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Installation: The Beacon, JJs Arquitectura, 2017. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher / Khristel Studios

WinterStations 2018 - Call for Proposals

September 20, 2017


WinterStations is now embarking on its fourth year, again opening an international design competition to bring temporary public art installations to The Beaches for an exhibition to celebrate Toronto's winter waterfront landscape.

This year we are hoping to include up to six lifeguard stands, including an additional three by invited universities, across Balmy, Kew and Ashbridges Bay beaches located in the heart of the Beach community, south of Queen Street East, between Woodbine and Victoria Park Avenues. These utilitarian structures are to be used as the armature for temporary installations, which will need to be able to withstand the rigours of Toronto winter weather. The exhibition is to run February 19 until April 6, 2018.

This is a single-stage open international competition, welcoming artists, designers, architects and landscape architects to submit concept proposals for WinterStations' temporary artwork installations.


WinterStations 2018 theme: RIOT: violent disturbance; uproar; outburst of uncontrolled feelings; a large or varied display

The past year has been one of upheaval and continued uncertainty. Paradigms are shifting, lines of division appear to be drawn, perceptions skewed - it may feel we are losing sight of reality, or at least what we once considered normalcy. But century after century, from one era and generation to the next, what was once within the realm of fantasy and disbelief emerges to the surface proposing alternate, often conflicting realities and ways of going forward. And go forward we must!

This year's WinterStations theme, RIOT, is a call to artists and designers to act out. Your designs may be an active resistance expressed through a riot of colour, form and material. You may wish to speak to the political, cultural or environmental climate. You may rail against passive, placid art and design. You may, in a gesture of catharsis, unleash your inner turmoil. But please do remember, this exhibition is first and foremost a project to promote creativity and joy - basic, shared human qualities that bring us together and are needed now more than ever.

Given the success of the past year's re-use, repurpose, recycle initiative WinterStations continues to encourage proposals that evolve into future iterations, as on-going research and design projects and / or demonstrate an environmentally conscience post-exhibition lifecycle, including de-commissioning / removal.

There is no limit to the size of the installation, but please note that included in the jurors’ instructions will be durability and constructability. Installations cannot exceed the total cost outlined.

The jury may choose to pick up to ten proposals, in order of choice. The WinterStations team will review these proposals to determine constructability. From this list we are fundraising to build up to six installations.

Winning teams will be provided with an allowance for travel and accommodation to spend time in Toronto during the installation and the activities surrounding the opening. Construction on the beach will commence on February 10, 2018 and will be completed February 19, 2018. The opening gala will take place around February 15, 2018. The winning artists will be expected to provide a brief, 3 minute slide / video presentation on the topic of their choice. February 19, 2018 at noon is the exhibition opening, where invited dignitaries will speak and the press will be present to interview artists. These events provide opportunities for citizens of Toronto to engage directly with the designers. Members of the design team should expect to meet with media to discuss their designs and ideas.

This year, local design and art institutions will be represented by the University of Guelph, Ryerson University and the Ontario College of Art and Design University, with teams of students designing and fabricating installations for three stands.

The Lifeguard Stands

The lifeguard stands are essentially identical. They are sturdy steel pipe structures to which the installation is to be fastened. The method of fastening is up to each competitor, however it may not result in any damage to or modification of the structure. As this is the off-season for use, there are few restrictions on covering the stations; the three exceptions are: the shepherds’ hook, the lifesaving ring and any emergency signage.

Please assume minimal security during the event and the possibility of vandalism or simply wear and tear from the curious. There will be no power or utilities available. Installations should not propose solar lighting or fire. Proposals should indicate how materials may be disposed of, recycled and / or repurposed at the end of the display period. Please designate on your entry if your design is specific to one particular station.

Selection and Approval Process

Once the Jury has met and determined a short list of entrants, a technical review of the finalists will be conducted in order to ensure the constructability of the projects. Those on the shortlist will be assigned a construction team lead by a project manager, chosen by the organizers to produce the appropriate working drawings in order to ensure that the construction is feasible and within budget. This collaboration will take place from December 2017, continuing through to installation. The final winners will be announced around December 6, 2017.

All construction will be carried out in Toronto by firms selected by the organizers and overseen by the entrant, the project manager and the construction team. The entrants chosen to participate in this competition agree to work to the schedule established by the organizers.

Competition Rules, Regulations and Submission Requirements

A design honorarium of $3,500.00 CAD will be paid to selected proposals.

Deadline for submissions is November 3, 2017.

For all competition rules, regulations and submission requirements please visit:






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