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Ottawa Art Gallery Seeks Permanent Site-Specific Art

Posted by City of Ottawa ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Ottawa Art Gallery Seeks Permanent Site-Specific Art


The City of Ottawa invites artists or artist teams to submit qualifications for consideration to design, fabricate and install a permanent site-specific artwork for the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project.

Budget: $CDN 385,000
Deadline: 11/14/2017 4:00 PM Central Time
Eligibility: Open to local, national and international professional artists and artist teams with experience in creating permanent public art. The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is 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. 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.

Site History
Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) is an independent non-profit municipal art gallery committed to the acquisition, presentation, interpretation and dissemination of contemporary art for the benefit of the local arts community. Its programs explore a variety of issues and include exhibitions, talks, lectures, tours and publications.  The Ottawa Art Gallery has a growing permanent collection of historical and contemporary works associated with the region. It also houses the City-owned Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, which consists of more than 1,600 works of art assembled by Ottawa collectors O.J. and Isobel Firestone, who acquired the works from the early 1950s to the 1970s.

Arts Court:  Located in a designated heritage building, the Arts Court facility is home to a group of 25 independent arts organizations including: Artengine, SAW Gallery, SAW Video, Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa, Ottawa Dance Directive, Arts Court Theatre, Ottawa Arts Council, and many others. This historic landmark in downtown Ottawa continues to evolve as a vibrant hub for artists and audiences alike.

Project Description
The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment project is part of a long-standing vision for the revitalization of Ottawa’s downtown. It will provide a new Ottawa Art Gallery and help raise the profile of Arts Court as the City of Ottawa’s downtown arts centre, located on Daly Avenue in the heart of Downtown Rideau’s retail, arts and theatre district, surrounded by the University of Ottawa, the Rideau Centre, the Convention Centre, and steps away from the Rideau Canal, National Arts Centre, Byward Market and new LRT stations.

Artwork Goals
Public art for the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment Project must be an iconic and significant presence representing the highest standards of contemporary artistic excellence. The artwork should attract people to the facilities and act as a dynamic beacon, reflecting OAG and Arts Court’s role as leading municipal arts facilities and hub for creativity, experimentation and collaboration in the arts. The artwork must be forward thinking and innovative and is encouraged to challenge our expectations of public art and architecture.

Artwork Location Description
The public art for OAG Expansion and Arts Court Redevelopment is to be located on the exterior of the facility. Potential sites have been identified as ideal locations for the public art. Artists may consider other sites, however, they will require review and approval by the Project Team. If any public art is to be attached to the Arts Court building (façade or roof), review and approval by the City of Ottawa is required as the building has heritage designation. Artists shortlisted to advance to the proposal stage of the competition will have an opportunity to meet with the project team to review the site details and ask specific questions related to their proposal.

Application Requirements

  • Resume: 4 page(s) maximum
  • Work examples: 1 – 10
  • Artist Statement: 100 word maximum
  • References: 2
  • Artists applying as a team must split the allotted number of work examples between themselves.

How to Submit

Send the indicated materials via WeTransfer to

Selection Process
Request for Qualifications (RFQ): Stage I – Qualifications will be evaluated by a peer assessment committee consisting of artists with public art experience and representatives from the Project Team. This committee will shortlist a maximum of five artists to move forward to Stage II.

Request for Proposals (RFP): Stage II – Shortlisted artists (maximum five) will be given a detailed Terms of Reference and an honorarium of $3,000 in Canadian Dollars plus HST for preparing detailed public art proposals including, 3-D or digital models and a promotional presentation for stage two of the competition. A technical review of proposals will be requested prior to the final proposal submission date.

Shortlisted proposals will be posted on an online survey along with images and a promotional presentation for feedback and comments from the public. All comments received from the public during this survey 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. Interview will be conducted in person or remotely via Skype.

Selection Criteria
All submissions will be evaluated based on the artist’s experience and qualifications (resumé), samples of artwork (digital images) and ability to address the public art vision (expression of interest) in relation to this Call to Artists.

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.

Your submission must be delivered or uploaded to the City of Ottawa Public Art Program office by the deadline of Tuesday, November 14, at 4:00 p.m. EST. The City of Ottawa will not be responsible for any loss or damage to any materials. Submissions will not be returned.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Melissa Black, or 613-244-4261


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