other bench can be designed by any other artist or team of artists. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply.

Artists must be able to work effectively within the project timeline and collaborate with the engineers, general contractors, multiple governmental agencies, community groups, City staff and fabricators whenever it is required in a supportive manner.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse communities, including people from diverse ancestries, varied levels of ability, different age groups, countries of origin and cultures, genders, income levels, languages, are of a different race or sexual orientation. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. Applications from artists and representatives of diverse origins including 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.

Project Background
The Canal, constructed between 1827 and 1832, is an important cultural heritage asset and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as a National Historic Site of Canada, and a Canadian Heritage River. Construction of the Canal was a catalyst for development around which the Capital grew, and it is still a defining element of Canada’s Capital today. In the 1950s and the 1960s, the National Capital Commission (NCC) constructed wooden footbridge, in the winter, annually, between Second Avenue and Herridge Street. 

The objective of the new Rideau Canal crossing is to support sustainable and active transportation solutions by enhancing east-west connectivity and linking the crossing to the broader pedestrian and cycling networks. The new bridge will improve access for all users of the City’s extensive network of pedestrian multi-use pathways and connect communities such as the Glebe, Old Ottawa South, Lansdowne Park and Old Ottawa East.

A significant component of the Rideau Canal Crossing project is the beautification, restoration and expansion of the wetlands area on the western side of the Canal, which includes the restauration of the Lilly Pond. 

The City of Ottawa is working closely with the Algonquins of Ontario on this initiative along with key project stakeholders including the National Capital Commission, Parks Canada and Transport Canada.

Reference material

Public art vision
The construction of the bridge will include landscaping and the addition of benches along the pathway for resting, meeting friends and watching passersby. This presents an opportunity for unique artist-designed furnishings. Two benches on the western side of the Rideau Canal, between the Rideau Canal and the re-landscaped wetland area will be artist-designed benches. These benches will help create a unique sense of place and presents 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). The selected artists will work under the mentorship of a third-party manufacturing company contracted by the City of Ottawa to produce the artwork. The fabricator will translate the artist’s design to production and installation.

The artists are asked to consider the landscape, local community and the essence of the neighbourhood’s past, present and/or future in their design.

Design requirements for public art
Completed works of art shall:

  • Demonstrate contemporary artistic excellence (conceptual, aesthetic and technical)
  • Be conceptually timeless and enduring
  • Be engaging to pedestrians and cyclists using the bridge, and adjacent pathways
  • Be safe for the public
  • Not impede movement along the pathway near the north side of the Lily Pond
  • Address the site characteristics, architecture, landscaping and plantings
  • Will not disrupt or negatively impact the natural habitat and wildlife of the Rideau Canal or the wetland/pond areas
  • Be made of highly permanent materials that are suitable to the environment and require minimal maintenance
  • Comply with building and electrical codes, bylaws, accessibility standards, etc.

Public art site
The restored and expanded Lily Pond will be the focal point of the re-landscaped wetlands area on the western side of the Rideau Canal. The artist-designed benches will be installed in the wetlands area, facing the Lily Pond, and among native flora. 

The City of Ottawa acknowledges that Ottawa is located on land that is part of the unceded Traditional Territory of the Algonquin people.  The City of Ottawa honours the Algonquin people and elders, whose ancestors have occupied this territory since time immemorial, and whose culture has nurtured and continues to nurture this land and its people.

Commission budget
The selected artists will work under the mentorship of a third-party fabricator contracted by the City of Ottawa.  Up to six shortlisted artists will each receive a $1, 000 plus HST design fee to refine their proposed design for Stage 2.  The two final selected artists will each receive a $3,000 plus HST production fee to work with the manufacturing company who will create and install the benches within a maximum fabrication budget of $15, 000.  Funding for this art commission is provided through the designation of 1% of the overall construction budget towards public art. 

Commission schedule

  • Submission deadline: February 26, 2018 at 4 pm EST
  • Stage 2 notifications: March 16, 2018
  • Meeting: March 23, 2018
  • Open House: July 10, 2018
  • Stage 2 interview: July 19, 2018
  • Final selection: August 10, 2018
  • Installation: Summer 2019

Selection Procedure
This commission will be awarded following a two-stage arms length process as follows:

  1. Expressions of Interest (Stage I) – Expressions of interest will be evaluated by a peer assessment committee consisting of artists with public art experience, a community representative, a representative from Canadian Heritage and a representative from the project design team and representatives from the Algonquin community. This committee will shortlist a maximum of six artists to move on to Stage 2.
  2. Request for Proposals (Stage II) – Each shortlisted artists will be given a design fee of $1, 000 + HST and detailed Terms of Reference for preparing proposed designs for Stage 2 of the competition. A technical review of proposals will be requested prior to the final submission date. Proposals will be reviewed by the project team and contracted fabricator, 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 incorporate into final proposals. Shortlisted artists will be required to attend an open house, where they will present their designs to the public and answer questions. In addition, shortlisted proposals will be posted online for public comments. All comments received during this consultation process will be submitted to the peer assessment committee for consideration. At a date following the public consultation process, artists will meet individually with the peer assessment committee for a 30-minute interview to present their proposals and answer questions.

Selection Criteria- Stage I
All submissions will be evaluated based on the artist’s ability to address the public art vision (expression of interest) in relation to this Call to Artists, as well as on previous artwork (10 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. In addition, the National Capital Commission/Canadian Heritage must review and approve the final proposal.

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. The City of Ottawa will seek permission to reproduce the images for non-profit publicity purposes.

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. Committee members turn in their copies of materials for shredding and delete their computer files 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.

Announcements

New public art installed in Barrhaven

Published November 29, 2018

  • Artist in residence project and public art commission in Barrhaven, Ottawa
  • Commissioned by the City of Ottawa Public Art Program as part of the Greenbank Road Widening project.
  • Thanks to Lafontaine Iron Werks
  • Video shows the installation of Dwell on Greenbank Road in October 2018. Credit: Liam Olders

In 2016, Brandon Vickerd’s Imagined Monuments proposal was selected as the public art project for the Greenbank Road area of Barrhaven. The project began with an artist-in-residence component in early 2017 which saw Vickerd spend five months engaging Barrhaven citizens as co-creators, collecting personal narratives and stories through a series of workshops and storytelling opportunities. He explored cultural narratives rooted in the community, discovered stories about the origin of Barrhaven, about the community’s growth and expansion and the role of its citizens in collectively establishing the identity of the community.

Following the residency period, Vickerd reviewed the collected narratives, identified themes and mythologies relating to the Greenbank Road area. He identified particular stories and these formed the basis of preliminary designs for the public art installation, Dwell. Dwell is a representation of the Burnett farmhouse rendered in corten steel and cantilevered twenty feet above the ground. This ½ scale three-dimensional house is typical of the farmhouses that once populated Barrhaven. Its design once dominated the rural community, however over the last few decades most of these houses have been destroyed to make way for residential and commercial development.

Brandon Vickerd has an extensive background in the field of public art. He has received numerous grants and awards for his sculptures and has completed artist residencies in Iceland and in Yukon. He is recognized for his innovative art projects with non-artists, such as auto body workers and crane operators. An educator and artist, Brandon Vickerd received a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Past projects include kinetic sculpture, land art and public performances.

The City of Ottawa initiated a competition for public art along Greenbank Road in July 2016. Funds for public art were allocated from the Greenbank Road Widening project. This construction project included the widening of Greenbank Road from two lanes of undivided traffic to four lanes divided by a central median.

Artist selected for Elgin Street Renewal Public Art Project

Published November 19, 2018

Francis Montillaud, previous work (details)

Images : Francis Montillaud, previous work (details). All images courtesy of the artist.
Clockwise from left: Danser avec les étoiles (2018) Curiosités (2012), L’Élan (2014), Carrefour (2013).

Montréal-based artist Francis Montillaud has been awarded the Elgin Street Artist in Residence opportunity as part of the Elgin Street Renewal project. Francis has exhibited at several artist run centres, public spaces and artistic events in Quebec, Canada and France and has completed a number of public art installations across Canada. The human figure is the cornerstone of Francis’ visual rhetoric. The artist employs a variety of visual strategies, drawn from sculpture, installation and theatre to highlight the relationship between site and users and to offer reflections on social relations, politics, the environment and art.

The Artist in Residence will create a series of opportunities for community interaction and collaboration with the Elgin Street community, to take place during his residency. The program will result in the creation of permanent art installed along Elgin Street that will be accessioned into the City of Ottawa Art Collection.

During the residency, members of the public will be invited to take part in the artist’s creative process, as he explores themes of body language and social interactions through a series of video production workshops. Selected candidates will act as live models, allowing the artist to capture facial and body imprints using traditional casting techniques. The intention is to capture snapshots of a laugh, a grimace or any multitude of expressions of the people who live, work or play around Elgin Street community. These imprints will be used as the raw materials to design a series of striking sculptures to be installed along Elgin Street. Follow @PublicArtOttawa on social media for updates and announcements on the project.

The artwork created for the Elgin Street Renewal project will integrate visually significant elements that provide identity and a distinctive character to the public space. As a legacy of the Artist in Residence, the artwork will enhance the street and its surrounding areas by creating an environment that is aesthetically interesting and engaging for the community, pedestrians and drivers. Artwork installation is scheduled for spring 2020.

This work and others are commissioned by the Public Art Program, in keeping with Public Art Policy. One percent of the funds earmarked for municipal development projects is set aside for public art to enhance the space and make art accessible to all.

The City’s Public Art Program initiated a two-stage public art competition for the Elgin Street Renewal Public Art Project. Proposals were reviewed by an Art Selection Committee, who selected the entry of artist Francis Montillaud. Evaluation criteria included considerations such as contemporary artistic excellence, sensitivity to the surrounding area and a strong community engagement plan.

For more information about the new public art, visit ottawa.ca or email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

New public art selected for Maple Island

Published September 25, 2018

The imagery in the piece represents both a Great Blue Heron frozen in flight, and a whale ascending to the surface.

Local artist Amy Thompson has been awarded the public art commission for Maple Island, as part of the redevelopment of the Minto Bridges. Thompson’s artwork RISE / LEVÉE / KÒGAHAMOG is a tranquil, contemplative sculpture created to enhance the natural setting of Maple Island.  The piece invites viewers to contemplate their surroundings, and reflect on the unseen layers of history found here.

The imagery in the piece represents both a Great Blue Heron frozen in flight, and a whale ascending to the surface. These elements reference both the Champlain Sea that covered the area 13,000 years ago, as well as the fauna found here today.

The sculpture will have a white finish that references both the nearby Minto Bridges, the Beluga whale once found here, and the white pond lily found in the Rideau River that surrounds the island. This colour allows the piece to be more visible at night without the aid of lighting.

Along the base of the sculpture is a sound wave pattern engraved into metal. This sound wave will be a collaboration with the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Cultural Centre and will be written in Algonquin, signifying the importance of this land to this nation.

RISE / LEVÉE / KÒGAHAMOG will be installed on Maple Island, a small island that sits on the Rideau River and connects two Ottawa neighbourhoods, Lowertown and New Edinburgh (Wards 12, 13). The island is a serene and hidden green space, with a great view of Canada’s Peace Tower to the west. The island has a rich history that includes Algonquin peoples, and railway for industrial use, and was originally part of the ceremonial route which connects Rideau Hall and Parliament. Artwork installation scheduled for Fall 2019.

This work and others are commissioned by the Public Art Program. In keeping with Public Art Policy one percent of funds for municipal development projects is set aside for public art to enhance the space and make art accessible to everyone.

The City’s Public Art Program initiated a two-stage public art competition for the Maple Island Public Art Project. Proposals were reviewed by an Art Selection Committee who selected the proposal of artist Amy Thompson. Evaluation criteria included such considerations as artistic excellence and sensitivity of environment.

For more information about the new public art visit ottawa.ca or email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

New public art selected for Fire Station 55

Published September 11, 2018

The artists’ landscape-based piece will be comprised of stone pillars.

Local artist team Alisdair MacRae and Che Wei Lee have been awarded the public art commission for the New 2 Bay Fire Station #55 at 2283 Portobello Boulevard.   

The artists’ landscape-based piece will be comprised of stone pillars. The pillars will pay homage to the firefighters as first responders, commemorating their role within and their service to the community. The stone pillars will also draw attention to local history, including settlement of the area, geology, and the environment.

To involve both firefighters and local young people, the artists will ask what it means to be brave, what does courage mean to me, and how can I be strong. Responses to the questions will be anonymous and topics of bravery, courage, and strength will create a relationship between the firefighters and young people. The responses will be engraved into stainless steel medallions and set into place on the pillars.  

“Very unique to seek children's input and engrave them on medallions!” – Online consultation survey participant

The artwork will be installed on the north side of the Fire Station located at 2283 Portobello Boulevard, where the artwork would be visible from the parking lot of the adjacent François Dupuis Recreation Centre. Artwork installation scheduled for summer 2019.

This work and others are commissioned by the Public Art Program. In keeping with Public Art Policy one percent of funds for municipal development projects is set aside for public art to enhance the space and make art accessible to everyone.

The City’s Public Art Program initiated a two-stage public art competition for the Fire Station 55 Public Art Project. Proposals were reviewed by an Art Selection Committee who selected the proposal of artist team, Alisdair MacRae and Che Wei Lee. Evaluation criteria included such considerations as feasibility, artistic concept, community engagement plan. 

For more information about the new public art visit ottawa.ca or email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

New public art selected for the OAG Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project

Published August 2, 2018

Large LED screen displaying a video of a pair of eyes installed on stone wall of Arts Court building

Brooklyn based artist, Adam Frank has been awarded the public art commission for the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project for his artwork Spectator.

Spectator is a dynamic, interactive billboard. The art installation will operate as a beacon, attracting people to Arts Court and the Ottawa Art Gallery. A large LED video screen installed on the exterior facade will display the eyes of everyone who has ever participated in the artwork.

Inside the newly renovated Arts Court facility, the public will be invited to look into a viewing portal, which will show a real time view of outside, from the point of view of the video screen. The participants’ eyes will be video captured as they look out to the street below. Spectator will show the viewing history of everyone who has ever engaged with the artwork. This work is truly participatory as it allows the public to become a permanent part of the artwork and see themselves in it.

Spectator celebrates and elevates each viewer by reversing the traditional relationship between viewer and artwork. The installation will be a dynamic, ever-changing portrait of the community that adds subtle human expression to the Ottawa skyline. The artwork is scheduled to be installed by fall 2019.

This work and others are commissioned by the Public Art Program. In keeping with Public Art Policy one percent of funds for municipal development projects is set aside for public art to enhance the space and make art accessible to everyone.

The City’s Public Art Program initiated a two-stage public art competition for the Ottawa Art Gallery Expansion and Art Court Redevelopment Project. Proposals were reviewed by an Art Selection Committee, who selected Adam Frank’s proposal based on evaluation criteria that included such considerations as artistic excellence, experience of the artist, and site integration. 

For more information about the new public art visit ottawa.ca or email publicartprogram@ottawa.ca

Image: Large LED screen displaying a video of a pair of eyes installed on stone wall of Arts Court building

The Public Art Program’s Faceted Search Tool is ready for you!

Published May 18, 2018

4 images

A new tool to help you search your collection!

You can search for art by medium!
Installation / Mixed Media / Mural /Other / New Media / Painting / Photography / Sculpture / Textile / Work on Paper

You can search for art by venue!
Art along the Confederation Line / Art along the Transitway / Art along the Trillium Line / Art at buildings / Art at parks / Art in the street

  • Find, share and explore digital content about the City of Ottawa’s Art Collection.
  • Browse city-owned artworks and artwork by local artists more frequently
  • Use digital information to find out when, why or how an artwork was collected and where it’s located in the city!
  • Check back regularly!  New items will be added to the faceted search tool.

Search City of Ottawa Art Collection!

Public art brings colour, inspiration and imagination to neighbourhoods all over town. Whether it’s a mural at a Transitway station or a sculpture along the sidewalk, public art has become part of the fabric of this city - inspiring residents and visitors alike.

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. By presenting art in public spaces, the City of Ottawa Art Collection enriches communities, supports local artists and forms a visual art history of the Ottawa area.

Public art commissions accompany major capital projects such as the O-Train Confederation Line. Using a percent of the capital project's total budget, new art commissions are planned for public sites and are awarded to an artist based on a peer assessment committee's recommendation. When complete, public art commissions enter into the City of Ottawa Art Collection

Artwork from this collection is presented at over 150 public sites across Ottawa! Library branches, community centres, parks, playgrounds, employment centres, transit stations and City Hall display artwork for residents.

Public art is coming to a neighbourhood near you! 
For more information email: publicartprogram@ottawa.ca.

Images (left to right): locomOtion, Erratic Field, The Spirit of OC Transpo, Morphology

Terms of use

The City of Ottawa provides public access to its art collection for your personal entertainment, information, education and convenience.

The term “materials” includes all and any information, images, artwork, text, video clips, audio, animation and all other public art content on ottawa.ca. This website contains copyrighted works protected by the Copyright Act, and the regulations there under, and by similar international laws.

The materials are used by the City of Ottawa with permission and may be subject to other restrictions including copyright and other proprietary rights held by third parties. Public art content on ottawa.ca is provided for browsing, viewing, downloading, listening where such activities are limited to non-commercial, educational and personal use only. By downloading, printing or otherwise using the materials, users agree that they will limit their use of public art content to fair dealing, as defined by the Copyright Act, and will not violate the City of Ottawa or any other party's proprietary or moral rights. Users must acknowledge the source of the materials by including the URL www.ottawa.ca.

Questions regarding content, access to, loan of, or use of any associated images or content should be addressed to the City of Ottawa using the contact information found on the art collection pages on ottawa.ca.