the power of public art
request for qualifications
The Edmonton Arts Council (EAC), on behalf of the City of Edmonton, is seeking an Indigenous artist or artist team to create an artwork to be installed in a pocket park as part of the Metro Line LRT expansion at NAIT.
Deadline for Request for Qualifications: 11:59 pm MST on Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Artwork commission budget: $280,000
Metro Line LRT expansion public art project description
The EAC, on behalf of the City of Edmonton, is seeking an Indigenous artist or artist team to create an artwork to be installed in a new pocket park adjacent to the Metro Line LRT expansion.
Working with the City of Edmonton, the EAC identified the pocket park as an ideal space to showcase the work of an Indigenous artist or artist team. The project aligns with the City of Edmonton’s Indigenous Framework Commitment # 3: “to identify and implement ways to make City spaces and buildings welcoming and safe for Indigenous Peoples and ensure they can see themselves reflected in the City’s spaces and places.”
The artwork, located next to NAIT, will face Princess Elizabeth Avenue (across from Kingsway Mall). The selected artist will propose an artwork to be approved by the EAC, stakeholders, and the City of Edmonton prior to artwork installation. The selected artist is responsible for all aspects of designing and installing their artwork.
Working with the project team, the selected artist has the opportunity to create an artwork as well as have input in the overall design of the pocket park in which the artwork will be installed. Mediums could include, but are not limited to, sculpture, sculptural installation, or land art. If the artwork requires power, access to 120 Volt power is available. Please note, some areas of the pocket park have significant infrastructure located below the ground, artwork foundations or piles will need to be developed with input from the project team.
The Metro Line Northwest corridor will extend the existing line from NAIT, through Blatchford, then north to 113A street where it will connect to key activity centres including Griesbach. The line will continue north along 113A Street until the proposed Castle Downs Transit Centre at 153 Avenue, and then west where it will end at the Nakî Transit Centre & Park and Ride at Campbell Road. The line will feature nine LRT stations.
The selected artist or artist team may conduct research and engage with the surrounding community such as NAIT or the amiskwaciy Academy when developing concepts for the Metro Line LRT Expansion Public Art Project. If it is relevant to your process, you may include your preliminary ideas for research and engagement in your submission.
Tuesday, October 3, 2023: Deadline for Request for Qualifications
Mid-October, 2023: Interviews to select the artist or artist team commission
Spring 2024: Draft concept due
Summer 2024: Final artwork proposal due
Late 2024 — Early 2025: Artwork installation
These dates are preliminary, and subject to change due to the construction schedule.
Located in the heart of Treaty No. 6 Territory, Edmonton/amiskwaciywâskahikan is one of Canada’s youngest and fastest growing cities. The traditional meeting ground for many Indigenous communities, including the Nehiyawak/Cree, Dene Suliné, Nakota Sioux, Saulteaux, Niitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis and the Inuk/Inuit peoples, Edmonton is home to Canada’s second-largest urban Indigenous community. The city’s continual development as a thriving urban centre encourages ongoing migration of people from across Canada and around the world.
EAC's Public Art Program
The EAC is a not-for-profit organization that supports and promotes the arts community in Edmonton. The EAC works to increase the profile and involvement of arts and culture in all aspects of our community life. The EAC provides stewardship of, and direction for, the City of Edmonton’s Public Art to Enhance Edmonton’s Public Realm Policy.
Edmonton’s 10-year arts and heritage plan, Connections & Exchanges, guides the EAC’s commitment to Indigenous artists and artists from equity-seeking groups. Currently, the City of Edmonton Public Art Collection has underrepresentation from Indigenous artists and artists from marginalized, racialized, and equity seeking groups. The EAC continues to explore ways to increase representation within the collection by engaging curators and artists as subject matter experts.
Public art approach
The EAC’s approach to selecting artists for public art opportunities places an emphasis on the potential of what an artist might create for the public realm. Artists are asked not to propose ideas at this time, but instead focus on how they would go about understanding the site and developing artistic concepts.
In general, public art projects are broken down into multiple phases (see sample contract template here):
- Contract signing
- Concept development
- Detailed design
- Fabrication and Installation
- Project completion and accession into the City of Edmonton Public Art Collection
The selected artist will enter a three-way contract with the EAC and the City of Edmonton. The EAC oversees the artist’s contract deliverables and supports the artist through all phases. Artists are encouraged to review the sample contract template prior to application. The successful artist(s) must guarantee that their artwork is original and does not violate the copyright of another person. The successful artist(s) must also be prepared to grant and license to the City of Edmonton and the EAC the exclusive right to exhibit the artwork in perpetuity and the non-exclusive right to photograph or videotape the artwork for promotion or distribution, without further compensation.
The artist retains copyright as the creator of the artwork. The City of Edmonton will not alter the artwork without prior consultation with the artist(s). The City of Edmonton reserves the right to move or de-accession the artwork if necessary and will make every effort to notify the artist.
Artworks created for the public realm have unique requirements. For the finished artwork to last, the artist(s) must consider sound design, materials, building methods, safety, and exposure to external risks. The EAC works with artists, conservators, and technical experts to advise and plan lifecycle management.
Submit through EAC’s online portal at SmartSimple.
- Complete (or update) an individual profile in SmartSimple. This is required by whoever is submitting the application (the primary applicant).
- Once a profile has been made, The Metro Line LRT Expansion Public Art Project application form will be available in SmartSimple under the “Open Opportunities” icon. If the applicant already has a profile, The Metro Line Expansion Public Art Project application will be visible.
- If the application is for a team or collective, all named members of the team will need individual profiles in SmartSimple by the application deadline.
If you have any questions about the SmartSimple registration process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EAC offers the opportunity for artists submitting to this public art call to have their draft submission reviewed before the deadline. If you would like someone to review your draft, please email email@example.com no later than 10 business days before the deadline. The EAC may not be able to accommodate requests for review made after this time.
Those facing barriers while completing their application may be eligible for Access Support. A barrier can include, but is not limited to, language, culture, physical or cognitive limitations, or any inequity that may complicate completing an application. This support provides funding for specialized assistance with the artists’ application. This could include hiring a qualified typist, interpreter, translator, or other type of support worker to help with submitting a clear application that accurately reflects the artist’s ideas and intentions. Normally, professional grant writers are not supported by this program unless they are assisting the artist with a specific barrier.
Eligible assistance will be supported up to $500. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Edmonton Arts Council is committed to equity in all aspects of its work and invites proposals from all interested parties. We thank all applicants for their time and professional interest in this call. Unsuccessful applicants are welcome to request feedback on their applications.
Artists must submit the following through SmartSimple for consideration:
- Individual profile information will automatically upload from your individual profile, this includes your artist statement, biography, CV/resume and social media information.
- If applying as a collective, we ask that you provide a separate CV/resume for each member of the collective (PDF, recommended two pages per document).
- Collectives are asked to provide an artist statement describing the collective’s or each individual’s overall practice and work, including motivations, themes explored, processes and mediums used. (300 words).
- Provide an artist biography for each collective member summarizing life and career highlights, and education relevant to their practice (300 words).
Letter of interest
- Explain your interest in this project and how it relates to your current art practice (500 words).
- Include past experiences that relate to this project. This can include examples such as public art projects, project management, community engagement, etc. (300 words).
- Explain your connection to Edmonton, the neighbourhood, or the community where the artwork will be situated, if applicable (300 words).
- Describe how you’ve approached concept development in past projects and/or how you plan to for this project (300 words).
To support your application, samples of your artwork are required. You may upload up to 10 audio/visual/PDF files and up to 5 direct links to external websites.
For each sample of your artistic work, you are required to provide the information listed below:
- Commissioning agent or client
- Brief description of the work
Uploaded video or audio files should total no more than 10 minutes in length, and all files should be less than 2GB in size. Uploads are preferable to links whenever possible, so that access for the selection committee is as simple as possible.
Links must be direct and public. These links should go directly to the artwork samples specified, rather than to a landing page or home page requiring further navigation by the selection committee.
Do not provide links that go through file sharing sites, such as Spotify, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc., or online portals that require an account to access. This is for the privacy of the selection committee, as well as to have direct access.
Please DO NOT submit images as PDF files, rather directly upload images in JPEG or PNG format.
The commissioned artist or artist team will be chosen through a two-stage selection process. A selection committee will select up to three applicants for the interview process. Each artist will provide contact information for three references. Artists selected for the interview process will be asked to create a brief 10 to 15 minute presentation of their portfolio that illustrates their creative processes, ability to manage projects, learnings from previous experiences, and working as part of a team. The artist will be paid a preparation fee for their presentation. The selection committee will have the opportunity to follow up with questions after the presentation. Following the interviews, one artist or artist team will be selected. The Selection Committee is under no obligation to choose any finalists. All decisions of the Selection Committee are final. The City of Edmonton and the Edmonton Arts Council reserve the rights to revoke the public art call and/or public art project.
The Selection Committee includes representation from subject matter experts such as curators, artists, community stakeholders, and project team members. The Edmonton Arts Council will be responsible for all communication, either verbally or in writing, between artists making submissions and members of the Selection Committee. Any communication between applicants and Selection Committee members regarding submissions or the competition may result in disqualification. While every precaution will be taken to prevent loss or damage, the City of Edmonton, Edmonton Arts Council and their agents, and the Selection Committee shall not be liable for any loss or damage, however caused.
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Need help with your application?
The Edmonton Arts Council thanks all applicants in advance, and will only be contacting applicants who are invited for interviews. Please email if you wish to follow up on your submission.
For more information, contact the Edmonton Arts Council: phone 780−424−2787 or email: email@example.com.