Call for Expressions of Interest: Downtown Banff Public Art

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A Brand New Bear Street

The Town of Banff through the Community Art Committee is seeking Expressions of Interest (i.e Request for Qualifications) from midcareer and senior professional artists to create a permanent work of art in a newly re-envisioned public space in downtown Banff. This call is open to mid-career and established Canadian artists or artist teams possessing a demonstrated capacity for working effectively on public art projects and adhering to project timelines and budgets. Applicants from all backgrounds, identities and geographical locations across Canada are encouraged to apply.

Application deadline is July 23, 2021 at 4:00 PM MST

About Banff: Set in the majestic Rocky Mountains of Banff National Park, the Town of Banff is one of only two incorporated municipalities in Canada located in a national park. Banff is known worldwide for its spectacular setting within a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is Canada’s first, and most heavily visited, national park. The Bow Valley has been a place of gathering for thousands of years as, among other things, a point of travel between the foothills and the mountains west of the Canadian Rockies, as a place of ceremony and celebration, and as a place of leisure and exploration. As the home of Canada’s first National Park, its mandate is to preserve the natural wonders of the area for the use of all Canadians and the visitors who travel here. Banff National Park is located in Treaty 7 territory on traditional lands used by local Indigenous peoples, including the Ktunaxa (Kootenay), Secwempemc (Shuswap), Tsuu T’ina (Sarcee), Kainai (Blood), Piikani (Peigan), Siksika (Blackfoot), Nakoda (Stoney), and Nehiyawak (Cree).

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Bear Street Shared Street Rendering

About Public Art in Banff: The Town of Banff seeks to enrich the townsite through public art, providing opportunity for discovery, moments of reflection, dialogue, and engagement – enriching the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. The Town of Banff currently has six permanent art pieces, and one temporary mural. This call to artists represents the town’s largest single investment in public art to date.

Site/Location/Scale: Two locations have been identified on a redesigned downtown street. Bear Street is being transformed into a shared street, where pedestrians, cyclists and low-speed motorists share space in an integrated way. The curbless environment makes Bear Street one of the most accessible downtown areas. The design fosters active and sustainable modes of transportation while enhancing the vibrancy of the area. Bear Street is within a block from Banff Avenue, and its transition to a shared street will see increased local and visitor foot traffic as well as public events. In the second stage of this competition, the shortlisted finalists will be asked to design an artwork for one or both of the following sites on Bear Street:

1. Location 1 is adjacent to one of the central gathering spaces – complete with fire pit and seating. Artwork in this location will draw pedestrians down the Street, and invite pedestrians from the alleyway connection to Bear Street. A roughly 3.8m x 2.2m space is available for artwork here.

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Location 1 – Central Bear Street (art location shown in purple)

2. Location 2 sits at the intersection of Bear and Wolf Street – a central, and terminating view of the street. This location is flanked by two stone landscape planters, and offers an area that allows flexibility for placement and anchoring. A piece in this space should be able to share the space with pedestrians and café seating.

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Location 2 – Wolf/Bear Street Intersection (art location shown in purple)

Selection Process: The selection process will take place in three phases:

Phase I: Shortlist

  1. The Community Art Committee will shortlist up to 10 artists from the Expression of Interest application.

Phase 2: Jury Shortlist

  1. A Selection Jury will shortlist (up to 3) artists from the Phase 1 shortlist.
  2. Artist Residency/Site visit between August 2 – September 30, 2021. These dates are subject to change based on provincial health orders.
    ◦  Shortlisted artists will participate in a 2-4 day residency to become familiar with Banff, the possible sites, local people, history and culture. Artists will have the opportunity to meet with residents, Town of Banff staff and community partners in this semi-structured residency. The goal of the residency is to provide artists with place-based inspiration and context from which a detailed proposal is developed.

Phase 3: Jury Review

  1. The Selection Jury will select one artist based on the final artwork proposal and maquette. The selection jury is under no obligation to choose any finalists. The Town of Banff reserves the right to revoke the public call and/or public art project at any point.

Full project details available here.

Commission Award: $85,000

Email: public.art@banff.ca
Mail: Attn: Emma Sanborn, Banff Town Hall, 110 Bear Street, Box 1260, Banff, Alberta, Canada T1L 1A1