CMHC Artwork Opportunities – Request for Interest

CMHC seeks artist professionals or artist teams to submit qualifications for the opportunity to design, fabricate and install permanent artworks. This is a two-stage competition managed through an internal selection committee at CMHC, this call for submissions provides information, details and submission requirements. CMHC is a Crown Corporation of the Government of Canada. Its superseding agency was established after World War II, to help returning war veterans find housing. It has since expanded its mandate to assist housing for all Canadians with ongoing efforts being made to establish healthier relationships with many communities. The organization’s primary goals are to provide mortgage liquidity, assist in affordable housing development, and provide unbiased research and advice for both governments and the housing industry. The establishment of commissions for artworks aligns with the ongoing vision for CMHC making effort to create spaces of respect and reciprocity. These requests for qualifications are equal opportunity processes, open to artist professionals and teams with experience in creating art. We strongly encourage artistic applications from self-identifying Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), Black, Persons of Colour (IBPoC), persons from LGBTQ2+ communities, persons with disabilities and marginalized groups not currently represented. We encourage self-identification during our selection processes as a way of increasing representation, understanding and to ensure organizational strategic priorities are being met as we strive towards higher levels of equity.

This call for submissions represents several opportunities for artists divided into 4 components:

A) Opportunity #1: C1 Entry Rock Garden

This component, tentatively called the “Entry Rock Garden”, encourages a story of coming together. It is a permanent, major contemporary work of art to occupy an indoor portion of the north entrance and atrium of the building. As a focal point, this major work of art will occupy a centralized space creating an environment that both welcomes guests and provides a visual landmark for the building and location. Applicants are strongly encouraged to explore concepts of community voices, conveying larger actions, celebrating artistic vision and share a story of coming together through Indigenous involvement. The total budgeted value of this opportunity is $120,000 CAD.

B) Opportunity #2: C1 Innovation Graphic Panels

This component, tentatively called the “Innovation Graphic Panels” is a wall-mounted artwork intended to explore innovation and the future of housing in Canada. Positioned near the Innovation Hub, Innovation Centre, Housing Knowledge Centre, and the primary south entry for CMHC staff, this opportunity is intended to be a catalyst, supporting aspirational dialogue and encouraging staff to think differently as they use the adjacent spaces and move in/out of the building. The total budgeted value of this opportunity is $30,000 CAD.

C) Opportunity #3: C3 Mural

This component, tentatively called the “Mural” is intended to be photographs of homes of people of Canada (or, what home means), assembled in a collective mural. Specifically, the intent of this opportunity is to support inspirational dialogue between CMHC and the community it serves across the country by exploring what “home” is to everyone, importantly as CMHC continues its work to ensure that: “By 2030, everyone in Canada has a home that they can afford and that meets their needs.” (Evan Siddall, Feb 7, 2019)”. Curation of the photographs is required by the proponent. The total budgeted value of this opportunity is $30,000 CAD.

D) Opportunity #4: Distributed Works

These components, tentatively called “Distributed Works” are intended to be various wall-hung pieces distributed throughout various locations at CMHC’s Ottawa office. Exact locations TBD. These components are intended to align with one or more components of the Project Vision: (a). Home: The roof under which our shared values, culture and expertise live; (b). Earth: The center of gravity and the driver for a sustainable future; and (c). Canada: The open and inclusive society we reflect and serve. The total budgeted value of this opportunity is $60,000 CAD.

Each component has its own budget and project priorities. Applicants are encouraged to submit to all components while understanding that only one component may be awarded to an applicant. Submissions from artist professionals and artist teams are asked to submit a cover letter, resume, CV and/or biographies as well as samples of existing artworks for consideration by the CMHC selections committee. Qualifications will be evaluated by a peer assessment committee consisting of artists, curators with public art experience, community representatives and representatives from the Design Team. To receive additional information and the application form for these opportunities, please email Application deadline is July 16, 2021 at 5:00:00 PM EST.


Estimated Contract Value $240,000.00 CDN

Estimated Project Completion: May 31, 2022

RFI Closing Date: Application deadline is July 16, 2021 at 5:00:00 PM EST.