Project Overview

The City of Toronto invites professional artists (including artist teams) who have ties to both Toronto and Quebec to submit proposals for an outdoor temporary three-dimensional sculptural public artwork. The artwork will represent the theme of “public art of tomorrow.” The City of Toronto’s new Public Art Strategy seeks to redefine what public art is and what qualifies as public art in our “new normal.” The pandemic has changed the ways in which residents interact and experience public realm, such as public art. As urban areas begin to rebuild and reopen, the public has been forced to reimagine how to move through and relearn space throughout their city. The artwork submissions will depict and predict the future of public art.

The selected artwork will simultaneously celebrate the outstanding relationship between the City of Toronto and the Gouvernement du Quebec, including the close collaborations between Toronto and artistic cities like Montreal and Quebec City. The awarded artwork will be selected by way of peoples’ choice; participants attending the ArtworxTO Symposium: Public Art for Tomorrow will be able to vote for their favourite option.

The project has a maximum budget of $75,000.00 CAD, including all costs associated with the artwork: design fees, fabrication, installation, professional services, insurance, travel and other incidental expenses. The work should not be site specific as the location is not yet confirmed.

Public Art Opportunity

This project will be funded as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022, a year-long celebration of Toronto’s exceptional public art collection and the creative community behind it. Working closely with artists and Toronto’s arts institutions, ArtworxTO will deliver major public art projects and commissions, citywide, from fall 2021 to fall 2022. Supporting local artists and new artworks that reflect Toronto’s diversity, ArtworxTO is creating more opportunities for citizens to engage with art in their everyday lives. This September, the City of Toronto invites the public to discover creativity and community–everywhere. Visit for full details.

The City of Toronto’s new Public Art Strategy outlines the City’s commitment to public art created for, and with the input of, Toronto communities, and to create opportunities for artists of diverse backgrounds, experience and practice.

The commissioned artist or artist teams will work closely with the City’s Economic Development and Culture division and other partners to develop and complete the project.

Competition Process

This competition is for professional artists or artist teams residing and working in either Toronto or the province of Quebec. The artwork will represent the theme of “the future of public art” while simultaneously celebrating the outstanding relationship between the City of Toronto and the Gouvernement du Quebec. Submissions from women, Indigenous, Black, and racialized artists and those who may not have previously worked in the public realm are especially welcome.

Per the Canada Council’s guidelines, a professional artist is defined as someone who:

has specialized artistic training (not necessarily in academic institutions)

is recognized as a professional by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition)

has a history of public exhibitions

has produced an independent body of work

The contract will be awarded on November 26, 2021.

Submission Requirements

Professional artists (artist teams) are invited to respond to by submitting one PDF document including the following information:

One PDF file labelled: ArtworxTO Symposium Submission – Last Name First Name

Written proposal concept, maximum three pages, relating to the theme of the “future of public art”, an explanation of their Toronto-Quebec connection, and the project description.

Proposal concept sketches, renderings, design details including measurements

Details on proposed materials and any other relevant information to explain the proposed project.

A preliminary budget outlining critical costs such as production/fabrication, professional fees, insurance, transportation, installation and de-installation.

CV (one for each team member, if applicable) including contact information.

Maximum ten images of previous and relevant work, with caption including title, materials, dimensions, location, and commissioning body (if applicable).