PEI has over 1100 km of highly erodible sandstone coastline. The island’s shorelines face significant threat and degradation due to their sensitivity to sea level rise, storms and increased development.

As a component of the Community-Based Climate Action on Prince Edward Island Project, Creative PEI and The River Clyde Pageant are excited to announce Riverworks, a call for public art proposals to accompany the construction of living shorelines, an initiative led by the PEI Watershed Alliance, the City of Charlottetown, and the Town of Stratford.

Living shorelines are a nature-based solution to coastline protection. Mimicking natural processes, living shorelines slow erosion and are made with natural, biodegradable materials, such as woody debris, planted native species of trees, shrubs and grasses, all of which stabilize the shoreline. Living shorelines are a soft approach alternative to hard approaches which involve hardened structures such as seawalls, rock armouring or bulkheads. Although such structures may adequately mitigate shoreline retreat, the ecological damages that result from their presence can be significant. Living Shorelines protect people, create habitat and demonstrate a new working relationship with the more-than-human world.

Riverworks is looking for art that favours a soft approach; art that embodies the qualities of living shorelines. Proposed works can be sculptural, installation-based, performative or other. Typically, permanent public art must withstand time and weather, but Riverworks isn’t looking for a hard approach to public art. Instead, we’re interested in projects that engage with processes of growing, weathering, decay, bio-degrading, and environmental shifts resulting from climate change.

Opportunity for PEI / Atlantic Canadian artists

Funding is available to support two artists from PEI or the Atlantic Bubble. Each artist will receive $7,500.00 ($5000 artist fee, with $2500 for materials). Additional support is available to cover travel expenses, documentation and other incidentals.

Project descriptions should address the following:

  • How will the artwork pull inspiration from the living shoreline?
  • How will the artwork change over the course of its lifetime (however long or brief that may be); will the artwork grow, rust, flood, decay, etc?
  • Demonstrate how the artwork could impact wider communities and natural living systems.

Successful artists will install their artwork this summer or fall at one of two predetermined sites along the banks of the Hillsborough River in PEI. Artists may pull inspiration from the Living Shoreline Material List if they wish, available at our website:

Submission Requirements

  • Project Description (500 word max)
  • CV (3 page max)
  • Portfolio + project support sketches (15 max)
  • Art Biography (250 words max)